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Spring is here, and for many of us it's the perfect time to organize and decorate! It's out with
the old look and in with the new. This is a great time to bring some fresh ideas
into your home and liven things up!
Spring is one of the best times to find bargains on decorating accessories at yard and garage sales. As the seasons
change, your local thrift and consignment stores will have a change in inventory. And now is when many folks
finally donate unwanted merchandise that's just been sitting around the garage or house.
Yes, it's Spring cleaning time... you can almost feel it in the air!
My advice? Have your own yard sale and make some extra money on those items. Luckily for us (if you're
a frugal shopper like me), there are some folks who just don't want to take the time. So be sure not to miss out on
decorating supplies, furnishings, accessories, paint, wallpaper, and fabrics that can be found at many
Sometimes pulling items from one room to another and simply re-organizing, fixing up, or just using an item
in a different way can be enough as well. Add a fresh coat of paint! Try different window treatments! And then
go for a replacement or rearrangement of furnishings, and voila! You have a new room!
Need some paint? If you can be flexible about color, check the mis-mixed table at your local home improvement,
hardware, or paint store. You can find high quality paints for a fraction of their original retail cost when
colors don't turn out exactly as they should have. Sometimes you can find a slight variation of just the color
you've already picked that will work just as well with your selected color scheme and save you lots of money.
I buy these mis-mixed paints (usually for $2 to $3 per gallon or less) throughout the year and store them
appropriately for later use. This way, I go shopping in my own paint department first to see if I can accommodate
the decorating plan I have chosen. Planning ahead and grabbing these types of decorating supplies when they're a
bargain is a great way to maximize your savings.
Collecting fabrics for future use is another super way to save! Even unwanted clothing can be used to create small
window dressings, pillow covers, or accessories. Many people give away scraps of fabrics or sell them at yard
sales. Be sure to check clearance and end piece items at sewing and fabric shops. It's really so simple to make
a curtain or a pillow. It usually only requires sewing some simple seams.
For more complicated tasks, if you can't figure it out for yourself, you're sure to find a "how-to" book at any
library. Or do a search online for information.
I've found some excellent ideas for decorating on a budget, do-it-yourself projects, and some amazing decorating
theme ideas from HGTV (Home and Garden Television.) Even if you don't get this wonderful television channel in your home,
you can go online at HGTV.com to benefit from some wonderful ideas
and projects by professionals. There's a lot for do-it-yourself'ers here! You can get some inspiring ideas for areas
of your home where you might be at a loss for how to "make it cozy."
Before you make your plans, check out several books at the library on home decorating. You will find no shortage
of books on this subject. Glance through them and grab ideas that you can incorporate into your own decorating tasks.
If you have a specific challenge to overcome, there's a good chance someone else has already encountered it, conquered
it, and written a book or web page about it. Use their knowledge! It will save you time and frustration of figuring it
You can add some splash to your kitchen without spending a lot of money by applying a simple wallpaper border!
You can get pretty terrific bargains on borders in the closeout bins at your wallpaper store or home improvement centers,
but make sure they have enough of the border to go around the area you want to cover before you buy. These bargains are
usually close-outs and you might not be able to get more!
Since most wallpapers come pre-pasted, applying the border is easy. A backsplash area is usually pretty small,
so this project can be done in an afternoon. When selecting your border, think about your overall theme or the color
scheme of your kitchen. Select something that compliments it. And, of course, pick one that is washable, so that you
can easily remove all the "splashes" that occur during normal kitchen activities.
To prepare your wall area for the wallpaper border, clean the wall thoroughly first. You can probably just wash the walls
with soap and water, but make sure you get any grease spots completely off. If there are any big holes in the plaster,
you'll need to patch them. Very tiny holes are usually okay, and the border will cover them up without a problem.
Remove the coverings to any light switches or electrical outlets.
Measure out your wallpaper so it's a couple of inches longer than the actual size of the backsplash; then cut.
Apply the paper to the wall per the manufactuer's instructions. If your paper has a pattern, make sure you match
the pattern on the cut edges in corners or anywhere you were unable to use the continuous roll. Butt the bottom of the
border up against your counter. If there are any windows or mouldings in the area you're papering, you will want
to overlap any paper that is against them. Make sure that you smooth the paper out with a wet sponge or wallpaper
brush to remove any bubbles or wrinkles. After putting the border up, take a wet sponge and smooth it out to
the edge — always move the sponge from the paper to the wall, so that the edge doesn?t buckle up. Make sure the
edges have enough paste on them so that they don?t peel back after it's dry.
Cut off any excess paper around any mouldings, windows, and electrical outlets and switches.
My last words, of course, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know your options. Remember — Informed consumer equals more savings.
Copyright © May 2005 Lois Simpson and Low Carb Luxury