Summer is over. It’s time to face the fact, even if we don’t want to. But you know what? Fall is all about new beginnings and fresh starts, and who doesn’t like a good do-over? That’s why we’re suggesting the perfect cure for your season change malaise: a little redecorating. It may seem daunting but giving your house some love in the form of a makeover – is the absolute best way to forget it’s September.

But where to begin? And how to budget? We get it. Time is tight and cracking open your wallet is tough, especially when you don’t know where to start, but we can help you prioritize. Read on for our guide on where to spend your hard-earned cash to spruce up any room – and, more importantly, in which order to spend it.

8 EASY STEPS TO REDECORATING ANY ROOM

How to Redecorate a Room1.  PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

Focusing on one room at a time, consider who you’ll use it so you can see what you’ll need in order to use the room properly. Make a list. In your bedroom, for example, you’ll need the basics such as a great mattress, headboard, night tables and clothing storage, but you’ll also need extras, such as a rug and couch or chair, to toss your clothes.

DECORATING TIP: Make a list of what you’ll need before you start.

2.  FEEL YOUR STYLE

Not sure whether to go modern or traditional? How about transitional – which is more a middle ground and incorporates elements of each? If you’re not sure what you want, take some time to flip through home decor magazines and rip out pages your love. They are a great source of inspiration and you will quickly discover your style and colour preferences emerging from your tear sheets.

DECORATING TIP: Keep tear sheets from your favourite magazines.

3.  LIGHT IT UP

Lighting up a room is more important than you can imagine. Just think how annoying it is when you try to do, well, just about anything and find you can hardly see. Choose your ambient lighting first. That’s the general lighting, such as pot lights and/or track lights. Next, pick out your task lighting – table and floor lamps or directed pot lights. Last but by no means least, add decorative lighting for mood and ambience, with sconces, candles and purely “for fun” lamps.

DECORATING TIP: Buy lighting in 3 steps.

4.  BUY BIG FIRST

Spend on the largest, most expensive pieces first, as these are the items that form the base of your design and the ones you’ll keep for a long time. Here’s where it’s a good idea to stick with classics and neutrals so next year, you won’t wonder what you were thinking. Still, if you fall in love with the red sofa that matches your personality, GO FOR IT!  It is your room and your character should shine through.

DECORATING TIP: Spend most on the large items that last.

5.  COUNT YOUR CASH

Running out of cash halfway through a room makeover is a drag. So you’ll need a budget. This way you’ll know if you need to save a little longer in order to finish your space. Budgets also help guide you as to where to splurge and save. A great room always has a mixture of high and low price points. Have to save somewhere? Get creative. Paint a hand me down dresser or night table, change out the knobs on doors or recover an antique chair in a funky pattern to add some pizzazz!

DECORATING TIP: Buy items in both high and low price points.

6.  COLOUR ME PRETTY

Remember to set aside money for paint and accessories – usually about 15-20% of the budget. Since paint is one of the least expensive parts of the design process and paint colours are basically limitless, pick colours last. If your budget can handle it, this is where you can add gorgeous wallpaper or if you want the wallpaper look without the expense, try a stencil. There are tons of patterns to choose from and when you’re tired of it, you just paint over it.

DECORATING TIP: Check out paint, wallpaper and stencil options.

7. PICK THE DETAILS

Details can make or break the room. Make a list of what you think you’ll need along with any size restrictions and go shopping. If your plan has an overabundance of square and rectangle  items – bed, dresser, night tables – then think round or oval mirrors, tables or pillows to balance out the look. With accessories, bigger is usually better and buy lots to keep your options open. Check the store’s return policy so you can take items home to try.  Don’t forget to peek at other rooms in case there’s an item just waiting for a new home. Inexpensive artwork is everywhere.

Check Etsy for affordable, easy-to-frame typography art – like this cute I Love Canada print you can buyjust by clicking here. Love the US? Buy the American version here. Or buy an origami sketch print to add handmade interest to your walls. Enlarging some family or vacation photos and framing them is another great way to keep the art budget in check.

DECORATING TIP: If you can, try before you buy.

8.  STAY ON TRACK

As tempting as it is, try not to get distracted by shopping for other rooms in your home. Stay focused on one room at a time. Your budget will thank you, and in no time, you’ll have one beautifully completed room to enjoy.

DECORATING TIP: Use your completed room for inspiration for the rest.

About the author

Mara Shapiro

Mara Shapiro is Co-Editor, Community of BrazenWoman. She is proof that it's never too late to reinvent yourself, and also that you cannot have too many pairs of shoes and lipglosses. A Social Media addict, Community Manager, and insatiable lover of movie popcorn, Mara is always on the hunt for the next best thing. You'll often find her laughing and dancing, phone in one hand, and a glass of red in the other. The only time she's not talking is when she's sleeping.

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