With the spring real estate market now upon us, buyers
and sellers alike are gearing up for the busier real estate season. For buyers, this may mean speaking to their bank about pre-qualification, connecting with a buyer's agent
to receive up-to-the-minute information and advocacy, and attending many showings and open houses. For sellers
, this will likely mean readying their home to put on the market. Whether this will require a deep cleaning, some new coats of paint, staging of certain rooms, de-cluttering and organizing - or all of the above - a seller's agent
will help you to prioritize and connect with any contractors you may need to get the job done.
Regardless of whether you are gearing up to buy or sell a home - many of us feel the urge to purge and start anew with the onset of spring. This feeling can lend itself nicely to taking on home decorating projects which have fallen by the wayside this long winter. The following article from Apartment Therapy
has some great advice about how to tackle certain decorating projects on a tight budget.
Wouldn't it be nice if there were some kind of grant that would allow people with exceptional taste to decorate their spaces however they please? It's a nice idea, but we live in the real world, where more often than not extraordinary taste is paired with a less than extraordinary budget. But that doesn't mean you can't have the home of your dreams — you just have to get smart. Here are five sneaky solutions that will have your home looking like a million bucks — without you having to spend, well, a million bucks.
Design Problem: Upholstered furniture is super, super expensive, and none of the couch offerings at IKEA is striking your fancy.
Smart Solution: It will definitely take a little more legwork, but if you're searching for a beautiful sofa on a budget, vintage furniture is the best way to go. Find a couch you like on Craigslist or in a thrift store, and then get it re-upholstered in a fabric of your choice. Professional upholstery also isn't cheap (you can get an idea of the price here), but once all is said and done you'll have a unique, high-quality piece, in a fabric of your choice, for about the same price as a generic-looking, mid-range sofa.
Design Problem: You've finally found some dining chairs that you really love. The price, however, is less lovely.
Smart Solution: Who says everything has to match? Buy a pair of the chairs you really love, to anchor the ends of the table, and fill in the middle with more budget-friendly pieces.
Design Problem: You have a whole wall that you want to fill, but oversized artwork is out of your budget.
Smart Solution: Instead of a single piece, creating a grouping (like the one above) of same-sized frames. Extra-pretty calendars are great for this — use 'em for a year, and then hang them on the wall.
Design Problem: You have things in unusual sizes that you want to frame, but custom framing costs an arm and a leg.
Smart Solution: Go to a craft store and get a custom mat cut. Make sure the outer dimensions of the mat are a standard size, and then buy a frame off the shelf.
Design Problem: You find a rug you love, but you can't possibly afford to buy the size that's actually big enough for your room.
Smart Solution: Get an inexpensive sisal rug in the size that you need, and then buy a smaller size of the rug you like and layer it on top. You'll save money AND add a little bit of interest and texture to your room.
(Image credits: Esteban Cortez; Entrance; William Waldron for Architectural Digest; Andrea Sparacio; Nancy Mitchell)