Home decorating? You can do more with less
Looking for some ideas and hints for decorating on a budget? Follow these tips from Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, HGTV’s popular hosts of Home Heist. Ten ways to do more for less:
Paint — Painting a room is relatively inexpensive and will elicit maximum results for minimum effort. Proper preparation costs nothing, so do it all properly and the finished results will properly deliver. Be slapdash and your results will be cheap and nasty.
Do it yourself, but do it properly — Do what you can yourself, but don’t be a have-a-go hero if you’re simply not up to the job in hand. Think how much you’d save if you could actually paint, tile or make curtains — and then estimate how much wasted time and cash there would be if your home became a series of botched jobs. Yup, if DIY’s not your thing, then try DFY — Done For You. Call in the pros.
Use what you’ve got — Raid the basement, fish out granny’s old dresser and give it a facelift. A lick of paint and some new handles could haul it out of the darkness and make it worthy of becoming centre stage, once again, in your home. Or reach for the sewing machine and make some new slip covers for your dated sofa. Or drill holes and add some shelves to a dated armoire to turn it into a media centre that could happily house your TV or DVD. Always think out of the box and look at things differently.
Move things around — Sometimes, a good clear-up and a change of orientation can be all that’s needed to freshen proceedings and provide a whole new look. So, with this in mind, move your sofa to the other side of the room, try your bed on another wall, or simply clear clutter and rearrange accessories to re-dress your space.
Swap skills — OK, so you’re handy with a sewing machine, but know nothing about electrics. What are you going to do about your terrible kitchen lighting? Hold on a minute... Your next-door neighbour’s a friendly electrician, but he has terrible curtains... Why not offer to make some fabulous new window drapes in exchange for fitting some overhead lighting?
Shop second-hand stores — Second hand doesn’t have to mean second best, so cast your decor net around charity stores, newspaper notices, online auctions, estate sales and salvage yards for some fabulous home bargains. But remember our motto; think twice, buy once. Just because something appears to be a bargain, it doesn’t mean you should have it. Avoid snatch-and-grab impulse buys and invest instead in classic pieces that are solid enough to stand the test of time. Or buy items that can be transformed into useful pieces. We’ve re-upholstered many an old sofa on Home Heist, only to give our homeowners their favourite couch back — but by this time, dramatically restyled.
Search out the scratch-and-dent — Ask around larger furniture stores to discover whether they offer discounts on scratch-and-dent damaged items, customer returns or even last season’s stock. Some department stores have dedicated clearance centres, so it’s well worth scouting around. We regularly buy Home Heist sofas from The Bay’s clearance centre and they’re always fabulous! Remember our other motto; It’s not how much money you spend, but how you spend it that makes all the difference.
Buy off-the-shelf items — Custom items generally cost a little more, so try to stick to stock product whenever you can — even if that means adapting readily available stuff as required. Buy off-the-shelf picture frames, but use card mount to size apertures to fit your pictures.
Use the Internet — Swap, sell or search. Yup, whatever you do, get onto the web and sniff out those bargains.
Seasonal adjustment — Design your room with a neutral backdrop and choose plain walls and furniture. Next, adjust your overall look by using cleverly selected accessories. Bear in mind it’s cheaper to change decorative jewelry than a whole room — so if you’re a habitual decorator and constantly redesigning, let the seasons guide you.
— Canwest News Service
Basement: Space is too valuable to waste — use illuminated glass panels and fake windows to turn a dark and disused basement into a bright, mod
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