With the housing recovery gaining steam, Americans have more incentives to paint up, touch up, and otherwise redecorate their homes. But there’s no need to spend willy-nilly.
From finding treasures on eBay.com to taking advantage of new offerings at department stores and discounters, there are plenty of ways to make your home more stylish on the cheap.
‘‘There’s no excuse for an undecorated home on any budget,’’ said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a retail consultancy. ‘‘Home has as much retail selection as fashion. And you can get a lot of buys.’’
Here are six tips for decorating your home:
Do your homework: First, create a budget and search around to get inspiration. To get ideas, attend open houses to see how other people are decorating their homes. You can also find how-to videos and decorating blogs on such sites as HSN, HomeGoods, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.
There are fewer home decor magazines than there used to be. But you can always flip through catalogs from stores such as Ballard Designs to get some tips.
Also, specialists encourage you to do broad searches on the Web. EBay just launched a new technology called Feed that allows you to personalize your searches based on your style, like mod 1960s.
Pick and choose: Study your space and figure out what pieces of furniture you’ll be using more. So if you spend a lot of time in your living room, you may want to spend more on a sofa and an entertainment center that would house your flat-screen TV and books.
Improvise: You don’t need the real thing. If you don’t have money to spend on a granite backsplash for your kitchen, turn to peel-and-stick wall tiles. Not sure if you want to invest in a carpet? An area rug could cost less and accomplish the same thing.
Repurpose pieces: Shop in flea markets and even your mother’s attic to find pieces that could be reinvented as useful home decor items. And think beyond the original purpose. Old sewing machines or leather-trimmed luggage can be used as tables.
Checkout financing deals: If you’re strapped and need to stagger payments, instead of charging all at once on your credit card, check out financing deals from various retailers. Most furniture stores have some kind of interest-free financing deal going most of the time.
When in doubt, paint: Often, just a fresh coat of paint will make all the difference in a room.
‘‘Painting is one of the affordable ways to change the decor.’’ Corlett said.