One of the easiest things to do, without spending any money, is to look around your rooms and clean up any clutter. This includes too many knick-knacks on display, too many family pictures, too much of anything. Remember, less is more. Your accessories will make a bigger impact when they can be fully appreciated. If too many things overwhelm your eye those special items will not stand out. If necessary, pack up some items for six months and then rotate them back out.
Move things around. Furniture, accessories, and pictures. Move things to another room to see it in another light.
Make a duvet cover out of two flat sheets. Sew, or use iron-on hem tape on, three sides with right sides together, turn right side out and use buttons or Velcro to close the top.
One woman's trash is another woman's treasure. I got a cute two-shelved teacart someone grew tired of and put out with their garbage. I knocked on the door and asked for permission to take it. Now painted and stenciled, it sits in my dining room holding some of my many collections.
Utilize online auction sites, such as ebay. I got four old 11x14 floral bookplate prints for around $18.00, and four new 11x14 frames, with glass, for around $25.00. I now have a nice series of pictures that would retail for upwards of $100.00 and only cost me $43.00, plus shipping.
Think outside the box. A lazy-susan for your craft paints, a mug or tumbler to hold pens; just because it's sold as one thing doesn't mean you can't use it as another.
Buy a tall, thin, clear glass bottle carried by many stores (including dollar stores) for just a few dollars. Put your dishwashing soap in it. It's something you use all the time, it will be handy, and the color of the soap will give you some color by your sink. Top it off with a decorative cork topper.
Buy ready-made drapes, curtains or valances and add your own trim with iron-on hem tape, hot glue or sewing. Get a custom look for a ready-made price. You can do this with your decorative throw pillows, too.
My next project is a corkboard with a decorative frame. The one I like costs $179.00 retail. Find a corkboard the size you like, a little larger even for fitting to the frame and possible cutting. Next, find a decorative frame you like whether it's from an old picture you already own and don't care for anymore; flea market; garage sale; or thrift shop. Fit the corkboard to the frame (cutting to fit if necessary) and attach with staples, small wood braces across the corners, or picture divets. Along these same lines, you can do a chalkboard by getting a thin piece of wood, such as luaun, cut to fit your frame, paint with a few coats of blackboard paint, and attach it to the frame. You have a corkboard or chalkboard that retails for a minimum of $120.00, that will cost you, maybe, $25.00 and a Saturday afternoon.
Courtesy of Ballard Designs
Change out your lampshades instead of replacing the whole lamp. Sometimes that little change is all you need. Just remember to take off the plastic.
Use a stack of hardcover books to elevate your tablescapes or a too small lamp. Your side tables should have items of varying heights on them. Since you most likely have books in your home, take the paper covers off and utilize them in your décor. They will also become a part of the tablescape.
Kathy Passarette, and Creative Home Expressions, is located on Long Island, New York, and offers interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign and color consultations. For more information about our fees and services please visit our website at www.creativehomeexpressions.com.