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5 Suprising Ways to Save Money When You Decorate Your Home

It's more than just looking for deals on decor.

It’s easy to find tips for saving money when you start a decorating project or remodel for your home. But before you even create a shopping list or a plan, getting into the right mindset can reap big benefits. Here’s are my five mindset essentials to put you on the right path: 

  • If you don't love it, don't buy it: It’s as simple as that. Call it peer pressure, social media pressure, or not committing to a style that fits you, it’s easy to choose decor and colors that you don’t really love. And when you add decor that you feel no affection for, you will be replacing it, and that money will be gone. That’s why it’s especially important to take care when selecting counters, flooring, and tile, because they are not easily or inexpensively replaced.

  • Be honest with yourself about how you really live: Yes, you can absolutely fall in love with a moss green velvet sofa or white area rugs, but do they fit your lifestyle? It’s not an idea that is limited to durability and wear, it can also be squeezing a gorgeous twelve-seat dining table into your small home, when your dining room is usually just  used for a quick meal or a place for your sewing machine and the piles of mail. You can enjoy the look of those impractical items by compromising with moss green velvet throw pillows, a fluffy white throw, or even a commitment to making your small dining room a true dining space again. 

  • Identify the decision-makers: A common and costly detour in a decorating project is finding out too late that everyone is NOT on the same page regarding the decisions. If you share your space with a spouse or partner, decide up front HOW decisions will be made.  As an interior designer, I’ve definitely experienced total project standstills while decisions are hashed out. Any delay in a remodeling or painting project will cost you. And if the debate is over an item that’s already been purchased, it may not be one that can be returned. Communication is crucial.  My experience has been that projects can be derailed by someone who says they don’t really have an opinion about what they DO like, but then they will definitely speak up about something they DON’T like, and it can throw things into disarray. 

  • Sometimes, all a room needs is rearranging: There are times when a room just doesn’t feel “right,” and it never has. Have you tried rearranging it? This is another great time to be honest with yourself, this time it’s being honest about how you use the room. If the TV is really your focal point, you don’t have to pretend that you read and gaze at the fireplace all evening instead. If you like to read or knit, and need a good light, then please arrange the furniture so that you can make the best use of the space - it’s okay, no one is gonna judge you.  You may need to replace an item or two to make it flow better, but it’ll still cost you less than buying furniture you don’t need.  Okay, one more thought on furniture layout, specifically for living rooms and family rooms. There’s something I call the "Square Dance" furniture arrangement. You know, when the furniture is lined up around the wall, I guess with the idea of making the room seem larger. That look usually includes the coffee table,  set in the middle of the arrangement, like an island. That's super handy if you have guests with 10 foot long arms. So unless you are planning a square dance in there, bring that furniture together in a conversational arrangement. 

  • Don't get hung up on resale value: Now if you’re planning to sell your house soon, it’s totally okay, actually more than okay,  to consider how your improvements might affect its appeal to potential buyers. With the explosion of real estate shows and social media, it’s no wonder that we’ve come to see home value and sellability as a top consideration in design. The truth is that unless you’re really making decisions like adding black and white checkerboard marble throughout y our house, or painting the exterior lime green, any projects you’re doing that make your home more enjoyable and attractive will probably be just fine. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a home that is so bland, as to not alienate potential buyers, that you’ll spend time and money trying to get your home’s magic back.

And that really brings us back around to rule #1 If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. 


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