Decorating on a Budget Decorating on a Budget

Decorating or redecorating a home is fun, but it can be expensive. To give a room a new look without breaking the bank, consider these budget-friendly ideas.

Consider Things You Already Own

You're not going to find anything less expensive than an item you already own. With a little creativity, many things can be repurposed. Some sanding and a few coats of paint can turn an ugly, old dresser into a good looking sideboard in the dining room, or perhaps a vanity in the bathroom.

Kitchen and dining room chairs can be recovered and painted to give them a totally new appearance, and a fresh coat of paint on a wooden kitchen table can update the whole kitchen.

Slipcovers are an inexpensive way to use old cushions or throw pillows, and you can even add a personal touch to plain slip covers with fabric paint and a unique stamp.

Wait for the Right Price

Sure there are some unique things you'd love to have right now but just can't afford. If you're willing to wait a little while, you may be able to get it. Don't be afraid to ask the store or department manager if the item will be going on sale soon. If they know, they'll often be willing to tell you and just maybe they'll even be able to give it to you at the sale price right now.

Consider “Open Box” or “As Is” Items

If things are scratched or colors don't match perfectly, stores will often sell them at significant discounts. Many stores have a special “as is” section where you can find some great bargains. In many cases, no one will ever notice the “defect.” Here again, don't be afraid to ask a store or department manager about any "as is" items they may have for sale.

Shop Second Hand Stores

Recycle and consignment stores, church rummage sales, and yard and garage sales are all potential sources of quality merchandise that you may be able to rejuvenate with some paint or just a little work. Light fixtures can almost always be brought back to life, and solidly built wooden or upholstered furniture can be refinished or reupholstered to fit your home.

Adapt Standard Items

Window blinds, curtains, and drapes come in standard or stock sizes. Blinds larger than your windows can still be used by mounting them on the outside of your window frames, while curtains that are too long can easily be shortened for use on smaller windows.

Standard storage cabinets can be painted and given an appearance upgrade by adding stock molding from a home store.

A little creative thinking, and looking at old items in a new way, can save you a bundle when you embark on your decoration mission.

Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the U.S. and Canada. He is regularly cited as an expert on home related topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com.

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