1. Organize – When decorating a room, consider what is already in that room. Every room has “stuff” in it that does not necessarily belong. So ask yourself, does it need to be here? If not, then find a more suitable storage place for it, or throw it out. On the other hand, you might want to look through the stack of daily newspapers and magazines later, but the unsightly pile is getting in the way of your decorative style. Storing them in a classy ottoman would clear the clutter while creating comfortable seating. Either way, your room is clean, neat, and ready for redecorating, at little or no cost.
2. Paint – Color can be one of the most satisfying home decorating components and one of the least expensive. You can paint the whole room, or go for a completely different look by painting one wall a dramatic new accent color.
3. Lighting – Lighting is important to how a room feels, and if yours needs a little updating, instead of buying all new fixtures, try installing a dimmer switch to create a cozy, romantic feeling, or change out the light bulbs; replace regular bulbs with colored bulbs in a child’s room for a “fun” look at a reasonable price.
4. Accessorize – Even if your budget will not allow major changes in your home, you can make minor changes with accessories that will make your rooms look and feel like new. Bring in extra color with accent pieces on the walls, new pillows or throws on the seats, a new runner on the coffee table or mantle. The possibilities are endless.
5. Look-a-like item: Just like buying a pair of knock-off designer shoes, you can find an item similar to the designer model in home decorating, at a fraction of the cost. You can sport the “in” look while sticking to your budget, and no one will be the wiser.
6. Shop around – When shopping for that perfect accent or window treatment do not just go to home decorating stores. Flea-markets, second hand stores and garage sales are great places to find inexpensive items that may be just the thing you need to perk up your living space.
7. Web shop – Go beyond the brick and mortar stores and surf the internet for websites that offer great prices. Be sure to include shipping charges as part of the cost, and when you find a site that includes free shipping, you have hit the jackpot.
8. Use what you already have – Sometimes it’s not a new item that you need to spice up your home, but a revamping of what you already have: your sofa is still structurally sound, it just has faded upholstery, find a snazzy new cover or reupholster it for a completely new look, at a fraction of the cost of replacing it. Remember, spray paint works wonders.
9. DIY – Completing projects yourself can save you buckets of money. Let’s say you want to replace your old bathroom fixtures. Calling a professional plumber could cost you upwards of $75.00/hour, while checking out a book from the library on home maintenance and repair will cost you nothing, and you have the satisfaction of completing the project yourself.
10. Barter - So, you’re not the “handy” type, but you probably know someone who is. Consider work for trade. You can offer to clean or cook, do their taxes, or provide haircuts, whatever you are able to do, while they add the decorative ceiling trim.
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