Friday, April 11, 2008

Great Decorating Ideas From HGTV

These helpful hints were in my email this morning. I thought they were worth sharing.

Best Budget Decorating Ideas


1. Paint"Paint is the cheapest investment you can make, but the one with the most dramatic result," says 24 Hour Design's Angelo Surmelis. Go ahead and put some color on those walls for a fresh — and inexpensive — new look.

2. Do It Yourself "The biggest budget buster is hiring people to do stuff that you could do," says Design on a Dime's Kristan Cunningham. Consider what you'll save by taking on some relatively simple projects: Painting, tiling, installing a new floor, sewing curtain panels or throw pillows — whatever you feel up to trying. "It's easy to learn to do that stuff, and there's lots of information out there to help," Cunningham says.

3. Call In Family and FriendsYou may not have a wad of cash or a lot of home-improvement know-how, but you have other resources that can help get your decorating project off the ground: the people you know. Call on a group of relatives, friends and neighbors who can supply the muscle to rip down wall paneling, roll on paint or assemble a room of flat-packed furniture. Feed them lunch and you're sure to have happy helpers.

4. Shop Secondhand Stores Thrift stores, consignment shops, church rummage sales, online auction sites, estate sales and even salvage yards offer a bounty of discount decorating booty. Look for furniture with solid construction and classic lines that new upholstery or paint will bring back to life. Cunningham, for example, snatched up a vintage settee for $500 at a consignment shop, then had it painted white and upholstered with luxurious mohair for a unique piece with a baroque-modern twist. The designer also regularly scouts secondhand shops for funky, vintage lamps. "Put a crisp new barrel shade on it, or take a lamp with an interesting shape and spray-paint it glossy white and it looks like a $700 designer lamp," she says.

5. Look for Less-Than-Perfect MerchandiseYou may be able to snag super deals on slightly damaged items, floor models and seconds (like towels from a dye lot that was slightly off) — so be sure to check stores' "as is" areas or to ask the manager about fire-sale items. Chances are, no one but you will be any the wiser, and you'll save big bucks.

6. Save With Stock ItemsCustom framing, sewing, upholstering and other skilled labor can add a bundle to the bottom line. Instead, stick with stock items whenever you can: Buy off-the-shelf frames and mats and trim nonvaluable art prints to fit them. Buy standard blinds that are a bit larger than your window and mount them outside the frame. Snap up stock cabinets and finish them with moldings for a custom look. Order that sofa in a neutral, ready-to-ship fabric and use the money you save to splurge on colorful throw pillows.

7. Wait Patiently for Sales and Discounts"Wait to find what you really love at a price you really love," Cunningham says. While you shop, ask if items will be discounted anytime soon. Store and department managers are usually the best sources for this insider info, and may even offer you the discounted price before it goes into effect.

8. Mix, Don't MatchNot only is a "matchy-matchy" look boring, but buying entire suites of furniture tends to cost more than putting together a creative, eclectic look. Mix it up by opting for a couch and chairs upholstered in complementary fabrics, flanking a bed with two different nightstands and decorating with other diverse items unified by color, form, material and tone. Or try pairing a stately wood table with shiny aluminum or brightly colored plastic chairs. "Don't be afraid to mix high and low [end] — or modern and traditional — in your home," says Cunningham. "It makes it fun and fresh."

9. Sew Your Own LinensIf you have a sewing machine, you can quickly and easily transform patterned flat sheets into curtain panels, pillow and duvet covers, tablecloths, even slipcovers — and pay a fraction of what you'd shell out for fabric yardage. Of course, this assumes you've had previous (successful) sewing experience or are good friends with a seamstress.

10. Add Unexpected Accessories "Almost anything can serve as an accessory," says Home Decorating for Dummies co-author Patricia Hart McMillan — including found objects and household items that cost practically nothing. Architectural corbels rescued from a salvage yard make great bookends, while seashells and driftwood collected at the shore create a lovely, natural grouping. A bowl filled with crisp green apples lends a bright pop of color to just about any surface, and a stack of vintage hardbacks adds height, dimension and character to an occasional table.

11. Reuse Items You Already HaveYou don't have to buy new pieces to turn your tired domicile into a hip space. Instead, turn a fresh eye to what you already have and think about how it might be camouflaged, repurposed or reimagined. Reinvent a drab dresser in a guest bedroom as a dramatic dining room sideboard with a few coats of glossy black paint and sparkling new hardware. Make over that old couch with a slipcover in a fabulous fabric. Turn plain pillows into eye-catching accents by stenciling simple designs on them. After all, there's no better budget stretcher than your own imagination.

Leah Hennen is a freelance writer in Oakland, Calif., who writes on interior design topics. She details her design finds and decorating obsessions in her blog: More Ways to Waste Time.

2 comments:

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

Good tips!

Home Decorating said...

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