10 Budget Decorating Secrets
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Chic on the Cheap1 of 11
By Mariel Goodson
You don't have to hire a million-dollar decorator to spruce up your space. From color-blocking bookshelves to re-tinting old paint, steal these ten insider secrets to redecorating your home without breaking the bank.
Color Correction2 of 11
Leftover cans of paint taking up space in your garage? Good news: You can re-tint it for pennies if you didn't love the color the first time around. Some hardware stores will re-tint for free or you can do it at home by mixing a new batch in an empty five-gallon bucket with paint colorants and a color wheel, says Nicole Curtis, host of Rehab Addict on HGTV.
Paper Pusher3 of 11
Wallpaper makes a major statement, but covering an entire room can cost a fortune. Add a pop of pattern by lining the backs of bookshelves or stair risers, or papering three blank canvases for a thrifty piece of art. And you don't have to stick with wallpaper to get the job done—splashy wrapping paper, contact paper and even craft paper can all sub in seamlessly.
Go for Gold4 of 11
An oversized mirror is like an insta-window, adding light and dimension to a room. For a custom look on the cheap, revamp the tired finish on an old outdated mirror with liquid gilding paint, which camouflages flaws and adds a rich metallic luster to wood, ceramic and glass.
Shelf Help5 of 11
Create a vibrant, well-curated focal point by color-blocking the contents of your bookshelves. For instance, on one shelf, bookend blue-spined paperbacks with a blue-and-white ginger jar. On the next shelf, fill a clear bowl with dried boxwood balls and set it atop a stack of green hardbacks. Added bonus? Everything can be changed and rearranged whenever the room needs refreshing.
Shady Lady6 of 11
A ho-hum hand-me-down lamp becomes the star of the room when you re-cover its shade with a designer fabric remnant. All you need is fabric glue, sharp scissors and a half an hour. Simply measure the height and circumference of your current shade. Cut the new fabric according to the measurements, leaving an extra half-inch on the top and bottom so you can fold it over the rim of the lampshade and secure with glue.
Glow On7 of 11
Strategically placed sconce lights do more than illuminate a dark corner; they add an aura of sophistication. Score that same elegant effect—without the pricey installation fee—with ready-to-hang candle sconces.
Paint Job8 of 11
"People often think that if furniture doesn't come in a set, it shouldn't be in the same room—but the opposite is true," says Curtis. "Finding individual pieces that work together but don't exactly match is how you get the designer feel." In your kitchen or dining room, cultivate a sense of intentional eclecticism by repainting a variety of wooden chairs in complementary colors.
Welcome Mat9 of 11
Worried you have only a handful of frame-worthy images to decorate your walls? You can still make a major statement by simply framing photos with extra-large mats so they take up more real estate. Even better? Vibrant frame mats are an economical way to add pops of color to the room—plus, you can easily swap out the mat whenever your palette changes.
Open Up10 of 11
Renovating a kitchen costs an arm and a leg, but you can give yours an affordable facelift by removing a few cabinet doors and adding a fresh coat of paint. Use new open shelving to display neat stacks of everyday dishware and glasses for a crisp, cohesive look.
Curtain Call11 of 11
"I love using 104-inch table cloths for drapes and I'm famous for chopping up shower curtains and turning them into cafe curtains for the kitchen," says Curtis. To imitate the drape of expensive custom panels, fashion no-sew pleats with safety pins, pleater hooks or iron-on fabric tape and attach to a rod using clipped drapery rings.
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