Category Archives: Decorating Tips and Ideas

Home Decorating Tips

Our homes are our havens, the place where most people withdraw into their own space so it is only fitting that that space should reflect individual taste and personality.  Decorating a home is easy and even inexpensive.   Any budget can stretch to finance a little home decorating.

Whether it is a first home, a new home, or just a re-do of the same old surroundings, home decorating is easy.   Begin with one room.    First, choose two things: a color scheme and a theme.

The choice of color comes first because matching other decorative items depends on the color.   Bright colors like vivid reds or rich, deep blue are ideal to build a modern theme with or a Native American southwestern look.    Cooler shades like lavender, peach, or aqua lend themselves toward romantic themes, softer, seasonal themes or ocean themes.  New trends allow a single wall to be painted one shade while the other three are painted in another complimentary color.  Paneling on a single wall can work well with a rustic theme and some paneling today comes pre-printed with designs that range from deer and forest styles to nautical themes with anchors.

Children’s’ rooms can be painted with traditional blue for boys or pink for girls or done in a contemporary theme that suits the individual kids style.   One wall or the entire room can be devoted to a favorite character or them, whether it may be Disney princesses or Lightning McQueen.

Once the color and theme have been selected, it is time for a shopping trip.   Look for items that compliment the theme.    For example, an ocean themed bathroom can begin with light aqua walls.   To compliment the ocean theme, look for items like a dolphin shaped night light, mermaid styled cups or toothbrush holders, shower curtains with sea life (fish, dolphins, etc) prints or even a palm tree print.   Rugs can accentuate the theme by blending into the color or coordinating with it.  For a seashore bathroom motif, cool blue rugs could mimic the look of ocean water or soft yellow rugs could look like the sandy shore.

Borders can intensify the look of the theme.  Most home improvement and discount stores offer a variety of borders ranging from simple floral designs to borders with 1950’s rock and roll themes or favorite movie character themes.   Another item also available is wall decals.   These can be used to add to the décor by adding images or collages that suit the theme.

Framed paintings, family pictures, or posters can also enhance the theme of a particular room.

Budget conscious consumers can find that many accent items can be found in “dollar shops” (where everything is sold for a dollar or less), discount stores,  resale shops, flea markets, rummage sales, and on close out racks.   Last year’s popular theme may suit an individual fancy but if the current “in” items change, buyers can often pick up everything they need for a theme at marked down savings.

Don’t forget the floor.   Flooring today comes in many different forms.  Carpeting, room rugs, accent rugs, and tile are just a few of the many choices.

Although rugs can add color or style to a small space – such as Native American print rugs lending to a Native American theme – flooring can truly augment a style.  A retro look is simple to achieve with new hardwood look floorings that offer the beauty of a traditional hard wood floor without the expense or fuss.    Room size rugs in many shapes and sizes can change a simple room from mundane to spectacular.  Bold colors, floral prints, decorative patterns, or traditional hues can all make a statement about the room.  Floor tiles are another versatile way to change the look and mood of any room.  Black and white squares summon up images of a 1950’s diner or malt shop while faux stone tiles can recreate the atmosphere of anything from a medieval castle to a Spanish hacienda.

In addition, while it may seem outdated, vinyl floor covering, often called “linoleum” is another option.  Many of today’s vinyl floor coverings are not your grandmother’s linoleum.  Today’s vinyl is easy to install, simple to clean, require little care, and have the durability that lasts for years.

Window treatments are another way to express a room’s style.  Whether consumers opt for traditional drapes in solid colors, window toppers with bright prints, or simply mini-blinds in a matching shade that coordinates with the room, it is simpler than ever to use window dressings to match any look.

Combine the elements – color scheme, theme, and the decorating accessories – to make home decorating simple and easy, without breaking the budget!

Christmas Home Decorating Tips

Christmas Decorating Tips for Those on a Budget

A home that is decorated for the Christmas holidays is one that is warm and welcoming to both visitors and to those that live there. You may be thinking that you need fat pockets in order to stylishly decorate your home, but you need not break the bank when you are looking for budget Christmas decorations to enhance the atmosphere of your home.

Don’t Forget the Dollar Store!

Shops known as dollar stores have a vast array of decorations geared for the budget minded consumer. There are ornaments for the tree, stick-ems for window decoration along with Santas, snowmen and angel figurines to spruce up any room in your home. Target is another discount store where you will find a host of products at affordable prices.

