Home Decor & Redecorating on the Cheap

Just because the economy is in a slump and your bank account isn’t exactly stuffed with disposable cash, it does not mean you have to forgo redecorating – and in some cases even remodeling – your home. Use the following tips to get the job done and save bundles in the process!

1. Check www.craigslist.com for great deals on paint. Sometimes you can score unbelievable prices this way. Last year, when my daughter’s room needed remodelling, I found a 5-gallon bucket of professional quality paint in a lovely shade of soft white for a mere $15. All I had to do was drive a few miles, and the results were amazing.

2. Visit your local Dollar Tree (or similar store) for incredible deals on wall borders. At one dollar per five to eight feet, you can give an average-sized room a whole new look for under five dollars.

3. Also available at the Dollar Tree are gorgeous wall decals. Use these on your bathroom wall tiles, mirrors around the house, and in your kitchen for added pizazz without, ahem, sticker shock.

4. Update an old, unframed bathroom mirror by purchasing a bit of baseboard, small sea shells, and glass gems (Wal-Mart has these available for around two dollars a bag). Simply cut the baseboard to size, nail to the wall right next to the mirror to mimic a frame, then use a hot glue gun to attach your decorative elements. Finish the sea-side look by placing any left-over shells on the shelves and empty spaces around your bathroom. (I took the idea a little farther by using acrylic paints to paint a huge palm tree on the wall. The paints are very cheap, durable, and will survive cleaning as long as you don’t scrub them with harsh, abrasive chemicals.)

5. Small area rugs (try Montgomery Wards for sweet deals) can change the look of an entire room without forcing you to invest in new carpeting. Hint: Use complementary colors to create the illusion of a fuller, more finished room.

6. Move your furniture around. This one seems obvious, but many people don’t realize how much of a difference this can make! Before you huff, puff, and strain, spend some time evaluating your room’s layout and what you’d like to do with what you have. It’s easier to revise plans in your head than to move everything all over.

7. Create a focal point. Installing an overhead light and aiming it at a painting or other decorative element you already own is aesthetically pleasing and creates a clean, warm, super-elegant look you’ll get complimented on again and again.

8. Browse the flea market for beautiful antique picture frames. Just a few framed prints or personal photos, when well-placed, can make an otherwise boring wall beautiful.

9. Declutter. And do it mercilessly! Throw out anything that’s just collecting dust, and use all that new available space to draw focus to your prettier belongings.

10. Instead of remodeling your entire bedroom, treat yourself to a new comforter set including curtains and accent pillows.

11. For a rich, elegant wall hanging without the cost of a tapestry, invest in a nice curtain rod and several yards of material (I buy mine from the dollar bin at Wal-Mart). After hemming the material, drape over your curtain rod in whatever way you like, then place a large house plant in front of it (this should be tall enough to reach at least half to three-quarters of the way up). For an extra-fancy touch, buy a second length of material and a couple of tie-back tassels to create the look of a beautiful swag curtain.

12. Revive old lamp shades with beaded accent trim. This can be attached to the inside edge of the lamp shade with a hot glue gun.

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