furnishings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9587/all en-US Turn One Room Into Two With These 10 Simple Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047587136_Large.jpg" alt="couple planning home decor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to live in a 350 square foot studio apartment, and space was hard to find. Yet, somehow I managed to fit a bedroom, office, living space, reading nook, and kitchen into one open room. How? Some very tricky maneuvering. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space?ref=seealso">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few ways you can carve out the zones you need without upping your rent.</p> <h2>1. Furniture Placement</h2> <p>Before you install or purchase anything, check your furniture placement to see how it could be modified. In one of my apartments, I set a long desk on the back of my couch (a lot like in <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/matthew-maus-creative-loft-in-114390">this loft space</a>), fashioning an office and living room in one open spot. Before moving anything, measure your furniture and try plotting out different arrangements on a piece of paper.</p> <h2>2. Rugs</h2> <p>Did you know that rugs have a lot of visual power? It's true. They can define spaces without much heavy lifting. Don't shy from larger ones either, since there's a science behind <a href="http://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/tips-to-choosing-the-right-rug-size/">choosing the right size</a> for the room or purpose. Measure your entire seating area, for example, and make sure your rug overlaps the chairs by a few inches.</p> <p>Tip: Carpet warehouses are great for finding flooring options you need at low prices. You can pick out a remnant roll and have it cut to size and bound into an inexpensive rug.</p> <h2>3. DIY Dividers</h2> <p>Get creative and <a href="https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;u=http%3A%2F%2Felblogdedmc.blogspot.com.ar%2F2010%2F10%2Fcomo-hacer-un-separador-de-ambientes-en.html&amp;edit-text=&amp;act=url">make your own room divider</a> with simple materials like a wood frame and some yarn or rope. Projects like these go beyond the utilitarian and become practical art. Of course, you can also purchase room dividers at stores like Target or on Amazon. Here's a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O31MHS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000O31MHS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LNBSPQNDNOVQPW5W">natural wooden screen divider</a> for less than $50.</p> <h2>4. Bookcases</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways you can divide a room in no time is by picking up a pair of bookcases or those <a href="http://www.meredithandthenewyorkie.com/2012/02/expedit-love.html">handy cube organizers</a>. The bonus here is that you don't just get two rooms for the price of one, you also gain some much needed storage space for all your stuff. Make your displays eye-catching by mixing decor pieces with more practical items.</p> <h2>5. Custom Shelving</h2> <p>Or try DIYing some custom shelving for a similar impact. This couple made an impressive set of <a href="http://sarahmdorseydesigns.blogspot.com/2013/05/how-to-build-custom-shelving-for-only-35.html">storage shelves</a> that divided out a living space for around $35. If you're into building your own stuff, be sure to check places like Habitat's ReStore, which sells donated building materials for very little money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>6. Armoire</h2> <p>Large pieces of furniture make even more convincing room dividers, especially in tall loft spaces. Check out this <a href="https://sanctuarydecor.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/0001tn.jpeg">gorgeous armoire</a> that helps distinguish a bedroom from other spots in an open space. Flea markets, thrift shops, and even antique markets are wonderful places to look for pieces like these &mdash; and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal">try to negotiate</a> for the best deal possible.</p> <h2>7. Clothing Rack</h2> <p>In much the same way, a <a href="http://www.abitofsass.com/2013/10/clothes-rack-closets.html">clothing rack</a> can act as a visual barrier between two spaces. Say, if you need to separate a living &quot;room&quot; from a bed area. Those of you low on closet space might appreciate bringing your clothing out in the open and hiding away unsightly things behind closed doors. It's a solid excuse to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">lean your wardrobe</a> to just the clothes you love.</p> <h2>8. Pallet Divider</h2> <p>My husband recently found a few wood pallets on the side of the road in good condition. They're sitting in our garage, and I would have never thought to make a <a href="http://myfriendstaci.com/2010/09/07/wood-pallet-room-divider/">pallet room divider</a> with them. The rustic look would go well with a variety of decors, and you can connect them with triangle hinges for simple stability.