frugal decorating en-US Cheap Decorating: Three Simple Hacks for Style on a Dime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-decorating-three-simple-hacks-for-style-on-a-dime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going for an affordable little spruce up? Not wanting to spend an entire weekend sanding down Grandma's old bureau? Here are three easy and <a title="Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas" href="">cheap decorating ideas</a> to add unexpected sass and style.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Hide a multitude of sins with the tablecloth of your choice. </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Whatever you decorating style, there's a tablecloth to match. Damask for formal, <a href="">sarongs</a> for a more Bohemian twist, vintage embroidered pieces for the shabby chic approach and many other styles can be accomplished affordably. Even if you dish out full price, it'll still be less than paying big bucks for an expensive table. And you don't need a floor length cloth. Just one that goes half to three quarters of the way down the table legs will be enough to take the eye away from chewed up or chipped wood completely.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Our kitchen table is of a wood color and design that on its own looks quite dated. The formica covered top has kept that part of the table darker than the more weathered legs. But it's sturdy, has two removable inserts for larger sit down events and best of all, it was free. My parents bought this when I was in primary school and it's the main table I grew up with. My emotional attachment to this table ended some time ago and it's nearly been given away more than once. But you know what? I'm hard pressed to find a new one this sturdy.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">My answer to the dated looking doldrums? A tablecloth. When I feel like formal holiday damask, that's what comes out of the linen closet. Rustic? I have a woodsy plaid one that occasionally makes an appearance. Most of the time though, I have a selection of hand stamped Persian style cloths I picked up at various souks in the Middle East over the years. I love them. They have tons of color and strike a reasonable balance between casual and dressy. What can I say? That tribal look just works for me.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">The point however, is that you can really cheap it out with a tightwad spray paint makeover on nearly any dining or accent table you manage to pick up off the street corner on trash day. To come completely clean, I've even used up-ended cardboard and metal footlockers this way to put a statue or other accent piece on. Just snag an affordable covering or make one from a unique fabric remnant. Even if you don't sew, you can fringe the ends a half inch or so all the way around with a simple seam ripper from the notions department at your local chain department store.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>When it comes to mouthwash, think outside the bottle.</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">This one sort of came to me by complete accident. A short while ago, we decided one night to move the wireless online TV watching upstairs. We were tired, but not ready to fall asleep and the dog was getting antsy. Since she calms down if we allow her a few minutes on the bed with us, it seemed like a win-win all the way around. The wine bottle, stopper and our goblets made their way up with us as well. Before we fell asleep, I moved the glasses and wine bottle to the nearest safe zone &ndash; the counter top in the master bathroom.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">To make a short story long, I was wishing for some sort of classier looking reusable bathroom cup the next morning when I spied my empty wine glass. Thinking I'd won the same free ticket on the easy train as when I made my <a href="">bar soap discovery</a>, I poured in some mouthwash and gave it the old toss and slosh. On my way down to the sink bowl, I spied the bottle of wine with the glass topped stopper in it. Hmmnn . . . . you know, it looked kind of neat. Would this be another opportunity to turn <a href="">garbage into gold</a>&nbsp;and find myself a new use for old wine bottles?</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">In the end, I decided to go with my port wine decanter. It came with a three piece set we picked up for cheap in Europe. While I use the brandy ones for various things, I have to usually dig deep for a use for the tall thin one normally considered appropriate for port. (or so I've been told) So, once I've emptied the pomegranate liquor out on our next alternative martini night, it'll be making its way to our bathroom counter along with an extra wine glass or two. If this doesn't fit your taste, you could always go with the wine bottle idea or any other type of alternative container and cup combo that fits your particular style. <a href="">Canning jar</a>&nbsp;and enamel cup for the rustic look, colored bottle normally used for vinegar or bulk oil storage, paired with an interesting high ball glass . . . you get the idea. The idea here is to use what you have on hand to provide an element of the unexpected.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><strong>Create your own edible still life display with a classic bowl of fruit. </strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Actually, it could be vegetables too. Anything organic that you'll eventually eat is game. On our kitchen table I usually keep a huge round cobalt blue glass bowl I got years ago at <a href="">Ikea</a>.&nbsp; When the table is smaller, or I have extra fruit I want to put out on the counter, I have a smaller pedestal one in the same shade I've been known to use as well. Crystal, cut glass, wood, woven grass baskets, thrift store pottery finds and many other things can be used. Just make sure it looks reasonably nice and load it up. My personal favorite frugal combo is green apples, oranges or clementines and a bunch or two of bananas. Other seasonal items can be used as well. Peaches, grapes, avocados, acorn squash and cherries have all made the cut at one time or another at our house.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">I think there are several reasons this works. First, who doesn't remember the still life assignments from <a href="">art </a>class? Natural light and organic elements always make for a winning combo. Also, a full fruit bowl just screams &ldquo;abundance&rdquo;. You feel it, you kids feel it and your guests feel it. So if you're looking to <a href="">downsize</a> and <a href="">live with less</a>, this is a great way to have the feel of &ldquo;lots&rdquo; without having lots of stuff. Last but not least, people feel at home when they can grab a little something to snack on that's clearly out for communal consumption, but isn't a fussy party food. It sort of sends a statement that hospitality is built into your lifestyle in a seamless and relaxed way. When an old friend stops by out of the blue, make your way to the fruit bowl with some bread, cheese and a bottle of wine.&nbsp;You'll have a relaxing lunch that's low on prep and high on quality catch up time.