If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the dining room may be akin to one of its arteries. The mood created in the kitchen spreads to the dining space, where family and friends gather to eat and enjoy one another’s company.

Dining rooms can get lost in the home renovation shuffle, as many homeowners tend to focus on renovating kitchens and bathrooms instead. However, homeowners do not have to invest a lot of money in renovations to give their dining spaces awe-inspiring makeovers. Here’s how to do so on a budget.

Lighten and brighten. Dining rooms were once very formal spaces. Dark woods, large pieces of furniture, over-the-top chandeliers, and other details could be found in many homes. But now that houses are being built with open floor plans, dining rooms can blend with other spaces, which have moved to lighter coloured walls, flooring and furniture. A fresh coat of vibrant paint can work wonders, and it doesn’t cost much. If you can’t remove a floor, cover it with a brightly coloured area rug.

Switch things up with slipcovers. Slipcovers can be changed each season to dramatically alter the look of a dining room for little investment. Slipcovers also protect chairs and can be easily laundered after spills.

Add floating shelving. Floating shelves provide much-needed storage or display space without the need to invest in another piece of furniture. Depending on the shelving, they can work in modern design schemes or even farmhouse dining spaces.

Clear out the clutter. It might be time to say “so long” to that large curio cabinet and the knickknacks within it. Curio and china cabinets used to be de rigueur, but plenty of people now prefer more open and airy dining rooms. For those who want to keep the cabinet, try decluttering inside only to include the best display pieces and see if the cabinet can be refinished with paint or a light-coloured stain.

Improve lighting. Make the chandelier the statement piece of the space. Go for a bold color or an innovative design. Then add accessories throughout the area that coordinate with the chandelier.

Add bench seating. Those who need additional seating may not have to get entirely new furniture. Instead, swap out some chairs for benches, which can fit a couple more guests than chairs.

Create depth with colour. Using various shades of the same colour in a space can add depth. Coordinate drapes, walls, seat fabrics, and accessories for a cohesive design.

Renovating a dining room doesn’t require a significant investment of time and money. Instead, a few simple steps can give dining spaces a whole new feel without busting homeowners’ budgets.