Tips for decorating your home on a tight budget

We’ve all browsed through a department store catalog or furniture showroom, coming across a beautiful piece that would look great in our family room.

It’s the right color, the right size, the right quality and the right style… but way out of our price range.

It happens. A lot.

April is National Decorating Month. Instead of focusing on pricey redecorating projects, perhaps it’s time to start shopping smart and shopping thrifty. You can indeed upgrade your home or condominium without running up a credit card bill.

Below are five ways to decorate your home or condominium on a tight budget:

Shop at Resale Stores

Southwest Florida’s affluent seasonal residents may only live in their Collier or Lee homes for a few weeks each year. Yet, many love the art of redecorating. Before they can be “in with the new,” they must be “out with the old.” Oftentimes, they’ll donate like-new, brand-name furniture, home décor and accessories to local resale stores. Shoppers can find essentially new, high-quality items up to 90% off the original retail price. Paying $250 for a barely used $2,500 sofa is a score worth celebrating.

Many resale stores support area nonprofits, too, so shopping there also is supporting community organizations.

Wall Art

Art lovers flock to museums to admire works of art from da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Picasso. Obviously, their works of art are pricey. In fact, all original artwork is pricey.

However, technology has improved so much that it’s difficult to tell what is original and what is a print. Today’s canvas prints can have texture and contrast that mirror original paintings. Manufacturers even make digital oil paintings.

Quality prints look great in every room. The key is focusing on the frame. Avoid plastic or mass-produced, store-bought frames. Fall in love with the artwork first, and then look for a frame to match.

Accessorize

Department stores sell table lamps in all shapes and sizes, but they are mass produced in a factory. Chances are, several neighbors have the same lamps. Find a base with a unique design, and try to match the color and style to the room.

Adding throw pillows to a sofa or daybed is a great way to accessorize. Again, choose a color pattern that fits a room’s color and wall art.

Another easy addition is a tchotchke, which can fill voids on bookshelves and end tables. Tchotchkes offer a little flair and personality, as well as conversation-starters for guests.

Room-by-Room Decorating

Interior designers often emphasize a home’s “flow.” However, each room doesn’t need to adhere to the same decorating style. For instance, look at the White House. The East Room is adjacent to the Green Room, but each has its own purpose and personality.

A single-family home can work the same way. Perhaps you elect to decorate your living room with a Florida style with pastel colors, travel-themed artwork and seashell-filled glass lamps. Meanwhile, your dining room is contemporary with clean, soft lines and neutral colors.

Ask yourself where you spend the most time inside your home. Start there.

Outdoor Space

We live in Florida for one reason – the beautiful weather. Outdoor living spaces can be as simple as a table and chairs, or as luxe as an entire entertaining space featuring an outdoor kitchen, dining area and recreational space.

The key in creating an outdoor oasis is comfortable seating. Unlike interior rooms, where cable connections, doors and windows dictate design, outdoor spaces can be free-flowing. Choose weather-resistant patio furniture that won’t be damaged by sunlight, rain and high humidity.

Redecorating on a tight budget is entirely possible. Spring is a great time to tweak our home interiors before summer rain and heat start sending us indoors for a few months. 

– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop