Friday, May 15, 2009

The economy stinks, but home is still our haven. Hear how paint and MirrorMate frames are brighten our spaces while keeping us on budget.

There’s no denying that the economy has us all cutting back and budgeting like never before. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University confirmed the decline in home improvement projects in their recent report, “The Remodeling Market in Transition.”
But while major renovations are being put on hold, many homeowners are looking to make the most of what they have by utilizing budget-friendly makeover tools that give them the biggest bang for their buck. Despite the recession, MirrorMate continues to experience growth. And according to Home Channel News, sales of paint, another budget-friendly way to change the look of a room, are also on the rise. The take away: All it takes is MirrorMate & a can of paint to transform a bathroom – on time and within budget!
Low Cost (Even No Cost!) Ways to Give Your Home a Whole New Look
Tweet: Stager Extraordinaire Kate Hart shares low cost (even no cost!) ways to give your home a whole new look. Check it out at
“It’s quite possible to transform the look of your home with little - or even no money,” says Kate Hart, one of America’s top home stagers and owner of Hart & Associates Staging & Design in Philadelphia, PA. “It just means smart, selective shopping and getting creative.”

“Rearrange, reuse, swap with friends, buy second hand and most of all, have fun with it,” continues Hart.
Below are Kate’s top tips to get the look you want in your home for less:
Shop Your Home: If you are looking to make a change consider taking pieces from other rooms to make the transformation. Need some fun new toss pillows for your family room sofa? Swipe some pillow shams from the guest room and recover the pillows you already have. And for a more luxurious look in the master bedroom, don’t be afraid to separate matching sets of end tables from the living room.
Have a Furniture Swap: Chances are if you are on a budget, so are your friends. A fun and FREE way to get new furniture and accessories is to host a furniture swap party at your home. Invite your neighbors and friends and have them bring good condition home accessories, lighting, area rugs and small furniture. Draw numbers to see who gets to go first and then select the item of your choice. Furniture too big to bring to the party? Bring a photo and then arrange to have the winner pick it up later that week.

Shop Second Hand: If you are looking for affordable furniture do not be afraid to shop consignment, thrift, or used furniture stores. Baby boomers, executives who are relocating and athletes often choose to sell their furniture and purchase new furniture when they make the move. Often times you can find almost new brand name items if you know where to look.

Add Some Color: To give your room an instant update, consider repainting it a new, on-trend color. Amid the economic downturn, Sherwin-Williams reports consumers looking to brightening up their homes – and moods – with colors that are “energetic and more optimistic,” including shades of yellow, orange and red[1]. If you are scared to make such a big color commitment, paint one wall in your room an accent color such as the wall behind your bed or paint the backs of your bookcases to add architectural interest.

Give an Old Mirror a New Look: Adding custom molding or trim to a room is one of the most costly parts of a design job. If you are updating your bathroom do not remove your existing plate glass mirror. Reframe it instead. MirrorMate® frames instantly turn your builder’s grade, outdated mirror into a custom work of art. They offer lots of frame finishes to choose from and are an affordable, do-it-yourself alternative to custom millwork.

Repaint, Don’t Replace: Old cabinets got you down? Pink porcelain in the powder room making you pout? Don’t invest in replacing those items, repaint them instead. Reglazing your bathroom tile or repainting your kitchen cabinets can be done for a fraction of installing a new kitchen or bathroom.

Add some Bling: Kitchens and bathrooms can be some of the most expensive rooms to remodel. If budget is an issue, make over your existing cabinets with some new hardware. Choose a chrome handle for a contemporary look and a brushed nickel or bronze for a more traditional one. Complete the transformation by adding new faucets to the sinks to coordinate with the new hardware.

Bring the Outside in: If you are looking for fun and affordable décor for your home consider finding what you need in the great outdoors. Turn an oversized funky painted flower pot into an instant end table when you top it off with a glass table round from a local home store. Create a dramatic centerpiece in seconds by collecting various branches from your yard, securing them in a bundle with twine and sticking them into a tall hurricane in the center of your table.

Negotiate: If you see a piece of furniture that you love do not assume that you have to pay sticker price. Research similar items online and ask your furniture or home décor store if they are willing to match a price or reduce their fee. Negotiate to have them remove delivery or installation charges if you are willing to pick up the items yourself. Buying more than one piece? Some stores offer discounts the more you buy.

These money-saving tips make it possible for anyone, on any budget, to get a new look that will give you a whole new outlook.

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