Secrets to Decorating Your Home for Less Secrets to Decorating Your Home for Less

If you're just starting out or need to give your home a face-lift, don't rush out to buy all new everything. Instead take a critical look at what really needs updating and then take the fast and inexpensive track to getting an updated look for less.

Furniture Secrets
Just because a room looks designer, doesn't mean the look cost a fortune. Some of the least expensive avenues to take bring the biggest wow factor into rooms. If this is a first home, you may want to purchase big ticket items like a sofa and comfortable chair. Buy good quality in a neutral color and you'll get more bang for your buck. Using neutral colors for the upholstered furniture allows you to change accessories often keeping the look of your room fresh.

Reupholster or purchase simple furniture items like ottomans to give a room new appeal. Learn to make slip covers to change the look from season to season, making everything new again. Create a new coffee table using several small inexpensive ottomans in the same fabric and color. Find a large tray to use when serving drinks and snacks for a place to rest refreshments. Keep in mind furniture doesn't have to be pricey - getting a great look for less just takes innovative thinking.

The Secret of Paint
A couple gallons of paint go a long way in bringing a tired room to life. Brush up on a faux finishing technique or use textured rollers to create interesting new walls that look sponged or even like Venetian plaster. Go lighter rather than dark to keep rooms bright and airy. Experiment with color and have fun creating a new look.

Accessory Secrets
Accessories pull a room together visually by adding color, pattern, and of course texture. If you sew, whip up simple window treatments for a change of pace. Toss some fun pillows in various sizes and shapes on the sofa in vibrant accent colors. A mix of solids and patterns will go far in increasing the impact of the room. Do the lamps look outdated? Purchase new shades or cover the old ones.

Let the outside inspire your choice of accessories. Bare branches that form stark outlines look fabulous on a fireplace mantle. Branches from Harry Lauder's Walking stick (corylus contorta) form fascinating spirals, twists and turns that create interest in any setting. Put the denuded branches in a clear vase or arrange them horizontally on mantle or table for a minimalist look. Use seasonal fruits to fill bowls and baskets for color and interest. Do you love the obelisks and pyramids often seen in decorator magazines? Make your own by gluing reindeer moss on to various sizes of Styrofoam cones. The lively green color of hedge apples along with their rough texture adds a fun look when placed in a bowl. Gather nuts, buckeyes, and pods for bowls of earth tone spheres and shapes. Use mirrors to lighten and open up a room, especially small rooms.

The Wow Factor Secret
Change wall hangings to coordinate with your new look. Pick up inexpensive prints or have family photos enlarged. Frame all your new art in the same color and style frames to keep the look cohesive with the rest of the room. Consider a wall-grouping of favorite photographs, memorabilia, and objects d'art to give the room a show-stopping focal point that is all about you.

The Secrets of Where
Haunt flea markets, antique shops, second hand shops, and consignment shops for odds and ends that can be painted in exciting colors or unusual objects to use as accessories. Three wooden chairs placed side by side painted in a bright color with cushions on each gives a look of a settee. Keep your eyes open for good deals on pieces that would add flair to your home for much less than buying new.

Revamping your home doesn't mean opening your wallet and emptying it. The less expensive route to updating a tired look requires imagination and knowing exactly what you're aiming for. Bring your home into now by focusing on color through paint, fabrics for window treatments, pillows, and reupholstering smaller pieces. Add the final wow factor with stand-out accessories inspired by nature and a wall-grouping of great prints or photographs. In no time at all you'll be relaxing in a room with a new attitude of color and decorator savvy.

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