1. Re-hang your window shades. That's right, re-hang them.....Change them to either hand inside the window moldings for a smaller window look, or hang them on the outside of the frame to make the window appear wider. If you do hang them on the outside of the window frame make sure you hang them higher than the window panel itself. This gives the appearance of the room being taller than it actually is.
Here the curtains are hung inside the window frame as see on Pickled Tink Crafts.
Here the curtains are hung on the outside of the window frame and higher than the actual frame as seen on Canadian House & Home. I think the black on white is lovely.
2. To add privacy, but still get the most out of the light through a window, pair a print, solid, or patterned curtain with a sheer panel. The sheer panel will allow for light to come through, but still add privacy and the print panel will allow for light blocking and privacy when needed. Be sure and hang each curtain, the sheer panel and the print panel, on separate double rods.
Here you can see the double rod with the solid and sheer panel as seen from Curtain Works.
3. When you hang your curtains higher than the the window frames consider hanging the curtain rod longer than the molding on each side of the window. This look make the window appear wider and in turn makes the room appear wider as well.
The rod here makes this smaller window appear as if it takes up a longer space in this room as shown here from the Pepper Design Blog.
Window treatments and curtains aren't the only way to redecorate without breaking the bank. There are many other ways to give your home a fresh look too.
Look to ways like reclaimed wood. One of the most popular items on the web currently is making your own Farmhouse Table.
Thrifty and Chic provides a fantastic tutorial on how to accomplish a Farmhouse Table like the one shown above. Of course the one above was made with new boards, but you could always duplicate the same process with reclaimed woods. Consider railroad trestles for a smart, but reclaimed look.
You could also look to saw horses for a different table look. I have a glass-top table and I have been on a hunt for a few different ideas to make it look different from time to time. A couple of ideas are saw horses and even tree stumps.
Something similar to one being sold on Etsy via the Driftedge shop.
Or the saw horse table shown here from Busy Bee Design. This look would work for an office desk as well.
I have found that adding a bit of color to the kitchen is a great step as well. Of course this design idea might cost you a bit, but if you already have the colorful flatware, bowls, or mugs you won't have to spend a dime more. Pull all of your colored cookware and utensils onto seen shelves for a pop of added color.
Bringing out colorful bowls and plates that are hidden behind the cabinet doors will bring a quick change and a pop of color to your kitchen, or any room for that matter. These colorful bowls are a nice addition to this kitchen seen here from Charles Lantz Cabinetry.
Or this colorful kitchen from Kickrs.
Adding a strip down the wall of any room will also give your home that added decor move without breaking the bank either. Chalkboard pain is quite popular right now as well.
These vertical stripes brighten this room and also bring the room a bit of character in this photo from Shelterness.
Or this one horizontal stripe down the hallway in this photo from Fridge Coaster. I think this look is a very nice, calm, and eye-drawing addition.
Or paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint like this one from Design Life Blog.
Or this one from Ewehooo!
I hope some of these design and money-saving ideas help you to bring a fresh and new look to your living space. If something can be used in a new way, try it! It's so fun to give the home a new look and even more fun using something you already have for that newly achieved look too!
Eco-Tip: Opt for reusable products over disposable ones. Try with small items such as dinner napkins and toothbrushes, then venture out into large items, such as razors, dust mop heads, and even using tennis balls in your dryer over dryer sheets. For this and other tips on going green visit, The Earth and Me Go Green.