Decor Tip: Decorating on a Dime

A customer recently requested that I do a Design Tip on decorating without a huge budget - or even much of a budget at all.  It's easy to look at homes in magazines and online and try to emulate them yourself, but the reality if many of the homes I see have been created with what feels like wild abandon.  It's not unusual to see furniture pieces that cost more than our cars, and art that eclipses even Kootenai County home prices!  For the rest of us (and I include myself in this category) here are some tips for redecorating on very strict budgets: 

Tip 1: Clean It

I was shocked last summer when we had a company come out and professionally clean our windows.  It made the entire house brighter (and really highlighted the dust I was missing).  We had a local company do it - they were in the neighborhood so it was very cost-effective - but you could totally do it yourself. Not only did it motivate me to go the extra mile, it was also impressive how much nicer everything looked with more light coming in.  PRO TIP:  When you have the windows cleaned, really contemplate the window treatments.  Do they need to be cleaned or laundered? Removed completely?  I see a lot of homes with both blinds and drapes - sometimes the extra is redundant.  Clearing them out allows in even more light and makes the space look fresher!


Tip 2: Reorganize It

Much to my husband's chagrin, I am constantly moving furniture and decor pieces around the house.  It costs nothing, yet looks like you have new pieces all the time!  Almost everything can be repurposed in another room, repainted for a different look, or adjusted to make it look fresher and different.  And it keeps your housemates guessing, which I always think is an advantage. ;)  PRO TIP: I keep a small cabinet of "littles" that I can pull from whenever I am doing any redecorating.  A few small signs, a faux plant or two, a vase of silk flowers, a couple decor balls, random books and some decorative bead chains.  Many have been thrifted, or leftover from previous projects.  Adding a piece or two can change the whole look of a space, and doesn't require a shopping trip!


Tip 3: Thrift It

It is AMAZING what you can find at thrift stores, if you are willing to do a little hunting.  And the prices can't be beat!  I'd say at least 80% of my furniture and decor is second-hand, much of it thrifted.  And I love that if I find something better, or I get tired of something, I can just donate it back for someone else to love!  I always look for vases, baskets, frames, trays, trunks, books, etc.  I've even found throw pillows and small furniture pieces!  PRO TIP: If you see something at a thrift store, garage sale or second-hand store that is close to what you are looking for, it's often worth grabbing.  Quite often you can either upcycle it or add to it to make it perfect!  Picture frames can be layered, almost anything can be repainted and you can add embellishments to make it fit your decor perfectly.

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