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Budget Home Decorating – Get a Designer Home Makeover Without the Designer Price Tag

Give your home a designer makeover without the designer price tag with these budget-friendly home decorating tips:

1. Get inspired. The first step is to get loads of inspiration and ideas. Go to your local library and check out a few magazines on interior design and home decor. Depending on your personal taste, you might consider the following titles: ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, Dwell, LUXE, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, and Cottage Style. Also check out any design magazines that are specific to your region.

Now flip through those magazines just to get ideas. Take note of the design elements that you like most. Which colors, textures, and patterns are particularly appealing to you? Jot down any and all of those designer tricks that you find aesthetically pleasing and that you could incorporate inexpensively into your own space: stacked books that double as end tables, collections of antique jars on a mantle or mismatched pewter frames in an attractive grouping, for example.

When something speaks to you, sketch it in your “design notebook” or just jot down the idea. You might not be able to use the idea in your space right away, but when you need fresh inspiration, you’ll have it.

2. Dress the walls. A quick coat or two of paint can do wonders for any space, and it’s an easy project to do by yourself in an afternoon (or two). Just a few hours of work can yield dramatic effects – elevating a boring, blah room into a cozy, warm space. And even if painting isn’t your favorite part of the home decorating process, it needs to be done first so you can make sure all of your other design elements will match or coordinate with the room itself.

Wall tiles, wall flats, fabric panels, and vinyl embellishments are other attractive and affordable options to quickly and dramatically change the look and feel of a space, particularly if you are renting and need a more temporary and removable option. A quick Google search will give you a variety of choices in a wide range of price points.

3. Dress the windows. Behind paint, the right window treatments can give you the second biggest bang for your buck. Your choice of fabric can make all the difference in your room. For drama, choose strong colors and patterns with heavier textures. For a light and airy room, opt for sheer draperies in pastels.

While the right window coverings are important, they don’t have to be super expensive. Browse your local Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Target, Kmart or Macys. You can often find especially deep discounts online at Amazon and Smart Bargains.

Another affordable option is to make the window coverings yourself. Roman shades are do-able for even the non-seamstress. Search for your chosen project on YouTube, HGTV or the DIY Network for step-by-step video tutorials.

4. Dress the big stuff. Since we’re on a budget here, we won’t be buying new furniture, so consider livening up your space with quality slipcovers. These can have a dramatic effect and are particularly ideal if you have quality furniture with some cosmetic blemishes.

You can generally find slipcovers at your local department stores or at discount bed and bath superstores. The nice thing about slipcovers is that they make it a cinch to change the theme or color scheme of a room to correspond with the changing seasons – or your changing moods. The downside: furniture covers are really only a practical option if you don’t have young kids or pets that lie around on the furniture. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time straightening and tucking.

As an alternative to slipcovers, you could have your furniture reupholstered, which may be less expensive than you think, depending on the piece -or, if you’d rather opt for a new piece of furniture, you can do it without spending a whole lot by keeping an eye on your local Craigslist, your city’s Freecycle site, or even furniture store clearance sales.

5. Go nuts with accessories. This is the fun part. Use your personal sense of style and taste (coupled with the new ideas and know-how from your designer’s notebook) to add inexpensive pillows, sconces, candles and candle holders, art, photo frames, floral arrangements, throw blankets, decorative fruit bowls, fresh towels and other home décor elements. Dress up your dining room chairs with skirts and chair covers, add a dramatic table runner and an elaborate handmade centerpiece.

Where to find those budget-friendly items? Turn to your local department stores as well as secondhand stores. Watch the online clearance bins and stroll the flea market. Walk into your local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for ideas, which are generally on display throughout the store. You might even be able to take a class in the store on how to create some of the floral displays or other home accessories you see on display.

When you’re online, be on the lookout for eye-catching ideas you can do yourself. (Stumbleupon and Pinterest are fantastic tools for uncovering hidden DIY gems.)

If you don’t have the money to do every room in your house, start small – either with paint or a new slipcover; a new pillow or a new DIY project. The trick to home decorating on a budget is to do what you can, when you can.

How to Make Your Home Relaxing for Retirement

The time after retirement should be a period of relaxation. It should be a time for being comfortable and content. Unfortunately, old age can mean that aches and pains from years of wear can make living harder than it needs to be. Circulation gets poor and it is sometimes harder to keep warm. There are, however, lots of options to make a home a place of bliss and comfort.

Adding Warmth and Simple Comforts

One easy way to add a comfy touch to a home is to redo the floors with carpeting. This creates a more soft and cushioned environment. Adding fleece or wool blankets along with a set of pillows on couches makes a room seem warm and inviting. Warm lights and soothing paint colors, combined with the amber hues of wood, can create a relaxing environment.

Candles can be dangerous when lit, so one good consideration for anyone who wants a sweet aroma in their home is to keep candles in safe glass containers in a crock pot in a secure area. The slow cooker can more safely melt the candle wax. Explore scents with incense, or scented plug-ins for the benefits of aromatherapy.

Improving Mobility

If mobility is limited it is important that all furniture, from couches, to dining chairs, to mattresses do not exasperate any pain. For low couches, having a small handle attached to a wall next to the coach can help a person with trouble getting up.

Lift Chairs

An even better option is to buy a lift chair. Prices range from around 400 to upwards of 1,000 dollars, with outliers on that price range also available. These recliners have several settings of angles that they recline to. Then with the convenience of a hand held control, they can tilt forward so someone can easily sit down or get up.

Controlling these chairs is a no hassle business; most remotes are far simpler than a TV remote. They come in all different colors to match any home décor. There are many ranges of sizes to choose from: from snug to spacious. These chairs are is especially lovely for those over 60 with knee problems or those with arthritis. With a lift chair it is possible to relax without having to worry about falling when getting up on an instant to get to the telephone, for example.

Tips for Mental Well-being

Spending time with family and friends is important in all of life, but especially after retirement. Now is the time to try new hobbies you didn’t have the time for before. Try volunteering for a worthy cause or mentoring students with your wisdom and life experience. Read. Go out and learn new things and travel even if it is only a few hours from home. Exercise regularly, with a doctor’s approval, and create a healthy eating plan of super foods like berries and greens for good health. This can keep life interesting with more pleasant twists and turns than even before retirement.

Therefore, to have a good retirement, appreciate the small comforts, invest to improve mobility and strive to try new things and be healthy.