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Decorate on a Budget

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Decorate on a dime - that seems like what we had left after buying our new home. I started by dividing our budget into room categories (and immeadiately went over budget in the kitchen.)
Then we started Room by Room:


Start with the fabric that will go in this room. With so many cabinets, and hard surfaces it's important to add color and softness with window treatments, towels, rugs, and table pieces. After the main fabric is chosen the theme should be apparent. I found a lovely floral Waverly fabric with a coordinating stripe and plaid to play with. In my fabric chest I was able to find other pieces that blended. Next I pulled out all my accessories that looked best with the new color scheme and began my work. Our new house had a pink kitchen which would have been easy enough to change but all the trim throughout the house was a taupe color which clashed with my white based color pallete. I was able to find a fabric that incorporated my favorite yellow, and taupe with the same shade of pink and also added in lots of green. These colors would blend with my peach and green Living room and so became the pallate for all of the downstairs.
Note: It's been 5 years and I was able to remove the old (pink) wallpaper and replace it with a gold color that also went with the curtains. My accessories have changed a bit and the total effect is much more pleasing to me.
Display space can be a priority in a small kitchen. Can cabinet doors be removed for display opportunity? Or glass on cabinet doors? An open soffit or bakers rack can be a display opportunity. Is there room for a shelf area? or perhaps you need to build up. Consider a pot rack suspended from the ceiling.
Consider using plates as wall decor. Just hang with a plate hanger.
To add personality wallpaper borders are a quick option. A stencil can also be a quick and ecconomical alternative to wallpaper, or try cutting out individual pieces of the wallpaper pattern and using them in a swag pattern or as corner accents.


For ideas on a Nursery start with a theme and let your imagination take flight.
The focal point of most bedrooms is the bed. Make your statement here and the rest will fall into place. Start with your color scheme, add a quilt, bedspread, or make your own cover and pile on the pillows.
See our page of bedroom ideas for inspiration


While shopping for new towels I saw so many beautiful colors I began to see the wisdom of choosing a cream or white colored wall or tile. It's so easy to change the towels and so time consuming to change the wall decor. My plan is to gradually re wallpaper from the country blue to an Anaglypta wallpaper for a rich look. I plan on painting it a cream color and adding a taupe glaze to define the wonderful texture.
See our page of bath ideas for inspiration


What could be cuter than a doghouse made to match your own home?
See our page of garden ideas to get started.

Dining Room

The focus of any Dining Room is the table. Any table can be made to look wonderful with fabric. If all you have for the moment is a card table consider adding a fabric covering to the floor for instant drama. If you'd like a country look consider a quilt with a glass table topper to protect the fabric.
Centerpieces can be as simple as a floral arrangement, potted plant or candle grouping
For a more dramatic look try a tall clear vase filled with seasonal fruits (lemons, miniature pumpkins, cranberries, or your favorite) and add flowers or floating candles.
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Living or Family Room

For a large wall try a grouping of similar subjects, styles, or colors. Calendar pages make wonderful and affordable prints.
Look in your bedroom for table toppers. Scarves and shawls can make elegant runners or toppers.

7 Principles of Decorating

Ready for a room redo? Use these pointers as a guide.
  • Balance Is Everything. Use a mix of light and dark, big and small, patterned and plan for decorative harmony.
  • Shop at Home. Gather up the things that you love now in your home and use them to create a favorite new space.
  • Do a Quick Change. If the prospect of redoing a room seems overwhelming, start with a quick project. Success on a small scale like this will give you the confidence to tackle a larger project.
  • Emphasize the Smart Choices. If you use a dramatic color, use texture and interesting furniture arrangements to make the room's decor equal to its color.
  • Correct for Color. Neutral walls and window coverings may be your room's starting point but it may also have become ho-hum. Warm up your space with a fresh soft wall color and dramatic window treatments.
  • Details Make the Difference. Create a comfortable space using hand-me-downs and stray pieces from other rooms.
  • Make It Your Own. Whatever you do, create a look that reflects your style and taste. From redoing a small entryway to moving every piece of furniture in a house, make sure you're creating something personal and comfortable for you. And when you're tired of a look, change it again!


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