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Decorating on a Budget

The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline! You’ll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending! The Budget Diet girl Is not a financial planner or an accountant…just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget! Follow The Budget Diet on facebook or twitter

The Budget Diet girl’s top 10 tips for decorating on a budget…

1. Rearrange! Remember when you were little, and you used to rearrange your bedroom just for the fun of it? There’s no rule against grown-ups rearranging! Have fun…it’s free to use what you have!

2. Paint! Paint is the budget decorator’s friend because it’s the cheapest way to change the look of a room! You must also think beyond the walls… transform an ugly piece of furniture with paint…black paint is a miracle worker! Take a look at this piece of furniture…it was a dated 1980′s pickled wood finish, but The Budget Diet girl gave it a new life with a coat of black paint! WOW!

 black paint…the miracle worker!

3. Flea Markets, Thrift Stores & Garage Sales! Now that you’ve rearranged & painted…it’s time to “fill in the blanks” with furniture & accessories. It’s easy to decorate on a budget when you shop flea markets, thrift stores & garage sales plus your home decor will be so much more interesting! Those matchy, matchy model home looks are so boring! As I walk around my house, some of my favorite treasures and most interesting pieces came from flea markets & garage sales…take a look!

$35 at a flea market because of a small crack!
$2 at a garage sale!

4. Lamps, lamps, lamps! A room looks so much cozier with lamp light! The Budget Diet girl often finds lamps at flea markets and garage sales that are missing shades or have ugly stained shades, but a quick trip to Lowes & you’ll have a treasure! This was a $40 lamp that was missing a shade, and it didn’t look like much sitting in a pile of other “naked” lamps! It now graces my foyer with an elegant $15 shade from Lowes!

add a new lampshade for less than $15!

5. Old Books are the perfect accessory! Just last week, I saw a fancy boutique selling stacks of 3 old books tied with a sheer ribbon for $75! The Budget Diet girl collects her old books for less than a dollar each at (you guessed it) flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores & grandmother’s attic! Now…how do dusty old books help you decorate on a budget? Old books are perfect for elevating an accessory like a candlestick or a small clock. How about old books in a windowsill? Of course, you can simply tie the books with a sheer ribbon and get the $75 look for much, much less!

instant ambiance…less than $5!

6. Oriental Rugs go with everything! Small, used oriental rugs are abundant at flea markets, and they’ll instantly perk-up any room! Think bathmat, kitchen mat or entry mat. Have you ever thought of layering a small oriental rug on top of carpeting in a high traffic area or on top of a stain? It’s cheaper than new carpet!

$30 and better looking than any kitchen mat I’ve ever seen!

7. Frame It! Don’t settle for ordinary artwork when you likely have a houseful of interesting things begging for a frame! The art in your home should be a conversation starter! Two of my favorites are some old money that my grandmother had from traveling abroad and a map from my son’s backpacking trip in New Mexico. The frames were less than $40, and you’ll never find another one just like it! I’ll bet you have birth announcements, an old poster from a college event or even old record albums! Album frames are often on sale at Michael’s for $5…imagine a wall of albums!

old money looks elegant in a frame!
frame a map as a memory from a trip!

8. Soften a doorway with fabric! Does your living room flow into your dining room with no real divider? Why don’t you think about hanging fabric? You could simply hang 2 panels and tie them back! My daughter’s room needed a divider between her bed area and the play area, so I used some sheer fabric & a staple gun…not bad for less than $20! By the way…her daybed was made from two headboards picked up at a garage sale for $20 & reupholstered!

$20 of sheer fabric & a staple gun = WOW!

9. Reupholster! If you come across a sturdy chair or sofa at a flea market or if you have one at home…please look beyond the ugly fabric and visualize new upholstery! New upholstery is always cheaper than buying a new piece of furniture, and recycling is so in style!

10. Accessorize! The details make the difference when it comes to home decor, and the details are in the accessories! A decorator friend of mine once told me…if you see an accessory you love, buy it because you’ll find a place for it! The same is not true for large pieces of furniture…measurements are always required!

The beauty of decorating on a budget is that it doesn’t happen overnight, and the end result will be a home full of interesting pieces that have been collected over time!

Why don’t you print this list, keep it in your purse & you’ll be ready to look for decorating bargains at the next flea market or garage sale!

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