budget

budget

General

No Money? No Problem! Here’s How to Decorate on a Budget!

Need new blinds but you’re on a budget? Don’t worry everything that looks nice does not mean you have to spend a lot of money. They’re some options that will make your home look like you just spent a million bucks. Whether you’re looking to purchase blinds and shades to simply eliminate outside light or your looking for window treatment that will complement your home décor, there’s a good chance you have a strict budget for this purchase. While most blinds and shades are relatively inexpensive, the cost of outfitting an entire home or several rooms with new window coverings can add up.  No matter what room you install them wood blinds always convey elegance and classic charm. They’re also highly versatile from a décor standpoint as they effortlessly complement almost any type of furniture, decorative color scheme, and window type. Wood blinds are among the best-selling window coverings due to their affordable price and their natural wood grain beauty.  In addition to the wood blinds they are highly effective at insulating your home during winter and summer.

Aluminum blinds are among the most commonly used window coverings in the world and for good reasons. They’re efficient at blocking out light and very affordable. 1-inch aluminum blinds feature a low profile, and available in many colors. Cellular shades would be a little step up in price, but it would make up for the cost in your energy bill. For insulation and energy efficiency cellular shades with their little pockets of cells keep your temperature serene. All those little pockets trap air and keep the summer and the warmth in during the winter. They are available in every color, they are ideal fit for most rooms and have many options that make them great for families with children.  If you have large windows or sliding doors you can’t beat vertical blinds. Vertical blinds are a much better fit as they are easily to open and closed and can cover even the widest window or doors. They are one of most inexpensive blinds to replace even if one slat brakes. The good news is that you don’t have to buy everything all over; just only the one or two slats that are broken.

The great thing about buying the simplest blinds or shades is that they can go with any décor that you decide to do.  Once you make this one-time investment in buying your blinds they are going to last for years just if you take good care of them. Remember you may have a beer budget but a champagne taste you are the only one who knows what you spent on blinds or shades. It is no need to go that expensive, just keep it simple.

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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Easy Remodeling Ideas – On A Budget!

When you move into a new home – house or apartment, it is easy to come up with pages of things you would like to change, update, and improve. Unfortunately, moving expenses piled on top of down payments make taking on most projects nearly impossible. Rather than accumulating a ton of debt – we have compiled a list of inexpensive updates you can do that will make a huge impact on your space, and not your wallet!

  • Update out dated brass fixtures. Gold and brass fixtures can age any room 20 years. Turns out you can purchase Rustoleum – paint/primer in one – in a bunch of updated colors – brushed nickel, chrome, rust, or steel. A quick and easy update to anything metal – sink fixtures, cabinet handles, light fixtures, even light switch covers!
  • Update old fashion bathrooms. Believe it or not there is hope for the pastel bathrooms that were popular around the 60’s and 70’s – epoxy paint! You can cover up any sink, toilet, even tub with the paint, and give a fresh coat of white finish to an otherwise outdated space. While this is available to do yourself, keep in mind that even hiring a professional to do the work is a significant cost savings to a bathroom remodel.
  • Update brick features. Most of the time anything brick is extremely hard to replace – fireplaces, accent walls, wood stove bases – but luckily a new whitewash finish can instantly update the look. It is extremely easy to do as well, white paint, water, a few brushes, and some cloths! And since you are doing it yourself you can decide how dark or light you go!
  • Add crown molding. There are a lot of areas in the house where some simple crown molding can really make a statement if the original design was plain and simple. For example, add a frame around a plain bathroom mirror to dress it up. Update contractor grade cabinets with a piece of molding along the top – or even bottom of the cabinets. Even a strip around a plain window or door opening can make a big difference.
  • Update a ceiling fan. The traditional fan that is a faux wood finish usually looks dated. Cover it with a coat of white or even black paint for a quick update. If you are feeling a little more ambitious change out the light covers for a totally new look.
  • Add drama to your windows. Make windows that are proportionally small for a room appear bigger by hanging curtains wider and higher than the window – it gives an illusion that the ceiling is higher and the windows bigger.

Again – keep in mind even these projects can not all be done in one weekend – but they probably can get checked off a lot faster than a kitchen or bathroom reno!

