I'm one of those people who takes budget decorating to the extreme. Because every little bit counts, right? Today I'm going to share some budget decorating tips with you, using a real living room (my own) as the model. Here are ten affordable ways to make your living room the most attractive one on the block.
1. My favorite affordable decorating tip is to fill your space with plants. It's a simple way to give your space some life (and it will help purify the air too). The key is to start with one or two plants and take clippings to grow new ones. The plant on the top shelf started with five leaves and is now large and thriving. Find out how to do this over on Garden Guides.
2. Another great affordable decor idea is to use outdoor elements inside. Here I've collected a bunch of pinecones and placed them in a glass vase. You could also use a rock as a doorstop, twigs as a centerpiece, or leaves as wall art. Here are lots of other creative ideas.
3. This tip involves a few power tools... but if you have them at your disposal, they can save you a ton of money in the long run. I made the triangular shelves in the image above using a $5 piece of scrap wood and some wooden trim. Here are some guidelines for building your own corner shelves.
4. This tip costs nothing... arrange your books by color! It's so easy to do, but has such an impact. I can't tell you how many people have commented on my color-coded bookshelves. Here's some more inspiration.
5. Where did I get all these books in the first place, you ask? I got most of mine at book sales! If you've never been to one, give it a try... it's like a treasure trove of fascinating items. Just Google "book sale [your city]" and you should find one. If you're not the book sale type, you can also buy almost any book used on Amazon for a fraction of the original price.
6. This is another example of bringing the outdoors in... but this time I used one of my favorite materials - spray paint. Doesn't it look like a metal pinecone? Here are lots of other ways you can use spray paint to add some pizzazz to your living room.
7. People tend to assume that wall art is expensive. Mine wasn't. And yours doesn't have to be either. Here's what I did: I painted a canvas myself (it's very therapeutic, you should try it!), I framed a map that I printed from the internet, and I gathered a few old polaroids to hang on twine. I bought the frames on sale at my local craft store using coupons I printed (again) from the internet. For more ideas, here is a great article on DIY wall art projects.
8. You can also make your own curtains. And you don't necessarily need a sewing machine, either. There are lots of adhesive hem products on the market, that eliminate the need for a needle and thread altogether. Here's a tutorial on making curtains out of bed sheets.
9. I made the pillow covers myself, too. I used an interesting fabric that I bought at a discount fabric store called Sewfisticated (in the Boston area) and bought the pillow forms at the Christmas Tree Shop. Each pillow cost me about $6 to make. Here's a great tutorial on how to make your own zipper-free removable pillow covers.
10. And lastly, don't be afraid to mix and match affordable pieces of furniture with investment pieces. This table is the Nordli Nightstand from IKEA. Find out where I got the rest of my affordable furniture and accessories here. And here are tons of ways to personalize those budget-friendly IKEA finds.
Do you have any other clever tips for creating a beautiful living room on a budget? If so, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below!