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Need a few other <a href="">cheap decorating</a> ideas? We have several resource articles right here on Wise Bread. Check out Sarah's posts on <a href="">living room decorating</a> and stocking the <a href="">perfect love nest</a>, Andrea's article on <a href="">frugal painting</a> or Joann's interesting <a href="">post</a> on decorating with industrial samples. A few others you might find of note?</p> <ul> <li>Affordable <a href="">kitchen</a>, <a href="">bath</a> and <a href="">loft </a>decorating ideas, including how to make a cheap DIY <a href="">pot rack</a>.</li> <li>Cheap decorating ideas for <a href="">small spaces</a>, sprucing up <a href="">old crap</a> or <a href="">decorating on a dime</a>.</li> <li>Using unexpected elements such as <a href="">industrial shelving</a>, extra <a href="">coffee mugs</a> and <a href="">bandanas</a>.</li> <li>How to have <a href="">Campari art on the cheap</a>.</li> </ul> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em>Got another great decorating idea for figuring out frugal? Share the love in the comment section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Staff</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer&#039;s Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">12 DIY Ideas for Creating Inexpensive Art</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY affordable decor cheap decorating frugal decorating Sun, 22 Feb 2009 22:33:05 +0000 Staff 2859 at Decorating a Living Room for You and Your Money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/decorating-a-living-room-for-you-and-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="living room" title="living room, by Okaggi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You live in it. It's your work space, your meal space, your resting space, your relaxing space. It's where you drop your things when you come home and where you search for them before you leave again. It's your living room, the place where much of your life unfolds. It's easy to let this room be the &quot;whatever&quot; room, the room where all the old or natty furniture goes because you don't have another place for it or money to buy more. It's easy to not decorate at all, because everything will be moved around and will get dirty and so what's the point.</p> <p>This room, however, sets the tone for your day. If you feel good about it when you walk through it in the morning, you'll feel good all day. If it's messy or ugly, you'll feel stressed or down. So make your living room a place where you can live, and live well. There are so many things you can do that don't cost much but make this room a better place.</p> <p><strong>Your Living Room Should Reflect You</strong></p> <p><img height="193" width="289" title="Halo Living Room" alt="Halo Living Room" src="" /></p> <p>What do you like to do? How can you make your living room reflect that. The room above was designed around playing Halo. If you like to read, maybe think about adding some creative book shelves. If you like photography, think about incorporating some of your own work into the room. A real llfe example sits in our living room and draws comments every day. My husband loves to collect toys from his childhood. He has an old Voltron who sits on top of one of our shelves. A little odd? Sure, but it's completely &quot;us&quot; and makes for some great conversation.</p> <p><strong>Your Living Room Should be Comfortable</strong></p> <p><img height="224" width="290" title="Big Comfy Couch" alt="Big Comfy Couch" src="" /></p> <p>You should be able to rest, relax, and do the rest of what you do in your living room without pain, awkwardness, or discomfort. Do not skimp on this! A little discomfort goes a long way towards raising frustration and irritation levels. If you need new furniture, search the sales. If you can't find anything that's affordable or that you like, try <a title="Make Your Own Beanbags" href="">making your own</a> beanbag chairs and couches. It's not crazy expensive, you can customize the fabric and the feel, and it's a great project for the whole family to work on together.</p> <p><strong>Change What Needs to be Changed Without Breaking the Bank</strong></p> <p><img height="211" width="281" title="Bar Chairs Brought Back from the Dead" alt="Bar Chairs Brought Back from the Dead" src="" /></p> <p>It's easy to change the color scheme and feel of a room with a staple gun and some fun fabric. For chairs like those above, take off the seat, staple the new fabric on (be sure you pull tight!), and you have brand new chair! You can also staple fabric swathes to the wall, for come broader color change, or around pillows for some highlights (watch the staples on that's easier than sewing, but you don't want to be inflicting puncture wounds!). I even know someone who recovered her whole couch this way!</p> <p>It's also easy to change colors with some paint. Anything wooden can be painted, with the right preparation (check at your local hardware store for their recommendations, and sometimes paint prep can change with climate). Adding a little color to something old or battered can disguise the damage and make it seem as good as new.</p> <p>Create some space by clearing off the tops of surfaces and the space on bookshelves between the book and the edge of the shelf. This will give your room some of that spacious, airy, contemporary feel with little to no work on your part.</p> <p>Add some plants to your room for a more outdoorsy feel. If you're cautious about live plants, go to your local craft store and get some pretty dried or plastic plants. Displayed properly, no one will care that they're not real and you'll still have that vibrant, alive vibe goine on.</p> <p>Use your storage space creatively. Maybe everyone in your home can have a basket of their very own, and you can cover those with creative material when they're not in use. Or maybe you have space under your end tables or inside your coffee table where you can store some of the items you use everyday. This adds to the general tidiness, doesn't cost much at all, and helps you feel like you have a handle on all that clutter!</p> <p>Last, but not least, care for your carpet. Dirty carpet is frustrating and annoying, but it's easy to clean. Many carpet cleaning services offer special deals if you have them do more than one room or if your room is a certain size. You can also rent a machine and clean your own carpet, though the hassle involved here might make you wish you'd paid someone else to do it, particularly if you're living in a small space where moving your furniture around is an obnoxious job. Finally, you can get some rugs or <a title="Crochet rag rug" href=",2041,DIY_14112_2269669,00.html">make one yourself</a>. They'll protect the carpet and add whatever color you choose.</p> <p>Above all, decide to <a href="" title="Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas">redecorate</a> and the inspiration will come! Happy decorating!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to Cheaply Display Your Art</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">17 More Places to Buy, Sell, and Trade Books</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Reverse engineer the best time of your life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure frugal decorating home decorating living space Thu, 21 Feb 2008 20:00:18 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1827 at