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13 Ways to Decorate and Update on a Budget

I just went to a wonderful (and very helpful) meeting in which Jordan Peine gave us tips and ideas about –

Decorating and Updating on a budget

These ideas will help give your home a warm feeling and spruce up the whole area, thus defeating winter blues (we hope). 🙂 Here they are:

 1. Lamps –

As opposed to overhead lighting which makes things harsh and flat.

  • Pick the base first and then the shade
  • Use the golden ratio to pick out the lamp 1/3 shade, 2/3 base.
  • Look for shades with gold foil on the inside and it will warm up the room
  • Pick warm spectrum light bulbs – not cool ones
2. Pillows and Blankets –

This is an inexpensive way to add color, texture, and style to a sofa or bed.  Add a throw blanket to the back of a sofa.

Great places to go for them – Homegoods, Marshalls, Ross, TJ Max, Target, Wal-mart, Ikea, etc.

3. Candles –

Candles add ambiance and a nice glow to a room.  They are beautiful points of light and energy.

  • Vintage candlesticks look great
  • Add candles in the fireplace
  • Use the battery powered candles (they’re made out of wax and flicker like a  real candle – just no danger of real fire around the little ‘uns).  These can be found at places like Costco and Hobby Lobby.
4. Mirrors –

Mirrors multiply the points of light in a room.

  • Big mirrors are like adding a big window to the space.
  • Got a mirror that you hate?  Try painting it.
5. Rugs –

Rugs make a room softer and adds both physical and implied texture.

  • Small oriental rugs are also good for bathmats, inside door mats, or in front of the kitchen sink
  • Rugs on carpet is okay (depending on styles)
  • Rugs deaden sound on hardwood floors
  • Use heavy duty tape to lock down in place if you are worried about someone tripping over the rug
  • Find these at  – Downeast home, Westfall, Z Gallerie, etc.
6. Knobs and Pulls –

This can be a total update for kitchens and cabinets.

  • Spray paint or paint an old dresser and put new knobs on it
  • Look for a vendor that specializes in old knobs and drawer pulls
  • Also – Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
7. Old Picture Frames –
  • Find these at thrift stores and garage sales
  • Spray paint and age them (Repair and repaint)
  • You can make a family wall or an ancestor wall
  • Do a family tree (large pictures of immediate family in the center and smaller as you go out to further generations)
  • Alternative to nails?  Double velcro – one piece on the item, one stuck to the wall
8. Interesting Accessories –
  • Find these while traveling, yard sale, clean out grandma’s attic, etc.
  • Toys, clocks, etc. (My cousin has old suitcases – they look awesome!)
  • Find items with a story or meaning – this will make the home feel authentic
  • Make sure to know when to say when though! Don’t overdo it!!
9. Old Books –

These can make a home feel lived in and warm

  • Find these at a thrift shop, garage sale, or old book store
  • Look for colors
10. Paint –

Paint is the most inexpensive way to change a look of a room or home.

  • Remember – paint looks different through the day in different light (paint swatches on a wall and check out how it looks in the light of the morning, afternoon, and evening)
  • Paint inexpensive furniture that needs a change
11. Wainscoting –

Adding wainscot, chair-rail, or bead board is an excellent DIY project.  It can quickly change the entire look of your home.

  • Glue and a few nails
  • Protects walls from kids
  • Do it throughout the whole room (not just one wall)  otherwise, it will weight the room in one spot
  • Get familiar with MDF
12. Rearrange –

Move things around! When you get tired of furniture, pictures, or artwork – swap it up, keep it fresh!

  • Do this seasonally or annually
  • Think of how refreshing Christmas is when you change things up a bit
13. Curtains –

This is economical, too! Curtains help hold heat in, heating bills will go down and it adds a measure of privacy.

  • Find a great fabric and make them
  • Rule of thumb for curtains – make them 3x the width of the the window so that you have nice, luxurious, billowy ripples 🙂 (so, 6ft window would need 18 ft of curtain)
  • (2x the width would be the minimum)
  • Run the rod above the window (not strait on top) to open up the window
  • Don’ be afraid to take the curtains all the way to the floor (unless it looks weird – like a dinky basement window)

The main key is to find good, quality items and then rotate through them.  Check sales and clearance items to find special deals. Rotate and switch.  Now, I’m sure to many of you brilliant people out there, this is just something you do naturally, but for those of us who have always been behind the curve when it comes to home decor, these ideas are WONDERFUL, because it helps me get a little vision and something to look forward to, a pillow at a time. 🙂

Thanks, Jordan for all of the awesome tips!

You can check out some of his work and ideas on pinterest here.

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