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Everyone likes to have a comfortable well-decorated home. With today’s economy, everyone is thinking twice before paying full retail price for their home furnishing items. Since many of us are spending less time at movies or restaurants, and more time at home it’s more important than ever to create a comfortable space to relax, work, live. So here are 10 great ideas for creating livable, fashionable spaces on a budget.

1. Recycle what you already have
Think of creative ways to change or update what you currently own. I almost threw away our dated brass bathroom lights and ceiling fan. Brass IS paint-able, and you can get deep textured looks from today’s “hammered” spray paint. (Before throwing anything out, you might want to try craigslist.org.

2. Change a Lamp Shade
A new lamp shade is the fastest, easiest way to update your room. If you are tired of your old shade, or it is old or brittle, then it MUST be replaced. If you are just tired of it, replace it with an updated color. If your old shade is in decent shape, you can keep it for later, or how about painting it in a holiday theme?

3. Ask a Salesperson to point out the Best Deals
Your salesperson knows which items are the best deals. They are in the store everyday and they are probably scouting out items to buy themselves. They know which items have recently been marked down and where you can save the most money.

4. Ask for a Discount
Go ahead and ask. You have nothing to lose. Retailers are hungry for sales and they will give you a discount if they possibly can to get your business. They may not be able to discount further due to manufacturer rules, but you may as well ask!

5. One Stop Shopping
Save time and don’t waste gas by parking your car once and walking to home furnishing stores that are clustered together. Enclosed malls often have smaller furniture stores. For larger furniture and home decor stores are often clustered together in “furniture row” complexes.

6. Pre-shop Online
You can learn a lot by taking a few minutes to gather information online. Even if you like to see and feel it before buying, why not pre-shop online. You will get a feel for how much you should pay and what style you are looking for.

7. Look for Rebates
Rebates can sometimes save you big money! Energy star rebates provided by many states (including Wisconsin) offer up to $15 off energy efficient products. Some lamps and fixtures can be had for less than $5 after rebates.

8. Think Long Term Savings
Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the lowest initial price. Ask about energy consumption and how much you will save over the life of the item. Often energy efficient bulbs or ceiling fans will appear much cheaper when operating costs are considered!

9. Scout out Sales
Check your local newspaper for the best deals and gather as much information as possible before you get in the car. Sale prices are often your best bet, especially items on the front cover of ads.

10. Find the Clearance Aisle
Just because something is on clearance doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Clearance is an opportunity to save 50% or more. But be sure you like it. Don’t buy just because the price is low if you don’t really like it.

Article written by Steve, Home Concept.com



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