Much to my husband’s chagrin, I recently decided to redecorate parts of our condo. He wasn’t worried that I’d choose strange furniture or art to complete the interior design, but rather that I’d spend more money than we could afford.
There was no need for alarm. Not only did I save big by buying new items on sale, but I found ways to re-purpose old items without spending a dime. And through trial and error, I’ve learned a number of money-saving redecorating tips over the years.
How to Save Money When Redecorating
1. Cut a Rug
We have a large five-by-eight-foot rug in our living room, beneath which is a massive rubber carpet pad to keep it in place. In our bathroom, there’s a small bath rug without a pad that kept moving all over the place.
If you have a similar situation, solve the problem by cutting a piece of the carpet pad from the center of the large piece, which can be used beneath the smaller rug. I now have a bathroom rug that stays put, as does the living room rug, and I didn’t need to make any new purchases.
2. Save the Paint
When you complete a painting project, don’t discard all of the leftover paint – you never know when you may need to touch up an area. But instead of keeping huge paint cans in the closet, request a separate sample of the paint when you make your purchase, and store that smaller container as your reserve.
3. Remember the Color
If you simply don’t want to store leftover paint, be sure to record the brand name, paint name, and, if needed, its number. Write it lightly in pencil on a part of the wall that’s hidden by furniture. This way, if you need to pick up more paint of the same color, you can consult the wall to know exactly what to purchase.
4. Change the Cover, Not the Couch
While purchasing a nice new couch can be wonderful, it might be unsuitable for people who have pets or young children. Large pieces of furniture can be expensive, and they often do not come with replaceable covers. Plus, furniture shopping can be expensive.
Instead, look for a more affordable couch – such as one from IKEA – that has removable, washable, and replaceable covers. If your dogs have an accident or your kids spill some fruit juice, you can easily throw the covers in the wash. And when they wear out, purchasing a new cover costs only about $150. Another added bonus of these changeable covers is that you can choose a different color each time, which instantly gives the living room a whole new look.
5. Take the Shade
When shopping for new lamps, you may find bases you like paired with undesirable shades. So why not take the shade from an old lamp and use it on a new one? Be sure to put the new shade on the old lamp so you have a complete piece to sell later.
6. Sell Your Stuff
To help offset your redecorating budget, sell all the items that you replace. For instance, I replaced two light fixtures in the kitchen, a nightstand, and a table in the bedroom, and I sold each piece for a decent price on Craigslist. You may also want to consider selling on Amazon or eBay, or even holding a garage sale. Doing this helps to keep furniture out of the landfill and puts money back in your pocket.
7. Re-purpose Bins and Boxes
When I went off to college, my mother supplied me with under-the-bed bins filled with every school supply I would ever need – or would not need, as I still had unopened items in the bin nearly 10 years later. I finally emptied it out, donated the surplus to charity, and turned that bin into shoe storage.
Over the years, many people accumulate a wealth of items that get stashed away in closets, basements, and under the bed. Take some time to search through your storage – not only can you find plenty to discard or donate, but you may also find more items to sell online. Once you finish de-cluttering, utilize your now empty containers and drawers to organize other items that don’t have a permanent home.
8. Use Books to Banish Cords
More than half the homes in the United States have three or more televisions – and attached to those TVs are game systems, video players, and many more accessories, all requiring a mess of cords.
If you utilize an open-backed TV stand or cart, one way to hide those unsightly cords is to use the space to stack books. By stacking books vertically on the bottom shelf, you can both obscure the cords and free up space on your actual bookshelves, which allows you to display more framed photos.
There are innumerable ways you can save more time, money, and hassle when redecorating. Redecorating – or even rearranging furniture and existing household items – is a great way to spice up your life and institute a needed change of scenery. My project gave me something productive to do and made me happy in the end, which makes the whole process worth it.
What other affordable redecoration tips can you suggest?