“Designed to Sell” is a popular television show. What if you created a home that was designed for you to stay? You don’t have to wait until you are moving to have an attractive place. These budget-wise tips will help you update your home.
1. Paint the trim. Though your walls may need painting, painting the trim will update a room. This should take less paint than the walls. Stuck on the color? White and off-white are safe choices.
2. Add art drama. Lots of small pictures can make a room look cluttered. But one large picture can add drama and and unify colors. Your picture may be a poster. Many bargain posters are available on the Internet. Discount stores carry poster frames (two sheets of clear plastic) and they cost about $15.
3. Buy a glass lamp. According to the Better Homes & Gardens Web site, glass lamps are a new trend. You may purchase a glass lamp from an import or discount store. Or, as the Web site suggests, “Get creative and make your own by taking a sturdy base to a lamp shop for conversion.”
4. Relocate furniture. Moving one piece of furniture can change the look of a room. I moved a large chest from the living room to the dining room. What a difference! The living room looked larger and the dining room looked more coordinated.
5. Go green. Fake plants, no matter how real they look, are dust-catchers. Growing plants add life to any room. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. A grocery store bouquet or a single rosebud can update your room and mood.
6. Get an area rug. The Home Decorating Sense Web site says “area rugs can be well used by the frugal decorator, as they’re extremely versatile.” Watch newspaper and television ads for sales. You may get a good deal on the perfect rug for your place.
7. Install a curved shower rod. A curved rod gives you more elbow room in the shower. Linen stores carry curved rods at bargain prices. You may even find a discount coupon in the newspaper. While you’re at it buy a new curtain to go with your new rod.
6. Swap pillows. Large decorative pillows are “hot.” According to the apartments.com Web site, decorative pillows can “jazz up a sofa or chair before your room is ready for a makeover.” Discount stores carry a variety of large pillows and body pillows.
9. Change kitchen hardware. Old handles and knobs can make a kitchen look dated. The local home store was having a bag sale (all you could fit in a bag at a deep discount) and I took advantage of it. I replaced the plastic handles on my cupboards with antiqued brass and porcelain ones. You may prefer stainless steel or brushed nickel.
10. Shine with sheets. Using sheets instead of fabric will save you money. Decorative arts expert Jane E. Parr has posted many ideas for using sheets on her Web site. “Decorator fabrics are expensive,” she explains, but sheets are reasonably priced and “the availability and selection are wonderful!” You may make curtains, placemats, laundry bags, room dividers, folding screens and many other home furnishings from sheets, according to Parr.
Large or small, your home is your castle. I hope these budget-wise decorating tips bring you hours of pleasure and peace. Welcome home.
Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson