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Homes | Affordable decorating

Redecorating your home doesn't have to break the bank

Say you're considering some decorating updates for your home, but you think most of the ideas you have are unaffordable. All you have to do is rethink the way you accomplish those changes. Here are some suggestions. Scripps Howard News Service

Refurbish rather than replace. If your couch is showing wear and tear, rather than replacing it, consider reupholstering it. Granted, in many cases, reupholstering is as expensive as replacing, but look for bargain fabrics and you should be able to recover the furniture for less than buying new.

Consider visiting flea markets and yard sales. You might find the right dresser or dining-room table or perhaps the right cocktail table that works for your home and just needs to be refinished. There is a certain charm in old furniture that can add appeal to your home.

Spiff up the dining area. Sometimes the table is in pretty good condition, but the chairs are a mess from spilled wine or chocolaty finger marks that just won't come off no matter how many upholstery cleaners you've tried. Perhaps it is time to get new chairs. Two choices: 1) If the chairs are fabric-based, consider reupholstering. 2) If the chairs are just unacceptable, purchase new ones. Again, try looking around resale shops or flea markets. Plus, buying just the chairs instead of a complete dining-room set won't break the bank.

Mixing and matching can make for interesting decor. Not everything has to come from the same furniture set. In fact, the look can be more personalized and inviting when unexpected combinations are put together. So when you see that coveted nightstand on sale, go for it even if it is not from the same bedroom suite that you have.

Bathroom mirrors need facelifts. Replacing the mirror isn't totally unaffordable, but even less expensive is putting a wood frame around it. The frame can be as fancy or as simple as the decor in the bathroom requires, and you can purchase the materials at a hardware store. Paint to the color that best suits the room. There is also something called MirrorMate for premade frames. Check out www.mirrormate.com for more information.

Know your DIY limits: Anything you can do yourself instead of hiring a professional will cost you less. But if you really aren't the handyman type, consider getting some help. Repainting a room, perhaps, would be an easy, do-it-yourself job and one that would certainly refresh the room. But know your limits. Don't venture into refurbishing something you aren't sure exactly how to handle, because it could end up costing you much more in the long run.

Redecorating your home doesn't have to break the bank 02/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:30am]

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