As we flip through glossy decorating magazines and click away at online shopping sites, we begin to cry. Why are these apartments so beautiful, and why aren’t ours just as perfect? Well, dry your tears, channel your inner interior designer, and listen up. Your wallet might be empty, but that doesn’t mean your living room has to be. You can decorate cheaply without it looking cheap! Find 10 creative ideas for inexpensive home decorating, after the jump.
1. Yard sales and flea markets: Open your mind to used furniture. Re-purposed pieces are in right now, and it’s easy to find the end table you’re missing if you’re willing to do some varnishing or refurbishing yourself.
2. Get thrifty: Don’t spend money on items like candle holders or woven baskets at retail stores. Local markets and thrift stores will have more genuine items at much lower prices. Look in international markets for interesting wood pieces or better quality items at low prices.
3. Go online: Pretty construction paper, tape, and scissors can go a long way with a little creativity. Click around the internet for some inspiration. Bloggers like Katie Sokoler will make you crave arts and crafts like never before. Go nuts. [Ahem, The Frisky also has a pretty great DIY section – Editor.]
4. Artificial flowers: They have a stigma for being tacky, but the right bunch in the right vase can brighten up a room. With some light dusting and maintenance, they’ll last for a looong time.
5. Practical pieces: Hang a bunch of little hooks from the wall. Use them to hang up necklaces, bracelets, and rings instead of spending money on tabletop jewelry storage. Hooks look pretty and make quick accessorizing choices easy.
6. Jars: An old trick that we still love: use old mason jars or empty glass food jars to declutter and decorate your desktop surfaces. Jars make spare change, knick-knacks, and pens look neat.
7. Frame your fabric: Instead of splurging on expensive art or fixtures for your wall, buy record frames and put fabric inside them. Better yet, decorate with old LPs.
8. Paint it yourself: Invite a few friends over, put on your oldest T-shirt, and get to work. Split cans of paint with others; a wall or two rarely uses up a whole can.
9. Chalkboard on the wall: For last-minute to-dos in your office or recipes in the kitchen, get a little chalkboard and aerosol spray paint. Save yourself the clutter of Post-It Notes everywhere and get the thrill of sidewalk chalk from childhood all over again.
10. Get sew-happy: Make throw pillows or blankets out of old concert shirts for a cool vibe. Sew anything, for that matter; get in touch with your inner seamstress and decorate away.