Don’t Just Read Your Christmas Cards!

Setting aside a wall to hang all the Christmas cards you receive is a nice touch and is completely free. You can use garland to hang them or place them around doorways where guests to your home can see the beautiful cards that others have sent you. A wall with a tree, wreath or other decoration can be a place where you can tape your cards from either this year or last that will make a lovely display.

Go Outside!

 If you live in a rural area or an urban area that has a park, go out with your children and some baskets and look for branches of evergreen, perhaps even with red berries on them. You can find pinecones as well and take them home and spray them with fake snow. You can make a centerpiece using the materials you gathered on your quest along with holiday colored candles in hurricane glasses or votives for extra safety.

Cranberries for a Splash of Color

 If you have clear vases, they can be filled with cranberries to add a splash of color to any room. If you don’t have vases, use clear wine bottles or any other attractive, clear, household container. You can tie ribbons of red, green and gold around them or use some of the glasses to fill up with water and add colorful beads that reflect the hues of the season.

A Wreath for Your Door

Buying a decorated Christmas wreath to hang on your front door can be quite expensive. Use some of the greens from your walk for pinecones and evergreens to fashion a wreath. Use colored ribbon, Christmas balls and other holiday inspired do-dads you buy at a discount store to create your own, customized wreath. If you have a live Christmas tree, you can take the culled branches and use them for this purpose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to do and be quite impressed with yourself at the outcome.

More Great Ideas

Holiday colored ribbons can be cut to glue or pin around the bottom of your lampshades. This will truly bring a festive look to the room and is an affordable decorating idea you will simply love. Get yourself some attractive branches from the outdoors and with silver, white or gold paint, dress them up and set them in a vase for an attractive centerpiece for your mantle or coffee table. Your bathroom can sport towels that are red, green and gold and you can even tie a ribbon around them so that they appear to be gifts. A dish filled with holiday inspired soaps will brighten the room as well.

Don’t Forget The Christmas Tree!

Colored lights add so much to a home when they are twinkling on the Christmas tree. Again, you can find excellent prices for strings of colored, clear or solid lights for your tree and outside your home. Kids will love stringing popcorn to hang on a tree either indoors or out. For the animals, you could decorate an outdoor tree with strings of popcorn and a touch of peanut butter. This is a lovely way to share the bounty of the holiday season with the creatures that don’t hibernate in the winter.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your home festive and bright for the holidays. Use your imagination to make your own holiday decorations that will have your home a warm and inviting place to be during the Christmas season.

Cheap Decorating Tips

Cheap Decorating Tips Can Enrich Your Home Living Space

Whether you’re just getting started decorating your home or you feel like you need a change, a few cheap decorating tips could be just what you need.

Chelsey Gardner, an interior and exterior home design expert based in Dallas says you don’t have to have a big budget to decorate with flair.  Imagination, smart shopping, and the use of color can go a long way toward sprucing up a tired living space.

To start, Gardner offers a few basic tips that she says are key to cheap decorating success:

  1. Buy smart in the first place. People who are just starting out or who are on tight budgets often make the mistake of buying entire rooms full of furniture at once, Gardner They see something on the showroom floor that looks great, the store pushes affordable financing, so they buy it.  Although affordability is key, beware of program details that could end up costing you two to three times the value of what you’ve bought.  Buying individual pieces as you can afford them may be a better idea.
  1. Buy what you love. Since most people keep their furniture for decades, be sure you really love it before you buy it.  You’re going to have to live with it for a long time.  Also make sure the furniture pieces are comfortable and they fit your family.
  1. Keep basic pieces basic. Bold prints and “wild” colors will go out of style sooner than basic neutral colors or leather furniture.  Keeping your big pieces simple gives you the chance to change your room’s look with throw pillows and accessories without having to buy new furniture all over again.


Wiih the above tips in mind and the basics covered, it can be fun to try a few cheap decorating tips to help you freshen up your house with the different seasons.

“Color is one of the easiest ways to change the look and feel of a living space, and color can come from paint, fabrics, or accessories.  I like lighter colors in the summer and warm ones in the winter, and you can do that with accessories,” Gardner says.

Kim Forrester and her partner Cinda Smith are “Re-decorators” who work with clients who want a change. Their clients typically have tight budgets and aren’t interested in buying anything new.

“When we go to a home, we get permission from our clients to ‘re-purpose’ their furniture and accessories.  It’s not unusual for us to find a chair in a bedroom that we move to the living room, or accessories in one area that we think would look better in another,” Forrester says.

