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Decorate on a Dime

Decorate on a Dime

Lia Fagan of shares some wonderful and cheapola decorating tips that the broke, thrifty, and fabulous shall enjoy!

Original artwork is expensive, so many people opt for nothing at all, for fear that DIY solutions will appear cheesy or inelegant. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  • Find prints. As I describe on Mod Nest this week, you can find amazing, inexpensive prints online, if you know where to go—and I suggest some super-easy ways to hang them.
  • Reframe. You probably own coffee table books that contain images you love. For a couple of bucks, have your favorite images color copied onto high-quality photo paper at your local copy center.* Buy standard-size frames, and voila! You’ve got a ready-to-hang collection of artwork for less than $15 apiece. (IKEA is a good source for frames; so is vintage shops and eBay.)
  • Be Bold. A bigger wall or area (i.e. behind the sofa, in the dining room), requires something with impact. You can get the same look achieved here, by brilliant designer Lazaro Rosa Violan, with wallpaper. Wallpaper is pricey if you’re doing a whole room, but you can use one roll to create a block of pattern that’s stunning. To form the underlying frame, use wood trim from your local hardware store and staple the wallpaper to the inside edge. Online Wallpaper Resources: Hygge & West, Madison & Grow, Flavor Paper
  • Dress Up. Altering ready-made curtains with a high-impact fabric is a great way to get the feel of custom drapes, without the price tag. Sew a horizontal band of bold, fun fabric along the bottom of neutral panels, where you’d likely have to hem them anyway. Or, sew a vertical band along the inside or outside edge of the panel to add some drama. For $30 to $80 per curtain, you can get the look of custom drapes at a fraction of the cost. image credit: Sarah 101 In a recent episode of Sarah 101, Sarah Richardson had custom draperies made with both a vertical and horizontal band. You too can score this look with a little DIY spirit! Online Fabric Resources: Tonic Living, Spoonflower, Designer Fabrics
  • Don’t Rush. Decoration Completion is a common affliction. It’s born of a need to “finish” decorating a room completely, within a specific amount of time. New homeowners tend to fall victim to this nasty syndrome more often than most. This is when bad decisions are made and wasteful spending occurs. Instead of rushing out to the big-box and home décor chain stores in search of everything you need to complete the room, put a little money aside each month into a decorating fund. This way, when the perfect piece pops up (it always appears when you’re not looking for it), you have the cash for it. There were times when I settled for something that “did the job”, but I wasn’t in love with the item. Naturally, a few days or weeks later, I would stumble upon the perfect thing that made my heart sing, but couldn’t afford it because I’d already purchased something inferior. What a waste! When you take your time and snag the perfect pieces as you find them, your home will become authentically layered and collected, you’ll truly enjoy your possessions, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you spent your money wisely.


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*According our conversation today with the U.S. Copyright office, there are provisions that govern what’s known as “Fair Use” of reproductions. There are no set guidelines for each situation, but not-for-profit reproduction for personal use may fall under the Fair Use provisions, based on our reading.

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