3 Ways to Add High Impact to Your Home for Less

Adding impact to your home for less… isn’t that always the struggle? We want our home to look like a million bucks, but we sure don’t have a million bucks in our budget to spend on it! I get it – I totally do, and as weird as it probably is coming from an interior designer: I completely respect your desire to make big changes as reasonable as possible.

The world of Pinterest and DIY bloggers have opened our eyes to projects that blow our socks off – and floor our barefooted selves with the minimal price to do such amazing things. So, let’s save a few bucks to be able to take our family out for movie theater nights, go on weekend road trips, and color those greys out of our hair! [side note: I started getting grey hairs when I was 25. Not cool.]

And may I insert a shameless plug for Rardon Design… Things that are less expensive usually involve a little more work, whether it is time to put something together or the time to hunt down the perfect treasure. As much as we like to save our money, our time is precious too. I just had a conversation last night with one of my dearest clients. She works full time, is a wife, and a mother. I mean – let’s be honest – that’s all I need to say for us to know that her schedule is plenty full. She also so graciously expressed how grateful she is that I can help her have the home she’s always wanted – the home that she didn’t realize was possible for her family to have. Love it. Have you always thought you could never afford an interior designer? Is your schedule packed with working, cooking, cleaning, loving your family & friends, and making memories from sun up to sun down? If yes – that is awesome: you are so blessed. Why not hire an interior designer who loves giving people an environment they adore to keep doing just that: loving each other & creating memories? Someone who understands that money doesn’t grow on trees – and that houses are to be used to create memories with our loved ones, to retreat from the craziness of the day, and invite others to share special moments that can never be replaced. Just a thought. I love using my talents to bless others. Call me.

Okay – thanks for reading, let’s get to it: 3 Ways to Add High Impact to Your Home for Less…

1. Paint

Paint is fairly inexpensive for the huge impact that it makes. Ah… a fresh coat of paint can be exhilarating, refreshing, brightening – so impactful.

Let’s start with a fun little before & after. From sunny, unfortunate yellow – to fun & calming greens:

DSC00503 Guest Bedroom After


Using a stencil to create a patterned wall adds huge impact! It doesn’t have the commitment factor of wallpaper, but just as much wow factor. This is one that takes a little time to do right – but the cost is only in a small amount of paint, a foam roller, and a stencil. Here is an accent wall I painted in a nursery.



Here’s another pattern I stenciled on a small wall behind a toilet. This is a really fun way to add a lot of impact in a small room.


I was hesitant to include this before & after – but I just HAD to show you guys the impact that simply changing the paint color can make. We simply moved a few things on the countertops & cabinetry, and updated the paint color. The orange undertones in her cabinetry look so much prettier against the green.

Busteed Rardon Design 1

Not up for painting the walls? Take some paint to a canvas…



This pictures is kind of embarassing… Welcome to project central – also known as our garage. These garage sale tables are getting a face lift with glossy black paint. Here they are in their underwear: also known as a tinted primer. These beauties are going to be part of the Living Room Makeover giveaway from this years Women’s Expo – I’ve said this before: but you will be astonished at the before & afters!




I’m currently obsessed with the idea of color blocking walls. Check out this wonderful example:

Color Block Paint


2. Fabric

The second way to add high impact for less = fabric! You can update a space with a mere yard of fabric – by upholstering a chair seat or adding decorative pillows. Don’t forget the windows: sew up decorative panels or create a valance for a fraction of the price by purchasing fabric yardage.



Here we saved a large chunk of change by using a slip cover on this sofa. We took the sofa from attention-drawing blue floral to a subtle tan working well with the rest of the room’s decor. Decorative pillows and a colorful throw give it pop.

Freud Rardon Design 16


A custom table runner breaks up the top of this table & adds color to this kitchen!



This chair uses all 3 principles: It was purchased at a second hand furniture store, it was painted, and the upholstery was updated with fabric!

Rardon Design Display 22


3. Thrifted Furniture & Accessories

As you probably already know, I am a huge thrifter. I think that thrift stores, second hand furniture stores, and auctions not only give you the opportunity to save money – but they also give you the opportunity to find items that add instant character. I love a room that looks like it has been collected over time.

Colorful Reader’s Digest Books look amazing styled in any room. Use as risers – or simply a stack here and there for a fun pop of color.  [if it’s brass & and an animal: I’m in love]


Brass Pandas Rardon Design


This $30 thrift store trunk adds a huge impact! Could be used as a coffee table, or just a fun piece to fill a small space or nook.



You can save a lot of money on frames, by finding them at thrift stores. They are usually still in good shape, and you can easily switch out the artwork. Consider painting the frame! These frames were great finds – and I simply used spray adhesive to insert these cool photography prints.

Photography Rardon Design


This collection of kitchen accessories was a recent find – and are going to add life above one of my client’s cabinetry.

Thrifted Kitchen Accessories


I found this blue vase several years ago, and it is still one of my favorites. Perhaps one of my favorite things: unique thrifted vases filled with succulents.

Thrifted Vase Rardon Design


These school chairs were a total steal at $5 a piece. A graphic pattern in black makes them a statement piece for any room!

Unique Finds


There you have it – 3 ways to add high impact to your home for less. Here are a few other fun ideas:


-Consider using a granite or marble remnant for a small countertop or vanity top.
Looks expensive, but by choosing a remnant you’ll save big bucks.

-Use what you have & move what you have – you’ll feel like you have new artwork, new accessories, and a new space without spending  a dime.

-Use a canvas drop cloth to make drapery panels.
Paint a pattern or stripes to add some color.

-Use salvaged barn wood to create shelves or frames.

-Switch out the hardware on your kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.

-Spray paint an old brass lamp or out-dated door knobs: brushed nickel & oil-rubbed bronze spray paints look like the real deal.

-Use a basic white roller shade.
Glue on fabric or paint on a pattern to give it some punch.

-Use old sewing machine drawers and metal freezer baskets to hold office supplies, bathroom items, gloves, or magazines.

-Use washi tape to create large graphic art on a wall.

-Frame old record covers as artwork: Hobby Lobby & Target carry frames the perfect size for them!

-Use handed-down dishes organized on shelving to add color to a kitchen or dining room.

-Wrap a solid pillow with an old scarf to add a pop of color.
Leave the knot in front for texture & interest.

-Use field corn or soy beans as a vase filler.

Let your imaginations run wild! Anything goes these days when it comes to home decor. The more creative, the better in my book.



  1. Kay Marshall Reply

    This is a wonderful post, Rachel! Love your quick, inexpensive ideas.

    • Rachel Rardon Reply

      Thank you Kay! Quick & inexpensive updates are so possible – we just have to know how to do them & be inspired to get them done!

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