Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cheap Chic

So I realize that most of the problems about decorating your house stem from a lack of funds. With a website called styleathome.com and some of my own ideas, I've put together some basics that shouldn't be neglected when looking to re-do. The bottom line is you don't have to spend a lot, but you will have to spend some to get your home looking super chic!

1. Color
Paint is a fast and economical way to transform a room (assuming you own or have permission from your landlord). Even if just one room needs an update, you don't necessarily have to remove all your furniture and attack a huge project, but can cover big furniture pieces and paint only one accent wall. It has a big impact. Paint is very inexpensive, but you don't want to skimp on the brand or purpose of the paint. (Glossier paints are ideal for kitchens and bathroom since they are easy to clean, and more durable against mold).

2. Lighting
Light can completely invoke a different feel to a space, and it can be a matter of just moving a floor lamp across the room. Table lamps or even overhead light fixtures can be found at second hand stores and repainted and fixed up. Or an easy update on an older lamp is to just buy a new shade.

3. Mirrors
Well, I have a mirror obsession- and I promise I'm not vain! I love because mirrors not only because they can be so ornate and beautiful but can trick the eye and enlarge a space. Mirrors placed opposite a window, a long hallway, or even across a unique object can provide depth and brightness. Mirrors can range from $20 to $2000 but also can be repainted. You just have to look for a unique shape, and for me, the bigger the better!

4. Stay clear of mass-produced art
Use your creativity and things that have some meaning to you and your family. Or use prints you love from scraps of wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, maps, etc.

5. Use bigger accessories
Yes, this means they will cost more, but too many little trinkets looks cheap and cluttered. Get an oversized floor vase and big pillar candles instead of those little tea lights. Also, things displayed in odd numbers (3 or 5) look better together. Also, even if you have a small room, using large pieces of furniture will make the room seem grander.
6. Use texture
I'm all about mixing things, and not having "sets" of furniture. Your room will look so unique and "collected over time" rather than bought at once because of a discount. Use shiny metallics, leathers, wood and other natural textures, glass. Sparkle will definitely add some glamour- and I love me some glamour!

7. Rugs
They are a must (although I have yet to find one that I really can commit to yet). However you don't want to scrimp on its size. Anything smaller than 5x7 feet  in a living room or bedroom is probably going to look scarce. Most of your furniture should be on it (or partly on it).

8. Spend some money
Obviously the point of these tips is to save money, but hey, nothing's free. You will have to save and budget out a little to spend every month, and work your way to completing a room. A good rule is that in every room, there should be one or 2 items that are expensive, that were a splurge, and everything else can be deals from thrift shops or repurposed furniture (that way your entire room won't look cheap). So always be on the lookout for good deals! Garage sales and flea markets, consignment shops, antique shops are PACKED with treasures for reasonable prices that are unique!!!

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