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Interior and Health » 2008 » May

Ways to Decorate Without Breaking Your Budget

Posted by Merie Kent on May 19 2008

Trying to decorate your house creates a lot of pressure. You may see perfect homes in designer magazines or on television shows. Maybe you are trying to make over your house when all you can afford are a few fancy Votivo candles. Maybe you want to hire a professional to make over your home, but you realize quickly that interior designers cost as much as Orlando vacation packages. Don’t worry. There are many things that you can do on a budget that will transform your home rather miraculously:

1) Invest in paint. You can often buy very nice paint colors at a deep discount at your local hardware store by looking for “oops paint.” This paint is premixed by customers who later change their mind about their colors. It’s a great way to touch up one wall or one room on a budget. Even if you decide to splurge on full price paint, you will find that paint costs far less then new furniture and most other new décor items. At the same time, paint can have a very dramatic impact on your home’s appearance. Look in design magazines and books specifically related to painting your home. You’ll find that stenciling, different paint techniques, and color schemes can completely transform your home. Switch a dark dingy room to a lighter color, for example, and create the illusion of a much larger space. Painting your floors and even your furniture can make it appear that you have completely transformed your house.

2) Invest in fabric. Besides paints, fabric is another very inexpensive way to change a room’s décor. With large swatches of fabric — which you can often buy at discount or on sale at fabric stores — you can create faux canopy beds, new carpeting, and even elegant new wallpaper for your rooms. All you need is a staple gun, a hot glue gun, some sewing techniques, and some fabric. Even if you don’t know how to sew, staples and glue will get you far. You can even drape your current furniture with new fabrics for a whole new look.

3) Know where to shop. Even if your house is calling out for more drastic renovations — such as new cupboards — you can often find these for far less than retail if you know where to look. For example, try checking your local classifieds. Contractors will sometimes sell almost new cabinets and almost new appliances for a fraction of their original cost. Similarly, you can go online to look for a reduced cost item. Failing that, shop factory outlets and discount stores. A great tip: find out where contractors and real estate investors in your area shop. This is often where the deals are.

4) Get professional help for less. Sure, the services of a professional interior designer can cost a great deal, and an interior designer will generally try to convince you to get new furniture and new items for your home. However, many interior designers today offer low-cost services. For example, many interior designers offer consulting services. This allows you to get a professional to come into your home and work with what you already have in your home in order to create a better environment. For about $100, in many cases, you can get professional advice that uses your current furniture and possessions in a whole new way. It’s a low cost way to get a whole new perspective — and professional perspective at that — on your home.

Do You Need a Break From Your Décor?

Posted by Merie Kent on May 03 2008

Are your interiors wearing you down? If you are not pleased with your décor, you may rather invest in Orlando vacation packages than spend any time at home. You may feel stressed by just looking around you. There may be lots of signs that your décor is getting stale:

1) You do not look forward to entertaining, or you fuss before having company over because of the way your home looks.

2) You would rather be doing anything – working, visiting others, shopping at jewelry stores – rather than stay at home. You should look forward to letting your hair down in your own space. If you don’t, there may be something wrong.

3) You look longingly at furniture store catalogues or interior design magazines, but don’t start any projects because you assume that there is no hope for your own home. If you feel overwhelmed, you may feel tired of your décor but you may have no idea of where to start.

4) You start decorating projects – or you want to start them – but you don’t. If you are in such a rut that you don’t know where to start, your décor may be so stale that it no longer reflects your sense of style.

Even if all of the above are true for you, there are many ways that you can take a break from your décor – while still making positive changes to your interiors:

1) Don’t try to force a home makeover. If you’re tired of your interior design scheme, it will be hard for you to have an objective view about your surroundings. Don’t push yourself to start a project to make-over your home right away. A little time away from your home and away from thinking about décor will give you a much-needed fresh perspective on your house. Avoid reading décor magazines and books, avoid decorating shows, and avoid stressing about your living conditions. Simply promise yourself that at some point you will makeover your décor so that it reflects your sense of style, and then forget about it for a few weeks. Give yourself a much-needed break from worrying.

2) After taking your break from home decorating, start slowly. Rather than rushing in to getting contractors or setting up projects, give yourself some time to imagine what your home would be like if it were ideally decorated. If you were just moving in, what design decisions would you make? If money were no object, what design choices would you make? Set up a scrap book, and fill it with fabrics you like, pictures of rooms you like, and clippings from the decorating and design magazines. Get a sense of your true style before trying to put it all together.

3) Once your scrapbook is full, start creating a workable plan. If your house needs a complete overhaul, you won’t be able to get all your decorating done in a weekend or a few hours. Therefore, set a schedule as well as a budget for your decoration scheme. You may want to tackle your house one room at a time, or perhaps you want to get new furniture first, or paint first. Give yourself lots of time and make your house a work in progress rather than stressing yourself out about trying to make everything perfect all at once.