- July 23, 2007 at 2:42 pm #241612BiggerPiggyBankParticipant
Decorating your house for cheap
By Leah Gliniewicz ? Bankrate.com
Dressing up your digs on a budget doesn’t have to mean using a milk
crate for a coffee table. If you can’t afford to give your home a
posh decorating makeover, there are ways to cut corners and still
give your place a fresh look.
Fortunately, many of today’s design trends are easy on the wallet. In
these uncertain times, the focus centers on creating a personal
sanctuary where space is functional and comfort is paramount. Home
decors are moving away from opulent, over-the-top styles toward
simple, natural interiors.
Experts recommend keeping a file of eye-catching ideas clipped from
magazines. Once you have some ideas, bring in your own personality.
“Don’t be afraid to trust your likes and dislikes because that’s the
key. Don’t be afraid to be yourself in both color and accessories,”
says Melanie Wood, vice president of design for Mannington Mills in
Salem, N.J., and a member of the Color Marketing Group, a trade
association in Virginia.
And remember that it can be an ongoing project that doesn’t have to
be tackled all at once. If you let the room develop slowly, you’re
going to save yourself quite a bit of money. After you’ve lived in
the room you know what you want and need, and you can avoid making a
purchase unnecessarily, says Susan Welch Heeney, a member of the
American Society of Interior Designers and owner of
“You’re never really finished with a room,” she says. “It always
Color is key
Use colors that make your dollar go further. When it comes to higher-
ticket items that aren’t going to be replaced often, choose a neutral
color, Heeney says. A muted gray-green may be more versatile than a
vivid grass green.
“Color is important. It sets the stage and can limit choices in the
future,” she says. Reserve the more daring or trendy colors for your
accessories, such as rugs, pillows and art, because these can be
So what are the hot colors for 2003? Hues that lift our spirits and
energize us in this ailing economy, reports the Color Marketing
Group. Blues will dominate the 2003 Consumer Color Directions Palette
because they “invigorate and enliven while providing steadfast
assurance and stability during cloudy economic times.”
Deep Arctic, a seriously conservative navy blue that anchors your
spirit in a safe harbor, and Ocean Cruise, a tropical water blue that
energizes with a sporty edge.
Other new colors to burst on cmg’s palette include cheeky, a marriage
of pink and peach; iron ore-ange, an influence of copper on orange;
exploring khaki, recalls rain forest moss and buried treasure; and
if you don’t know what colors to go with, heeney suggests going to a
fabric store and picking out fabric with colors you like and then
carrying it with you when you shop. or look in your closet and define
the colors you feel you look good in, wood says.
deck the walls
when it comes to sprucing up a wall, paint is a cheap way to change a
room. if you want to try a new color, heeney suggests buying a pint
of paint and brushing two coats on a section of the wall. that way
you can buy more if you like the color or just paint over it if you
faux paint techniques, such as ragging, sponging, marbleizing or
stenciling, will give a room an expensive look without a lot of
expense, she adds.
wallpaper costs more than paint, but it’s generally inexpensive if it
is used as a border in combination with paint, she says. borders can
easily be changed later.
“if someone has a living room with no interesting architectural
elements, check out wallpaper,” heeney says. for other wall ideas,
she suggests putting up synthetic molding, which can cost less than
wood molding. embossed wall covering is another option that can be
painted to look like an expensive tin ceiling.
inexpensive wall accessories can be a good way to get creative. wood
suggests looking at what you already have in your cupboard and
closets. neat cups, plates and family pictures can add a lot of
flavor to a wall.
taking old frames or old windows and putting mirrors in them is a
wall-decorating technique suggested by mary anne young, author of
the “complete idiot’s guide to home decorating.”
also, try making a collage of small inexpensive framed prints or
hanging a quilt or old shutters above the head of a bed that doesn’t
have a headboard.
making furniture treasures
when buying furniture for your home, you may want to think about
“look at items that have more than one purpose,” heeney says. if you
don’t like the look of your tv, she suggests getting an armoire or
entertainment center that can hold the tv and act as a storage area.
shopping for secondhand items and putting them to new purposes can be
a cheap way to put a spin on an ordinary room. young says you don’t
always have to have a coffee table in front of the couch. she
suggests a trunk, a cobbler’s bench or children’s furniture, or
adding a piece of glass to an interesting base.
