Call it decorating drain. Maybe it’s too much time spent on Pinterest or Houzz. Or, maybe it’s my magazine subscriptions to everything from Elle Décor, to Coastal Living, to English Home. Whichever is the culprit, suffice it to say that I am a little weary from all of the must-haves trotted out by trend-setting interior designers each season (who are clearly not decorating on a budget).
Just when my eye was getting used to toile, toile is outré. And, heaven forbid I purchase lattice patterned textiles. Suddenly, the simple geometrics are as old-fashioned as 1970’s shag carpet. And, don’t even get me started on here-today-gone-tomorrow gallery walls or shiplap!
Still, with the holidays fast approaching (and with the possibility that we may actually have family gatherings this year), I want my home to look it’s best. So, how am I supposed to freshen my home’s look without spending a fortune?
After all, we aren’t talking about a new pair of earrings or a cute handbag. Furniture is pricey! But, a refresh can be simple, easy and inexpensive. And, it makes the whole house feel (almost) like new.
Here are some of my favorite budget decorating tricks:
Cover it! My couch and loveseat are covered in an overall paisley pattern in beiges, brown, and burgundy. The fabric is virtually indestructible, which means I have held onto them longer than I wanted to. A great solution is a white/natural Cotton Duck Sofa Slipcover from Surefit and a few inexpensive or seasonal pillow covers from Amazon Prime.
Paint: It’s not just for walls, anymore. When in doubt, a coat of paint can work wonders. Freshen up heavy, dark wood furniture with a coat of white chalk paint for the chippy, worn look that is still dominating home magazines. Paint or whitewash also completely change the look of everything from baskets, to accessories like candlesticks, and even decorative dishes! (Try Annie Slone chalk paint for wood, Krylon spray paint for smooth surfaces)
Mixed it up: If you still have an abundance of 1990’s brass accessories, don’t feel that you need to replace them all. Simply add other metals to the mix for a look that is more contemporary. I especially love decorating with groupings that also include copper and rose gold for a warm, inviting look. (Don’t break the bank on new pieces. Find unusual, affordable pieces in thrift shops and resale stores. To get you started, here are our Thrift Shopping Secrets, Tips and Tricks.)
Rearrange: Much to the amusement – and occasional dismay – of my family, I love to rearrange the furniture, artwork and accessories in our home… ummm, often. A switch up is completely free, and by evaluating each piece during the process, you may come up with unexpected combinations that look fresh and new. (I particularly like grouping like items together. A cluster of crystal candlesticks in varying heights makes much more of a statement than a simple pair, for example.)
Bring the outdoors in: In the fall, colorful fall leaves, acorns and branches are free and abundant. In the spring and summer, flowers from the garden add an inviting feel. And, in the winter, I go a little crazy with cut greens from our pine tree and baskets of fragrant pinecones.
To see all of my decorating faves, visit Susan’s Home on Pinterest.
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Named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com, Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products and ideas for chic parties, you’ll find it here. Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!