“Color is one of the key things we use to bring unity to a room,” says Cinda Smith.  “We’ll find accessories in different rooms from the same color family and group them together.  It makes a much bigger impact,” she says.

“It’s also important to find something in the room that you can build from or use as inspiration.  Often it’s a piece of art or a fabric on a pillow or the colors in a rug.  If something you own gives you inspiration, consider using it as the focal point of a room and decorate around it,” Gardner says.

If you don’t have anything in your house right now that “inspires” you, or if you need to add some accessories in a particular color group, one cheap decorating tip is to shop at garage sales or flea markets.

“I like to make a list of things I’m looking for and head to the nearest flea market.  They can be treasure troves for inexpensive accessories like vases, dried flower arrangements, pillows, wicker baskets, or art,” Gardner says.

Bedroom Decorating Tips

Have the Perfect Bedroom: Tips for Doing It Right

For many persons, the look of their bedroom is conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. While this room is the one least likely to be seen by visitors, the way it is decorated is still important. The first thing to decide on is the look you want for your bedroom, whether it is romantic or homely. It is also important to pay attention to who will be using the room, for example a child’s bedroom would be decorated differently than a teenager’s bedroom.

Creating the Bedroom Decorating Plan

Once you know what type of look and who will be the primary user of that bedroom, you need to create a plan. This plan will include:

  • Deciding on the theme you want.
  • A listing of colors to use. Bear in mind that light colors tend to give the illusion of space. The reverse is also true, darker, vibrant colors can help make a room seem cozier.
  • The type of fixtures and furniture you want based on the size of the bedroom and the décor you want. Antique furnishing can add style and allure to many bedrooms, while lacy curtains can give a whimsical look – decide what you are going for and write it down.
  • Make sure to measure the room beforehand so that you get only the right sized furniture.
  • Make a list of what items you want to keep or replace.
  • Make a drawing of where you want to place each item of furniture. Keep changing things around until you have what you want. You can always change things around once you actually start working on the bedroom itself.
  • Go shopping to get the items you need.

Decorating Tips

Here are some tips to help make your bedroom your own:

  • If you are re-painting do not forget the ceiling. Variations of the wall colors can be added to the ceiling or designs can be stenciled on depending on the material used. Depending on taste you may consider a bed with a canopy which hangs from the ceiling.
  • Apart from a bed, other pieces of furniture to consider are a night table/stand and a dresser or chest. The night stand should be placed close to your bed for things such as glasses and purse or wallet. The design and color of the furniture should match or complement the color of the walls.
  • Add mirrors to the wall. Mirrors can be of varying sizes and placed so as to add to the overall décor. Mirrors are especially great for small bedrooms as they give an illusion of space.
  • Place a basket or small stand in the room for magazines.
  • Lighting is important and if you can afford it get lighting that can be adjusted for various needs. Some of us read in bed, so the light could be adjusted for this purpose or dimmed for relaxation or romance.
  • Transform your bed by adding pillows of various sizes.
  • Depending on the type of floor, you may place a small carpet or two on the floor beside the bed.

Another important factor to take into consideration when decorating a bedroom is to make the room conducive to sleep by:

  • Choosing the right colors for walls, curtains and bedroom furnishings. Some colors are calming such as blues, greens and white. Find colors that work for you.
  • Removing TVs and computers. There will always be temptation to use these items rather than going to sleep.
  • Keeping it tidy – a disorganized bedroom can be confusing and even stressful. Some persons find it difficult to fall asleep as they keep thinking about the messy bedroom.

It is normally fun to decorate a bedroom because here the personality of the person can shine through. While turning your bedroom into your own personal space, make sure not to over decorate. Over decorating will only create clutter and will not result in an attractive space.

Apartment Decorating Tips

How To Call Your Apartment, “Home”

Given our country’s current economic status, the housing market is not doing too well. More and more people across the country are opting to rent, giving the multi-family industry and nice favorable boom! There are many advantages of owning rather than renting. There normally isn’t that much of an ability to express your own personal “decorative freedom” when it comes to customizing your apartment, whereas homeowners can do all sorts of things to the interior and exterior of their home. Although most landlords and property managers have certain restrictions on how tenants can alter the appearance of their apartment (which are usually explained in the tenants’ lease), there are several ways you can turn your apartment into your home. Here are some apartment decorating tips to help you in your quest to make your living space the best it can be!

