Frugal Decorating Tips: The Living Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen

This is part two in the Frugal Decorating Tips series we are sharing each Friday in April.

Frugal Decorating Tips

The Living Room and Dining Room

Painting is probably the most frugal change while being the biggest little change anyone can make in their home.  Just remember, if you rent, ask permission first.

If you have a wall you want to accent without the commitment of a detailed painting job or wallpaper;  hanging fabric is an awesome idea, especially for the renter. Liquid starch is the secret to gluing the fabric onto the wall. Check out this tutorial on hanging fabric.

What about art work to hang on the walls? A tip my aunt gave me was to find pictures of things you like from catalogs, magazines, wrapping papers, gift bags, etc. and cut it out and put in a frame you have purchased from the dollar store or yard sale.

She had an old oval frame that she had kept and took a very pretty Christmas box lid and cut it to fit the frame. She gave this to me a few years ago when we bought our house. I hang it up every Christmas. It is so pretty!

Do the same thing inside with fake vines or flowers in containers to put in each room. A little bit of greenery or floral really sets off a room.

Maybe you have furniture that is a bit worn. Cover it with a pretty sheet and place some pillows on the sofa or chair. If you are great at sewing, make a slipcover to fit.

Look at these neat ideas on sprucing things up without breaking the bank.

The Kitchen

I'll tell you what I did. Our house is an old ranch style house with a small kitchen. The cabinets are made from plain old wood painted white. The paint soon yellowed. Ugh! There was an awful yellow-striped wallpaper on the walls that was here before we bought it. The counter tops are plain white laminate. We couldn't afford a makeover, so I started gathering some information. I found out that you can paint over wallpaper. Make sure there are no loose edges. If so, paste them back down. Use a quality primer (this is so important), then paint the color of your choice. Be sure to use a semi-gloss in the kitchen, so it can be wiped clean without taking the paint off.

I learned to do some decorative painting (mostly flowers, leaves, and fruit), so I painted a leafy vine for a border near the ceiling (which I have now painted over as it was too busy looking). I also repainted the cabinets and painted a cute apple and leaves theme on a few of the cabinet doors, then put an antique glaze over the cabinets. You'll have to also finish with a polyurethane so it can be wiped clean without damaging the glaze and artwork.

The counter tops, if yellowed, can be bleached. I have heard you can paint laminate counter tops, but I didn't want to try that, since mine were in good shape. Decorate the walls with pretty potholders or decorative plates. One thing I did was take some shelf liner paper with little apples on it and cut to fit my light and outlet covers. It brightened things right up!

I love these three ideas for the kitchen.
If you missed the first post in the series, you can read it here.

What are some of your frugal decorating tips?

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