Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to decorate with no money

Congratulations!
If you googling "how to decorate" you've probably just landed your first place, maybe you are a recent graduate who just got their first apartment or maybe you saved up all your pennies and bought you first home. Either way, you most likely have a "place" but now.. what do you do with it? Ideally, we would all love to run out to our Ikea store and make your space the envy of your friends and family, who, after all wouldn't gush with pride when visitors ooh- and ahhh.. over your stellar fortune and exquisite tastes..  the only downfall might be the budget.Can't feather a nest when your pockets are empty. Don't fear.. I've got a few great tips that will make your place look like something on an HGTV series without breaking the bank.
I was a working single mom and snagging that stunning sofa at the Raymour & Flannigan showroom just was never going to happen, but what I did do, for practically NOTHING was create a home that seriously had people question how we could afford to live like that as a single parent household.  I'll let you in on my secrets.

Paint~ A little fresh paint can completely change a room. Economically, Walmart sells a paint, not the Walmart brand, but a paint called, Loop paint for less than $10 a can. Yes you can't customize your color, BUT the colors they do have are neutral and complimentary to most any decor. It does have a bit of a funky smell do it, but it goes away after it dries (you can also put a capful of  extract, vanilla, peppermint, orange.. whatever suits you) which will hide a bit of the funk while you paint. The very best thing I have found about this, is it has a primer and paint all in one, covers in one coat and is durable I was skeptical, but after using it in a few rooms, I found especially heavily used rooms this paint is a far better choice than an expensive custom mixed color.
 From what I've seen at Walmart it typically comes in blue, tan, green and grey, which currently are pretty trendy colors. If you happen to have builder grade golden oak cabinets, the green is an absolute perfect match to compliment the odd yellow-orange tint of golden oak.  I highly recommend this paint for keeping in a budget or just starting out until you can afford that custom color you have been dreaming about.

No money for paint? Check Craigslist, be smart, don't get spooked by the horror internet stories of the Craigslist Killer. If you are buying or selling Craigslist is a great place to search for building materials, furniture, linens and more. Meet publicly, bring only the cash for the item and if you are worried, meet in the police station parking lot. It's would take a pretty brazen criminal to try and rip you off surrounded by the boys in blue.  I have picked up paint for free and mixed colors together to make enough for a room. Start out by just using a small amount, stir together and paint it on a piece of paper. Let it dry and see if you like it before you paint an entire room. Another great place to score free paint is your local landfill or recycling center.  Be creative, but it you do mix paint, make sure you mix enough to cover the ENTIRE room, don't try and do small batches, because matching it each time is nearly impossible.

You have your paint~ now time to decorate. Nobody ever needs to spend a fortune on decorating. Define your style, are you urban, country, rustic, modern.. what brings you pleasure, what is your lifestyle like? Be realistic. While you might love white sofas and carpets, if you have small kids or pets, white carpets and sofas will be your nemesis and will not be white for very long. Prints hide things better, leather is not pet friendly, imitation pleather just isn't worth spending money on period. Microfiber while all the rage and is easy to clean, in my opinion shows absolutely everything, including fingerprints, footprints and paw prints.Once you've chosen your style and what will compliment your life, it's time to start finding things.  You'd be amazed at the friends and family who have furniture waiting to go curbside because they upgraded. Ask your friends, post on Facebook that you are looking for furniture. While I would be picky with cleanliness, I tend to be more flexible with colors and designs, while you might think that retro purple fur couch is something out of a disco era, with the right design elements and paint, you can turn that into a focal point.  Pick your furniture pieces first. Hit the local Salvation Army stores, search Craigslist. I purchased a $3000 (new retail) real leather living room set for $100 because there were a few blemishes on it and the people selling it wanted a perfect set. I had to drive 120 miles to get it, but I have absolutely no regrets. It was clean and well taken care of but this family had the money to upgrade and buy new. I summer yard sale in wealthy neighborhoods and search yard sale sites for pieces.  Be creative, just because it's a "China Hutch" doesn't mean it can't be converted to a pantry or a bedroom piece. A narrow desk can become an entry table. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Stumped? Check out Pinterest for upcycle and recycle ideas. Ugly burgundy bench? Think paint and reupholster. You would be amazed at the amount of things I have spotted om the side of the road for free, brought home, a little paint, a little fabric and you would never know it was at one time, someone else's trash.  Here's a great example.
Before and After

 You don't have to go buy fabric. Paint is cheap sometimes free and fabric can be the same. I have used shower curtains, sheets, blankets, old coats.. I have spray painted old bicycle rims and hung them on the wall as an art piece. Be creative. Instead of looking at something for what it is,. think, what could this be~

The best advice is simply find what you love. If you find something that catches your eye at a yard sale or thrift store, don't pass it up, buy it and think outside the box to implement it into your decor. If you love the materials you use to decorate, it will flow together seamlessly. 
What was your greatest thrift find?  Please share!
Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow~~


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