By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com
Decorating a home can cost a fortune, especially if you go to big-name retailers to replicate the look in glossy magazines. But today we bring you some tips and tricks to help get your home looking stylish without spending more than you should.
Paint and Color Consultants. Paint is relatively inexpensive and can drastically transform and update a room. But which color to choose? You can solve this dilemma by calling on a color consultant. If you think color consultants are too rich for your budget, think again. Many Sherwin Williams stores will send a color consultant to your home when you purchase a $75 gift card (check your local Sherwin Williams for availability). This service is essentially free because you use the gift card to purchase the agreed-upon Sherwin Williams paint. Other paint purveyors offer similar deals or charge very low rates for a color consultation. This home decorating tip is all the rage right now so don't be shy about trying it out.
Related: Cheap vacuum cleaner recommendationsDecorate your home with the help from an app.
Websites and Apps. Ahh, the Internet. It certainly comes in handy for home decorating ideas. To see the latest styles and learn how to integrate them into your home, check out sites like Houzz and Pinterest. You'll find hundreds, even thousands of ideas and tutorials that can help you bring these schemes to life. Both sites also have popular apps. The Houzz app earns an average of 5 stars from more than 4,000 reviewers at the iTunes store while the Pinterest app scores an average 4.5 stars in the Google Play store from more than 290,000 reviewers.
Ikea. Ikea has become a buzzword for many budget home decorating projects. It makes sense: The retailer offers affordable home décor and remodeling options for consumers with limited resources. The new Ikea catalog was just issued (it comes out every year in August or September), making this a good time to mention its home decorating ideas and aids. For starters, Ikea provides several planning tools that let you play around with room measurements and Ikea products to see how they fit together; use them as well for major jobs like kitchen and bathroom remodels. Ikea also has two apps: the Ikea Catalog app, which gives you on-the-go access to the current catalog, and the Ikea app, which lets you view products, create shopping lists, and more.
Related: Inexpensive air purifier reviewsFreshen up a space with a piece of furniture.
Built-Ins. While we're on the subject of Ikea, let's segue to built-ins. Ikea furniture components readily serve as cheap and attractive shelving and storage arrangements that can be built into a wall or structure. In fact, Ikea showcases different pieces that consumers can combine to create built-ins. If the Ikea aesthetic or price points don't do it for you, though, any shelves, boards, dressers, etc. can be used to fashion built-ins. Crown molding, wood caulk, and paint regularly complete the built-in look and prove to be an affordable way to update and decorate your home or make builder-grade rooms look custom designed.
Reusing and Refurbishing. Another quick, cheap way to decorate your home or freshen up a space is to refinish a piece of furniture. Scout out local second-hand stores, garage sales, and sites like Craigslist. Furniture from these sources, or even pieces you already own that don't fit your design scheme, can be updated and changed. In many cases a can of paint or stain and new hardware can take a tired, outdated dresser, say, from last century to this century in no time.
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If you can't find exactly what you need for a particular spot, think outside the box. For example, if your home decorating plan calls for a TV stand but the only ones you can find are ugly or outside your price range, use a desk or dresser instead. Refresh with a coat of paint and new pulls, remove a drawer for the cable box (and any other electronic gear), drill a hole in the back for the wires, and there you go. Can't find a bench for the entryway? Try a narrow bookshelf turned on its side with feet added for stability and a pad for seating.
The possibilities are endless -- just let the creative juices flow.
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