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Favorite Frugal Decorating Tip

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Good tip about staying in same color scheme.  Hadn't thought about that, but we've kept neutral walls so that we can bring in color in the objects rather than the walls.  After awhile no matter what color the wall is, you get tired of it.  With neutral colors you don't since the wall doesn't stand out.

You've got a lot of good advice to share as is evidenced by your other posts.  Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us.  There are almost 17,000 subscribers to the forum, so you're a real blessing!

I like the 'use what you have' idea too.  I've found that if you stay within coordinating colors in all your rooms, you can move your accessories around from room to room and have a new look.  I always tell people if you don't like the way my house looks, come back in a month and everything will be different. My husband started teasing me because I move things around so much. He would say, yeah, that makes all the difference.  So now when I get on one of my kicks of moving things around in the shelves in the family room I tell him I'm making all the difference.
A good source for things is thrift shops. If you go often, its amazing what you can find.  I have gotten nice quilts for $20, really nice decorative items that are in perfect condition.  Some days I find nothing and other times I hit the jackpot. 
My latest thing is to use decorative tins to store things in the pantry.  I have a Salvation Army near my house that always seems to have lots of metal tins for 70 cents a piece.  I have found a lot that go with my Tuscan decorating scheme.  I thought instead of putting them on top of a cabinet for decoration, I would actually  use them for storage. The larger ones can be used for coffee, cookies, pasta, etc.   I have gotten compliments on how nice my pantry looks.  One woman told me she won't let anybody see inside her cabinets and that mine look so nice.  haha I didn't tell her I'm a regular shopper at Salvation Army. 
 Another tip for pantries- turn all the boxes and containers so that you see the front of them, like in a grocery store.  It's called facing the product.  It really does look neater although it may take up a little more room.  Also, the shelf organizers that look like little stairsteps for storing spices are really nice if you use a lot of spices and herbs.  Put them in alphabetical order and you'll be able to find what you need in a second.

  I've moved five times in the past 10 years, due to life and job changes. My way of saving money is called "use what you have decorating." I've had the same bedroom drapes and comforter for four of the five places I've lived. Sometimes I use my old things in a new way. For instance, I had inherited some painted china plates that my Mom had stuck in the back of her china cabinent. You couldn't even see 'em there! I hung them up in the bathroom, of all places! But they made pretty wall decorations and the steam and humidity doesn't affect china plates. A cedar chest became a behind-the-sofa table. Old kitchen items -- utensils, dishes, pot lids and knicknacks -- were placed on top of the kitchen cabinents in one home, where the cabinets didn't go all the way to the ceiling. They made a cute display. My nightstand began life as a microwave oven stand back in the 1980s, when microwaves were HUGE; its big table surface provides lots of room for my lamp, alarm clock, glasses and books. An antique dresser from a third bedroom has been in two large bathrooms, used for storing towels and cosmetics. The curtains in one house has been made into valances for windows elsewhere. I'm not above dumpster diving, either: I have scrounged stereo speakers, plant stands, shelves, lamps, a Martha Stewart shower curtain, large baskets and chairs from apartment dumpsters. (Everything was in perfect condition. Can't believe my neighbors threw all this good stuff away!) If you "think outside the box" you can come up with new uses for the things you already own or items you find -- and you can't beat the price; it's all free!

Jennifer - iMommies:
Hi, I'm fairly new to this forum, but have a money-saving site of my own, where I occasionally post home decor ideas also.  One of my favorites (which totally transforms every kitchen) is painting countertops.  I'm not sure how many characters this reply box allows, but full instructions are at

The final look is amazing and most kitchens can be done for under $100 (much less if you shop frugally for the paint!).

Another thing I have done to save money is to save boxes as I buy things and use them for storage in other areas of my home.  I just decoupage them with paper or fabric to match the room they will go in.  I have found beautiful wrapping paper at the dollar tree and I just use watered down school glue to adhere it and then go over the top too.  Even better protection is given if you go over the final product with varnish.  I have used the big diaper boxes from Costco as toy boxes so that the various rooms don't look so cluttered.  I cover them with adult appropriate paper that matches the decor of the room.  I  put up shelves in my craft room and put all my supplies in different boxes that I have saved.  A round grits container is perfect for pens, shoe boxes are perfect for odds and ends, the boxes that paper came in are perfect for other papers.  I also printed labels using my computer and glued them right on too.


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