Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items

For a moment, let's pretend that you can't spend a dime between now and your next payday, two weeks away. You are absolutely dying to add a few new touches to your space, to breathe a fresh breathe of air to your decor, but your hands are tied.

Wait. Are they really?

Why not think about what you already own and get creative. Challenge yourself to look at what you have differently. There are so many things in your space that you can use right now that will look brand new to you if used in a different way. Invite a few girlfriends over for takeout and ask them to walk your apartment with you, extracting things they see that they think would look more interesting if presented in a different way (or room). Most friends are happy to give suggestions, and sometimes their suggestions give you a new take on what you own. Recently I had a friend comment on some roosters I have in carved wood, they are French Farmhouse style (a style I once used a few years back) in red, cream, and black. The second she spotted them in my storage area, she grabbed one and commented enthusiastically, "If you don't want these roosters, hand them over! I would love to spray paint them solid red or white and use them to support my cookbooks in my kitchen!". I stood there with my jaw dropping slightly. This is coming from a very successful artist/fashion designer. What a cool idea. One I'd never in a million years would have thought of. Which leads me back to the point, others see things through their own creative lens, so give your girlfriends a go and have them over.

I recently rearranged some shelves in my bedroom, swapping objects from other rooms. The result? I feel more at peace and very content with the new arrangment, and the urge to shop for something new faded very fast by a simple rearrange. If you haven't a creative bone in your body, grab magazines and copy their styling tricks. That's actually how I learned how to style bookcases, I had the most difficult time making books on a shelf look interesting in my clients home. I could style anything, but books on a shelf, forget it, I was stumped. Magazines, coupled with my own innate sense of what looks right (or not), helped me learn how to style better in the beginning. Of course, after a few times you'll be a pro at it and actually enjoy it as much as I do.

If you're looking for cheap decorating tips for everyday items, visit Real Simple online because they have 11 helpful suggestions that prove handy for us all.

Of course, let me know if you have any tricks up your sleeve, too. We'd love to know how you save money without sacrificing style!

(images from real simple)