Frugal Decorating: The $70 Living Room Make OverOctober 12th, 2009 by Staff Writer
A living room makeover in an apartment can transform a mismatched room into a room with a clear vision. But living on a budget, you probably don’t think you can afford to redecorate. Here are some frugal decorating tips that can help you transform your living room for less.
Freshen with Homemade Cleaners
The first step in your living room makeover is to move everything (temporarily) out of the room and clean the room from top to bottom to provide you with a fresh and clean “pallet.” If you have carpets, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the carpets, use a scrub brush to work the baking soda into the fibers and allow to soak overnight. In the morning, vacuum the soda away. If you have wooden floors, use a mixture of 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% warm water and a mop to clean and brighten the floors without harsh chemicals. The vinegar may smell strongly, but the scent will fade after you allow it to dry for a few hours. Cost: $5.
Brighten Up the Walls
DIY interior decorating saves you hundreds of dollars. If your landlord will let you paint the walls, paint the walls yourself. You can find free paint at local hazardous waste recycling centers or slightly off-color paint on clearance at a local hardware store–just ask the manager. After you paint, or if you can’t paint the apartment walls, hang a work of art, an art decal, or a poster or two to become your living room’s center decorating focal point after your living room makeover. Scrounge rummage sales for bargains. Cost: paint: free to $20; wall decor: $15 to $30.
Make Sure Your Drapes Fit
Most living rooms have a window or a sliding door that opens to the balcony or porch. If you’re allowed to change the curtains for your living room makeover, search rummage sales, online auctions and discount aisles for drapes that fit the theme of your room. (A solid color makes the best choice, although attractive patterns might work for your room, too.) If not, build the theme of your room around the existing curtains. Cost: $25 to $50.
Frugal Decorating = Making the Best of What You Have
If you can find bargain deals on furniture, go ahead and buy some new ones. Otherwise, you’re stuck with what you have, even if it’s mismatched. However, you can do a little diy interior decorating by changing what you have to match the theme of your frugal decorating work. Go to a fabric store and find a fabric on sale that matches the theme of your room. Use this fabric to cover the base of a wooden table (with a glass top over it) and sew furniture covers (if you’re able to sew). You can even frame a swatch of it and hang it on the wall. Cost: $25 to $50.
A living room makeover doesn’t have to entail buying all-new furniture. Just cleaning and reorganizing the room can make a big difference. Add a little bit of diy interior decorating tips to the room and you can turn your mismatched area into a functioning room built around a central theme.