No-Spend Styling Tips For When You're Sick Of Your Apartment

You've got nowhere to go. You've watched all the even just-okay movies on Netflix. And, your heating company is taking all your money, I get it. The answer? Redecorate — without spending a dime. 

Sounds crazy, maybe, but there are plenty of tricks to revamping your space without buying anything new. I spent many years being a very poor, creative fashion girl in New York City and then Los Angeles. Even though I was eating eggs and pita three times a day, I would always make sure my place looked — and, more importantly, felt — great. Now, though I am older and more established (and thankfully have money to buy real furniture), I still have that scrappy girl in me that figures out ways to make something out of nothing. I can thank my big brother for watching too much MacGyver — I think that may have made me the interior designer I am today. MacGyver might have turned a paper clip into a bomb, but I am turning it into some artwork for the walls. 

Ahead, my eight ideas for restyling without leaving your warm home to buy a single thing. 
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Move Away From The Walls
This sounds simple, but I can’t say it enough. There's this pervasive design notion — that the more floor space that's free, the better the room looks. That's so not the case. Pull your sofa even six inches off the wall, and you'll see a difference. Put the seating in the middle of the room in a pow-wow kind of formation, not everything flat against the walls. You will be amazed at how much more homey and actually bigger the room feels this way.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Burn Your Books
Just kidding, but why not mess a couple up? Find an old picture book or atlas with good colors, and rip the pages out. Make a large piece of wall art by nailing and layering as many together as you want. The more, the merrier; the bigger, the better. This lets you see the pictures you love every day, when you might not ever open the book up.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Frame Anything And Everything
Have a pile of tear sheets from your inspired days of reading magazines? This was before the age of Instagram. Hang those cool tears with a binder clip and a nail, put them in old frames, or attach them directly to the wall — using four small nails or tacks. Also, try taping them up using brightly colored duct tape on the four corners. If artfully done, it's a great look.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Bring The Outdoor Furniture In
I love adding an element of rustic to any room, but especially to clean spaces with too-perfect things! Consider bringing your wood and wicker furniture in, and let it have a break from the elements. Add a sheepskin (forever a go-to) to make it feel cozier and fit into the space.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Put Some Twine On It
I have a theory that you can use twine for anything. I've used it to wrap around the arms of a couple wire chairs that were missing their armrests. And, I swear, two years later I saw an entire bookshelf in a notable shelter magazine selling for $4,000, and guess what? It was wrapped in twine. Just saying.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Paint Your Chairs
Maybe you have a chair you don’t like anymore. Your mom gave it to you, or you found it on the street. Great shape and fits your space, but is totally not cool in any way. Take a paintbrush to it. There’s actually paint FOR upholstery out there, but you can also be brave and use leftover wall paint.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Cover Over Your IKEA Art
Admit it, we all have it — probably from our college days. A big canvas of the New York City skyline, or an Audrey Hepburn portrait. Grab your leftover wall paint or even kids' craft paint, and get to it. Use the canvas as...your canvas: Paint it simply black or even a color (or color block). Add electrical tape or duct tape for some mixed-media aspect.
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Photo: Courtesy of Leanne Ford Interiors.
Steal Your Parents' Trinkets
There’s got to be treasures in your family basement and attic. On a visit home, ask your folks to pass on some items that aren't being seen and loved, and cluster them on your mantel or shelf. The key to doing this and not ending up with clutter is to keep them in a color story (here, they are in silvers and blacks), so your eye feels calm when it catches them, then interested on closer inspection.
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