10 Budget-friendly Ways to Make the Most of Your Decorating Dollar

1. Lighting creates a mood. The look of a room can go from restful to romantic just by changing to lower-wattage bulbs.

2. Remnant fabric tables. Fabric stores have tables with remnants that are great for recovering pillows, adding to draperies, recovering lampshades and all kinds of other projects around the house. They are bargain priced for the same quality fabric.

3. Greenery adds life. You’ll feel more alive when you have plants in any room. They not only look great but they also help purify the air. Plants also last longer than flowers. If you take a single leaf and add it to a tall vase, it makes a dramatic design statement as well. Herbs are also a great selection for a multi-purpose green effect in your kitchen.

4. Make floors a focus. Floors need your attention as much as walls. Wood floors can be sanded and stained. Tile can be a replacement for old linoleum or carpet. If your budget won’t allow for such or you need a quick fix, use a floor rug. The selections for these are endless. Your room will look more put together and everything will stand out better by decorating the floors along with the rest of the room.

5. Storage solutions. Take advantage of horizontal space or unseen space for storage in small places. Bookshelves can go all the way to the ceiling. Trunks can be used as coffee tables or end tables. Space underneath your bed can be filled with out-of-season clothing in small containers on wheels. Use your imagination!

6. Fabric can tie a room together. By combining patterns, styles and different textures of fabric, your room will look more cohesive. Use the same fabric for throw pillows on the couch as well as cushions on a hearth and you’ll create a custom look.

7. Add depth and dimension to walls. Fake architectural detail can be created in a variety of ways. Using molding is one option. Another option is to tape vertical or horizontal lines to create the illusion of space. Try painting a block of color on a wall and hanging your favorite picture in it. Or paint smaller ones and hang your sconces on either side of the fireplace. Now you’ve created more interest in those details. Use molding to make a box and place a cherished piece of pottery inside. You’ll be amazed at how much emphasis will be brought to these items while filling in your walls.

8. Purchase substantial, timeless furniture pieces. Once you’ve invested in major furniture purchases that can be used with any type of décor, it will be easy to change your style as time goes on. Don’t buy the whole living room suite off the show room floor. Mix and match for more interest and greater diversity.

9. Don’t throw it away: Refurbish. Before you get rid of something, consider simple fixes. There are inexpensive solutions to salvage almost anything. Breathe new life into leather furniture by rubbing a little olive oil on it. Use a scratch cover product to get rid of dings on wood pieces. Recover dining room chairs with new fabric. Use a sliced almond to get rid of scratches on your wood floor. Also think of ways to repurpose items. A hand-me-down wood dining room table can make a great desk. The possibilities are endless!

10. Go bargain shopping. Estate, moving and garage sales are a great source to turn someone else’s trash into your treasure! Great deals for every room in your home are right at your fingertips via the internet. You can go to surplus sites, auction sites and store catalog sites and shop to your heart’s content for bargains without spending a dime on gas!

1. Use what you already own. Everyone has favorite pieces they’ve collected over the years. Inexpensive decorating starts by refurbishing existing pieces.

2. Any piece of furniture can be transformed. By simply sanding down older pieces of furniture and putting a primer on them before painting them, you can change the whole look of the piece. Look at a piece you’re tired of or one you have your eye on at a garage sale in a whole new light. You’ll be surprised at the end results!

3. Shop classified ads, catalogs and online. With the convenience of the internet today, just about anything can be found sitting at your desk. There’s no gasoline expenditures so that’s even an added bonus! People moving that just want to get rid of things can offer great deals. Catalogs often offer free shipping or clearance prices. Online auction sites or closeout sites are also a great way to save money.

4. Sew what? Just about anything you can imagine! If you don’t know how to sew, it might be worth it for you to learn. If you have absolutely no interest in that, maybe you can trade out skills with someone who does know how to you’re your options are endless due to the vast array of fabrics available. Drapery, bedding and pillows can be expensive. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save making them yourself.

5. Choosing paint colors. Some people always want to feel “safe” in their color choices. But if you go out of your comfort zone and choose a color that is one shade darker or bolder than what you’d usually pick, you will probably be pleasantly surprised! After all, it’s just paint. You can always redo it if you don’t like it.

6. Multi purpose furniture. There are a multitude of ideas for furniture pieces that can take on multiple roles out there. You can find square coffee tables that have 4 small ottomans underneath for extra seating. There are ottomans that double as coffee tables that also flip open for extra storage. One option is a combination end table/magazine rack/lamp available at one of the larger retail stores. All of these are great ideas for saving space.

7. Pulling furniture off the wall. If you have the space to do this, you can add more interest and divide use of space more efficiently. Placing a sofa table behind a sofa with a lamp on it will not only provide more lighting in the room but also give the people on the sofa a place to put their drinks if there’s no room for a coffee table.

8. Don’t be matchy-matchy. Mixing pieces creates more interest and is a lot more fun than buying a matching living room or bedroom set. This way, you can use pieces you already have, use grandma’s vintage coffee table and save money. One-stop shopping is tempting, but to personalize your space, it’s best to mix and match pieces.

9. Creating illusions with draperies. If you hang your drapery panels wider and higher than the actual dimensions of the window, you will make your room feel larger and more grand by creating the illusion of a bigger window. You can also make two smaller windows feel like one large one by hanging a panel in between the two windows.

10. Keep your walls and furniture neutral. This is the most economical way to change your look on a regular basis. Decorating styles are like fashion. They will change over the years. You can bet that the room you’ve worked so hard to make perfect will be outdated in about 5 years. So to keep up with the times, keeping your walls and furniture a neutral color is the best route to go. You can change out your punches of color with pillows, candles, artwork and accessories Whites, grays, blacks and beiges are the good standards to consider.

  • Storage & stacking
    January 1, 2010 | 12:24 pm

    1415_diamondstackStorage & stacking are the two elements to keep in mind when redoing a teenager’s room or creating a dorm room. Visit organizer stores for great solutions. Use trunks & suitcases as storage and end/coffee tables. Being creative is the key ingredient in establishing these cool, hang-out living spaces.

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