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How to Decorate on a Budget

Interior design can be extremely expensive. Costs can add up quickly if you are buying new carpeting or installing hardwood floors. Purchasing modern light fixtures and furniture can eat up your budget. The prospect of completing all these projects at once can seem impossible. However, we have a few secrets to share with you to help accomplish your decorating dreams.

Below are 8 important tips for decorating on a budget.

1. Do Your Research and Create a Plan Before You Begin

Proper research and planning are always essential for any home improvement project, especially if you are on a tight budget. Doing a little research beforehand will help you to plan for pitfalls that may arise.

Measure that space before you order that perfect cabinet or carpet, and before you purchase that fabulous piece of furniture at a thrift shop. We want to avoid any disappointing surprises along the way.

I suggest looking at design magazines and on the internet to find ideas and inspiration. Plan to break down the project into manageable components, such as:  flooring, window coverings, furniture, paint, décor and accessories. Check out quality and prices at a variety of stores to get a good idea of where to find what you want at the most reasonable cost.

It is extremely important to prioritize your spending when working with a budget. Limited resources will inspire you to think outside-the-box and spend money in a way that will get you the most bang for your buck.

2. Repurposing

There is no denying that repurposing your old design elements can save you a whole lot of money. It will take some imagination and hard work, but the results can be both beautiful and rewarding. Look around your existing space and think of ways to repurpose items that you’re currently using.

  • You can reface rather than replace those kitchen cabinets.
  • Re-cover the upholstery on your old dining room chairs, and re-upholster the solid old recliner or couch.
  • Refinish the old hardwood floors hiding under the wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • You can freshen up your whole house with a new coat of paint.

Do your research and find most projects online. Don't be afraid to ask advice from a professional at a hardware store or consult a handy friend to provide guidance.

3. Secondhand Shopping

 Your local thrift store may be the best place to find some great furniture. Find out which days they accept new inventory and get there early to get the best finds. Be patient and spend your weekends combing yard sales, flea markets and auctions. It's fun!

When shopping for secondhand items, quality is what’s most important. Remember you can refinish and refurbish. If the structural quality is good, you can always recover a sofa, paint a rusted mirror frame, or buy a new lamp shade to fit your interior design.

4. Furniture

The largest portion of your budget should be spent to purchase good, quality furniture. A good piece of furniture can last for decades and will define a room.

Though you want to invest in good furniture, consider saving money by buying pieces that are unfinished. Just the lack of a coat of paint or stain can often allow you to get better quality pieces than what is found in many showrooms. 

 Ask the manufacturer lots of questions before beginning a finishing project. You will need to know which kinds of stains will be best for a specific type of wood, and which color or shade they recommend.

5. Paint and Add Colour

One of interior design’s biggest secrets: Painting is the best investment you can make. Pick up a few free palettes from your local home improvement store. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few favorites, pick up samples of each. Paint small squares of each sample color on the walls of the rooms to be painted. Check on the samples over the course of a few days and evenings to see how the colours react to varying amounts of light.

Hiring a professional painter is money well spent and will create an immaculately fresh backdrop for your decorating genius. It is the lowest dollar investment for the highest rate of return.

 Accessorize with colourful throw pillows, blankets, rugs and artwork.

6. Minimalist Style

Minimalist style is very much on trend right now. In interior design, minimalism is defined by monochromatic, neutral colors, natural materials, and furniture and cabinetry with clean lines. Lighting is unobtrusive and very few accessories are used.

Invest in plenty of concealed storage in order to maintain a clean, neat, environment. It’s an easy way to keep costs down without looking like you did it intentionally.

7. DIY Decor

The term “decor” refers to items that have no specific function other than to decorate the space. These would include things like artwork, wall hangings, decorative rugs, and table assortments.

You can save a lot of money on décor by using your own talent to create items.  If you possess photography skills, consider framing some of your favorite photos for unique and original artwork. If you love to paint, use your masterpieces as personalized wall art. Beautiful seashells or lemons in a large clear vase, will add mood and colour to your environment at little or no cost. Book collections in a cabinet or shelving unit, arranged with small plants and photos, can be an eye catching and striking focus of a room.

Let your personality shine through in your home décor by utilizing your hobbies and interests to make your surroundings artfully imaginative.

8. Do a Little at a Time

When trying to save money, don’t take on too many redesigning projects at once. It is all about prioritizing. Pick the room in your home that is of most importance right now and start there. When you’ve had a little time for your budget to recuperate, move onto the next project. Remember the #1 tip—Research and PLAN!

In Conclusion

Trying to complete a decorating project on a budget isn’t easy. But, with the right research and planning it’s possible to have a very happy outcome. Don’t be afraid to make your interior design your own unique vision. What’s most important is that you’re comfortable and at ease in your own living space.

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