Getting a little bored with your surroundings, but don’t have a ton of time or money to invest in a complete overhaul? Here are 5 super simple ideas for instantly making your place look cooler.

1. Decorate with houseplants
Adding houseplants are an easy and fast way to freshen the look and character of a room (not to mention lower your stress and purify your indoor air). Try Philodendrons or Fatsia Japonica for some gorgeous, dramatic foliage. Have a sunny spot? Think about grouping an assortment of different-sized succulents together to create a kind of indoor garden display. You can also get creative with planter pots — oversized, woven baskets can be a surprisingly chic alternative to ceramic planters.

2. Colorize your bookshelves
Okay, so colorizing isn’t for everyone, but organizing your books according to their cover color gives you a ton of design bang for virtually zero bucks. (It’s also an uber kid-friendly assignment if you want to get the whole family involved.) Don’t feel bound to ordering books according to the rainbow experiment with color blocking or subtly mixing hues within the same color family.

3. Frame some record covers
Have you noticed how amazing album cover art can be? Maybe you don’t have the time or resources to invest in vintage poster art from the 70s, and that’s okay. Whether you want to frame one of your all-time faves, or a random album with cover art to die for, displaying art vinyl is fun and can be done on the cheap (now that you’re looking, you’ll notice free or nearly-free LPs abound in used book stores and garage sales pretty much everywhere). LP frames are variable in terms of price and materials, but there are plenty of no-frills options that look great. Display albums together in groups or hang an album solo to create a cool focal point.

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4. Throw on a throw (blanket)
We all know fleece and other microfibers are fuzzy, warm, and easy to clean, but they don’t have the aesthetic appeal of natural fiber blankets. Cover up an old couch, chair, or bench with a colorful cotton or wool throw (a well-placed sheepskin is always a hit too), and watch your room transform into a warmer, cozier place. If you’re looking for color (and an amazing value), try a versatile Mexican serape blanket (equally good for use as an indoor throw, tablecloth, or picnic blanket). Want to go more neutral? Hand knits or crocheted blankets done in neutral shades of beige and white are classy and timeless.

5. Go minimalist
Minimalism is having its moment. Think about what a major decluttering project could do for your space. The general rule of thumb seems to be: store what you need and purge what you don’t. With less mess around, you can focus on the items you really love.

Once your house has been updated, make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect it. Get started with a free quote today.

DIY hacks | Home and garden

about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.