Last year, Americans spent $420 billion on home renovations. Luckily, it’s possible to jump on the home-improvement bandwagon without breaking the bank. Here, pros share eight tricks to help you decorate your home for less.
“Displaying little items like a bright pillow or a colorful serving platter is what we call ‘un-decorating,’ or hiding in plain sight. These useful pieces easily become part of the decor (not clutter) to refresh a room. You can snap up designer-looking items like $12 designer pillows or a $20 hand-painted Italian serving platter at discount stores like HomeGoods or Marshalls.” — Darla DeMorrow, pro organizer and founder of HeartWorkOrg.com
Reconsider Furniture Placement
“Many people think they need new furniture to make a room look newer or bigger. One thing to consider: Are all of your furnishings pressed up against the walls? That creates what interior designers call a ‘wallflower’ effect, which makes rooms actually seem smaller than they are. You can easily change it up by turning one or two pieces, like a desk or a pair of chairs flanking a sofa, perpendicular to the walls. These small moves help to make the room look totally different, more aesthetically pleasing and much more spacious without having to spend a couple thousand dollars on a new living room set!” — Lauri Ward, author of Use What You Have Decorating (Buy on Amazon, $6.95)
Paint Just the Ceiling
“I’m a firm believer of skipping walls and just repainting the ceiling. It’s where the light is reflecting, so it adds a whole new mood, especially when the ceiling has been yellowed by age. A coat of pure white paint balances the light for a visibly dramatic effect. Plus, you’re saving cash since you’ll pay for one can of paint rather than four to paint all the walls.”— Melanie Dawkins, realtor for Red Door Realty at MelanieDawkins.com
Nab ‘Designer’ Looks With This Trick
“Crown molding, a decorative element that separates the walls from the ceiling, frames a room for a high-end finished look. But a professional install at $40 and up an hour for labor, not to mention the cost of materials, can be pricey. The less expensive option? Peel-and-stick crown molding like Easy Crown Molding (Buy at EasyCrownMolding.com, $69.99). It’s easy to install, and a large room could be done in just a couple of hours. You get a true designer feel without the hefty price.” — Jennifer Ward, founder of HouseBuyingMamas.com
Enliven Bathrooms With Unique Touches
“Most people don’t think to add a lot of decorative touches to bathrooms. However, they’re a great place to showcase a small framed picture and place shelves displaying trinkets and plants or woven baskets filled with toiletries. Also smart? Adding little wire racks under the sink so you can take items off countertops, helping the space look larger. What’s more, these accessories are hundreds less than a bathroom remodel, which could easily run you upward of $1,500.”— Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert for OpenDoor.com
Pick Up Pieces Online
“When starting a design project, I always hit Facebook Marketplace first and search for everything from paint, and wallpaper to lighting fixtures, plants, rugs, and more. I’ve saved so much money on finds like a vintage bed frame and antique mirror. In a recent bathroom renovation, I discovered a $700 sink for only $50! Tip: Use variations of item names when searching since what you call a ‘cabinet,’ could be a ‘hutch’ to someone else.
What’s more, Marketplace remembers your search history and shows you more of what you commonly search for, making it easy to find what you’re seeking.” — Dana Dore, designer at AdoredHouse.com
Place Wallpaper Accents for a Luxe Look
“For a really fun and easy home update, peel-and-stick wallpaper like Opalhouse Peel and Stick (Buy at Target, $34 for 27.5 sq. ft.) makes a beautiful backdrop that you simply cannot get from paint. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to accent a space, like the wall of a powder room, or transform old furniture, like the back of a bookcase!” — Shoshana Gosselin, founder of LoveYourRoom.com
Finish Walls With Framed Photos
“Gallery walls (a grouping of pics and artwork on one wall) are all the rage in home decor. You can make a hallway or staircase really stand out for pennies by buying low-cost frames at dollar stores. They’re generally more lightweight, making them much easier to hang yourself than those from custom framers like Michaels. Then, simply fill them with higher-quality prints and artwork of a destination you love, like the beach or the mountains. You can find them at AllPosters.com, which typically offers a 45 percent off coupon code weekly. This will really fill up the wall to make a substantial impact that’s much less work than, say, painting a wall one color.” — Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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