How-to: Decorating on a Dime

If you’re in the boat with most people around the country these days, you are looking for any and every way to save money. Home decorating may be one of the last things that you think of as an essential, but studies show that being in a relaxing, cozy environment can reduce stress and promote good feelings. This could seriously help with those days you come home from the office totally wiped out.

Decorating your apartment can actually be done on a pretty mild budget, especially if you choose to follow some of these decorating on a budget ideas.

First things first, you need to know what kind of décor style you want in your pad. Look through some home decorating magazines and such for ideas. Keeping a scrapbook of which styles you like is a great idea to take with you when doing your shopping. Compare styles you like with the features in your apartment to make sure they’ll work. You’ll want to start small, so choose one room to do first.

Shop second-hand! This may not be your first option, but there can be some real treasures that others don’t want anymore. I recommend your area’s Craigslist website. I always find a plethora of options at great prices! Another place to check is the classifieds in your local newspaper. If you’re like me, run up to the Salvation Army or closest thrift store and check out what they have on hand there. I wouldn’t be too worried if the item isn’t in the best shape. A fresh coat of paint or handmade slipcover can do wonders for older furniture.

Shop at discount stores, such as Big Lots, Marshalls, or whatever local discount store you have around. Department stores and such send their unsold items to discount stores, so you’re getting the same quality product at a massively reduced (and awesome) price!

Add some color to your room. Painting can be an inexpensive way to create a dramatic change to a room. You can also decorate your walls in alternative ways, such as applying vinyl wall décor or hanging fabrics.

Create your own artwork! I am impartial to this idea since I am constantly making art already, but try it out sometime even if you don’t feel you are “artistically inclined”. It could be as simple as creating a paper collage or painting leaves to arrange and frame. The process of making art can also be therapeutic and help you clear your head. If you really feel you don’t want to try your hand at creating artwork, buy a cheap calendar of images you enjoy and frame them.

DIY projects There are an overabundance of ideas for do-it-yourself home decorating options that you can find on the internet or in decorating magazines. Look out for a future article about such ideas to help you livin’ up your living space.

What are you favorite decorating-on-a-budget tips? Please share (I personally desperately need it).