Update Your Decor, Without Emptying Your Wallet

by Kathleen Wilson

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As the holiday season approaches, many people are wanting to make some changes to their home decor in anticipation of upcoming events or houseguests, or just because they want a fresh look for the season! However, as we are all so very well aware, money is much tighter for many of us these days, and many of us (including me!) would like bring more meaning to the season, and spend less. Here are some great ideas for updating and freshening your rooms without spending lots of cash!

  1. Paint. A gallon of paint can be gotten for around $10, and nothing makes such a dramatic change in a room as new color! Paint just one or two walls in the room a rich or daring color. Jewel tones, rich terra cotta, sage greens, and honey gold are all very "in" colors, and will be for some time. They also bring a lot of comforting warmth to a room. Use a richer form of colors already in your room, and you will need to change little else!
  2. Move things around. We all get bored! Try a new arrangement for the furniture in your rooms; even try moving pieces from one room to another! That sofa table may make a better sideboard in the dining room, and that large fern may prefer a spot by the picture window instead of the entryway. Try planning it out on graph paper first (each square will equal one foot), and you can cut out templates of your furniture using the same graph paper and the one foot scale. Now move the furniture templates around the room drawing until you find an arrangement that works! Remember to leave 18-24 inches between furniture to walk around, more if that is not comfortable for your family members.
  3. Look for wintry photos online, in old books, calendars, catalogs and magazines that you can use to replace your present artwork. Just open up the frames, and pop the new artwork over the old. In the spring, you can remove it for a "new" look!
  4. Add a little nature to your home! Use natural items that can be gathered on long walks or weekends away to bring charm and warmth into your rooms. Always be sure you collect non-endangered items, and that you have permission to collect. A bowl full of pinecones or seedpods, pressed fall leaves scattered over a mantle, or evergreen boughs in a vase all add wonderful elements to a room.
  5. Dress up your window treatments by adding quick and easy layers. Use cloth napkins to lay overlapping a valance to add pattern or color, add inexpensive strings of beads from the thrift shop as tiebacks and curtain "jewelry," or hang cafe curtains under your main treatments by suspending them with ribbon from small hooks screwed into the window frame. Find old quilts at rummage sales and sew a rod pocket to make warm and charming winter treatments.

Great, easy, and cheap ideas to update your home and add terrific style! Bring on those holiday guests!

Kathleen Wilson is the author of Quick Decorating Ideas Under $20: The Budget Decorator's Bible and the editor of the free ezine, "The Budget Decorator." Find more free ideas and information on ordering her book and her online workshops at TheBudgetDecorator.com Copyright 2003 K. Wilson

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