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Shoe-string Budget Decorating

Updated on January 7, 2017


Before updating your home with casual elegance on a shoe-string budget, identify the type of shopper you are. Do you first go for the major retailer’s clearance section; do you take out time to visit flea markets and resale shops, check out E-Bay or check with a relative or friend to see what furniture they want to get rid of. And then of course, you can visit local garage sales, Craigslist or other classified listings available to you.

A good place to start is looking on-line and paying attention to newspaper ads. Find out who is liquidating or having a massive out-of-season sale to boost their sales, make room for a new line of furnishings or they are simply advertising specials to increase their regular foot traffic.

Once you have your budget in mind, and have mapped out a shopping strategy to search for bargains; you can take this bargain-hunting endeavor a little further. Take a good look around your home. See what are definitely going to reuse in your rooms, what you have stored away, what items definitely have to go (because the useful life just cannot be revived one more time).

What is your decorating goal? Do want to modernize, re-arrange your furniture, add more color or give it more personality? All of these considerations take a part in what you actually need to go out and shop for. Next, look at the room elements very carefully—do you need a change in wall color or wall treatment? Is the lighting source sufficient and what is the state of the flooring?

Even before you leave home, decide what’s working for you in the room. What is in the room that makes you happy that you will keep no matter what? Do you have strong focal points? Always keep your window treatments updated—it’s a quick fix and relatively inexpensive one. So, you’ve established your mission: the purpose of the update, what you are going to keep; you have examined the most crucial elements to change, and made decisions on wall colors. What’s next?

This is the fun part. Go through some magazines, look online or go browsing through some furniture stores with fully furnished rooms laid out. You’ll be looking for some inspiration. Notice what types of furniture, colors and styles you fall in love with. Be confident--you’ll just know what will fit into your own home. After you have a pretty good idea of what’s out there—then you can start devising a plan to make it all happen in your home.

Always keep in mind your inspiration. It can be a style of art, your favorite color or an activity like watching movies at home, entertaining, or creating a feeling of warmth and coziness in your home environment. One of the best ways to save money in decorating is to do some do-it-yourself projects. Are you handy with a hammer, screwdriver or drill? Look at the money you will save with doing your own labor (rewarding) and bringing your own personal creativity to home projects—painting, hanging drapes or shelving.

When it comes to the major stuff—moving furniture, cleaning furniture, electrical repairs or other serious renovations, make sure you call a professional. Do some shopping around and find someone who is reliable, reasonable and has really good references.

All-in-all, to create casual elegance on a budget, the best tips I can give you are: shop wisely, add some paint color to your walls, try re-arranging your furniture for a better flow, shop for home accessories in some of the off-price retailers, repeat the use of color throughout the room, get a handle on clutter and give your rooms a lot of style and comfort by adding pillows, fresh flowers, accent rugs, updating window treatments and lighting.


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    • nccaver profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice hub. I have my work cut out for me. Thanks for the info.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Good, useful tips. I look forward to more budget-friendly ideas from you. Thanks.


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