Saturday, November 1, 2008

Decorating on a Dime

Personal Photo Gallery More than anything, when I bought my house I couldn't wait to decorate it! Growing up with TV shows like "Trading Spaces" and seduced by Debbie Travis designs at Canadian Tire, I got giddy just thinking about the options before me.

Unfortunately, the rooms in the pages of my home decor magazine didn't quite fit into my new homeowner budget. So how did I pull together my cozy little spot?

  • PAINT! The easiest and most affordable way to transform any space. Accent walls or textured paint can create dramatic results in a room and will not require as much decor to make the room look done.
  • Order black and white or sepia reprints of your favourite photos, frame in Dollar Store frames and randomly cluster together for a personal photo gallery.
  • Scour second hand stores, like Value Village, and flea markets for great, one-of-a-kind finds. My favourite piece is a lamp in my bedroom - the shade came from Value Village and the lamp from The Salvation Army. Total cost: $7.50!Vintage Lamp
  • Ask family and friends for old furniture. It may be a little mismatched, but it will get you started and add character to your home.
  • For curb appeal, look for old pots, window frames, and ladders to dress up flowerbeds. If you have access to a farm, ask to see their "rock pile" and load your trunk up for a rock garden. Farmers will be more than happy to share.
  • Look for funky fabrics and textiles in the clearance bins at Wal-Mart and Fabricland, then sew your own cushion covers, table clothes, and place mats. No sewing machine or creative prowess? Check out IKEA for cheap cushions that let you pick the covers.
  • Green thumb? Ask friends and family for cuttings of their houseplants, then grow your own from the cuttings. I was even able to get some cuttings off the plants at work.
  • While it's not decorating-specific, its still a money saver -check the dollar store for your kitchen utensils. All that matters is that your cooking tastes good, not whether you spent $1 or $100 on your spatula!

Finally, always check out free online classified sites like Kijiji and Craigslist to find pre-owned items in your area for significantly less than the price of new.

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