Clean, clutter-free expanses and elegant groups of paintings and other decorations fill the pages of magazines. Who wouldn’t love to have their home redesigned by a professional, creating a beautiful living space as seen on commercials and in those magazines? Unfortunately, most individuals cannot afford to employ a pricey design expert, or replace all the furniture, pictures and curtains. So, how can the average homeowner make their living space more attractive while working within a budget?

There are many simple tricks that can make your home more attractive. Most obvious is a fresh coat of paint to liven up dull rooms with just a few hours’ work. Light colours make rooms appear larger and more open, while darker shades create a cosier feeling. If your room is small but you like the look of a darker colour, consider creating an accent wall - one wall painted with an attention-grabbing hue. The accent wall should be a focal point in the room, so be sure to choose the wall that is the most natural centre of focus when you walk through the doorway, and use the colour as a background to display your most striking and lovely wall décor. Be creative with your wall hangings. Mirrors can be a clever way to reflect light back into a room, making it appear larger and cheerier.

Furniture is obviously a key aspect of your rooms. Consider the natural flow of the room when arranging your sofas and chairs. You shouldn’t have to walk around large pieces of furniture as you move through your home - you need to create natural pathways that are the most direct routes to and from your rooms. Try to purchase furniture that serves a dual purpose, for example, ottomans to provide extra storage space. When considering new furniture, look for pieces that have a classic, modern look that won’t go out of fashion too quickly. Fabric sofas are extremely practical, because they are easy to clean and can be refurbished with a simple slip cover. Since they come in so many styles, colours and upholsteries, they are a great choice for any room.

Furniture isn’t the only thing that can be arranged to fit your family’s lifestyle. Taking an “everything has a place” approach to clutter control can create clutter-free living space that is far more attractive than having all sorts of odd bits strewn around. Clutter control is as easy as using things you have on hand - margarine containers, for example, make excellent storage for small objects, and can be stored out of sight on shelves behind a cupboard door or an attractive curtain. Create a space in your hallway for boots and shoes, and also add some coat hooks. For cleaning supplies, and other small-to-medium sized objects that need to be kept together, try hanging a shoe-organizer over the back of a door for an easily accessible storage place.

Whether you’re improving your home to make it more attractive to a potential purchaser or for your own comfort, it is really quite simple to make your home more attractive on a limited budget.