  1. Color Your World: Most likely, you must keep the walls the color that they are painted. It doesn’t hurt to ask, however, and some landlords will allow you to paint, so long as you paint the walls back to their original color before vacating the apartment. Some property managers or landlords will let you make any improvement to the unit, so long as it improves the unit’s value. Open communication between you and your landlord will allow you to explore what opportunities you have. If painting isn’t an option, one idea would be to lay fabric on your walls like you would with wallpaper. You can do the whole room, or just one wall as an “accent wall”. All that is needed is the fabric of your choosing, a bit of starch or stiffener, some push pins, and a roller. Clean the wall first, to remove and dirt or debris. Roll or Spray the starch onto the wall. Smooth the fabric onto the wall, making sure that there are no air bubbles between the fabric and the wall.  Carefully pin the fabric to the wall temporarily so the starch dries. Make sure that the fabric you use is several inches taller than the wall itself allowing a bit of extra at both the ceiling and floor, and that if you are using a patterned fabric, the pattern will line up when you place the fabric on the wall itself. Trim the fabric at the floor and ceiling once it’s completely dried. To remove the fabric, gently pull at the corners. If the fabric isn’t pulling off as nicely as it should, dampen the fabric with a sponge. This is the best way to add a splash to your rooms, even if it’s just one wall.
  2. The Tools You Use: The right job cannot be done without the right tools. A basic toolkit including a hammer, screwdrivers, level (can’t stress the importance of a level enough), and a drill (which is optional) are important. You must also have the right hardware. Hanging up framed pictures with thumbtacks is a risk best not taken. Depending on the construction of your apartment, wall anchors and screws may be in order, otherwise picture hooks are suitable. If your landlord is firm on not allowing you to drill or make any holes in their walls, 3M makes a wide variety of products to suit your hanging needs. Most of those products include removable “strips” that attach to the wall. With a gentle pull on the tab at the bottom of the strip, it safely removes itself leaving all of the paint on the wall where it should be – not on the strip!
  3. Shed a Little Light: Does your apartment have limited lighting? A great way to expand the light in any room is to add mirrors. Small decorative mirrors can be purchased at many craft stores and in home furnishing stores like IKEA for only a few dollars for a set of 4. When strategically placed on a wall, they will enhance what little light may be provided in the apartment already. Not only that, it will prevent you from having to buy another light, which could mean a small addition to your electric bill. Adding mirrors will also add depth to any small room. If real candles aren’t allowed, small battery powered votive candles are available at most home furnishing stores and home improvement stores. These are also safer for apartments with children or very curious cats!
  4. The Battle for Space: Not all apartments offer an abundance of closet space, making storage an obstacle that needs to be overcome. This is a good time to make use of the space below your bed or sofa. Storage bins for these types of spaces can be found at many stores, including Target, WalMart and Kmart. Not enough space for under-bed storage? Bed risers can give your bed a small “lift”, adding a few extra inches underneath for a box or two. Another way to combat the storage issue is to use decorative boxes. The same stores mentioned above sell both the risers, and the boxes. The boxes usually require a bit of assembly and are made of either cloth or cardboard, or a combination of both. They can be used to store tapes, DVDs, “brick-a-brack”, sewing items, or even tools. For your out-of-season clothes, vacuum packs are great. They won’t take up as much space as boxes, and can be stored in a shelf in your closet.
  5. One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure: Although “dumpster diving” isn’t exactly a safe activity for many reasons, sometimes using a bit of creativity can help you find that one item that can tie the room together. Looking on websites such as Craigslist may help you find that missing item. One creative idea is to look for wooden window frames that are being discarded due to home renovation. With a bit of paint or stain, it can be a new way to display your photos or artwork. Another idea would be to replace the glass in the window with a mirror. Older homes that are going through some exterior changes usually have beautiful and odd-shaped window frames. Since they will most likely be throwing these out, why not take advantage of the situation?
  6. We’re Not In Kansas Anymore: Moreover, most people want to refer to their apartment as their “home”. Before moving into an apartment, get a good idea of the floorplan and room dimensions. Visually “place” your furniture and make sure there’s enough room for you to move around safely. Whatever décor you choose for your apartment, whether it is minimalist, country, modern, or retro, make sure it’s comfortable for you, and that you will enjoy it. The worst feeling in the world is to go home to an apartment you don’t like. Make your home your place of respite. Then you too can utter Dorothy’s infamous words, “There’s no place like home.”