Who says you need wads of cash to have loads of style? With these skills under your belt, you can get amazing results on a budget!
Who says you need wads of cash to have loads of style? With these skills under your belt, you can get amazing results on a budget!Between the satisfaction of keeping more money in the bank and the creative solutions we can be inspired to find, decorating a home on a tight budget can be rewarding. But being a budget decorator requires its own special set of skills, and that is where this ideabook comes in. From shopping your home, finding amazing deals on Craigslist and repurposing found items to planning well, making smart investments and more, these invaluable lessons from our Budget Decorating section are here to help.
1. Learn how to get a high-end look on a budget. Sometimes a small detail, like extra-large (and superstuffed) throw pillows, can make your entire space feel more luxurious — even if your sofa is from Ikea. Familiarize yourself with other decorator tricks, like painting interior doors black and adding architectural molding to bland spaces, and you will soon be on your way to creating a fabulously rich-looking space without overspending.
Get the guide: Luxurious Looks on a Budget
2. Learn to shop your home. Sourcing "new" furniture and accessories from within your own home is the best (read: cheapest) way to decorate on a budget. Shifting old furniture to a different room or using it in a fresh way, like repurposing an old twin bed as a daybed, can deliver amazing results without your spending a dime.
Get the guide: Shop Your Home for a New Look3. Learn to slash costs on the biggest remodeling expense: the kitchen. Kitchen remodels are notoriously expensive — but savvy homeowners can slash those costs with a bit of creative repurposing. Consider working with what you have, from painting and updating hardware on your old cabinets to giving your existing appliances a makeover with chalkboard paint.
When seeking new materials, include Craigslist and salvage yards, and look for budget-friendly alternatives to standard fare, like open shelving instead of pricey cabinetry.
Get the guide: 15 Ways to Update Your Kitchen4. Learn how to dream, plan and stick to your budget. When it comes to decorating on a budget, it pays to think a few steps ahead. Will that cute "bargain" desk fall apart next year, requiring you to spend more money on a replacement? Perhaps a less-shiny (but sturdier) vintage desk would be a wiser choice. Look for versatile pieces that can be used in at least two different ways, like tables that can be used as nightstands or paired up as a coffee table. Knowing your style, choosing quality and taking things slowly will pay off in the long run.
Get the guide: How to Decorate Smart and Slow5. Learn ways to stretch that can of paint. A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to completely transform a room for very little dough ... but don't stop there! Use up every drop of your leftover paint on a slew of creative, crafty projects. Make over your furniture by painting just the drawer fronts, whip up DIY wall art using a stencil to create a repeat pattern or paint a "runner" down your stairs.
Get the guide: 25 Fab Projects With 1 Paint Can6. Learn to repurpose.Repurposing is the art of using old, forgotten junk in a beautiful new way — and it is a skill well worth acquiring. Turn an old window into a picture frame, use old doors as a headboard, display towels on a propped-up ladder or reinvent a vintage suitcase as a nightstand. Once you start repurposing, you may find yourself coming up with all sorts of new uses for those curbside freebies you used to pass by.
Get the guide: 10 Repurposing Ideas
7. Learn to score amazing deals on Craigslist. With listings for everything from furniture and accessories to building materials and appliances, Craigslist can be a gold mine for the budget decorator. The trouble is finding what you want on this vast resource. Narrow your search by selecting the option to view only listings with photos and only by owner, not dealer. If it's a particular style you are after, rather than a specific item, try your search on the homepage — otherwise you may be missing out on great stuff in sections you may not have thought to search in. And remember, most Craigslist sellers expect a bit of back-and-forth over the price, so expand your search to include pieces at least $100 over what you hope to pay.
Get the guide: Secrets to Shopping Craigslist8. Learn to make over your furniture. Once you get a few techniques down (stripping, staining, painting and re-covering) you can revamp almost anything. If you are just getting your toes wet with DIY, try painting a small piece of furniture with chalk paint or milk paint — either one can be applied right over an old finish. Or get a staple gun and re-cover a seat cushion with fresh fabric. More experienced folks can try refinishing, whitewashing, liming or even reupholstering.
Get the guide: 8 Ways to Make Old Furniture Look Brand New9. Learn which pieces will grow with you.Don't fall into the trap of buying furniture that is so specific to a certain space or style that it is unlikely to get used again if you move. Look instead for elegant, versatile pieces — like a shapely love seat, a beautiful mirror or a small chest of drawers — that can seamlessly transition from studio apartment to larger home and back again.
Get the guide: 13 Versatile Furniture Pieces That Grow With You10. Learn ways to update your space for free. Being resourceful around the house and learning to work with what you have in new ways is a good way to cut down on unnecessary spending. Want new art on the walls? Frame pages from a damaged book or old calendar, or repurpose colorful fabric scraps as art. Revamp your living room by styling or color coding your bookshelves, and covering your sofa with a pretty textile. Even something as simple as mason jars can be put to use holding flowers or desk supplies.
Get the guide: 15 No-Cost Ways to Invigorate Your Space
11. Learn how to hold a yard sale that actually pays off. To ensure big crowds, invite neighbors to participate and advertise your sale on Craigslist. On sale day get everything off the ground on tables, hang clothing on a wardrobe rack and place like with like. Well-styled vignettes encourage people to buy more, and make even humble items more attractive to buyers. For extra profits consider selling cut flowers from your garden, handmade crafts or refurbished and repainted furniture.
Get the guide: 14 Ways to Make More Money at a Yard Sale — and Have Fun Too
By: Laura Gaskill