If you dislike the way your home looks, but don't want to endure the expense and stress of a full-blown renovation, here are two simple and affordable ways to improve its appearance.
Spruce up the staircase
Staircases are subjected to a lot of foot traffic, and as such, can end up looking rather shabby and neglected. If the carpeting on your staircase is dirty and threadbare, or if the wooden steps are looking a bit faded and dull, you might want to consider giving it a makeover. You may be surprised at what a difference doing so makes to the overall appearance of your home.
Replacing staircase carpeting can be quite a tricky process and is usually best left to a professional. If your budget won't quite stretch to hiring a tradesperson to fit a new carpet, you might want to consider pulling up the existing fabric and adding a runner instead. This is a relatively simple job which you should be able to do yourself, provided you have some basic DIY skills, and will drastically improve the look of your staircase. In addition to the runner and padding material (dense foam is best for an area that receives high foot traffic), you will need fastening strips, tacks, a measuring tape and scissors. Make sure that the runner is positioned as close to the centre of each step as possible.
If you have wooden, uncarpeted steps, you could repaint them, instead of adding a runner. This is a time-consuming but relatively inexpensive process. You'll need primer, sandpaper, floor paint (make sure it's one that is both washable and stain-resistant) and at least two paintbrushes (one large one for the main step area and one smaller one to paint the edges)
Do bear in mind, however, that should you decide to go for this option, you won't be able to use the staircase for a day or two, whilst the paint dries.
Create a gallery wall
A gallery wall (that is, a collection of framed images grouped together on a single wall) can completely transform the look of a room. It can help to enhance its existing decorative theme and inject some character into the space.
As such, if you have a collection of old photos or art prints which have been gathering dust in your cupboards for years, you may want to consider pulling them out of storage for this project.
In order to create a sense of visual coherence, you should choose images which have a common theme or colour palette. You could, for example, use only black-and-white photographs, or opt for nature-themed art prints.
When purchasing the frames for this project, take into consideration the existing decor of the room in which you'll be placing them. If for instance, the room has a very contemporary, minimalist look, it might be best to use plain white or black frames for your images. Conversely, if the room is quite bohemian in style, you may want to use frames with differing colours, textures and shapes so that they are in keeping with the relaxed, eclectic appearance of the room.