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You’re with it the moment you wake up and at the moment you go to sleep. You trust it to protect you and shelter you. It’s your partner in all of your chores and personal tasks, from cooking and cleaning to managing your morning routine. It’s what you surround your children and other loved ones with. What is it? It’s your home, of course.

What your home looks and feels like is, for the most part, up to you. It’s your choice whether to use walnut or maple furniture or cabinets. It’s your choice which washer, dryer, or dishwasher to buy and install. It’s up to you if you want solid wood furniture or soft, cushioned couches—or both. Your home is a showroom for your style and a headquarters for your productivity.

Except, of course, money matters and might be limited. A solid wood piece of furniture can be as expensive as it is beautiful (depending, of course, on where you get it). Buying a new appliance is a pricey proposition, too. And remodeling projects? Well, those are pricier still. But fear not, because we’re here to discuss how you can get the most out of your spice with affordable, high-leverage improvements and smarter decision-making.

Working with the space you have

Remodeling isn’t cheap. But you don’t need to overhaul a room or tear down walls in order to refresh a space. What you can do with indoor and outdoor furniture, rugs, wall hangings, and the arrangement of furniture and other things in your room can be just as transformative as any remodeling project.

Let’s start with your furniture. A few key upgrades and swaps can really change the look and feel of your room. Want a rustic vibe? Then perhaps wooden Amish furniture is the way to go because it’s simple, affordable, and elegant. Choose handmade hardwood pieces and pair them with earth tones and fabric wall hangings, and you’ll have a cozy living room in no time.

If you have a rug, you have a room. Moving rugs and carpets around can create “zones” in your space, and smart use of furniture arrangements can make rooms feel smaller or larger as necessary. Consider pathways through space (dead ends are the energy of great furniture arrangements) and use cases. For instance, if you want to create a great room for conversation, get the seating options to turn toward each other a bit!

Making smart decisions about pricey options

A shiny new frigidaire refrigerator or a stunning chrome LG freezer can make your kitchen look more modern and more beautiful. But are these investments going to give you as much bang for your buck as new upholstery or other budget upgrades might? That all depends, advice appliance experts. Professionals who specialize in appliance repair in Oregon tell us that, in many cases, your best option will be to invest in appliance repair and keep your old favorites running. Regular maintenance and repairs will keep your Maytag dryer or Bosch dishwasher going strong for years, freeing up your budget for high-impact investments in quality furniture and other game-changers around the house.

But don’t forget to do careful calculations, advise the appliance repair pros. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to buy a newer and more efficient appliance that will save you money on your electrical or water bills down the line. You could end up actively saving money, which you could then use on other home improvements. Not sure what to do? Ask your appliance expert the next time that you make a service call. If you’re used to great service, then you can expect the service person to offer you reliable advice. These same repair company pros are often appliance installers, too, so you can call them back when it’s time to get your new unit in place.

Focus on high-impact options

You can’t improve your home without spending a little money. But you can make sure that your budget goes as far as possible by focusing on the right part of the home and the right upgrade at the right time. Where can your money make the biggest difference?

If your calculations show that new home appliances would save you cash, then that’s a great place to spend your money. Rooms with lots of appliances, like the kitchen, are good targets for full overhauls and remodeling projects—such projects tend to add more value to a home than overhauls of other rooms. Finally, consider investing in furniture for the long term. Rather than buy a lot of cheap stuff, save up for that executive desk or elegant red oak dresser. Upgrade things like dresser drawers one at a time, and you’ll eventually have a house full of beautiful furniture. It’s just one more way to create a more perfect and more beautiful indoor space without over-spending.

Jasmin Peters