Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interior decorating without breaking the bank

As a homeowner, I want to make the house I bought into a home I can enjoy. This comes down to creating a look inside and outside that I like and want to spend time in and around. So how to beautify the inside without losing a large amount of money in the process?

Paint with colors.
By the time I bought my house, I was eager to put colors on the wall rather than look at the eggshell white so prevalent in apartments. Other than my ceilings, none of my walls are white. I have green, yellow, blue, yellow sponged on green and rose walls. All are dramatic departures from off white. Painting is not all that difficult except for getting the color to meet between ceiling and wall or so I have experienced. Painting with friends and family make it go faster. And if you are not as particular about colors, save money with paint returned to hardware store. Painting supplies can be purchased secondhand or borrowed; the only item to purchase new is a cover to put on the roller.

Furnish with used items.
As soon as the house is purchased, many people go and buy new furniture to fill all the rooms in the home. While I did not feel there was a gap that I needed to furnish instantly, I did slowly add to my collection from craigslist and secondhand stores. Buying used saves money and pushes you to think creatively about what will work in the room you are decorating. Make your own curtains by sewing them from fabric or threading a rod through some lovely sheets. Start an pot collection for all your indoor plants. Use an old trunk as storage space and a coffee or end table.

Use texture.
I have an unhealthy attachment to my velvet love seat. It is purple and so smooth, I stroke it every time I sit in it. Many surfaces in my home are smooth but some have corners, some not. Some are made of natural substances, some are metal, plastic or ceramic. All the items from furniture to curtains to decorations on the all add to the ambiance of a room. Shop at different venues, see what you like and do not like, and judiciously bring the stuff you do like in the house. A rich fabric draped over the back of a plain chair can really add dimension to a room. Plants of different types and sizes planted in different pots all in a cluster will catch the eye, adding both color and texture to an area. Bring out that collection of glassware or figurines for decorations. I have a platter from my china collection hanging on my wall.

Bring in natural elements.
I love wood items. My bookshelf, my tables, my commode, my dresser--all items made of wood, all stained to show the grain of the item and all a welcome part of my interior. The items show up well against the painted wall and either blend or contrast with the curtains chosen for the room. My plants are happy in the living room but the one in the kitchen enjoys hanging out. (I have the plant suspended from the ceiling with a hook.) I love fresh flowers from the garden while interesting tree branches can be used in many ways--to hang curtains, entertain the cat or as a funky corner decoration.

Decorating your home can be a frugal endeavor. Think differently about that box or that globe and you may find the next treasure to adorn your home. I know some of you might be saying "but I am not creative!" While I might be better at sewing something for the house, you might find that oddly colored rock interesting and bring it home, or enjoy refinishing that small table that would fit in that corner you have trouble decorating. Reuse, repurpose and a little imagination can help furnish and decorate a home without abusing the credit card.

In my next post, I will offer some ideas for beautifying the outside of your new home.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. @GENICA,

    Thank you for your kind words about my blog.

  3. Really nice stuff and good information about the decoration.

  4. I like the whole article but the Paints with colors and texture section is more interesting.