This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Redecorating the Frugal Way

Posted By Paul's Wife:

If you are starting a new household, or just want a fresh, new look to your home, here is a helpful guide for you.

Before you buy a single item to redecorate your home, take stock of items you already have and how they can be better utilized. I learned how to decorate each room around a focal point such as a fireplace or a large piece of artwork. I learned these techniques in a book I highly recommend called “Use What You Have Decorating” by Lauri Ward. In this book I learned to use what we already had to decorate and furnish each room and then decided on what items would complete the look depending on our budget. Also, I learned to rotate our artwork based on the seasons and to pack away or give away things we didn’t want to display all the time.

Later on, after we remodeled our kitchen, main floor and stairs by adding hardwood floors and new cabinets we decided it was time to update our furniture. We made a list of items we needed to update our house which included a larger dining room table, chairs, china cabinet, sofa, two club chairs, an entryway table, some outdoor furniture as well as rugs.

We didn’t go out and buy all of our furniture as once. We took our time to find good prices at a variety of places so that we could get the best value for our money.

First, we bought a dining room table, eight chairs and a china cabinet through a coupon at Costco.com. I also look extensively at consignment shops. You can get a lot of good quality furniture this way. I waited and continued looking until I found two club chairs that were exactly what we wanted at the price we wanted to pay.

If you live in the Portland, Oregon area I highly recommend Upscale Consignment.

We have also decorated and furnished our home with items friends and family have given us. If someone you know is getting rid of furniture or decor items don’t be afraid to look. You may find a treasure. We have a bed frame, dresser, rug, side table and wooden screen that were given to us. We are also very fortunate that my Dad is an excellent woodworker and created a coffee table and two bedside lamp tables for us as well. I believe that if you are a creative decorator you can fit in many different styles of furniture and add your own personal touches.

The only items we ended up buying new were a sofa at Dania, a rug and two lamps at very good prices at Tuesday Morning, and two outdoor umbrella tables and eight chairs at the Grocery Outlet. It pays to look everywhere and often because you never know where you might find something. Months later I also found our entryway table at a little consignment shop in Hillsboro, Oregon connected to the tea shop called The Stratford House.

Other places to find furniture and decor items are auctions. Auctions such as O’Gallerie in Portland, Oregon offer auctions on specific items such as rugs at certain times of the year. We were able to purchase a very nice rug at this auction at a price we could afford. The important thing to remember when buying items at an auction is to stay within your budget. Make sure you know about how much these items are worth and set a spending limit when you bid on items.

Finally, the most important thing to remember is that patience and persistence are the keys to decorating your home within a budget.

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