Decorating a home is expensive, there's no doubt about it. And if you've just bought a home you've probably found that you don't have as much money left over to decorate as you would like. So here are a few ways to stretch your decorating budget so you can have a home that looks like a million bucks.
Buy Stock Materials
A great way to save money is to opt for stock materials over custom work. You can still have items that look unique by repurposing some of those stock items. For instance, off-the-shelf Billy bookcases from Ikea can look like custom built-ins if you add architectural molding around the tops and the sides. Or for something simpler, purchase stock cabinets for your kitchen or bathroom and then put new, beautiful hardware such as knobs and pulls on them.
Customize Ready-Made Drapes
Custom drapes are expensive, so to save money and stretch your decorating budget consider purchasing ready-made drapery panels and customizing them yourself. You can add trim to the bottom, add a ribbon border around the whole thing, sew a piece of complimentary fabric across the bottom, stitch a design on them – the list goes on.
Add Architectural Details
Architectural details like crown molding and baseboards make rooms look richer and more historical than rooms without them. Rather than filling your room with a lot of expensive items, add a few of these details. You'll be amazed at what a difference they can make.
Use Large Mats and Frames
An inexpensive small piece of art looks much more impressive and luxe when placed in a large frame with a large mat. Rather than buying big, expensive pieces, try this trick. A small print surrounded by an 8-ince mat on all sides looks like it belongs in an art gallery.
Reupholster Vintage Furniture
Vintage furniture tends to be more well-made than a lot of today's pieces. If you're shopping for furniture be sure to check out some vintage and second-hand stores. Look for a pleasing shape and make sure it's structurally sound. Chances are getting something reupholstered means you'll spend less and get a better quality piece.
Make Your Own Artwork
Amateur photographers take note. A great way to stretch your decorating budget is to create your own art by blowing up photographs you've taken and using a spray adhesive to mount it to a piece of foam core. It's stylish, and it will mean more to you than buying an impersonal piece of art.
Mix High and Low
Mix and Match items of different price points. Accent an inexpensive sofa with custom made pillows in luxurious fabrics or a soft cashmere throw. Place a beautiful, sculptural lamp on a cheap Ikea nightstand. You don't need to spend tons of money on everything – just on a few well-chosen items.
Know when to save and when to splurge. Check out this article for suggestions on where you can save and where you should invest in order to get the best bang for your buck.