Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fabulously Affordable Decor Ideas

13 secrets to effortlessly affordable decor

If you are anything like me, you are constantly thinking of new ideas, posting 'dream home' photos on Pintrest, and being in both the Luxury Real Estate and Design business - there are inspirational design ideas everywhere I turn.  Luckly, our friends at Country Living Magazine has come up with the '13 Secrets of Effortlessly Affordable Decor', which includes tips on maximizing materials, purchasing discount, DIY 'fixer upper' projects and many other simple ideas that will give you that spark you need to begin your long awaited decor-over!
1. The best things often come in small packages. Less expensive than full-size sofas, settees also function outside the living room — bringing comfort to a foyer, providing seating at the foot of a bed, cozying up to a dining table. So you're likely to love a love seat long after you've kicked a hulking couch to the curb.

2. Give an outdated lamp a top-down makeover. A modest white drum shade can modernize the fussiest old fixture. And no need to splurge on silk — paper delivers a crisper, more contemporary look.

3. The $2 secret to beautifully stocked bookshelves: Scour thrift stores for hardbacks, typically a couple of bucks each, then arrange them by color for extra pizzazz. For fabulous coffee table books, visit my store on 

4. Empty frames offer endless potential. It's easy to score these castoffs at junk shops for next to nothing. To turn one into a posh bulletin board, cut a piece of foam core to fit and wrap it in burlap. Another possibility: Have a pro cut mirrors to size.

5. Group dime-a-dozen accessories for major impact. A lone tag-sale tchotchke doesn't say much, but a whole gang of similar ones — now that's a statement.

6. Furniture goes on sale seasonally, just like clothing, so it pays to be patient. The world's largest furnishings trade show takes place every April and October. Over the course of the following months, retailers discount "old" merch to make room for the new. In other words: Shop late spring to early summer and late fall to mid-winter for bargains.

7. Fine art doesn't have to cost a fortune. Before you settle for posters, check out, which sells original oils, watercolors, and illustrations — not prints — by emerging artists, for as little as $25.

8. The frugal fix for homely floors? Paint. Refinishing them on your own involves renting a sanding machine, about $75 per day, and buying supplies like polyurethane. As an alternative, simply clean floors and hand-scuff any rough spots; then apply a few coats of a self-priming floor paint (from around $25 a gallon).
9. Expand your seating options. Even affordable dining-room chairs become exorbitant, fast, once you calculate how many you need to surround a table. The smart solution: a bench or two.

10. Feel free to scrimp on shelving. Ordinary bracket shelves from Home Depot start at around $10 — leaving plenty of dough for filling them with decorative stuff.

11. Why pay a premium for matchy-matchy pieces? When pairs of lamps, chairs, and side tables get separated, their prices usually plummet. Take advantage of the opportunity to shake up an overly symmetrical room.
12. Keep it local when deal-hunting online. Visit Lulu Bella Boutique online to find tons of amazing discounts on everything from designer clothing to home decor and electronics. Or visit Etsy, where you can use the "shop local" tab to find goods in your city, state, or zip code.
13. Create handsome storage with hardware-store supplies. Instead of springing for a full-fledged wardrobe or hall stand, put pretty hats, bags, and scarves to work as a wall display. The notched leather straps shown here came from a flea market, but two vertical rows of hardware-store hooks will do the job.

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