While there are those among us who can hire a professional decorator to redesign our interiors, for most people, redecorating is a DIY project. And there’s nothing wrong with this: In fact, by just learning more about the tricks used by the pros and injecting your own personality, you can get sensational results and still live within your means. Here’s how:
- Professional inspiration is free: Just because you can’t hire a pro, that doesn’t mean you can’t “borrow” their ideas. Start an inspiration file with tear sheets from your favorite home decor magazines or print fab interiors from websites. Product catalogs also contain great ideas. Don’t have to copy these designs exactly but glean the ideas and looks that appeal to you then spin them with your personal touches.
- Duplicate great looks for less: While you could go buy a roomful of furniture in shabby chic style, it’s much, much cheaper to use pieces you already have or pick them up for nearly nothing at a garage sale and then change the fabric or paint them to mimic the same look.
- Create a unified look: When a pro decorates a house, there is continuity from one space to the next. You can create this same unity by painting all the trim same color and using the same finish on light fixtures, sink and bath fixtures, door knobs, light switches and so forth. Stick to all brass, all chrome, all polished nickel, or whatever finish you choose. This will be more aesthetically pleasing and offer a unified presentation.
- Embrace simple fixes: Start with the things that will give you the most bang for your buck. Sometimes simply painting the walls offers the greatest upgrade and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Instead of replacing kitchen cabinets, consider refinishing or painting them and changing the hardware. Change an outdated light fixture and give your entry way an updated look for very little. Such changes are affordable but can give a room a whole new look.
- Go Neutral and Update with Accessories: If you design the rooms in your homes with neutral wall and flooring choices, it’s easy and inexpensive to update for the season or whenever you please just by switching out inexpensive accessories throw pillows, area rugs, lampshades, wall decor, candles and accents.
- Set up a decor budget: Get in the habit of saving some funds weekly or monthly for decor, renovations and upgrades, and emergency repairs. This gives you more freedom to work logically on things that need to replaced or upgrading without the stress of taking on debt you can’t afford.
- Be yourself! You shouldn’t strive to make your home mimic a trendy decor magazine; it should be a reflection of you. Embrace what’s trendy only if it appeals to you and find a way to make it your own. For example, instead of buying a roomful of modern furniture in a hot color like saffron yellow, bring in a few saffron yellow throw pillows and echo that color in candle and a patterned area rug. This gives you the psychological bounce of the trendy color but you don’t have to live with furniture that could look horribly outdated in a few years.