Budget-friendly Ideas for Home Improvement

A change of scenery can make the difference between a happy household and one that isn't as inviting as you'd like. With just a few simple changes, your whole co-op can get a face lift on a shoe-string budget that can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your unit.


Compared to traditional renting, cooperative living gives each Member the freedom to paint and make minor changes without approval (or denial) from the landlord. Contact the office for more details and approval on larger projects such as wall removals, ceiling fan installs and cabinetry replacements.


woman painting wall a light pink color at Ash Street Cooperative il

Paint Like the Wind!

A fresh coat of paint can brighten up a room in as fast as it takes to brush it on. Start by washing the walls to remove any old dirt, dust or stuck on debris. This helps the paint to adhere better and prevents a bumpy finished look. Then, tape off all edges and lay plastic on the floor. Trust the professionals on this one - not taping can lead to rough edges and paint drips on the flooring even if you are extremely careful. Finally, brush on a coat of paint and delight in your new space. *For even more cost-savings, wait until your local hardware or paint supply store has a sale and grab a few gallons of paint at a discount.


Swap Your Curtains

While curtains can become a higher expense than may be desired, when purchased strategically, they too can bring life into a dull space at a fraction of the cost of moving! Our recommendation is to have 2 sets of curtains. One set can be darker and heavier for the winter months to help hold in the heat and give your home a cozy vibe. The other set can be lighter in color and weight. This allows that beautiful Illinois sunshine to beam through the windows and brighten up your home. Plus, every 6 months or so, your whole place gets a new look!


bright curtain options at cooperative home park forest il

Bring In Pops of Color with Throw Blankets and Pillows

Some Members prefer neutral tones on their walls and for good reason. Neutral paint colors allow you to change out your accessories as often as you'd like without having to pull out the brush and tape. To add tons of color to your space, simply purchase colorful throw pillows, blankets and decorations that work together to give your home a face lift on the cheap. For even more cost savings, try the discount department stores that often have tons of unique houseware options at a fraction of the cost year-round.


Lay a Rug

Whether you have hardwood floor or carpet, laying a rug can add a cozy touch to your home without much fuss. Similar to the brightly colored pillows and blankets, rugs can be swapped out frequently, giving you the flexibility to change your color scheme whenever you want on a budget. If you get tired of your old run or color scheme, donate it locally, then head to the store to grab a new one.


rug texture colorful at Ash Street Cooperative

Hang a Picture

Some members opt to hang pictures to improve the appearance of their Ash Street cooperative home. A simple bright painting can create an interesting focal point and give life to an otherwise, possibly boring wall.


Set up Lamps

Lamps offer two home improvement aspects in one. They bring light into the room and can be a source of decoration. Two matching lamps on either side of your cooperative's living room windows can create balance and beauty all in one. Again, watch for sales to save even more money.


new lamp next to bed in room at ash street cooperative

Replace Old Furniture

While this fix may not be considered "budget-friendly" as new furniture can come with a hefty cost, there are many resell furniture stores that have beautiful, repurposed couches, chairs and tables just waiting to be found! Swap out an old couch with a more modern one, place a few contrasting pillows on it and wha-la! A whole new look for little cost.


Do you have any home improvement ideas on a budget? Let us know on our Facebook page! Looking for a unique alternative to home ownership? Call the office today to view our available units. Experience the benefits of home ownership without the expense of maintenance. A win-win for all!

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