Home Decorating: Bargain Buys Made Beautiful

Bargain finds from clearance rooms, secondhand shops, and flea markets come together to decorate comfortable, stylish rooms on a budget.


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Bargain Style
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Bargain Style

    Repurposed touches and a creative eye are the secrets to designing on a dime, as the owner of this Atlanta home knows full well. To pull together comfortable, stylish rooms on a budget, she frequents clearance rooms, secondhand shops, and flea markets

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Welcome Home

    Unusual wall treatments such as the horizontal stripes in this entryway are an immediate indication of this home's unique styling. In a small space like this, stripes can be painted on the walls with just two quarts of paint

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Entries Made Easy

    The chic bargain finds start just inside the door. An entry table draped with fabric, which conceals storage underneath, is set against the backdrop of a creative art display. Basic frames are a bargain-decor power accessory. They can be painted and customized on a dime, and they're affordable enough to buy en masse. Here, black frames with botanical prints hang in a grid for a gallery-worthy display

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Change Artist

    Budget decorating is as much about giving yourself options as it is about conserving cash. White walls, a sisal rug, and slipcovered chairs provide a budget-friendly foundation for stylish thrift-store and discount accessories. With neutral big-ticket items, you can affordably change up your look from time to time. A basic sofa in a solid light-color fabric can be dressed up with pillows and a throw.

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Stylish Accessories

    Swapping out accessories can give your room a whole new look in minutes. Look for bargain buys at your favorite flea markets and thrift stores to kick up the style of a neutral room. Repurposed touches decorate this living room, such as the lamp behind the sofa, which is a wired vintage finial.

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Accessorize with Trays

    Trays are flea market staples, so grab them when you see them, whether in galvanized metal, wood, or silver (even tarnished). They corral books, remotes, and vases into orderly groupings, making it easier to clear the coffee table for a pizza or family game night.

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Thrifty Accents

    You can find potential in the humblest of objects, as long as they have the right color and look. The books in these bookcases are from a thrift store, chosen for their blue covers and pennies-each price tags. Other stylish and thrifty accents: artists' brushes displayed in jars and a collection of old glass bottles and jugs -- all picked up for less than $100.

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Bargain Buys

    A coat of paint or new hardware can easily and affordably update kitchen cabinets. Here, vintage drawer pulls and doorknobs were painted black to pop against the crisp white cabinets, and simple accessories such as the bamboo shades and hanging light add visual interest.

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Repurpose and Rethink

    Think twice before tossing out worn items like this old copper downspout, which finds new life as a wall shelf. Along with the lamp, which is a repurposed glass jug, the spout adds character to this space. When oversize wooden cutting boards caught the homeowner's eye, she snapped them up even though she wasn't sure what she was going to do with them. Now they lend rustic character to the kitchen backsplash. Don't be afraid to buy an object you fall in love with, even if you don't have a purpose for it. Avoid buyer's remorse by asking yourself, "If I came back tomorrow and this was gone, would I be disappointed?" If not, put it back.

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Space Planning

    Get the most value from your home by using spaces for purposes that fit your lifestyle, rather than what they were originally intended for. This space off of the kitchen is typically designated as a breakfast nook, but the homeowner transformed it into a relaxing sitting area. A small table and comfortable armchairs are a destination for a morning cup of coffee.

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Imaginative Eye

    Get creative with repurposing and add storage as well as style to your home. The side table in this sitting room off the kitchen is a woven trunk, which doubles as cleverly concealed storage space. Plus, its woven texture fits right in with the bamboo shades and wicker furniture

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