Create a New Look on a Shoestring

Sal Army


Although Summer is often seen as a lazy fun filled time, for many of us it’s the perfect time to tackle home improvement and decorating projects. In fact, 12 percent of American regards summer as the best time to move – the kids are out of school and the weather is good.

If you are moving to a new place you’ll be thinking about new ideas for your home.  But couldn’t we all benefit from a brand new look for our living room or bedroom?  The trick is to do it without breaking the bank.

Living Room Ideas

Start with the color.  Pick one item in the room as the main focus and co-ordinate the colors around that.  This living room was designed around the rug, which is a salmon pink shade.

It’s a small space, so a love seat and simple chairs create a cozy atmosphere. The shelving was the most expensive item – it came from IKEA along with the two off-white arm chairs. The salmon shade was picked up in the rattan chairs ($50) at Grandfather’s Attic and accented with small cushions placed on the off-white chairs.  The coffee table was a flea market find. ($30)

Living room redesign

Thrift Store decorating

Bedroom Ideas

Every bedroom could do with a place to relax and read. This comfy chair, found in a Veterans Thrift Store, prompted a change in color for a guest bedroom.  All the cushions for the bed were also found at that same thrift store, along with the  brass lamp to complement the yellow and gold theme.

Chair bedroom

Finding Treasures in the Thrift Store

Take the time to look for interesting items in unusual places.  This love seat cost $50 in a thrift store – and I’ve seen similar pieces on the West Side of Los Angeles for more than $1000!  Most towns have a Salvation Army Thrift Store.  It’s a great place to find good furniture and do good at the same time. Goodwill also has some good finds. Every town or suburb has it’s own interesting stores.  Here are some tips to find the best treasures.

1.  Look for  upscale “Grandma” neighborhoods. This is why Florida is full of excellent furniture.

2. Wood items are best – they are easy to clean and disinfect. Also you can refinish or paint them

3. Look at the lines or “bones” of the piece.

4.  Check the tags – some stores  label pieces that have been cleaned and are certified pest free.

5.  Ask if the store has a delivery service – you will need help with big items.

When it’s too hot to spend time outside, or it’s not a great day for the pool or the beach, spend the afternoon on a treaure hunt in your local thrift stores.





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