Fashionable Frugalista At Home

How to Have a Fashionable Home on a Frugalista Budget

Decorating your home can seem like an overwhelming, and expensive, venture. I know. After living in college dorms then with a roommate who provided the majority of our furniture, it was time to create a home of my own, and on a graduate student's budget. Suddenly I had a whole apartment to furnish myself, and all I had was furniture for my bedroom. Below I will detail some inexpensive options that helped me create a homey enviornment for less, as well as a few creative expert tips.

Watch the video here for some decorating tips using grocery store items and items already in your home. And learn how to score really cheap paint, a great tip when paint can run to more than $30 a gallon.

Creativity and flexibility are key when decorating your home on a budget. Shopping your home is one tip that I really like. Think about things you may have put away or items in other rooms that could be moved around and given new life. Those sheets from an old bed set taking up space in the linen closet could make a great valance for your living room window. The side table that doesn't quite fit in with your living room anymore can be repainted and put in the bathroom to hold towels or makeup. And while it is good to have an idea of the style and look you want your rooms to have, don't get too boxed in while shopping and deciding what you will fill your home with. It is much harder to find a very specific color scheme or piece of furniture, and probably more expensive too.

When looking for big ticket items, don't discount looking in secondhand shops or trolling garage and estate sales. Today's economic woes mean many people are cuting back and selling off possessions. You can find great pieces in good condition, and even if they aren't exactly to your specifications, with some DIY craftiness they can become just want you wanted. The dining set pictured below is a secondhand find that now resides in my apartment. When I got it, the seats were covered in a loud print, and I didn't even like the colors. But I had them reupholstered in a neutral. They will now work with my decor for many years to come. And a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for dressers, side tables and any other find that may be a little beaten or in a color that you think doesn't go with your style.

Another tip I can offer is to look for nice pieces for the home at inexpensive and chain stores such as Walmart and Target. Both now have guest designers and big names doing collections for them. The bookshelf below is from the Better Homes & Gardens line at Walmart and looks like a pricey showroom piece. I have also covered my walls in inexpensive art from the two big retailers. You can find a nice selection with pieces less than $60. Be willing to expand your shopping circle, and realize most people are not going to have any idea that you got your paint from the mis-tint pile or that your coffee table was $5 at Salvation Army. Relax, have fun shopping, and be creative!

Secondhand sleeper sofa, Salvation Army coffee table

Secondhand sleeper sofa, Salvation Army coffee table

Secondhand dining set with reupholstered chairs

Secondhand dining set with reupholstered chairs

Bookcase from Walmart

Bookcase from Walmart