</p> <h2>9. Fabric</h2> <p>I have used fabric and curtains in my apartments and houses to do some heavy lifting. This <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-lighting-designs-of-serge-131484">floor to ceiling curtain installation</a> gives the room some awesome separation &mdash; all with a soft elegance. Install a large curtain rod or pole where you need it and slip on your curtains. I find deals on panels at discount shops and dollar stores. You can also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">make your own curtains</a> in a flash.</p> <h2>10. Sliding Doors</h2> <p>I love how this couple <a href="http://j-lolefty.blogspot.com/">made a nursery</a> out of nothing using Ikea <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/bedroom/19115/">sliding doors</a> (the PAX system). Since these doors move on a sturdy track line that needs to be installed &mdash; screwed into the floor and ceiling &mdash; it's a more permanent solution. And all together it will cost several hundred dollars even with the least expensive door kit. I think we can all agree, though, that the end result is truly amazing if you need a long-term fix.</p> <p><em>How have you turned one room into two?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</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="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</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="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your Furniture</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="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</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="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home DIY furnishings interior design tiny home tiny spaces Tue, 17 Feb 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1289848 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Save Money on New Flooring http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-new-flooring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-save-money-on-new-flooring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3981377_210e9aad9d_z.jpg" alt="people on floor" title="people on floor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a financial planner, you're probably wondering why I would be in a position to give you flooring advice. Personally, I don't blame you. Prior to <a data-mce-href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/23-ways-to-save-money-building-your-dream-home/" href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/23-ways-to-save-money-building-your-dream-home/">building our dream home</a> a few years ago, I didn't know squat about flooring. Now that my wife and I have examined every flooring know to man, we feel pretty confident to share some tips.</p> <p>Here are five tips and ideas for how to save money the next time you buy floor covering. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <h2>1. Know Your Objective</h2> <p>The biggest mistake that people make when it comes to buying floor covering is choosing the wrong product for their lifestyle. Got a steady stream of messy kids going in and out of your house? Then installing carpet in a hallway, where it could easily stain or show wear, isn&rsquo;t a good choice. However, carpet might be perfect for bedrooms or other low-traffic areas of your home where you want to create a cozy environment.</p> <p>Different types of flooring products have inherently different usage limitations. For instance, if you want to install something that will hold up for 20 years, ceramic tile is obviously more durable and long-lasting than carpet.</p> <p>However, within each product category there&rsquo;s a wide range of quality to be aware of. An inexpensive ceramic tile can shatter easily if you drop something heavy on it, whereas a more expensive porcelain tile would hold up under the same situation.</p> <p>Similarly, a carpet made with an inexpensive fiber type (like <a href="http://www.carpet.org/types_of_fiber.htm" data-mce-href="http://www.carpet.org/types_of_fiber.htm">olefin</a>) can look trampled down after a year of moderate wear, whereas an expensive wool carpet would still look brand new. So remember that cheaper floor covering isn&rsquo;t always better if it ends up disappointing you or it wears out too quickly and causes you to have to invest in another floor sooner than you planned.</p> <p>To make sure you&rsquo;re buying the right floor covering for your needs, do your research and consult with a few experienced salespeople at different stores.</p> <h2>2. Buy In-Stock Inventory</h2> <p>No matter what type of flooring you want, you&rsquo;ll save money by selecting in-stock inventory instead of making a special order from a store sample. Floor covering manufactures give big discounts to dealers who buy in bulk and those savings get passed on to customers.</p> <p>There are probably one or two flooring stores in your area that are known for power-buying, or getting products by the trailer load. Then they stack it deep and sell it cheap!</p> <p>If you're building your dream home or have something specific in mind, you probably won&rsquo;t find the exact shade of pink carpet or the exotic hardwood species you want. But when you need to install flooring in a kid&rsquo;s bedroom, dress up a floor to sell your home, or freshen up a rental property, buying in-stock floor covering is the best way to get a quality product for less.