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Budget Decorating

Updated on July 19, 2011

Cheap Decorating Ideas


Decorating your home on a budget is fun and easy. Really, it is, I've been doing it for years. I assume when they use the term ‘budget' they're talking little to no money. Billion dollar corporations have budgets. The photos are of items I found for sale - cheap - on several on-line auction or sald sites to give you an idea about what's out there. What a great way to reuse and recycle!

Places to find the best deals may surprise you. If you're moving to your first apartment or house, let the word out among your friends and family. Our first bedroom set (we still use the dresser) was given to us by a friend of my father-in-law. He was moving to another state and had to find a place for some furniture. We took the solid wood, expensive bedroom set! A friend of my grandmother had some stuff in storage and she said we could have whatever we wanted, as she lived in a retirement apartment. We found pots, pans, dishes, a sewing machine, and some really cool decorative items like an ancient child's sewing machine and what turned out to be the first kind of electric toaster! Many people have too much stuff, but don't want to go through the bother of selling it and so it just sits.

I've found all kinds of nice items at the Salvation Army and Goodwill. My neighbor has a sort of playroom in her basement and wanted a sofa. I took her to the Goodwill and we found one that was nearly new for thirty-five dollars - and it didn't smell. She could let the kids play and jump around on it and not freak out that they'd ruin it. I've found plant stands, more lamps, kitchen items, serving utensils, a beautiful carving set with a matching knife sharpener in a velvet lined box for twenty dollars. I have a beautiful tall cobalt blue vase in my bay window that I got at the Salvation army for two dollars.

Antique shops. I needed a floor lamp to put beside ‘my chair' in the living room. I looked a lamps in department stores, furniture stores and discount chains. Either they were butt ugly or they cost several hundred dollars. A friend took me with her to an antique shop and I found the perfect lamp! It's what was called a ‘bridge lamp' and has a beautiful design with an art nouveau design worked into the top. My heart sank as I looked across the room at the perfect lamp, but figured we're in an antique store so it's probably out of my price range. I looked at the tag anyway and it said sixty-five dollars! The store owner said it was from the 1920's or 30's and for an extra five dollars he'd wire it for me. The cords that are that old are cut off because the are so old they start fires. I returned the next week and not only had he rewired it, he'd done it with fabric-wrapped wire so that it looks authentic! While I was there I found a really nice desk small desk and matching chair for a hundred and twenty five dollars! It has drawers that lock and the keys were with it. Don't think that all stuff in antique shops is very expensive. There are great bargains to be found there. Sometimes there are pieces that are of very high quality, but need some restoration or painting, and these you can usually get a deal on. Always ask for a discount, as nearly all antique shops will give you at least ten percent, but you have to ask for it.

Estate sales are great places to find furniture. They're better than garage sales because in garage sales you're buying stuff people don't want any more, in estate sales your buying what they kept and treasured. Some folks feel queasy about buying stuff from ‘dead people' - but after my father-in-law passed away we had to get rid of fifty years worth of ‘stuff' and were very grateful to the people who bought it. The soft in my living room is very high quality and has spring seats (not foam that decomposes) and had been professionally recovered a year before I bought it. The fabric is amazingly dense and beautiful. I paid on hundred and fifty dollars for it and they delivered it to me.

If you're really a bargain hunter, do what my neighbor does and cruise the neighborhood on the last trash pickup of the month. This is when people move and leave the most amazing stuff at the curb. I found a garden swing that matches one I already had, so now I have one on each side of the porch. I've also gotten heavy antique plant stand, bird baths, a garden cart, a little metal table that has an outlet built in which I use for crafts, and a tackle box filled with antique fishing lures! My dad loved that one.

I rarely buy anything new as the old stuff really is better quality, more attractive and appreciates in value. It's also a great way to ‘recycle'!


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    • funnebone profile image

      funnebone 9 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

      nice! now tell me how to clean on a budget...I am on a strict motivational budget!