|10 ways to decorate without debt
don't replace. If your new home has boring kitchen cabinets
that don't fit your style, it may be tempting to toss them out and
buy new ones, but consider cabinet refacing to save money. "Instead
of ripping out the entire cabinet, you just put up a nice front,
and you're done," says Daryl Coley, owner of a Kitchen Solvers franchise
in Tulsa, Okla. "Most of the time it takes a week to two weeks.
You can save 30 to 40 percent (over the cost of installing new cabinets)."
8. Network with neighbors.
Simply getting to know the people in your new community can help
you save on decorations. "My son and daughter-in-law heard that
one of their new neighbors was moving and needed to get rid of a
dining set," says Lewin. "They bought it and got a good deal."
Don't forget about the "neighbors" who sell through consignment stores, online auctions and garage sales. Many include pictures with their listings. Research first, and then make arrangements to visit only if you find something that's on your priority list. That way, you'll be less likely to waste money on knickknacks you won't use.
for bargains at big-box retailers. And don't be afraid to
buy bargain lighting. "Not every lamp has to be an antique," says
Greenberg. "Get away from the stigma of not wanting to go to a home-improvement
center to buy a lighting fixture. A lot of the items there are very
good quality, without the extra cost."
The best-priced light is sunshine streaming through windows, of
course, but Greenberg says that buyers sometimes get into trouble
when buying window treatments too soon. "Invest in paper shades
until you are able to determine the look and feel of your desired
window treatment," she says. After living in a home for a few weeks,
owners may decide that a window needs more privacy -- with heavier
window treatments -- or vice versa. During this decision-making
period, it is better to put up temporary paper while saving for
high-quality window treatments. The operative word is "temporary,"
though. "Don't think that a room looks finished without a window
treatment," says Greenberg. It's just that this is one piece of
decoration that takes time to find.
10. Invest in an
interior decorator. At first glance, hiring a design pro
might seem like a sure way to bust your budget. But independent
designers can help you stick with your financial plan. If you have
a friend with design talent, recruit him or her. "I know a couple
of people who are just so clever when it comes to color and putting
things together," says Lewin. "When you can find a friend like that,
they're worth their weight in gold."
Before calling a professional decorator or a talented
friend, be ready to explain how you you're going to use the space.
"Exhaust your imagination first, then call your decorator," says
Buying a home is an expensive process, so don't add to your expenses by financing your furnishings. By crafting a budget and looking for good deals, it is possible to decorate your abode without borrowing.