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January is about the time when we all look around and go, “Why is everything the colour of slush?” It can be hard to look out the window and only see either snow or darkness. Solution: make your home pretty enough that you don’t even have the desire to look outside. Oh, but you just dropped every penny you have on Christmas gifts/holiday food/Boxing Day sales and you can’t afford to do anything huge? No big deal. These DIYs won’t just add colour and fun to a space, they also won’t drain that already-cash-strapped wallet. Now roll up your sleeves, put on your painting pants and let’s get started.

Take a stool to the next level

Stools can be so… boring. Especially if you have some of those plastic or metal IKEA deals. They have a function but very little decor value. With a little foam and fabric (or fur, if you’re daring), you can turn that stool from a hard functional object into a comfortable statement.

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Heck, do that for anything

You can upgrade pretty much any piece of IKEA (or similar) furniture with a little creativity and glue or paint. Add wallpaper to a cabinet door or the back of a bookcase. Paint shelves a funky colour. Change or paint the handles on your cabinets. A little change goes a long way. Don’t shy away from colour and you’ll be surprised how invigorating it can be.

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Make (or buy?) some wall art

You don’t need to buy expensive art to put on the walls when there are so many other options. The dollar store sells canvases and almost anything can act as a stamp to create your very own original artwork. Plus, it becomes a conversation piece where your friends say “Where did you buy that lovely piece of wall art?” and you say, “Well, Susan, I made it myself” and then do a dramatic hairflip.

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If making your own art just isn’t your cup of tea, consider supporting a struggling artist before you drop your money on Walmart or IKEA mass-produced prints. Etsy is full of original stuff that can actually be pretty affordable.

Even easier: chalkboard paint

Or create ever-changing and useful wall art that also makes you look a little bit (but not too) Hipster. Paint a wall, cabinet door or picture frame with chalk board paint and then there’s no limit to the creativity. Or just write your grocery lists in fun-coloured chalk. That’s probably something the kids could get into.

Showcase your plants

Everyone knows that keeping indoor plants in the winter is good for air quality and for reminding you that greenery exists in the world. Don’t just keep your plants in the boring plastic planters they came in though. Plant pots are the perfect way to add a pop of colour to the room. Paint them with fun colours or patterns. If you want more of a sophisticated look, gold and metalics are really in right now.

Revamp the pillows

If your couch is feeling a little drab, a quick way to revive the whole room is to make your own cute new pillow covers. Pick a fabric (or several fabrics) you like, then use a Sunday afternoon to give your pillows a facelift. This one requires a little bit of skill but if you’ve got it in you, the results are adorable.

Fancy up those mirrors

Mirrors are the perfect way to make a space seem bigger than it is, but don’t stop at that. Make them a statement piece and art in themselves with a few simple DIYs. Painted frames, CD shards, fake flowers, lights, wood, you name it, there’s a way to fancy it up yourself.

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