I thought I'd share some tips with you today!
1. Use art you have!
I'm lucky in that Mr. Free is an artist and has many artist friends willing to share their work for free. Even without a resident artist, pull out your husbands old high school paintings, or your mom's summer community college pottery. It adds dimension to the room, history and of course, good conversation!
When needing to frame art or photos, first check through your home for miscellanous frames you forgot you had. I have like 2 dozen in our basement. If you still don't have the right kind of frame, check thrift stores! You can pop out the existing art in them, and then use the frame!
Frames don't need to look perfect upon purchase. If it has good shape and stability to it, but is an ugly color, spray paint it! For Mr. Free's Senior Show this is how he framed 80% of his art work. And it saved us hundreds!!!
Cost: Free- Less than $20 (on average)
3. Second-hand furniture
This loveseat was given to us by Mr. Free's parents when we got married. It's not perfectly our taste, but a great neutral piece to use. So feel free to take furniture from family our check thrift stores and craigslist. You can even slipcover to personalize it. And it'll save you big $$$ vs. buying brand new!
Cost: Free-$200ish (depending on quality)
The loveseat came with pillows that did not match our style. I simply bought some fabric I did like (houndstooth!) and made my own pillow cover for them. Voila! Cost like $4!
Cost: Under $10 (depending on fabric)
5. Painting trim and doors
For about $20 in paint, you can make your home lighter and airier with white doors and trim. Our 50 year old home had grimy wood trim and doors. With a can of paint and a weekend you can completely transform the feel of your home.
Cost: Less than $20
We got this rug that I LOVE from Overstock. This site is a great resource for home furnishings and usually offer a great deal on items. Check the internet for home decor before plunking down $$$ at a Big Box Store.
7. Use exisiting flooring
If you are lucky enough to have hardwoods (even if buried underneath carpet) use them! Ours are NOT in great shape. They have some splothes, worn spots, etc. But to me, it adds to the charm. It shows people lived here for 50 years. And I like that.
If you have carpet and it may not be the shade you'd choose...make it work! Design the whole room around that color to make it flow and look like it's a part of the room!
8. Adopt a cute kitty.
Isn't Otis adorable? For a nominal adoption fee you can have your very own cute kitty to wander around your home and be in just the right spot for a photo op. : )
Cost: Adoption Fee (usually less than $50)
There you have it... I hope these ideas may spark some thoughts about your own home!
What are your money saving decorating tips?
I'll be back with more frugal decorating tips using another corner of our home!