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Category:  Decorating

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How To Make New Year's Decorating Resolutions Come True

On a Budget 

By Kathy Wilson

Many of us welcome the New Year with resolutions to make changes in our lives. At least some of the changes ought to involve your creative pursuits! And what's more creative than learning to create a warm comfortable home for your loved ones while saving money! (Another resolution I bet is on your list!) Here are the 7 best decorating resolutions for those needing to save some cash this year, to get your list started!

1.Resolve to make a plan! The best rooms, even ones decorated on a very tight budget, need a plan. You wouldn't write a story without a plot, would you?

2.Start a decorating notebook. You can just pick up a cheap notebook from the discount store, and use it to keep ideas, samples, and magazine clippings as you create your plan. If you are decorating more than one room, use dividers and have a section for each room. Now use your notebook! Write down favorite styles, tear our pictures from magazines of rooms or paint finishes or fabric you like, use colored pencils to work up different color combinations. Try furniture combinations and arrangements on paper first, and print out project instructions from the internet.  When you finally have a plan you like, you will know just what you need!

3. Give your decorating project a name. Most people don't decorate in one particular style; it's usually an eclectic mix. It may help you keep your direction to give your room style a name that represents the important facets of your style. For instance, my family room is Casual,  Elegant,  and Rustic Garden,  and my kid's bath is are Bright, Playful, and Contemporary. That way, if you are ever tempted to pick up that roman statue for your Country Americana family room, you might simply consult your style name to find that it probably isn't a good fit.

4.Add color! So many people are afraid to add color to their rooms. Paint and fabric can both be very affordable. If you are just starting to use color in a room, here are two easy guidelines. First, White plus one color always works! Think blue and white, red and white, or sunny yellow and white schemes. Never fail! So pick your favorite color, add white in approximately a 60/40 ratio, and you've succeeded in adding color to your room! If you are a little braver, you can add three colors easily. First, make sure all three colors have the same intensity. That is to say, they are all equally muted, or equally bright. Then, add them to the room in the following ratio, 60/30/10. Usually the brightest or strongest color will be the accent, and the 10% of the room, and the lightest color will cover 60%, but feel free to experiment. Use each color in at least three places interspersed throughout the room, and you will have color, style, and balance!

5.Mix things up! Had the couch in the same place for years? Try it on the diagonal, or jutting out into the room to create conversation areas. Try the dresser you never use from the guest room as a linen chest in the dining room. Or mount a small bookcase to the wall with anchors and use as a display shelf for your china. Look at the things you already own in new ways, and you'll be surprised at the freshness in your rooms!

6. Put some of yourself in your rooms. Try a new craft or project, and proudly display your creativity in your home. Learn to stencil, and stencil some inspirational quotes over doorways. Paint and old wooden fence board like an antique market sign, and hang it in your kitchen. Start a collection of inexpensive objects such as tea cups or antique postcards, and display them as a group. Let your rooms share some of yourself with the people who share your life!

7. Utilize the internet to help you achieve your decorating goals. You can receive ideas, tips, and ebooks from online sites such as, or you can even get a custom decorating plan made up for you at their website. Furniture arrangement programs help you to find that perfect arrangement without moving a stick of furniture first! A good one is the room planner at . has a great program that allows you to try out paint colors before you buy!

Making your house a home despite your desire to save money need not be a faraway dream; it can be part of the changes you make for the New Year, with the help of The Budget Decorator!

Do you want the secrets to decorating your home with creativity, not cash? Who doesn't? Visit author and columnist Kathy Wilson at for hundreds of free budget decorating tips and projects, and to sign up for her free newsletter and ebooks.  


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