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General Tips and Advice

Jumpstart Holiday Decorating

It’s October, and before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. Now is the time to get your home ready; especially if entertaining is in your future. It is best to prepare ahead and not wait to do things last minute. The holidays should be enjoyable, not feel like drudgery. By putting the work in ahead of time, you can savor the beautiful home you have created and enjoy the festive holiday season.

These are the steps I take to jumpstart my holiday decorating:

Clear out and throw out. That means everything from closets to drawers. Pull everything out of each space and get rid of all the clutter. Make designated piles along the way while emptying too to help keep your stuff organized. (i.e. Keep Pile, Donate Pile, Trash Pile, etc)

Assess and Make a List. This is where you go from room to room, check out the condition of each room and its contents. Does paint need to be touched up? Holes need to be spackled?  Pillows restitched? It’s your time to take note of those “small things” that build up over the months or even years that you maybe keep putting off.

Prioritize. It would be great if we could completely redecorate or tackle everything on our “to do” lists, but life gets in the way and sometimes that just isn’t possible. This is where prioritizing and budget becomes key. If your sofa is looking worn but a new one isn’t in the cards right now, buy a decorative throw or maybe some throw pillows to add some new life to it.

Hopefully these tips will help you to prep for the busy holiday season that is quickly approaching! but in the mean time, enjoy the Fall!

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piggy bank DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Dollar Store Decor

Dollar Store Decor

Around the holidays, it seems money is going in a lot of directions. Whether it be on presents, or new outfits, food and parties, often there isn’t a whole lot left to buy things to decorate your house. Luckily, with a quick trip to the dollar store, and an afternoon of arts and crafts, you can transform some cheap buys into fabulous statement pieces.

One thing that almost every dollar store always has in stock are glass vases, containers, and bowls. The great thing about glass pieces is, that unless someone gets really close to them, they can’t tell its from the dollar store. You can easily spruce them up easily too. Fill them with plain ornaments, that will shine brightly in the light. You can put candy – holiday colored packaging will not only be decorative, but will double as a fun candy dish as well. You can even fill them with extra ribbon and bows that will bring a pop of color into the room.

Another great project is creating a wreath for your door – and even better it will be one that you can use year after year. What you need to buy is a few boxes of the plain round ornaments and some ribbon, and you will need a wire hanger. All of you have to do is unwind the hanger, and form it into a circle. Take the ornaments, and thread the circle part (where you would normally hang the hook for the tree) through the wire. As you fill it up the balls will fit on to each other, and it will form a wreath. At the end (when it is full), twist together the ends of the hanger. Create a pretty bow, and make a loop so you will be able to hang it on the door. It will look like you spent a lot more than $5!

One more fabulous idea I’ve used many times, is taking something bland and bringing it to life. For instance, if you are looking for some candle holders, buy the plain white ceramic ones, and coat them with glitter paint, and you have instantly changed the look. You can do the same thing with picture frames, mason jars, and even cute little holiday decorations (that might look cheap because of their colors). Happy decorating!!

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Care Tips DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Fall Decor on a Budget

Fall Decor on a Budget

A new season is here, totally time to redecorate and bring some fall into the house. Only problem is, most of the gorgeous pieces advertised, are always out of the budget. Luckily, we have the internet to provide us with some great DIY tips. One of my favorite ideas I’ve used over the last year is buying things from the dollar store and redesigning them to look a little more high end. Not only does it save me a lot of money, its a fun challenge to see how I can customize things.

On my first trip to the dollar store this season, I found quite a few things to stock up on. I got some plastic pumpkins (they come in a variety of different shapes and sizes), fake leaves, candles, felt cut outs (shaped like leaves, acorns, and pumpkins), a whole bunch of silk flowers (in fall colors of course), and a vases. A lot of items can be reused when you change it up for the season, but some pieces you might want to keep for the following year (depending on how good they come). I also stocked up on some hot glue, spray paint, and glitter paint (a lot of which I had leftover from my last crafting project).

My first project was the pumpkins. I chose to go with a white theme – just to match the colors that I have in my living and dining room, but you can chose whatever matches. It took a couple coats of paints, but it magically transformed the pumpkins into high end looking pieces. Some of them were open at the top (to be filled with candy) so I filled those up with the flowers, and some of the pumpkins didn’t have the holes in them.

