If a smaller, low-maintenance home sounds like heaven, you’ll love these DIY downsize decor projects. Low and no budget ideas for Empty Nest Moms.
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“Greed is good!” So rang the siren-call of my generation. Our moms filled our Farah-coiffed heads with limitless possibilities and the perfume commercials told us we could have it all.
Years after chasing my “Material Girl” dreams, my husband and I were ready to cash in our McMansion, 3 car garage, and silver-plated serving set for a simpler life.
Check out the other posts in this Downsize and Organize series:
- Sick and Tired of Your Undersink Disaster? Try This Simple Plan
- How to Clear Your Clutter With These Dollar Tree Hacks
- Here’s How to Organize Your Tiny Kitchen in Just 5 Steps
In the end, maintaining and repairing our home and property had sucked the life out of our weekends and the cash from our wallets. We were ready for a dramatic switch. Although we were prepared to part with our stuff, we weren’t willing to sacrifice style and comfort.
Downsize Decor Projects
After selling our home, we settled into a much-smaller rental property. The first few months were consumed with making the most of our edited space. Once everything had a place, my energies turned toward some downsize decor projects that would up our style.
These three tried and true decor DIYs are simple and economical without sacrificing a high-end look. Try one or more of them and let me know your favorite!
Something about shelling out half my decorating budget for curtain rods got me riled up. I just couldn’t pry the bills from my wallet for something no one would even notice.
One of our favorite features of the new place was a wall of beautiful, floor to ceiling windows. Although the windows came with pull down shades, we needed curtains to make the room look finished and soften the light on sunny days.
This DIY came to the rescue, and I’ve since repeated it in other rooms. All you will need is:
- PVC pipe measured to the width of your window (with about 3 inches on either side)
- Twin sheets from Walmart ($4.99/each)
- Sconces for the ends and middle, if your rod is long (I found mine at Lowe’s), along with the hardware to hang them
- Spray paint in the color you desire
Once you’ve cut your PVC pipe to fit (they do it for free at Lowe’s), spray paint the pipe and sconces to match. Mount the sconces on the wall. Cut a hole on either end (width-wise) of the sheet seam and thread your pipe through the tunnel created in the end of the sheet.
Need a little encouragement? Click here for the Empty Nest Moms Survival Kit!
No one will believe how little you spent on this downsize decor project. (And I promise not to tell…)
Large Mirror Art
Multi pane mirrors are all the rage for lux decor, but get ready to shell out big bucks unless you’re onto this little trick. Not only will mirrors reflect light and objects around you, brightening a small space, they also trick the eye into making your tiny room appear larger.
Placing a mirror across from a window is the best way to reflect light and make the room feel larger.Buzzfeed
All you’ll need is:
- Dollar Tree mirrors (they come in black and brushed silver)
- Adhesive tape (I used Command strips)
I recommend you start at the top, making sure your highest mirrors are completely level. Then, simply line them up as you go down the wall. This project is so versatile, you can change the width and length to fit any space.
When all was said and done, this project cost me about $18, versus over $200 for the designer brand.
Chalk Paint Furniture
Solid wood furniture is as elusive as an 8 track tape these days. We live, my friends, in an IKEA world. If you’re anything like me, you’ve collected or inherited some sturdy but damaged and mismatched pieces over time.
With my simple chalk paint recipe, you can give them a fresh, new look for just a few bucks. Here it is:
- Latex paint 1 quart size (flat works best)
- Teaspoon Plaster of Paris
- Tablespoon Diatomaceous Earth (at garden and feed stores)
- Tablespoon warm water
First, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with the water, making sure to break up clumps. Next add paste to quart of paint and mix thoroughly with paint stirrer or plastic spoon. Keep covered or mixture will thicken.
If you’re “so over” spending hard earned cash for objects that gather dust, try these downsize decor projects. You’ll have cash left over to visit your kids in a sunny location, and gather memories instead of stuff.