Sunday, June 7, 2009

Decorating On A Budget

By Alexandra Vrugt

Everyone wants their house to feel like a real home no matter whether it's a new condo or a fixer-upper. The key to defining that space is the style of decor that you select. Of course, no one wants to sacrifice creating a pleasant home space because they can't afford those outrageous retail price tags. During an economy crisis, finding ways to decorate without breaking your budget becomes even more valuable.

Not only can people buy for cheap home furnishings and household wares, but they can also find loads of unique art work for pennies on the dollar. Check out these places for low- to no-cost household decor and items that can make your home feel like a castle:

1. Try the thrift stores. At your local thrift store or consignment shop, you can expect to find everything from picture frames to sofas and dining room sets at rock bottom prices. Thrift stores get their wares from people that donate pre-owned furnishings. You can find some really fantastic housewares in areas that are considered more upscale because people in those areas tend to change the decor often and their donations are usually of higher quality or made by famous designers. So you could get a high-end piece for practically nothing! Always remember that even if the items are top of the line, you should still get furniture cleaned before using them. Also, try not to overlook furniture that can be "transformed" by adding to it or simply covering with a slipcover.

2. Garage and Yard Sales - People move everyday and instead of lugging everything with them, or if their new homes cannot hold all of their stuff, people will sell off their furniture and household goods for pennies on the dollar. These residential sales often start at the crack of dawn and only last for part of the day. You can find them by looking in your local newspaper or, most commonly, follow the often makeshift signs that will be posted in a neighborhood. If you frequent the library, their may be a community board where you can find postings for yard and garage sales.

3. Surf the internet for savings. Online auction sites such as Ebay offers lots of bargains on art and household furnishings. If the word FREE gets the frugal fashionista in you all stirred up, then, or Freecycle are a perfect search option for you. On these sites you could find just about ANYTHING for free. However, a word of caution, act early and always go with at least one other person to retrieve any items that you get.

You can have a gorgeous home during this economy crisis without putting yourself in debt if you search out deals and look for opportunities to get great items for cheap. Use your creativity and your resources to furnish your home and you (and your wallet!) will be glad that you did.

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