Whether it’s your first apartment, or it’s time to overhaul the house you’ve owned for 20 years, interior decorating can get pricey. Designers can charge hundreds of dollars, and finished artwork can be higher priced than your budget can bear. If you want to redecorate on a shoestring budget you can do much of the work yourself and save yourself tons of money. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity and get designing on your own terms and budget.
Browse Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores
Everything from furniture to artwork can be found at second-hand stores. Look at the home section and work from there. Don’t forget to check out the bedding and the ladies’ dresses areas for fabrics that can be repurposed. For example, you can cut up a frumpy dress made of gorgeous material to cover throw pillows. A fine lace table cloth can be used to make window sheers, or a decorative throw over your head board. Second-hand shops can also supply you with ready-made art you may not be able to find elsewhere, ranging from hand-carved wooden items, to canvasses by obscure or unknown artists. It’s a great place to pick up unique pieces no one else will have, and build the rest of your design around them.
Check the Remnant and Outlet Store for Flooring
Cute little throw rugs or whole-room area rugs can be incredibly expensive. However, carpet remnants often have the edges bound and are sold as rugs of all sizes. Area rugs with even tiny flaws also end up for sale at outlets. After all, if the flaw in the weaving will be under your sofa, will it really bother you? Others may appear perfect and you won’t be able to detect the flaw at all.
Channel Your Own Craftiness
Pinterest and other Internet resources are full of step-by-step instructions on how to make your own decorative art projects. A trip to the craft store will save you a ton of money, and you can use your preferred colors and materials to make it truly unique. Whether you need wall art for the spare bedroom, or a quirky shelving idea for the bathroom, DIY options are fun and easy on your budget.
Make Your Own Window Treatments
You can easily make curtains and Roman shades, and even more ambitious projects like swags and valances are easy to drape yourself. Create the perfect curtain match to new Sunburst shutters from Las Vegas and browse ideas online and use items from the craft store to make your own decor. You can even create your own hardware for less than you’d pay for curtain rods. Use your imagination and look for online tutorials to guide you in the process.
Shop the Local Art Fair
Many cities and towns hold a fair or showcase to allow local artists to gain visibility and sell their wares. Sculpture, pottery, needlework, carvings, and paintings are usually available in a wide range of artistic styles and can help add visual interest to your space. If you decide to haggle with an artist, don’t forget that some supplies can be very expensive and that time and skill is worth money, too. Plus the expense may be worth supporting your local school, alum, or state programs.
Check out Garage and Estate Sales
These types of sales can be a great place to find art and furnishings, in addition to a host of other useful household items. Often, the items for sale are priced to sell, and can be had for pennies on the dollar. Check your local paper or Craigslist to find sales in your area. You never know what you might find at a private sale, so make sure to bring plenty of cash with you.
Redecorating on a budget can be a challenge, especially if you’re not particularly crafty or artistic. By searching in places you may not otherwise look, you can find tons of items at a fraction of their retail cost.