Wow, what a topic!  Having had a year of numerous price increases in 2008 this is not the easiest topic to write on. The best way I would explain how to decorate on a budget is to start by using what you have!

Use space wisely

Begin by using your space wisely.  In living areas, try another arrangement of furniture.  Think through all the possible options and then once you have decided on the best layout for your familyâ??s requirements, move the furniture into place.  (Donâ??t shove the furniture around continuously and spend money on doctorâ??s bills â?? do some imagining first). 

Remember the saying less is more; you donâ??t have to use everything – pack some items away for a while.  Re-arranging furniture can truly transform a room.  It does sometimes require some skill or flair to get it right though.  (perhaps a 1 hour consult could or fun décor course could help you here!)

Change your paint colour

Changing your paint colour is probably one of the best ways of creating a huge impact, at a minimal cost.  Itâ??s something that everyone will definitely notice, and you can change it again in six months time, if you want. 

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Use a colour that you love, so you feel great when you walk in the room.  Obviously this colour needs to work well with the rest of your décor items too.

Re-look at your artwork and photographs

Do you have photoâ??s dotted all over the place?  Perhaps they are outdated?  Maybe you should look at grouping them together?  Look critically at the artwork on your walls.  Is it the correct proportion for the area available?  If the artwork looks too small, then perhaps swop it with something else. 

Could you rather add another picture below it, or frame it up with glass and mount boards and a wider frame; or add other pictures around it to make a grouping of pictures; to better fill that area.  Artwork can date a room, so perhaps giving it a revamp and reframing the picture would be a good idea.  If you have blank walls, be creative and fill those gaps!

Display your hidden treasures

And then of course, take out those hidden treasures from your cupboards and use them as display items.  Perhaps group all your candles together and light them!  Use your grannyâ??s rose crystal salad bowl as a container for monkey balls on your dining room server.  Look critically at the room, decide what you need and then look around at what you already have. 

Get creative.  Donâ??t only think of using items for what they were intended, think out the box.  I have always said that some of the most interesting décor ideas can come from having no budget at all! 

Happy Dreaming!!

Karen

P.S. Readers – send your decor ideas or room makeover tips that you’ve implemented in your home – with before and after pics – to sasha@all4women.co.za and we’ll publish them with Karen’s comments.

Author – Karen Petzer – Interior decorator and Professional Organiser

See www.kideco.co.za for popular interior décor and â??Organising your home and lifeâ??  workshops