Winning With Finances – Decorating Sense and Sensibility

One of the joys of home ownership is the ability to change our surroundings to suit our needs and desires. Tough times or not, planning ahead for home décor, upgrades, moving, and buying makes perfect sense. It begins with a dream, a desire, and a strategy to get everything you want for the least amount of money.

Perhaps you’re a pro when it comes to a sense of style or maybe you need a little help. Begin to notice colors and styles of furniture and décor that bring you joy. It’s about creating a place to relax and call “home.” It doesn’t matter if every piece of furniture matches. (However, when selling a home, the idea is to help the buyer feel comfortable.)

All the experts agree the first step is to de-clutter. Most everyone has heard of utilizing keep, toss/give, and don’t know boxes, as you attack a drawer, cabinet, or entire room, but have you de-cluttered your budget as well? Can you eliminate unnecessary spending and trim expense categories to simplify your life and save? Financial and physical clutter is the killer of dreams, because it’s hard to envision the many possibilities.

Hidden, but Easy to Find

To get the look you want for a fraction of the cost, practice the art of seeing the hidden potential. Consider what you already have. Can you rearrange it? Discover the realm of the gently used. What can you transform to fit your style? Can you clean, sand, paint, or change it – or is it perfect the way it is? Keep an eye out for a treasure trove of limitless possibilities. Here’s a list to jump start your game of Seek & Find.

Ask for discounts everywhere Bargain tables everywhere Building supply stores (used)Consignment shops
eBay and Craigslist websites Flea markets, swap marts, yard sales Furniture clearance centers Going-out-of-business sales Goodwill, Savers, second-hand Hotel & Resort resale stores Habitat for Humanity resale shops Model Home furniture resale stores Office supply stores (used)

(At the bi-weekly ½-sale at Goodwill, I found an oak headboard and a wood antique folding chair in excellent condition for $5.00 each! A beautiful upholstered chair was only $15. Light cleaning made each look like new.)

Watch the Sunday ads, decorating shows on TV, or check out the zillions of websites to spark your decorating ideas. Notice the prices, so you’ll know a good deal when you find one.

Décor de jour

Use your imagination when bargain hunting. An interesting metal item can be used as a backdrop or trellis for your outdoor plants. Add ceramic tiles to a plain metal stand and voilà! – an instant table for use indoors or out. Lighting can be transformed with different globes or shades. Become an artist – paint the same scene over an artistic print. Use ribbon or other materials to hang pictures. On a high shelf, put a strand of lights in the bottom of a decorative bird cage for mood lighting. Go with a theme (movie buff, golfer, card player, auto fanatic, etc) by hunting for treasures that fit, such as using parts of non-working instruments to fit the décor for a musician. It’s fun to think outside the box.

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