</p> <h2>3. Install It Yourself</h2> <p>A big part of the cost of floor covering is labor and installation. If you&rsquo;re handy or are willing to learn how to install a certain type of flooring product, it can save you a bundle. While I'm not that handy &mdash; far from it! &mdash; my father-in-law is and helped us with our house. There are some products, like laminate flooring, which are easy to install with just a few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/screwdrivers-to-saws-stocking-your-first-toolbox">basic tools</a>.</p> <p>If you can recruit a neighbor, friend, or family member like I did to help, installing new floors or a kitchen backsplash can be fun and gratifying weekend project. You&rsquo;ll find lots of help by searching YouTube for how-to videos on every type of floor covering installation.</p> <h2>4. Use a Remnant</h2> <p>One of the least expensive ways to put down <a data-mce-href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/best-home-flooring-ideas-and-options/" href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/best-home-flooring-ideas-and-options/">new flooring</a> is to take advantage of what floor covering dealers call a carpet remnant. Remnants are leftover pieces from a carpet roll that are sold at big discounts. They&rsquo;re a low-cost solution when you need good carpet for a small bedroom, home office, porch, or walk-in closet.</p> <p>Floor covering retailers also end up with leftover boxes of tile, wood, or laminate that they&rsquo;re willing to sell at a huge discount. This is a great option when you need to spruce up floor covering in a foyer, laundry room, or bathroom.</p> <h2>5. Ask For a Discount</h2> <p>My final tip is probably the easiest way to get a good deal &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">ask for a discount</a>. You&rsquo;ll have more success negotiating price with a small, independent retailer than you will with a large home center. Most independent dealers have 5% to 10% of bargaining room built into their prices, because haggling is not uncommon.</p> <p>If a dealer isn&rsquo;t willing to lower their price, try offering to pay your bill with cash. When you pay a merchant with a credit card, you can get some great perks &mdash; but it costs them. The fees they pay to process your credit card can be over 2% of the total sale depending on the type of card you use.</p> <p>Another way to get a discount is to ask for a lower price if you&rsquo;re willing to do some or all of the installation yourself. By moving furniture or removing and disposing of your old flooring, you can shave a significant amount off the labor portion of your bill.</p> <p>I recommend that you build good rapport with a flooring retail owner or salesperson and simply ask them the best way to get a bargain. You might be surprised how much they&rsquo;re willing to help you save money, so you become a happy customer and refer your friends and family for future sales.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-new-flooring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</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="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for">9 Costly Things New Homeowners Don&#039;t Prepare For</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="http://www.wisebread.com/home-details-i-overlooked-the-first-time">Home Details I Overlooked the First Time</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="http://www.wisebread.com/seller-concessions-and-buyer-bargains-what-to-ask-for-in-the-current-real-estate-market">Seller concessions and buyer bargains - What to ask for in the current real estate market.</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="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing budget decorating furnishings haggling new flooring new homes Mon, 07 May 2012 10:24:08 +0000 Jeff Rose 927592 at http://www.wisebread.com Score Some Dorm Deals and Save Big (Even if You’re Not a Student) http://www.wisebread.com/score-some-dorm-deals-and-save-big-even-if-youre-not-a-student <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/score-some-dorm-deals-and-save-big-even-if-youre-not-a-student" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop sale.jpg" alt="dorm deals" title="dorm deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="182" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Starting out my first year of college was a dream.<span> </span>I had aspired to have the coolest dorm, complete with mini-fridge, neon carpeting, and a VCR.<span> </span>After paying tuition and book fees, however, there was little to spare.<span> </span>So I packed up my gear, shoved it into the tiny dorm closet, and used upside-down apple crates and a homemade loft bed as my furnishings.<span> </span>13 years later, I&rsquo;m amazed at the market for dorm gear; espresso machines, $400 ottomans, and plasma TV&rsquo;s, which are advertised as &ldquo;must-have&rsquo;s&rdquo; for the new student.<span> </span>What?