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If you have a question about saving money, organizing, kids crafts, or any other topic on my pages that wasn't answered here, stop at my message board and ask. Maybe you have a dilema about how to store some particular items and don't know what to try. How about trying The 'Ask Michelle' Message Board? I'm here to help!


The Traditional Moms
Budget Decorating


[Coupon Tips] [Saving At Garage Sales] [Finds In Grandmas Attic] [Bartering For The Extras] [Thrift Shopping] [Decorating On A Budget]
[My One Cent Worth]

O.K. Just remember I said on a budget. Don't expect Martha Stewart, she has more money than me. Alot more!

I'll get to how to throw all of this together at the end or on a second page. My idea of decorating on a budget (although better than an interior designers cost) is not throwing 'only 500 dollars' into a room in a weekend like some T.V. shows do. Five hundred dollars is alot of money! We can do alot rooms for $500.00 right? This way is a never ending process. It is a hobby, that you slowly add to and enhance. You build a room with some basics such as the sofa, curtains, painting the walls, etc. Accessories are added as each bargain is found or made. And trust me, it is so wonderful when someone says you have such a lovely home and you look again and realize it was done with your own two hands for the cost of that persons area rug.

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Since it has already been mentioned, lets start with re-upholstering. Really, I promise, the hardest part is taking the old upholstery off. So read on.
If the furniture you have is in good condition besides the fabric, or if you just don't like the colors anymore, re-upholster it. Sometimes even dated pieces look 'up to date' with just new fabric. This can be done on sofas, chairs, dining room chairs, anything upholstered.
If you really can't even stand the shape and design of the furniture you already have, or if the frames are too damaged for repair, then start looking at garage sales and thrift stores for pieces you can re-upholster. Start with something easy like dining room chairs seat cushions and throw pillows. Work your way up to custom sofas.
Don't forget to always get the new fabric on sale! If you have a JoAnn Fabric's, I know that their 50% off all upholstery fabric goes on sale approximately every three months.

~Re-Upholstering Instructions~

So you have a linoleum floor from 1967 and can't afford to replace it or don't want to spend that much cash. Paint it. Yep really, you can paint it. We had this problem in our kids bathroom. It was harvest gold. Everyone's favorite color huh? Now what I did is a little wild so don't feel you can't go with something more traditional. My kids bathroom is in primary colors and the floor is now bright fire engine red with blue and yellow stars all over it. If you just want to go with white, that's fine too!

~Linoleum Floor Painting Instructions~

My personal thought is that thick, heavy, lined curtains are not only expensive, but they are outdated and boring. Feel free to yank them down and make something that is fresh. Sewing curtains is very simple if you are willing to give up the lining, and just a tiny bit more difficult if you can't give it up.
Always get yor fabrics on sale and use colors and textures that you like. I've included beginners instructions for curtain making. The same instructions can be used for valances, they are just shorter. Start with a bathroom, childs bedroom, or small kitchen window. Work your way into the living room after you get more practice and want to try more complicated patters.

~Beginner Curtain Instructions~

When decorating on a budget be willing to compromise with yourself. We can't always find exactly what we want exactly when we want it. The solution to this is expanding what we are looking for when we hunt for bargains. For example, I bought a queen ann chair at a garage sale that I really wanted to upholster in red and white stripes and basically turn it in to a conversation piece also. Well, I couldn't find that fabric at a decent price. What I did find was navy blue, light blue, and white striped denim on sale for $1.00 a yard. Hey, I went with it and boy does it work. It holds up well and no one can tell it's not really upholstery fabric. It's not as wild as I wanted but it goes with the rest of my furniture.

When it comes to colors, don't narrow them down to two colors with only one shade each. This makes it way too tough to get accesories at bargian prices and fill a room. My home for example is nautical (we are on the water), and the colors are blue and yellow with touches of red (marine flag colors). This was not the goal, it was the outcome. My goal was red and blue with touches of yellow. I just happened to find the bigger bargains in the blue and yellow.

I also have many shades of each color. If you will only accept navy blue, it's going to take a long time to get what you want. You pass up lamp bases, sale fabrics, garage sale knick knacks and more that would have filled the room faster and worked well. If you like navy blue, by all means use navy blue, but also look for light blue, royal blue, sky blue, etc. Get my idea? O.K. Well we bought a bar at a garage sale for $4.00. It had awful looking 1970's black vinyl on the front. I wanted to replace it with light blue modern vinyl to match the shade of blue in our couches. This is about $7.00 a yard here (I needed one yard). I went to buy some but they had a navy remnant of 3 yards on clearance for $2.00 a yard. I bought the whole piece for less than one yard of the light blue. I had plenty left over to recover the casual dining chairs and benches I got the following week. It matches the darker stripes in the chair I was telling you about earlier.

Speaking of those chairs and benches. They had a table with them also. I liked it much better than the dining table we had before, so the old one needed a new use. Since I haven't been able to find a coffee table I like at a garage sale, my husband cut the legs down for me (the table is wood), we removed the leaf, and set it in front of the couch. I hated it as a table but I sure love it as a coffee table! My point is, find great uses for the stuff you have and find at a bargain price.

Get more ideas at About.Com Interior Decorating.

This Site Is Created And Maintained By
Michelle (The Traditional Mom).
The Tradional Mom 2000