Decorating isn’t just for those with big wallets. If a small budget has you second-guessing your reno wishlist, check out these tips for updating your space while minding the bottom line.
Splurge on Investment Pieces, and Save on the Rest
When it comes to big-ticket items like the living room sofa and appliances, it’s about quality not quantity. Buy the best that you can afford, but try to time your purchase with sales. Shop around, find what you want and then wait for the discounts to roll in. Aim for a classic look that will never fall out of style, and save passing trends for accessories like linens and throws.
Do It Yourself
The web is rife with tips on how to take matters into your own hands, and the crafts movement has never been bigger. Learn how to refinish your own nightstand or upholster dated dining room chairs, and get a handy friend or two to help you with larger paint and furniture assembly jobs.
To freshen up your space on a budget, check out local flea markets and vintage stores for gently used furniture, accessories or even artwork. (Don’t forget online swaps like Craigslist or Kijiji—also good for unloading your own wares to make room for your new faves. Remember, clutter is bad!) Then update the piece with a fresh coat of paint, fabric cover or frame. Not only does your sweat equity save money, but it also customizes your choice so you can get exactly what you want without the bespoke prices.
Accent Your Way to Fabulous
When it comes to the final finishes of a home, it’s the seemingly insignificant (and totally affordable) pieces that give a home personality. Accents like lamps, flowers, towels, picture frames and mirrors all go a long way to completing your home. Pulls and knobs are easily replaced and can make a great new impact. Toss a couple of new, season-specific cushions on your bed or couch and see how it warms up the room.
Take Your Time
This is a tough one. It seems that we’re always burdening ourselves by trying to make everything happen at once. The thing to remember is to allow yourself the time to acquire the necessary pieces to complete your vision of home sweet home. This shouldn’t be a two-day event but a structured project that can take a month or two or longer. Taking your time will lighten your work (and stress) load. It’ll also break your project into affordable chunks, giving you the chance to pay as you go and avoid an onset of debt later.