20 low- or no- cost redecorating hacks while you’re stuck inside

Add this share

The same four walls are bringing you down. You’re ready for a change, but quarantine life just isn’t going to give you that right now.

You want to redecorate, but the wallet is tighter than ever. Making matters worse, you have no idea how to freshen things up without a total tear-down.

Let these tips and trips give you a new view, without putting you in the poor house.

Prince(ss) of Pop

Maybe you’re happy with your basic pieces, and they’re too expensive to replace right away anyway. Change out or add pillows, curtains, rugs and other accessories to create a whole new color scheme. Repurpose old pillowcases, blankets, throws and fabric scraps to make it work at no cost.


Brush Over

Every drag queen knows to never, ever underestimate the power of a good paint job. Transform any space the same way, and feel free to get creative because you can always paint over it. Lord knows you have the time. Go bold with dark colors, or by switching to dark trim and light walls, and dive into storage for any paint lurking from old jobs.


Looking Up

Don’t forget about your “fifth wall.” Put the ceiling to work by adding beams or trim. Staple fabric up there and let it drape. Change or decorate your light fixtures. Suspend toys with fishing wire. Anything that draws the eye upward adds interest.


Remnant Realness

Nothing pulls it all together like a rug, but few items can be as expensive either. Consider stitching two or more smaller rugs together. Check out remnant and discontinued sections online.


Dapper Drapery

Add trim to the edge of existing drapes, or move them up to ceiling height and add a border of contrasting fabric to make up the difference at the bottom. When you do the latter, you also make low ceilings look higher by keeping the eye moving up and down.


Canvas the Area

Paint inexpensive or repurposed art canvases in one color, either contrasting or complementing the wall. Do singles or multiples in monochromatic or multiple colors, and voila! Instant art. Think big: Consider filling the whole wall with repurposed canvases for a big statement backdrop.


16 Candles

Clusters of candles, vases or other items make more impact than stand-alones. Gather what you have, or seek out inexpensive additions to supplement the look. Think landscapes, and consider the impacts of one-color, few-color and multi-color collections.


Side Eye

Stack boxes, luggage, trays, books or blocks to create one-of-a-kind side tables.You can also hang selves on the wall next to seating and use that as a place to rest your drink.


Sister Thrifter

You can’t go to the thrift stores right now, but you can check out online hotel liquidators and estate sales. Hunt for bargain pieces you can update with a coat of paint and new hardware. And keep an open mind toward new purposes for old items.


Double Team

Twin beds as seating? Yes, honey. When you can’t do a sofa or just want to maximize small spaces, dual purpose items are practical and fashionable. never let them tell you not to sleep where you eat and play.


In Recovery

Chairs are prime candidates for recovering. Scrap fabric and a coat of paint can turn a piece of junk into a prize possession. On a larger scale, dye, paint or slip cover (with sheets or blankets?) old sofas and chairs to match each other.


Back It Up

Paint or paper or otherwise cover the back or shelves to make every cubby pop. As with all of these decorating ideas, your wallet isn’t the limit; the only limit is your imagination.


Back into the Closet

Look past boring doors as surfaces crying out for decoration. Consider them hidden canvases. Cover them with fabric. Use them as background to hang artwork, or paint them with your own original creations.


Gallery Gays

Focal points are the basis of any new room. Create one without spending anything by placing your photos, found images, color copies or all black-and-white, in matching or coordinating frames. Another idea? No frames – anything looks sophisticated floating between two pieces of glass to let the wall color show through.


Collector’s Choice

Fill bowls, vases and trays with balls, toy trucks, barbie heads, whatever you collect. Add a bundle of twinkle lights. Group stuff by color for a chic look, or mix them up to make a splash. Hang small knicknacks from a bare branch.


Color Stories

Most of us have a few palettes that are our go-tos. Try letting things come together in color combinations that go beyond green with blue or red with yellow. Try red with turquoise, green with orange or pink, yellow with purple. Shake things up.


Nice Basket

Turn a shallow basket or tray into an arrangement of stuff that’s readily available, like moss, pinecones, sticks, rocks, or fruits.


Smells Like Outside

For an inexpensive, fragrant and long-lasting decoration, put sprigs of pine in see-through containers. Or bundle rosemary, thyme and marjoram in vases — you can even use them for cooking after they dry.


Focal Point

Turn one wall into your show-stopper with wrapping paper, fabric or boldly patterened paint.


Tie One On

Tie single or multiple ornaments, toys, baubles or knicknacks on a ribbon or yarn, hang at varying heights, and create a memorable window display or room divider .

Sources: HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Style at Home

This feature originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue online here:

Visit Project Q Atlanta every day for Atlanta’s best local LGBTQ news, features and community coverage.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...