Block print fabrics feel fresh and modern. Get the look for less by stenciling plain pillow covers.-Lauren Liess, designer and blogger Check out some good budget buys at www.royaldesignstudio.com.
Add one woven or wicker chair to a room. Spray paint it a great color and you have both seating and an element of surprise.-Julie Holloway, designer and blogger
Every chair should have a spot to set a drink. A garden stool offers just that, plus an extra seat in a pinch.
“A mirror over the mantel always works. It’s an affordable way to fill the space and makes a room seem larger. For an extra kick of color, hang it from a wide ribbon”.-Janna Lufkin, stylist
Budget Buy–Lowe’s has mirrors of various shapes, styles and designs; for more info, go to www.lowes.com.
In place of a predictable coffee table, use two inexpensive side tables. Outline the edges with strips of nailhead trim for a high-end look.-Jenny Komenda, designer and blogger Budget Buy-Visit www.ikea.com to see their amazing array of side and end tables.
Baskets are a décor essential; not only do they offer storage galore, but they add texture and warmth to any room. Here’s a few examples:
In the Bathroom, fill a basket with a dozen rolls of toilet paper for a surprisingly elegant look.-Liz Levin, designer
“In the Foyer, put a big catchall (catch all) basket near the front door (for lunch boxes, shoes, backpacks, and other things). Make sure the basket is deep enough so the contents don’t show.”-Kelly Moseley, designer
Baskets are great for holding books, throws, pillows and magazines in the Bedroom.
Got a Home Office? Woven rattan cachepots make cute mini trash cans that can scoot into the tiniest of spaces.-Elaine Griffin, designer
Dress up your porch (also patio or deck) for after dark using holiday lights or decorative lanterns on a string. The glow will always make the space feel festive.-Kelly Moseley Budget Buy-Visit www.target.com for lovely and affordable string lights.
“Want an instant lift? Paint your bedroom ceiling a bright color, particularly pink. It’ll make all skin tones look luminous.”-Liz Levin
Cheerful dish towels are a great and inexpensive way to bring a little zing into the kitchen.-Gabrielle Blair, blogger
A corbel is a cute, little perch for an accessory. When painted a bright color, it draws attention to whatever you put on it. Budget Buy-Log on to www.osbornewood.com to view their collection of wonderful corbels.
Here’s an update idea from Jenny Komenda: A great way to fill a bare wall is to take a photo (of clouds, water or flowers-or use a copyright-free pic (try www.vintageprintable.com/wordpress) and enlarge the image (like 30 x 40 inches). Mount the large print on MDF or foam core. For an affordable way to get custom framing, try your local and area art supply stores.
“Spend money on things you’ll have for years; don’t spend much on smaller things like lamps, accessories or even a coffee table. You want some interchangeable things so you can easily spruce up a room.”-Sabrina Soto, designer and expert on high/low décor style
A quick tip from Lara Spencer (designer and yard sale addict) on determining if a flea market or estate sale is worth the time: “My mom taught me–the nicer the town, the nicer their junk. If you live near an upscale community, preferably with houses built at least 50 years ago, it’s worth the trip.”
Sources: “50 super stylish ideas under $50”-by Jody Garlock–Better Homes and Gardens, July 2011 and “Make It Look Like You Splurged” by Jody Garlock–Better Homes and Gardens, July 2012