After a year spending most of your time at home – eating, sleeping, working, and of course, Zoom-ing – you’re probably looking to change up your living space. If a big move isn’t in the cards right now, you might be asking yourself, “How can I change my home decor on a budget?”

I’ve listed out five of the biggest changes you do while on a budget that will make you feel like you’re living in a new space – even if you’re not.

1. Update your furniture

While this isn’t the cheapest option, it definitely carries the biggest impact. Particularly if you’ve been working from home the past year, you’re probably craving an update. What’s important is to think about what works for your space, not just what looks great. You might love a minimalist marble slab for a desk – but where ya gonna store those important papers? Love a 70s style Danish display shelf? Awesome – but who’s gonna dust all those tchotchkes?

2. Rearrange a room

Just like when you were in high school and rearranging your room felt life-changing (new room, new you), rearranging furniture or wall hangings can have a huge impact, and is fast, cheap, and easy! It might help you realize that nightstand you’re always walking into at night is the perfect hallway entry mask-holder, or maybe that gorgeous hand painted watercolour you love would really pop in the afternoon sun of your kitchen.

3. Plants, plants, plants!

I can’t stress this enough: when in doubt, buy a plant. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed plant-killer, there’s a plant for everyone and every space, from low light, to dammit-how-long-has-it-been-since-I-watered-this-thing. If you’re not sure where to start, there’s even local stores happy to help you decide, and able to deliver your little green beauties, plant pot included. For some great recommendations and affordable prices, check out @urbangardenerto and PlantCollectiveTO. But be prepared – you’re likely to spend an entire paycheque once you’re hooked.

4. Add a fresh coat of paint

I know – most people hate painting. But if you’re looking for a change, painting a wall, a room, or your entire home can have a huge impact. Go bold with a bright colour in the kitchen, or keep things sultry in the bedroom with a velvety navy or aubergine. Painting not your thing? Let me introduce you to that old standby: wallpaper. Once thought of as stuffy, annoying, and boring, wallpaper has come a long way, baby. My favourite site these days is Spoonflower, where artists upload their designs and you can choose from whatever you’re into: David Bowie, the Golden Girls, or art deco. Oh, and did I mention? Removable wallpaper is totally a thing.

5. Shop secondhand

If you don’t have a big budget, look for great finds on Kijiji, Marketplace, or local buy and sell groups online – they can be goldmines of new-to-you finds that give your space a facelift, while keeping budgets low, and items out of landfill. Covid has resulted in some amazing online communities of people trading or selling their housewares, and you might be surprised at what turns up! When you are ordering online, do some research on the products and service you’ll get: I’ve been through the best and the worst (read more here), trust me!

So there you have it – five simple things you can do to update your space, without moving to a new one. And of course, when you’re ready to change your neighbourhood, your home, or even your city – I’m here!