Post details: Keeping Costs Down - Part 2

02/17/05

Permalink 07:30:46 am, Categories: Articles, 530 words   English (US)

Keeping Costs Down - Part 2


Evaluating Your Resources

13. Refurbish when possible. Update kitchen and bathroom cabinets or a piece of furniture, such as a hutch, by replacing the door panels with glass, fabric, or chicken wire. This option is less expensive than buying new cabinets or new doors.

14. Use expensive materials sparingly. Install stone tiles as a border around less costly ceramic. Upgrade the range in your new kitchen but opt for a cheaper refrigerator and sink.

15. Consider unconventional fabric. Sheets make great tablecloths, shower curtains, window treatments, and other fabric projects. Sheets are wider than most decorator fabrics, so they're ideal for tall or wide windows, and they come already hemmed. Or, consider burlap or terry cloth: Both lend a room texture and don't cost much.

16. Purchase plain, then embellish. Instead of splurging on expensive, patterned fabric for pillows or window treatments, purchase less costly solid-color fabric and dress it up with iron-on transfers, easy-sew appliques, or fabric paint.

17. Update the details without spending a fortune. Instead of buying a new dresser or kitchen cabinets, replace just the hardware. Pillows in trendy fabrics will refresh a tired sofa; fluffy new towels will liven up an old bath.

18. Paint can cover a multitude of sins. Revive furniture, flooring, and walls with a fresh coat of paint. Just be sure to prepare the surface by cleaning, patching, and priming before painting.

19. Find new uses for conventional things. Take a leisurely stroll through a hardware store or antiques shop and envision plumbing pipe as a curtain rod, old spoons as drawer pulls, vintage windows as screens or wall hangings, and an ottoman as a table.

20. Pull the furniture off the walls. Don't line the sofa, end table, and wing chairs along the perimeter of the room. Turning them on the diagonal is a free way to put a new perspective on a room -- and lets you visualize what items you need to complete the scheme.

21. Light it up. Strategic lighting is an easy -- and inexpensive -- way to change the look of a room. Use a floor lamp to illuminate a dark corner or to spotlight a colorful piece of wall art. A simple way to alter the mood is to replace your bulbs with lower-wattage models to create a dimly lit, intimate setting.

22. Deck the walls. You don't need pricey artwork. Frame inexpensive items, such as family photographs (especially in black and white), posters, pages from an old calendar, pressed flowers, a quilt, or vintage clothing.

23. Look outside for inspiration. Indoor-outdoor slate tiles, for example, are cheaper than the type used exclusively inside and are still attractive and durable. Pickets for fences make whimsical wainscoting, headboards, or mantel decoration. A wooden or metal trellis, when placed in a container of soil, laced with a climbing vine, and set on a sunny windowsill, stands in as a privacy-giving "curtain."

24. Cover up. Instead of reupholstering an entire sofa or chair, simply re-cover the cushions in coordinating fabric.

25. Work with what you have. Dishware inherited from your grandmother might make a dazzling display in a glass-front hutch. Lively quilts layered on a bed are a striking focal point to a bedroom.

Better Homes and Gardens

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