Paint may be the easiest and cheapest way to change the look of your place (even if you are rich, getting a designer to do it is more work than you think…trust me). But paint shouldn’t be the only thing you try. Rugs are also an option. While they can seem expensive, places like IKEA have them for well under $100.
Paint and rugs aside, there’s wallpaper. You don’t have to cover the whole room: you can do a backsplash, a closet, a ceiling, even part of a wall. Also, wall paper is alot more varied both in patterns and material than you might suppose. You can get wall paper for any where.
If you are nervous about wallpaper, consider the paint rollers from The Painted House. You get beautiful patterns that you can apply as easily as paint, because it is painting.
That said, I would encourage you to try wallpaper. It definitely helps to have two people do it, as well as having patience. Try and make it a social event. The results are worth it.
Unconvinced? See this: Subtle Yet Striking: 5 Understated Ways to Use Wallpaper | Apartment Therapy.