<span> </span>Are you kidding?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">While it may be inappropriate to spend thousands on dorm furnishing for the 17-year-old who wants it all, it&rsquo;s not a bad thing for a financially savvy, independent adult to work the deals to their advantage.<span> </span>While not exactly &ldquo;deals&rdquo;, there are some big perks to shopping from the dorm sale flyers.<span> </span>Here&rsquo;s a few to get you started:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Same quality, better pricing</strong> &ndash; I&rsquo;m sure you&rsquo;re no stranger to the method some manufacturers use to sell similar (if not identical) items under several different brand umbrellas.<span> </span>Often, the same product is changed slightly (usually in appearance only) before marketing it separately as both a premium and an off-brand purchase.<span> </span>Scour the Dorm Deals department, and see if you can&rsquo;t find some small electronics, appliances, and basic linens that appear almost identical to bigger brands offered in the regular home and furnishings department.<span> </span>They will almost always be more affordable, and even if the quality ends up lacking down the road, you can take advantage of warranties or satisfaction guarantees to replace it for little to nothing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>One-stop shopping</strong> &ndash; There are days when I just need to get my shopping done.<span> </span>I don&rsquo;t want to stop 150 places, and I don&rsquo;t necessarily need to compare every minute detail for pennies between prices.<span> </span>The dorm furnishing sections of many stores and online retailers allow for a quick &ldquo;checklist&rdquo; approach to purchasing.<span> </span>Wastebasket?<span> </span>Check.<span> </span>Laundry bag?<span> </span>Check.<span> </span>I can skip over items I don&rsquo;t truly need, and I may even be reminded to pick up a few things I have been putting off &ndash; for much less than if I drove all over town trying to find it.<span> </span>(Caveat:<span> </span>Don&rsquo;t buy just to buy.<span> </span>If you&rsquo;re not looking for it, don&rsquo;t even think about putting it in your cart.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Availability</strong> &ndash; Have you ever spent hours just trying to find that perfect corner shelf or just the right storage system?<span> </span>You know it exists, and you have even seen it before, but finding it is just impossible? <span> </span>Dorm deals often offer basic, affordable, and easy-to-adapt solutions for homes that are short on space (or just money.)<span> </span>Brand names like Sterilite, Tupperware, and Rubbermaid seem to appear en masse in the dorm section of the store, complete with funky colors and expandable accessories for a fully customizable experience.<span> </span>Where were these things just a month ago?<span> </span>Who knows, but they are here now, and if you&rsquo;re looking for inspiration or an upgrade to your office, bathroom, or bedroom, now&rsquo;s the time!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Sale</strong><strong> potential</strong> &ndash; What happens when all those college students get settled in the for the year?<span> </span>(And they realize that they bought way too much stuff for their tiny cell?)<span> </span>They won&rsquo;t be buying anymore dorm stuff!<span> </span>And in an attempt for retailers to clear their shelves for Christmas gear, they&rsquo;ll begin marking it down to an even more appealing price point.<span> </span>If you&rsquo;re not too picky about when you get your stuff, you can outlast the regular prices and stock up on staples for year-round.<span> </span>(Plus towels make nice gifts!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s important to not lose your head over all the stuff being offered for Back-to-School.<span> </span>In fact, stores may also take some of their regularly overpriced inventory and try to pass it off as &ldquo;Dorm specific.&rdquo;<span> </span>Don&rsquo;t be fooled into paying more than you should, buying more than you need, or getting anything horrible in taste (neon carpet).<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><em>For extra back-to-school savings strategies, check out my cheat sheets on <a href="/use-less-cash-for-your-jcpenney-purchase">JCPenney</a> and <a href="/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Target</a>!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-some-dorm-deals-and-save-big-even-if-youre-not-a-student">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">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="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</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="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-alternatives-to-groupon">5 Awesome Alternatives to Groupon</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="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back-to-school deals decorate dorm furnishings sales shopping Fri, 15 Aug 2008 16:16:18 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2333 at http://www.wisebread.com