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Thrifty home design and decor


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The cost of living continues to squeeze budgets that area already stretched to the max, so when it comes to home improvement any tips that can save you money are always welcome. From Upcycling to Freecycling, and Recycling to Make-Do-And-Mend, the savvy homeowner is constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas. Making the most of what you’ve got is what it’s all about, so here are a few ideas for thrifty home design and decor.

2nd Hand Hotel Chic

Across the UK, hotels are closing due to the recession, or temporarily eschewing guests in favour of a makeover. In both cases they are often looking to shift old furniture and soft furnishings, and seek to do this via auction. Surf around and see what sales may be coming to your area soon, and you may be able to snag a few bargains on curtains, or furniture to upcycle at home.

Salvage Yards

A veritable Aladdin’s cave of treasures, salvage yards can often hold some perfect pieces that can fit well into a shabby-chic home design, and they are often very reasonably priced. Most places offer a selection of stock that ranges from items needing some serious TLC, to those that have already been tweaked and upcycled for you.

Become eBay Aware

thrifty home decoreBay is the ideal place to snap-up furniture from the comfort of your armchair, but you need to have a strategy if you are to secure bargains. Snipers are experts at placing last minute bids that can snatch a perfect item from your clutches in the final seconds of an auction. Holding your nerve is key, and if you are simply too jittery to wait until the last minute to pitch your final bid, consider using a 3rd-party sniping platform such as Auction Sniper to do it for you.

Other top eBay tips include doing your research in advance (to make sure you don’t overpay), checking out the delivery or collection details (to be sure you can actually get the item once you’ve bought it), and setting your top price in your head before you even begin bidding (it can be so tempting to push the price upwards at the last minute).

Do a Kirsty

She may not be your personal cup-of-tea, but Kirsty Allsopp knows her onions when it comes to renovating old furniture. Her book on the subject is packed with useful tips on how to do-it-yourself, and you can save a lot of money by rolling up your sleeves and getting down and dirty with the paint-stripper and other tools. Paying for someone else to do the work may save you a bit compared with the price of a brand-spanking new item, but if money is very tight then nothing beats a DIY upcycle job, and the satisfaction is immense. You also get greater flexibility on your choice of colour and style.

Go for a Freecycle

This global phenomenon is essentially a platform for people to give away perfectly good stuff they no longer want/need, instead of throwing it away. It’s an eco-friendly stroke of genius, and if you’re quick to respond it is possible to acquire some lovely items to furnish your house with – completely free!  It’s also a great place to pass on your own unwanted items to make space for your new ones.

Innovative Income Potential

Not strictly an internal decor item this, but I was so taken by the idea when I heard of it that I thought I’d share it here. If you are generally out and about most days and live in an area where parking is a nightmare, consider renting out your home-parking space or driveway to a commuter.  Pitch your price a little below what a commuter would pay elsewhere, and you could be onto a nice little earner.

Curtain Heaven

I was shocked by the cost of the made-to-measure curtains I bought for my living room last year. It’s a good thing I had a nice new room to sit down in to get over it. Fabric additions to your rooms can be very expensive, so it’s good to know there are second-hand curtain providers springing-up all over the place. The Curtain Exchange is just one example where you can pick up fine pre-used fabrics at a fraction of the cost of new.

Get Skilled

Instead of a visit to the gym twice a week, why not enrol on a course to learn a trade. Plastering, woodwork or tiling will all give you a valuable skill that you can use to transform your home for half the cost of hiring-in a pro.



About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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