Budgeting might well be the most crucial and also the most complicated part of designing your home interiors. Possibly, you’re spending a lot of time wishing for a magic wand or some other fairy-tale way to get it all done. Or you might be the more practical sorts who sits down and cruelly hacks things off lists with one eye firmly on your wallet. Furniture is expensive and often times big purchases need to be spaced out. Similarly, finding art, frames, and taking the time to hang everything can be just as challenging for home decor.
However, there might just be an in-between option out there, ways to make your budget work for you, places where you can cut costs and others where you go ahead and wave the wand and pull out all stops. Here are a few pointers on how and where you can cut down on costs, and when you need to think quality and grin and bear with the price:
1. Use free sources around you
From magazines, the internet, to satellite home & garden programs the world is at your fingertips for decor ideas. Peruse through magazines, and home decor books to get a sense of what your taste is. Visit home improvement stores and collect paint and material samples to start making an “idea” folder of what inspires you. Determine what your personal style is. Is it: Vintage, Modern, Bohemian, French Country, choose your style and start planning!
2. Determine your budget before you begin
Let’s face it, if you didn’t have a budget your home would be already complete, and you wouldn’t need these money saving tips. Everyone needs to set a budget to have boundaries on your wallet and your home! Once you’ve set one, buy a few major pivotal pieces to center the theme of your room around. Then use thrift shops and department store clearance areas to fill in with gorgeous accessories.
3. Use Family Artwork and Photos
That portrait of some unknown snooty Victorian or crazy flapper leaning against a gangster car is not as personal as a picture of one of your ancestors, carefully framed in a homemade shadowbox. If you have an artist or photographer in the family, put them to work. They will be proud to have their vision on display in your home. Don’t leave the kids out either–why stick their creative endeavors in a drawer, when they can be craftily displayed.
4. Go Minimalist and Avoid Clutter
A gorgeous chair that no one ever sits in has no purpose. Choose pieces that will have utility as well as look good for your home, particularly if you don’t live in a mansion. What you think are “collectibles” that cost every cent you make and are displayed all over your home, others may view as a hoard. If you can’t clean around your crowded surfaces, your over decorating is in vain.
5. Start at the front door/entry
When guests walk in your home they should get a sense of your style instantly. Maximize a foyer space without over cluttering. Try using a chest or decorative baskets to house keys or mail. Add a decorative touch by adding a mirror and foyer sized table for resting flowers, and accessories to pull your guests into your home. The mirror will open up your foyer and reflect the gorgeous decor of the space. Save money by using vases and decorative urns from other areas of your home that already exist.
6. Paint a room or accent wall with a bold color
Paint is the most affordable decorating tool you have, so go for it! Paint an accent wall in a contrasting or complementing color to your furniture. Don’t know how to decide on colors? Ask your home improvement store to mix quart or sample sizes for you. This way you can try it before you take the plunge.
7. Use accent lighting to highlight decor and interiors
Wall sconces with directional lighting can add drama to a once boring hallway or foyer. Install accent lighting to shine on artwork to add drama and a focal point to a fireplace or over a couch. Use simple up-lighting to give visual interest to house plants and atrium areas in your home.
8. Be Realistic
Don’t try to convert your ranch house living room into a Queen’s palace. Go with the flow of your home, and don’t start knocking out walls unless you know exactly what you are doing. Taking a mallet to a load bearing wall is dangerous, yet it looks so easy on TV. Budget all items ahead of time and go with the ones that don’t require a major overhaul of your home structure. It you set unrealistic expectations, your decorating project will cost a fortune, cost you heartache, and you will no doubt be disappointed with the results. Glass accents and coffee tables look lovely in magazines, but not if you have small children running around.
9. Accessorize your bathroom with affordable decor
Towels, shower curtains/rods, and bath mats are easy and inexpensive ways to bring color and a theme to a boring bathroom. Consider changing the theme of the bathroom with paint and add a new color palette for your new bath linen to match.
10. “Pairs” of things don’t have to match
Often times in home decor, you need two of something: two lamps, two end tables, two nightstands, or two dining chairs for that matter. And buying two of anything is–pause for shock–twice as expensive! Well, the good news is those two items don’t have to match. So if purchasing only one item is in the budget, you can find a cheaper alternative for its pair. The only thing to keep in mind is size. Have proportions and height be similar so the two items look balanced.
11. Can’t afford wallpaper? How about these ideas
Use your creativity and add an heirloom quilt or other everyday items such as decorative dishes on your wall. Use wall stickers and decals to give a decorative touch without the fuss of hanging wallpaper. Wall murals that use up an entire wall can transform your space into nature, space, or city scapes with a few easy steps.
12. Add visual interest to kid’s room
Children’s rooms can be expensive to decorate. For creative and cheap wall ideas consider using chalkboard paint and stencils. Chalkboard paint can be mixed into any color and when used with stencils can give a custom look for your kids! Paint a whole wall, or paint their favorite animals and sporting goods for hours of fun later.
13. Opt for laminates instead of the real thing
Laminate wood flooring has been manufactured and delivered in a more believable look and feel in today’s home decor. If hardwood is pricey for your wallet consider using laminate. Visit a flooring or home improvement store to get educated on the pros and cons of laminate flooring. Get the expensive look for a fraction of hardwood prices.
You love your home and what better way to show it then to decorate with your own personal style?