Budget Decorating
(featured column by various authors)

Bring Color to Your Home on a Penny Pinchers Budget
by Kathleen Wilson

In the first few months of every New Year, most of us are thinking about change. One of the fastest, most effective and least expensive ways to change your rooms is to use color. The color forecast for 2004 is one everyone can appreciate… it’s all about comfort.  More...

Shades from nature, warm rich colors from exotic parts of the world, or well-worn colors are all great choices for a comfort filled home. Here are some great ways to add color to your home, without breaking the bank.

1. Paint. Yes, you all knew I was going to say that, but try something a little different this year! Learn to sponge paint or rag roll, tape off wide stripes in a different shade of the same color, combine a painted wall with stamping or stenciling. Use a rich color in at least one room, and paint your ceilings and woodwork too! Or try that brave new color on a key piece of furniture.

2. Use fabric. Fabric can be expensive, but there are ways to cut the costs dramatically. Shop your thrift stores for sheets, blankets, and quilts to use as tablecloths and window coverings. Check the bargain bin at the local fabric store, often times they have beautiful fabrics at discount prices simply because they have been discontinued. 

Use cheap muslin, then add a border of a decorative fabric to save lots of cash. Use worn sweaters to stitch up a throw pillow cover. I once used a “never to be used again” maternity blouse to create gorgeous silk pillows for my living room. Look in your closets and linen chest for items in your color scheme that can be pressed into service. 

3. Cover the matting in your wall art with colorful paper or fabric to coordinate with your room. )Or paint your picture frames!) This brings color and interest to your walls, guides the eye upward, and ties your room together.

4. Look for accessories at the local dollar store. Many colorful candles, baskets, bowls, and statuettes can be found for just a buck!

5. Add plants. Every room comes alive with plants, and they add a neutral but uplifting amount of color to your home. Think you have no green thumb? Sprout carrot tops, ivy cuttings from the yard, or potato cuttings, then pot up and put in a brightly lit spot… even if your thumb fails you, they cost you nothing, and can easily be grown again!

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Copyright © 2004 by Kathleen Wilson.  All rights reserved.

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