udget Decorating

Let’s face facts, the economy is not what it used to be so, consequently, it is affecting everything from how we entertain to how we decorate our spaces. People are spending more time at home with their families, and are entertaining friends at home more so than ever before, so, it makes sense to want to spruce up your space and make it as inviting as possible. But, be sensible otherwise you will defeat the purpose.

Here are 10 relatively inexpensive ways to save money as you decorate your space. I hope you will be inspired to use one or two of these tips to give your space a fresh new look without spending a great deal of money.

1. Set a realistic budget and stick to it:

This may seem like an obvious tip, yet many people ignore it. It doesn’t matter how big or small your decorating budget is, just stick to it. Take time and do your homework. Find out what your decorating plan is going to cost right down to the paint brushes. The last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of a decorating project only to discover you have run out of cash.

2. Do it yourself:

This is a great tip for those who are handy with a hammer and have the spare time to invest in a decorating project. And, if you aren’t as handy as you would like and require a little hand holding, you can go to your local home improvement store and sign up for one of their free how to classes on everything from faux painting to installing floor tiles.

3. Hire a professional or a really good amateur:

In either case, always scout for at least 3 bids before committing to anyone. When you decide to hire someone, check their references and if possible, ask if you can see their work in person, as opposed to pictures.

4. Purchase unfinished wood furniture:

It’s amazing how much money you save when you finish your own furniture. It can save you a boat load of money on pieces like kitchen cabinetry to dining room chairs. This is also a good idea for those of you who like to spend your weekends at yard or estate sales. As long as the furniture piece is soundly constructed, you can always refinish the piece to work with your existing décor.

5. Sew your own window curtains and valances or throw pillows:

Just about every fabric store has a section where you can purchase just enough marked down fabric to make a throw pillow or valance. Quality curtains can be very expensive. You can also save money by buying the rods from discount stores. They won’t be the real deal or the iron ones you would find in a high end store, but, there are some really nice looking ones on the market these days for a fraction of the cost. And once they are installed no one will be able to tell the difference.

6. Barter skills with friends:

Decorating is a good time to network with talented people who you can barter with. Just about everybody is really good at something like sewing, building, or painting. Bartering is the age old method of trading one skill for another. It’s a win / win proposition.

7. Sign up to receive email notices for online coupons:

Most stores offer online discounts. With this tip, saving money is only a click away.

8. Shop seasonally:

Resist impulse purchases, they always cost you more money. Knowing what to buy and when to buy it saves you money. For instance, purchase linens in January when just about everybody is having a sale on sheets. In April and October begin looking for your big ticket items like furniture and appliances.

9. Swap items with friends and family:

Gather family and friends together and trade accessories, furniture pieces, whatever. Instead of replacing a piece of furniture or buying a new accent piece, check out your neighbor, friend, or family member who may be thinking of redecorating, too. Chances are you’ll be able to trade pieces that will make your space look like new. You can also try swapping pieces in your own home from one room to another. The art piece hanging in the foyer would probably take on new life in the family room. Give it a try.

10. Find your style first:

This is my favorite money saving decorating tip. If you don’t know what your style is – you are going to end up buying any and everything. Now, that’s okay if your style is eclectic. But, if you discover you are definitely a traditional or country person, eclectic just won’t work. You will end up with a garage or basement or room full of pieces that don’t reflect your style and that do not reflect you. You would have wasted your money even if you purchased an item on sale or from the clearance section. Every decorating diva and decorating enthusiast should know their style. My style is traditional. I get goose bumps when I see a winged back chair or a piece of period furniture. Sure, you may be able to appreciate the beauty in all styles of decorating, I do – but everybody has a preferred style that they gravitate towards. Do you know yours? If you don’t, postpone your decorating project until you identify your style. You’ll be glad you did.

Feel free to use any or all of these tips to save money on your next decorating project. If you need help identifying your style you can contact me via my website.

©Rena Bullard 2009
This article may be reprinted, in its entirety, with copyright information.

Rena Bullard is a Certified Interior Decorator and a professional member in good standing with Certified Interior Decorators International and The Society of Decorating Professionals.

As a former Realtor, Rena is able to offer insight for those who may be redecorating today but selling tomorrow. With a degree in Hospitality Management and having operated a successful catering company for 10 years, Rena is now doing what she loves and is most passionate about. Although Rena is naturally gifted to be an interior decorator, she prides herself on remaining abreast of the most current decorating and design information available to industry professionals.