Sometimes it's just a matter of editing what is already there. We took out the bulk of large, unnecessary furniture, repositioned the existing dining table to give more seating area, and rearranged the living room.
We kept the smaller rattan table and chair set (to help with the overflow, when the house is fully occupied). After a closer look at the chair cushions, I went with a quick fix for an instant update.
We were working with a limited budget, and I just happened to have enough of this striped Sunbrella fabric to recover the cushions. This is one of the easiest and most economical changes you can make for existing chairs. I always try to go with a heavier weight fabric (for durability) and a quick coat of Scotchguard... especially if the fabric is light.
Once the chairs were done, the bar stools at the counter were looking a little sad...
A little ASCP love (in Provence, Florence, Aubusson Blue, and Louis Blue) and they tied in perfectly with the new chair cushions (you can see them against one of the chairs in the corner) and the furniture in the rest of the room. Later, I ended up putting a coat of clear Danish Oil on the rush seating to soften them up and keep them from splitting. Instead of wax, this time I went with 2 coats of polycrylic over the paint (to hold up better.... especially in a rental home).
I did both projects over 2 days (I had to wait for the chairs to be delivered) but this could have easily been done in one.
The fabric for the chairs was 60" wide, so it only took about a yard and a half for the 4 cushions. I had the fabric on-hand, but I've found heavy weight remnants in the same width for $5/yd. or less.
I also had the paint on-hand, but the stools took very little, and I could have gone with one color to keep the cost down. I just happened to have all four in my stash.
Based on what you have or what you shop for, you can recover your seats and update some bar stools for $25 or less!
These are two easy projects that take very little time or money. So what do you see in your home that could use a lift?