воскресенье, 11 ноября 2012 г.

home_improvement by Katerina Mitrou - ArticleCity.com

It is possible to make your home or apartment look good without spending a truckload of money on furniture and other items. As long as you follow a few simple rules and take advantage of new opportunities for frugal shopping (such as the Internet) you can transform any space into a relaxing, comfortable retreat.

1. Harness the transformative power of paint. Using paint to transform a room is one of the cheapest ways to make a big impact. Adding color, and maybe even paint designs, to the walls of a room is the easiest and most effective way to decorate a room and permeate it with your own personal style. You can also paint furniture to cover up aging pieces or antique finds that require some TLC. And if you make a mistake or decide to switch up your design in a few years, paint is very easy to change.

2. Plush pillows. Another wallet-friendly way to give your home that designer feel is to add accent pillows and rugs to the mix. Because these items tend to be small and sold for very little, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to incorporate them into a space. A plush pillow alone can really work wonders, drawing your eye away from less appealing elements and toward a splash of color and texture. For extra effect, combine pillow sizes and shapes, or consider purchasing oversized floor cushions for even more color and added seating. Throw rugs constructed out of remnants are also a cheap way to add interest to an otherwise dull place.

3. Let there be light. Place several lamps around the room for an inexpensive way to create a space filled with warmth and comfort. If you opt for three way lighting, each lamp can serve a dual purpose: a brighter setting will provide working light when you need it, and a lower setting will create an intimate ambiance when you want to make the room feel even more cozy.

If you don’t have enough money to buy new lamps, simply hide ugly lighting fixtures behind the sofa or a plant to keep it out of sight, and create a dramatic lighting effect at the same time.

Installing colored bulbs is another clever way to use lighting as an inexpensive decorating method. Colored lighting washes a room with soft light that produces an inviting atmosphere. This technique is most effective in the bedroom and bathroom.

4. Accessorize. You can easily reinvent a space anytime you want by incorporating new accessories. Buy new towels, a shower curtain, and other accessories if you want to revamp your bathroom. In other rooms, add a flower vase, or display a couple of cool knick-knacks you’ve picked up through the years.

An eclectic array of accoutrements works really well – you can usually find unique pieces at garage sales and on eBay for very low prices.

Candles are also a favorite. They instantly make a room feel cozy and warm without costing a bundle. They put that finishing touch on a room and make it feel complete. The fragrance alone will do wonders.

Decorative molding and medallions may seem too expensive a touch, but they are truly an affordable alternative to wood moldings. You can quickly and easily install them, and maintenance is a breeze.

Hanging framed photos of loved ones is another trick used by designers the world over. They add a simple focal point to a room and don’t cost a lot to create.

5. Window coverings. A bit of money put into curtains or window coverings can do more for a room than you might expect. The beauty of fabric adds drama and luxury to bare windows and makes the entire room stand out. Even if you rent and have vertical blinds to contend with, the softness of a curtain creates a more elegant, finished look. If you know how to sew, purchase fabric from an outlet and make the curtains yourself. If you aren’t an expert with pins and needles, consider buying basic store-bought curtain panels with a patterned fabric.

6. Use your own furniture. Instead of buying new, expensive furniture, use what you already have. If the pieces are in decent condition, give them a good cleaning, slap of paint, or a slipcover. Slipcovers are easy to find in home stores these days, and are sold at affordable prices. On top of all that, they are durable and washable.

If you have nothing to start with, become an online shop-a-holic. Scour online furniture stores for quality pieces at low prices. Often, online stores sell for less than retail because their business has less overhead to deal with – as a result, the savings are passed on to the consumer. And shipping prices have come down across the board, so there’s no excuse not to order furniture online.

If you follow these frugal factoids and aren’t afraid to shop in a few unconventional places for furniture and other items, you’ll be able to furnish your entire home on a tiny budget. It’ll be worth every penny.

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