Decorating on a Dime

Domestic CEO has 4 easy ways to turn your drab home into a dream – for less!

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #1

Tip #3: Gently Used v. New

Some of my favorite places to find new pieces for my home are my friends’ homes. While it is tacky to walk into your friend’s house and start asking if she would be willing to part with some of her décor, consider having a décor party with a group of friends. Almost every adult I know has a box of pieces that have followed them from home to home. These items are usually in great condition, cost a lot, or were given to us by someone special, so we feel guilty getting rid of them. But because they just don’t fit the style of our home, they sit in a box (or closet) gathering dust. Instead of having them just take up space in your home, get your friends to bring their boxes all to one house. Let everyone pick one item at a time that they want to use in their own home. Anything that doesn’t get picked can be donated.

Even if you don’t have a decorating party with your friends, you can find some amazing, gently used items at local thrift stores, garage sales, consignment stores, or online. Look for potential, not perfection. Use your imagination to see beyond any minor flaws. If you can make it wonderful with sandpaper, a can of paint, or super glue, it has potential. Spray paint can be used on almost any surface, from wood to metal to plastic. If you are new to spray paint, make sure you have a few “practice” pieces before you start spraying the items you know you want to keep. It takes a few tries to get the hang of the technique. Once you have it though, you will be able to transform furniture, lamps, picture frames, statues, pottery, and more to fit your style.

As a side note, make sure to be true to yourself when you are shopping for used items. If you aren’t crafty or do-it-yourselfy, everything you buy should be ready to use. Otherwise your potential treasures will end up piling up and taking up valuable space in your house. And that pile comes with a guilty voice whispering, “Why did I buy that piece of junk?” every time you walk past it.

Tip #4: Go to a Craft Store

Spend an hour or two just wandering the aisles to get inspiration for small projects you can do by yourself. I would especially recommend this for all of you who think that you aren’t crafty. There is something to be said about making something from scratch, even if you got it from a box and followed detailed directions. That piece will always feel more special. Looking at your creation every day will give you a sense of pride that no store-bought item can bring. Besides, we have all seen the canvases in galleries that look like a 3-year-old monkey painted them. If someone will pay thousands of dollars for those, you can create something you would be proud to display for a lot less.

Now that you have a few ideas, it’s time to act. Start turning your current home into you dream home!

Have a question about anything in this episode? Or a suggestion for a future podcast? Send me an email at DomesticCEO@quickanddirtytips.com or post it on the Domestic CEO Facebook wall.

I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.