for a bathroom,
consider buying an old dresser and using it as a vanity with the sink
installed in the top of it.
secondhand furniture — or your existing furniture — can be updated
with painting or a refinishing.
experts suggest revitalizing an old sofa or chair with fabric
slipcovers. they give you the flexibility of mixing and matching
colors from time to time, perhaps when the seasons change. a chenille
throw over the back of the sofa can make a big difference.
be creative with the fabrics, color, light and texture of your
furniture and accessories for fresh ideas.
heeney says using do-it-yourself paint crackle kits or lettering
foreign graffiti on furniture are trendy ways to dress up things.
area rugs and plants can also change the feel of a room. heeney
suggests a no-maintenance silk plant placed in a nice pot and lit
from beneath so the light can bounce up off the leaves.
if you have a large window, heeney says it can be expensive to buy
enough fabric to create operable drapes. she suggests that you simply
frame the window with cloth rather than buying an expanse of sheers
but if you’re strictly a drapery person, go ahead and spend the money.
“a lot of people have second thoughts. they will order something and
second guess themselves and think they’re picking the wrong thing,”
heeney says. “try to relax about it.
go with gut feeling.”
- August 21, 2008 at 8:35 am #397806
I know this post is a bit old but thought I would bring it back to life by adding one of my favorite things to do!!
Seems the hubby & I are always and forever in either Lowes or Home Depot for something so, while he’s off doing his thing.. I always take a trip over to the paint dept. They always have an “oops” section there, of paints that people have decided that they just don’t like for some reason or other.
I have never and I mean never paid more than $4.00 for a gallon of paint (other than white) in my life. Most times, there are a few cans of the same color too so I grab them all. Lowe’s usually has the better deal, around $3-$4 a gallon.
Redid our entire house in NY before we put in on the market. 4 bedrooms, 2baths, lv, dr, kitchen for about $50.
Just repainted the kitchen in our new house here in NC, knew I wanted a blue color so kept my eye out at Lowe’s. Was going to do the cabinets white so went ahead and got the white paint and primer and started those.. about a week into it, found my blue paint at Lowe’s..
whole project now done. All together, paint and primer was around $24 also got 3 rolls of contact paper at Big Lots for the cabinets for $2 each.. so total around $30ish bucks for new kitchen?
Pretty darn good I say!:dance:
- August 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm #430145
Here’s an idea for a small, but mighty change:
My daughter is heading off to college this week and into her first apartment. She so badly wanted the “Pottery Barn” look, but is working with her “old storage barn” budget! My husband does some side jobs for a portland handyman and he found four 6-pane window with the original glass in them.
They’ve been in our garage for a couple years so we grabbed one of them.
It’s all wood and has brass handles and lock at the top. It was banged up, but no glass broken. So we grabbed a “clearance” can of cream color paint from the home improvement store and painted the wood.
Then we used a blackboard spray paint acquired at a garage sale for .25 and sprayed 2 of the panes of glass.
Two panes were left clear glass and we found a white board marker lying around she can use.
The final two panes were filled with squares of cork board cut from an old bulletin board that fell apart. She’s making push pins to use out of thumb tacks, super glue and pop bottle caps.
The only thing we paid for was the spray paint and the cream paint. The finished product is absolutely beautiful and could easily appear in the PB catalog!
- December 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm #430711
Here are some things I have done to decorate my house:
*spray pained frames when I didn’t like the color
*Use the pillows I already have and recover them
*buy the cheap canvas from hobby lobby and splater paint it
*took the glass out of an end table and spray painted
*sanded a kitchen table and restained it–it looked new
*Spray painted a book case (can you tell i like spray paint?)
- August 1, 2012 at 6:11 am #432320
- August 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm #432321
What wonderful, affordable ideas, thank you all very much. I am just now getting use to getting around with a power chair and pushed into retiring from the work force so now my thoughts are to fix up the house on a low budget. I have been a member for a long time here but not very active and I do apologize but working 50 to 60 hours a week left me numb.
After my accident well lets just say I’m happy to be alive and be careful near me because I am still learning to drive this power chair around. My son made ma a sign for my power chair that say ” Student Driver – Watch out for your Feet” LOL I’m not going to let this effect my life but enjoying it more then ever.
- August 27, 2014 at 9:22 am #458174
Decorating on a budget is a chance to let your creativity shine.
- November 3, 2018 at 10:37 am #465105
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