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Simple Tips to Keep Your Dream Home Dreamy

Untitled designYou live in a home that you love and you want it to be both beautiful and functional. But maybe you’re feeling cramped with clutter or it just doesn’t feel homey enough. In this article, we show you how to shape your home around YOUR lifestyle, create beautiful spaces, maintain your furniture and continue to save money in the process. Here is your “Keep Your Dream Home Dreamy” Guide.

1. Start with the end (budget) in mind.
Steven Covey always says, “Start with the end in mind”. He probably didn’t realize it can be applied to your home too, but it does! Decide what you want the end result to be and the total budget you want to spend, when all is said and done. Especially if you’re working on one project at a time, determine both the plan and the budget BEFORE you begin. Prioritize your needs over your wants when it comes to decorating. Part of having a “dream” home is having one you actually like living in. Plus, there are plenty of ways to save money once you see the overall picture and cut costs on things that don’t really matter, such as an expensive toilet. (Usually a run of the mill one can do the job.) That’s just one example of how you can cut one place to add ore of your budget some place else.

2. Evaluate what you already have.
Before you make any big changes, look at how you can rethink the ways you currently use your space. Maybe you actually don’t need more space or costly renovations! For example, if you only use your guest room twice a year or you end up eating in the kitchen, rather than your dining room 6 out of 7 nights a week, consider exchanging those spaces for something you would actually use, such as a home office or playroom. Maybe that closet filled with boxes that you haven’t looked inside of for years would be better off as a computer nook for your kids. Try to make the most out of the space you already have.

3. Use free resources.
You don’t have to be a decorator or designer to have a beautiful and functional home. There are places to look for inspiration all around you, from magazines, the Internet and even entire TV channels dedicated to giving you ideas. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration, paint color ideas, creative use of spaces, organizational tips and much more.

4. Keep the furniture you have!
Consider reupholstering your existing furniture with updated styles and materials or even using slipcovers. You can always refinish or paint wooden headboards, mirrors or bookcases. Just painting kitchen cabinets and adding new hardware does wonders and is about one-fourth the cost of new cabinets. Or, maybe it’s as simple as rearranging the furniture in a layout that provides more flow. Try switching out furniture from different rooms. Sometimes all you need is a new furniture layout to keep things fresh and interesting and it can look and feel dramatically different with a new focal point and view. You’ll see professional designers and decorators rearranging pieces all the time, so try it! It’s free and easy.

5. Start with the entryway!
This is the first place you see every time you walk into your home and if it’s cluttered with shoes, raincoats and mail, it won’t look very appealing! Or maybe there’s nothing there at all. That isn’t the type of welcome you want for your guests. Try using a mirror or a vase (stuff that you probably already have somewhere else in your home) along with a bowl for your keys and sunglasses. First impressions apply to homes, too!

6. Bring the outdoors inside.
It should be no surprise that plants will brighten up your home and add warmth, because after-all, they are living things. Add a plant in your living room, a flowerpot in your dining room, fresh herbs in your kitchen or a cactus in your bathroom. Ferns and succulents are low-maintenance options and if you happen to have a “black thumb”, there are even convincing fake plant options to consider.

7. One word – Paint.
Paint is the decorating tool with the biggest bang for your buck, whether it’s for your furniture or your walls. Ask your hardware store to mix samples for you to try at home, since texture and light always impacts how it will look. And if you don’t have the patience to paint all four walls, or you’re afraid you’re going to change your mind, just paint an accent wall. It will add visual interest and leave you enough time to paint that old dresser, too.

8. Do-It-Yourself.
This advice is not just for the crafty crowd or power tool enthusiasts. There are entire YouTube channels, blogs and television shows dedicated to showing you how to do it. You can save money and have something personal and one-of-a-kind (just be careful with that hammer!). Don’t forget about your local hardware or home improvement store. They often have hands-on classes that can teach you how to tile a backsplash or install crown molding. Also, instead of spending a ton of money on art, use shadow boxes filled with your family’s finger paintings or awards. These are the personal touches that will make your home priceless.

9. Use stylish furniture to hide clutter.
Speaking of your family, sometimes there’s no way to avoid having their stuff lying around. Consider buying furniture that’s also functional with hidden spaces to put things, like a bed with pullout drawers or ottomans with removable tops. You’ll thank us when you need a place to hide that unsightly sports equipment or those hard to stack board games.

We hope this information will help you keep your dream home dreamy without breaking the bank!