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BellaOnline's Frugal Living Editor

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Cheap Decor

Guest Author - Lili Pintea-Reed

One of the biggest problems facing people beyond the basics (food, water, shelter) is just how to frugally furnish and decorate oneís home. For this I recommend using some long term planning and furniture rotation. Plan that eventually youíll have something close to your dream decor, but have some intermediate steps along the way.

Phase One:
For example, if you like a comfy casual overstuffed living room, you can start out with a garage sale couch and a neutral colored throw. If you are single the throw can be a thrift store sheet , however, if you have kids youíll need something heavier. An old quilt will do, or old blue jean strips sewn into a cover will work and is heavey and washable. You can get some big pillows at a thrift store and make covers for them from discount store fabric or garage sale pillow cases. Even people who can just hand sew can stitch up a pillow cover. For non-sewers, use fusible tape or fabric glue and just iron the pillow cover together! (Iíll have instructions on pin-weaving a pillow cover next week.) Check out quilting sites for ideas on patterns and designs. Like:
Quilting at Bella
http://www.bellaonline.org/site/Quilting

Quilting at Suite101.com
http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/quilts_and_quilting

For end tables, you can hope you have relatives with well stuffed attics, or you can go trendy and use stacked milk cartons or packing crates. For more low budget, trendy ideas you can visit several on line Web sites like:
Budget Decor at Bella
http://www.bellaonline.org/site/budgetdecor

Home and garden TV
HGTV.com

Do it yourself.com
DIY.com

And for more Wild Ideas
Trading Spaces
http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/tradingspaces/tradingspaces.html

a TV show which features some very upscale trendy ideas many of which are surprisingly cheap and make good use of recycling. All feature the theme that things donít have to be expensive to look nice. A rug can be an inexpensive area rug or better yet free carpet scraps glued together in an abstract pattern. Lamps can be purchased at the discount store or of made from recycled oddments. Window covering can be cheap blinds or even cheaper thrift store sheets threaded on rods.

What is easiest for the non-sewer is to do the accessories for the room from your own craft projects. Another take on pase one is to buy furniture to end up eventually on the porch or patio and furnish with this. Use this until you can afford to purchase good quality used or clearance furniture.

Phase Two:
If the couch is basically sound, you can later make a nice slip covers for it out good quality washable material. If the couch is shot, it gets given away and another better quality used couch is purchased and slip covered. You can do matching drapes in a coordinated material and make pillows to match. Repaint to fit the color scheme. Get new area rug. Buy used end tables and paint to fit. Buy better quality used lamps and get or make new shades.

Recycle the older living room furniture to the den, the kids rooms, or friends relatives in need of student apartment furniture.

Phase Three:
Now Iíve never gotten here. But at this point you recycle the existing furniture to the den and older kids rooms and buy (for cash not on credit) your final set of living room furniture. Iím assuming that most people have sort of a formal living room as a final picture. One way to get there is to purchase a piece at a time and slowly replace the smaller items building toward a final picture. This way you donít stran your budget.

Now Iím lucky in that I can sew and do many arts and crafts and work as a fine artist. Since several years ago we bought a beautiful old Victorian house in fix-up condition we decided to wait on fancy furniture as the house is a work in progress. For instance, right now I have sheets of lattice and two x four in the dining room waiting to go on the porch and quilt pieces all over the dining room table.. Certainly no fancy decor here! But we rotated our original recovered fifties style couch to the den and made slip covers for a very nice quality couch we got from a recently divorced friend. Since we want a Victorian Country look to fit the house I wove the living room rug out of rag scraps. We painted garage sale end tables to fit. To get some unity I made slip covers to match the couch for the over stuffed rocker (garage sale) and the over stuffed chair (free rummage sale left over). My hand woven tapestries are on the wall. The windows have discount blinds with hand crocheted cotton valances. Its looks nice on cleaning day. When our ten year old is older perhaps weíll move to phase three.

SO:
1)plan ahead to your dream look
2)rotate items from use to the next
3)start with small dream items and build to your end

Continue to check out the informative and inspirational free sample pages at these excellent frugal books.

Dream Decor on a Budget
A fine idea book for long term planning.
Dream Decor on a Budget

Paris Apartment:Romanitc Decor on a Flea Market Budget
Paris Apartment:Romanitc Decor on a Flea Market Budget

Shabby Chic
All sorts of budget decoraing ideas.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006039319X/feministjourn-20">Shabby Chic

Complete Tightwad Gazzette
The Complete Tightwad Gazzette

Declare Your Finanacial Independence
Declare Your Financial Independence

Complete Cheapskate
Mary Hunt's Complete Cheapskate

Miserly Moms
Miserly Moms

You Can Afford to Stay Home With your Kids
You can Afford to stay Home WIth your Kids


Reduce Your Credit Card Payments by 50%








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Content copyright © 2014 by Lili Pintea-Reed. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lili Pintea-Reed. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Jill Florio for details.

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