I was able to use the felt shapes to create the effect of a runner on my dining room table – hot glued the pieces together just to make sure they didn’t move around too much. I then coated the insides of the vases with glitter spray, and used them as candle holders – really high end look for only a few dollars – and likely a piece I can use again during the holidays.

The best part is, it really gives you a chance to make it your own. When you head to the store, don’t pay attention to the colors/materials things are made out of – just imagine what you can make them look like. And have fun!

 

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Products Tips and Advice

Time to Warm Up

Time to Warm Up

 

It’s getting darker earlier, staying darker later in the mornings, there’s no more denying it – fall is officially here.  And right around the corner is another New England winter.  Now that all of the fun summer stuff has been put away, it is time to think about warming up the house again.  And, doing it on a budget is always important.

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Inspiration Products Tips and Advice

All About the Budget

This Summer, why wait till your dying from the heat this season? When you can put up our Cellular Shades and keep down that air conditioning bill. These shades come in all types of colors that can liven up any room, and still leave more money in your pocket.If you are looking for something more for function this summer that look great, Classic and Smartcell Cellulars are what you want to go for.

The Classics come in neutral colors so they can go with any kind of color scheme, and because of the basic set up for this shade they are also the least expensive out of the four kinds of cellulars, making it easy to stick to your budget without giving it a second thought.

Also there is our Smartcell Collection. Although this style does have neutrals and earthtones it also has lovely bold colors such as blue, red, plum, grey, lavender, ect… These colors no matter how viberant or simple will be the perfect accent piece to touch up any room. The great thing about these are now you have more function options to choose from. Just like the Classic Cellular you can get cordless, the difference? The difference is in how many choices of color it can come with; the Classic can only come in white or cloud for this type and Smartcell colors can all come cordless! Also you can now get what is called Top-Down/Bottom-Up, which allows you to let light into the room all the while keeping your privacy. This is a great opiton to have in any room breaking the shade rulling of “all or nothing.” These shades can also be a great option for that sliding door if you are looking for something different than verticals. This year more people are buying these because of our 2 on 1 feature, which translates to 2 shades on 1 headrail, letting the side on which you exit out of up and the other down.

The best thing about our cellulars is that they are white on the back! So no matter what you choose for the color on the inside they will always apeer uniformal. So for you it is helping the room stay cool but to the people looking from the outside it will look like beautiful white shades and no one will be any of the wiser to the georgeous colors happening on the inside of your home.

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Blinds Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Spring Decor on a Budget

Spring Decor on a Budget

by Karen E.

The best part of social media is all of the DIY (do it yourself) projects that you can find – and how to do them cheap!  Between what friends share on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (of course!) there are too many projects to keep up.  Of course, depending on your level of expertise, you don’t want to chose anything to complicated.  So, I’ve picked out a few no fail DIY’s to dress up your home for Spring 2015.

Updating your potted plants.  Most of us have the traditional orange colored pots (to be honest, most of my plants came in them).  They add a pop of color as is, but really don’t add anything to the overall decor of the room, so a simple solution is to update them.  Stop by a fabric store, and grab some 2′ squares of fabric – often times fabric stores have a clearance section of fabric that was already cut and someone changed their mind, fabric glue, and a brush.  When you get home, coat the pot in a layer of paint, and simply wrap the pot (take the plant out first), and instantly you’ve added a pop of color/design!

Colored glass jars.  A lot of us already have the colored glass jars – open the cabinet and take a look.  A lot of oils, canned veggies, and juices come in funky colored bottles these days (solely for the sake of re-purposing). If you don’t have any, stop by a local thrift store where you can grab some for really low prices.  Fill the jars with some fresh flowers from the garden, and line them along window sills, and you instantly bring some color and style into the space.

Mason jar candle holders.  Of course mason jars projects are everywhere this spring, but the good thing is that means you can get them at a lot of stores (especially craft stores) for pretty inexpensive.  You can spray the jars themselves with a glitter spray, and get some simple votive candles to put inside.  It saves you money from the expensive larger candles, and the light shining through the glitter looks awesome.

Those are some good starter projects.  If you feel more ambitious, just check out Pinterest and you’ll be occupied for weeks!

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Kitchen on a Budget

By Monica B.

When moving into an apartment you always want it to be comfortable even though it’s not always a permanent stay. Spending a ton of money to make it comfortable and fabulous is not always the case.  Starting with the kitchen small changes can have a big effect on how your kitchen looks.

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