The start of a new year brings many things. For me it means a fresh start on my home and my décor. What it almost always means as well is a very empty wallet from all the holiday spending. I have two growing boys who are past Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars and onto bigger and better and much more expensive things.

So, what do you do when you have the urge for a whole new design concept within your home but on a tight budget? And by tight, I mean there is NOTHING to work with! You get back to what you started with, the basics. Use what you have and what you know and make a fresh start for this new year.

You have those key pieces in your home that have been a constant for as long as you remember.  Whether it is the basket that you just love or the glass pitcher that you just can’t part with, gather all your décor throughout your home and arrange it on the dinner table from tallest to shortest.

You just must open your mind and get creative on what you are willing to call décor. I even pulled out the World Books from the ’70s someone had passed down to me along with an old film camera. I gave that old camera new life just by setting it out on the shelf on top of three stacked encyclopedias. It looks great and didn’t cost a penny!

Arrange your items by likeness and always in groups. Have a tall, medium and short item grouped together, but whatever you do, don’t just line it up all in a row down the entry table, please… please don’t do that.

Try to use greenery in a few spots in each room to give it life. Also, make sure your proportions are all correctly used. I hate going in a home and seeing a huge chunky bedroom suite for example, and then a tiny little lamp on the end table.

If you have larger furniture your décor must go with it. Be willing to be bold and move the item that “goes” in the living room to different location. It will make it new again by giving it a new home. Even rearranging furniture helps to reset your mind while resetting your home to look new again.

No matter if there is no money to spend, you can accomplish a great deal by rearranging your décor, giving it a new home and using unique items alongside from what you are used to seeing together.

However, if you do have a little to spend, go out and choose items that can be used in different ways, and paired with various items. You will then get the best bang for your buck, because it will have endless possibilities in your décor. Using what you already have is both economical and clever, because the things you have kept around will always be the foundation of your design and will continue to shine in the design of your home.

Article by Molly Cooper, Design Coordinator for Cooper & Co.