Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated October 1, 2021)
To properly design a room, most people think that it is necessary to have large funds at their disposal. Luckily this is not the case, as such television shows as The Learning Channel's Trading Spaces or Home and Garden Television's Design on a Dime have shown over the past several years. The trick, though, is how to do it on your own without professional help. Use these tips and tricks to get the results that you want on a very limited budget.
If you live in an apartment or you rent property where you are not allowed to paint the walls try stenciling temporary designs onto the walls with chalk. Start by crushing the chalk into a powder and mixing it with a small amount of water. Then use this "paint" to stencil designs on your walls. You can wipe them off when it's time to get your deposit back. Another idea on how to use the chalk is to simply use it to draw your design onto the wall.
An option that you can use for other types of artwork is to use an old quilt or unique blanket as a tapestry. By covering your wall with a blanket, who needs expensive artwork? A blanket with a pretty pattern or a neat picture will brighten up a large, bare wall beautifully. You can also convert old magazine ads into unique antique art. To give a room a vintage look, simply rip out advertisements from old magazines you've saved or picked up at a flea market. Then mount them on white cardboard with rubber cement, and frame and hang your newly "antique" artwork.
Instead of buying some expensive wooden curtain rod, why not make your own? Buy long 1-1/2 to 2-inch thick wooden dowels from your local hardware store. By cutting them to fit your windows, screwing a drawer knob into each end, and staining or painting the dowel, you can save yourself quite a bit of money for other uses.
Design your own conversation pieces. You don't have to pay a fortune to decorate your home with unique accent pieces. Go to yard sales, salvage yards, and thrift stores and use your imagination. Some examples would include an old stool as a lovely plant stand and an old weathered wooden gate that could be painted and turned into a beautiful headboard for a child's bed. Such treasure hunting can save you a bundle on decorating, and your home will have a unique, wonderful feel to it.
Old toys are a great way to decorate and spruce up your home, so try to play interior decorator with old toys that you have from your childhood, or that you have found in your treasure hunting. Use them around the house in unusual ways to store, display, and decorate. From wooden blocks to stuffed animals to wagons or cars, you don't need expensive antiques, just a childlike imagination. Some examples would be to spell out "WELCOME" or "MERRY CHRISTMAS" with old wooden blocks. Set dolls or teddy bears on a shelf or a chair. Place bath accessories in a dump truck. Play around and have fun, you'll be sure to find other great uses for those toys, just as you used to when you were a child.
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