Simple, Low-Cost Ways to Update Unfurnished Spaces

Would you like to get more use from your unfinished basement, attic or garage and transform one or more of them into useable living space? You may have thought about it, but perhaps renovation just isn't in your budget or you don't have the time and energy to devote to extensive renovations at this time.

You can create a comfortable living space without spending a fortune or facing the chaos of contractors and construction. There are some simple, affordable ways to make a space feel more finished and welcoming, even if it's only until you are able to renovate. You might just like the results so well that you decide to skip major renovations entirely.

Fresh paint
A crisp, clean coat of paint will do wonders, even for unfinished walls, floors and ceilings. A nice clean white or a bright color will make drab surfaces look fresh and new. You can go with rustic or shabby chic décor to make the unfinished surfaces look as if they belong. Make sure you choose the appropriate type of paint for the floor, but don't hesitate to choose a light color. It will be simple to clean with a damp mop, and it will help keep the space feeling bright and airy. You can always add an inexpensive area rug, make one by sewing sisal mats together or find a great remnant.

Add charm with lattice
If paint doesn't suit your taste, you can find creative ways to cover rafters, studs and floors. Lattice, while generally used outdoors, can add interest and charm to the space. Use it for large expanses of wall that don't have lots of angles, windows or outlets. Paint the walls first so the color shows through the openings in the lattice, or staple inexpensive fabric to the back of it so the walls behind cannot be seen. You can put up lattice with a few screws or nails.

Cover drab areas with fabric
Fabric is another good choice for covering unfinished walls or ceilings. You can use something as simple as flat sheets. You'll get a lot of fabric for your money by using sheets instead of purchasing yard goods, which is important when covering large areas. Besides, if you use sheets you'll have little or no sewing to do since they already have finished edges. The simplest way to use sheets is to make the wide band at the top into a rod pocket. All you have to do is slit the seam along the side of the band and slip it over a rod.

Instead of using rods, add eye hooks near the ceiling. String the sheets with wire. Pull the wire taught and secure it to the next eyehook. If you don't want flowing fabric, slit the seam on the sides of the sheet's bottom hem and slip this end over another piece of wire. Add more eyehooks to secure the bottom.

You will probably want to choose a light, solid color. If you do go with pattern, choose a small print as a large print may be a little over the top when covering so much area and may overwhelm the space.

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