It’s true that times are tough. Fortunately, it's possible to cultivate your love of decorating even if you’re on a budget. Don’t forget: even small investments can yield great dividends when it comes to the enjoyment and property value of your home, recession or no. As any recessionista can tell you, there's no need to spend a bundle.
Read on for our top 10 recession-busting decorating tips. (We think you'll love the results long after the economy has improved!)
1 Paint a room. Yes, we decor writers always harp on about paint, but the fact is, it's the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to refresh any room in your home. Give a tired bedroom a facelift, or "neutralize" an out-there home office to prepare your home for resale in this buyer's market. Yes, we know you love aubergine but potential buyers may not!
2 Two words: fresh flowers. Flowers are under-rated as a small-ticket luxury. True, a basic supermarket bouquet costing $10 and replaced weekly, comes to $520 per year, but swap three lattes per week to freebie office coffee and you’re there.
Want more floral cost cutting? Display just one or two long-lasting tropical leaves or a stem of long lasting blooms. Phalaenopsis orchids and calla lilies can last up to two weeks if you keep them out of direct sun and replace the water every couple of days.
And don’t forget: once your garden comes into bloom, you'll have free fresh flowers until mid-autumn!
3 Reface or repaint kitchen cabinetry. If the recession has you postponing a planned kitchen makeover, extend the life of your kitchen by giving your cabinetry a new look. Have it professionally refaced, or, if DIY is more your style, sand, prime and then give it a new coat of melamine or oil paint.
4 Put all your lights on dimmer switches. You can buy dimmer switches for under $20 at any hardware store. Dimmable lights create instant mood lighting while reducing energy consumption.
5 Throw down an area rug. If your hardwood has seen better days but you can’t afford to have it professionally refinished, get an inexpensive sisal or sea grass area rug. The neutral tone won’t draw the eye downward like a colourful (and pricey!) gabbeh might, but will blend in while disguising scuffs.