11 Under $11 in 2011

Welcome!

Well, your tree is down,  the gifts are stowed away, and everything is back in its proper place.  But things are looking a little dingy.  Right?  The problem is that your bank account is suffering from too much holiday shopping, and you just can’t spiff up your house the way you would like.  Not this month, at least.

Don’t worry.  I have come up with a list of 11 easy, cheap, and fast fix-ups you can do that are subtle but will add add some brightness in this usually dark and gray month.

1.  Buy some distilled vinegar and mix it with equals parts of water.  Vinegar is one of my favorite cleaning ingredients.  Now, use the concoction to wipe down all of your mirrors, picture glass, light bulbs and glass do-dads.  Instant sparkle for just a few cents!  Jordan hates the smell of my vinegar solution, but unlike the sprays you can buy, vinegar and water don’t leave streaks.

2.  Buy one or two new guest towels for your powder room.  Try a bold color that you wouldn’t normally use to add that impact you are looking for.  Better yet.  Buy some embroidery supplies and stitch your own monogram on them.  I did this, and it took just one evening of television watching to complete it.

3.  Buy some fresh taper candles.  if you have tapers placed around your home, chances are they have faded from the sunlight.  Here, too, you can add a punch by adding a color you might not ordinarily use.  Be sure to light them just long enough to make the wick looked used.  That is a tip a decorator friend taught me.

4.  This one is so easy.  If you display photos around your home, switch out the photos for more current shots.  Better yet – color code the clothes your subjects are wearing to the colors in your room.  This can be done for free and is great for the OCD in all of us.

5.  Buy a flowering plant or two.  In January many supermarkets sell plants like primroses at the bargain price of two for $10.00 or less.  They come in vibrant colors and can be placed in a cute cup or bowl to match your decor.

6.  I have always thought of silver as  jewelry for a room.  If you have some heirloom pieces or wedding gifts that are always stored away, get out a few pieces, shine them up, and place them around your home.  It is another easy and free way to add instant sparkle.

7.  Stores that already have great prices are putting their current stock on sale to make room for spring merchandise.  They are sure to have some cute pillows that you could buy on the cheap to toss on a chair or sofa.  Another way to add a new look to your sofa is to toss a throw on it that you have stored away.

8.  I am going out on a limb with this one, but it is actually something that I experimented with and had great success.  A few years ago I wanted to change the matting in one of my framed prints.  The store that normally does our framing couldn’t complete the project by the time I needed it.  On the way home from that shop, I stopped and bought a can of spray paint in the color I wanted for the new matting.  I gently deconstructed the art work, spray painted the matting, and put it all back together.  Bam!!!  The results were so good that I have spray painted several others since then.

9.  Here is another freebie.  Move your lamps.  That’s it.  Maybe the lamp you are using in your bedroom would work in your entry or in your living room.  Have some fun with this one.  Hey, it’s free.  Something that is a pet peeve of mine is when both soft light bulbs and daylight light bulbs are glowing in the same room.  (Actually, in the entire house)  I suggest you use either one shade or the other throughout your home.  And you know that spray paint you have sitting in the basement.  Use the leftovers to spray paint a lampshade.

10.  Organize.  What better time of the year than now to get your things in order.  Buy some baskets for your incoming/outgoing mail, go paperless with your banks and credit card companies, and buy some baskets for your family’s hats, gloves, and scarves.  Hang some hooks for those coats that don’t always make it to the closet.

11.  This last tip is my favorite, and my husband can back me up on this one.  Rearrange your furniture.  This has the biggest impact of all and is FREE!  Move your furniture to a new placement in a room or change up furniture from one room to the other.

I hope you have enjoyed my suggestions and will put  them to use.  What is an easy and inexpensive thing you do at your home to spiff things up?  Tell us in the comment form below.  We will be having some contests in the near future, and commentors, followers, and subscribers will all be eligible.

Come back soon to read how Jordan (Spring) has organized her electrical cords.

Till then.

Heinz vinegar did not pay us to show their product and all other images are from google images.

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