Top tips for decorating on a budget

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    Are you in a budget? Most people do not have the comfort or even hundreds of dollars to spend on renovating or even buying home decor. But still there are ways and techniques to learn even on a tight budget.

    Here are some tips for decorating on a shoestring:

    Paint: Painting is by far the most affordable way to achieve dramatic results when it comes to a décor update. Almost anything can be painted, from a home’s exterior and trim detail to interior walls, floors, ceilings, wood and metal furnishings, and decorative accents such as rugs, lamps and mirrors. Good-quality paint in any shade you desire is either readily available, or can quickly be custom-mixed for you at home improvement stores. When you choose to update your décor with paint, remember that the best results are achieved with appropriate surface preparation.

    Birthday/holiday gift registries: Time your decorating project around your birthday or another gifting holiday, and create gift registries. Get the word out to friends and family that you have a decorating update in progress, and would love for them to consider your registry options. This can be a real time-saver for your loved ones, and also gives them the added satisfaction of knowing you’ll appreciate their gift. When considering your best options for registries, online retailers are great, but don’t overlook local shops. Lots of people prefer to shop local, and many local businesses are happy to keep a “wish list” on hand for you.

    Tap the expertise of friends and family: Your friends and family members can be great resources! Do you have an aunt who sews? Ask for her help with sewing new throw pillows for your sofa or bed, or with a window treatment update. How about a close friend who can cut photo mats and frame prints? Enlist her expertise in choosing frames for a family vignette. Perhaps your brother-in-law is a landscaper who can lend a hand with your backyard makeover. Odds are that your friends and family will be flattered to lend a hand.

    Handy hand-me-downs: When it comes to stretching your décor budget, you can’t do better than free. Check in with family members and let them know about your decorating needs. Often, family members are down-sizing, or may have items in storage they no longer need. Not only will they be happy to help you, they’ll also have the joy of keeping family pieces within the family. It’s a win-win.

    Thrift and consignment stores: Tallahassee is blessed with a great selection of thrift and consignment stores. The inventory is constantly changing, so it pays to visit regularly, and develop relationships with the staff. Greg Clark, manager of the furniture and appliance department at Lighthouse Thrift Store on Mahan Drive, says that great merchandise donations come into the store on a continual basis. Looking for something specific? No problem! “I’m happy to take down a customer’s name and number, and will give them a call when the store gets in exactly what they are looking for,” says Clark.

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