By: Staff Writer

If you want your home to feel fresh without breaking the bank, simply embrace the new in every way you can.

Everyone likes a house that feels fresh and new, but not everyone has the time or money for a big-splash remodeling project. So how do you get that freshly remodeled feel on a budget?

Your remodeling desires are partly motivated by biology. Your brain is hardwired to seek novelty, and the brain’s reward center is stimulated when it finds it. The trick is to use that tendency to your advantage — and you can do that in ways that might surprise you.

  1. Embrace new experiences

People spend most of their time at home in the kitchen. As such, it’s the first room to get old. Soon, that $22,000 kitchen remodel starts looking really tempting.

Before you give up on your stale scullery, try having new experiences in your old space. You can join a wine club for $100 and buy a special tablecloth for $20 and, once a month, have a wine-and-cheese night by candlelight. Invite new friends over to join you, and your old kitchen will feel newer than it has in years.

  1. Take a crack at new colors

A fresh coat of paint is the go-to tip for freshening up a room. But a new shade of taupe isn’t what we’re going for. The point is novelty, not a fresh coat of an old idea. Dare to venture off the neutral palette and give your eye something to look at. Accent walls are all the rage. Find a new color you love and go with it.

  1. Kick clutter to the curb

Nothing makes a house feel stuffy and dusty like clutter. Clutter — anything that takes up space but doesn’t add value to your life — has a way of growing over time, and it will take over your house if you don’t deal with it. Effective declutter methods remove clutter out by the root. What’s left when you’re done will be the things that make you happy and nothing else. It will feel like a new house.

  1. Dare to do it yourself

New decorations are always fun, but they’re especially rewarding (and affordable) when you make them yourself. Spring is a great time to pull out the paints, hit the craft store and create some tailor-made do-it-yourself decor for your space. Use your creativity and try a project you’ve never attempted before. You’ll have a new experience and a new decoration to show for it.

  1. Knock out your knobs

Cabinet pulls and door knobs are something you interact with every day you’re at home. Probably every hour. Give yourself permission to dump the dated, dingy designs and spruce them up with something novel. You won’t regret it.

The irony of this practice of embracing the new — new experiences, new skills, new colors — is that it extends the life of the old. Using your old house in new ways will keep it feeling novel, exciting and rewarding for much longer.

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