8 Secrets to Decorating Your Home The Fabulous N’ Frugal Way

You’ve been finding ways to save on everything else, but decorating your home in the way you like seems like a more daunting challenge. If so, this may be for you:

 1. Start with a vision. What do you want your home to look, feel & smell like? What mood do you want it to evoke when you’re home? From there pick colors that match those moods. Look at what you already have that may match that motif & put it aside. Sketch the rest of your look.  Do this so that when you’re in the store you don’t start picking up items that you won’t end up using by the time you finish your ensemble.

2. Shop at the least expensive stores first. When I begin my shopping I shop at the least expensive stores FIRST (aka The Dollar Store). Sometimes you see the same exact items that larger chain stores have for less. Similarly, a lot of our favorite home decor stores like Pier 1 Imports, liquidate their items and they end up at places like Big Lots.

3. Know your stores. I’m sure you know the treasures of AJ Wright, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s & Home Goods. But did you know they were all the same company? As such, the best quality items often start off at Home Goods (the most expensive of the 3). When they don’t sell, are returned or perhaps a little cracked, they go down the chain, and are sent to a Marshall’s, then TJ Maxx, etc. and decrease in price along the way.

4. When you go to the register, point out the flaws in the items you buy. It may  get you an extra 10% off. –With all these savings, by the time you get to the store that really requires you to spend, you would’ve already bought a similar version that does the trick for less the cost, & you can splurge a little more in the areas where it counts.

5. Don’t be afraid to buy the floor model. Clearance centers & often furniture stores themselves are often very willing to part with floor models for a fraction of the cost.  My first leather couch & loveseat combo was a floor model that was missing one round leg lifting it off the ground about 2 inches. I bought the set for $675 and took off the legs. A short time later I saw the same exact set for $3,300.

6. When all else fails, improvise.  When I moved into my current place, I couldn’t afford a headboard. So I bought huge floor pillows at Big Lots & used them in place of headboards. People love my bedroom and never seem to notice that I don’t have a headboard.

Look, Mom, no headboard!

7. Don’t be too proud to beg. Ride around in rich neighborhoods. Check out what they’re throwing out and clean up what you like.  The red chair in this picture is an example of one such find.

A Touch of Red

8. Refinish what you have. I’m pretty sure you have things you think have no use, but look around. Perhaps some things can be sanded and stained; such as the secretary desk in the picture above. Perhaps they could be primed and repainted. Perhaps you can go to the fabric store, buy new fabric and recover it.  

 If you’re like me, and nothing excites you more than a great bargain, let the fun begin!

Norissa Williams is a doctoral student at Fordham University studying Developmental Psychology. She current works as the Director of Cultural & Linguistic Competence at The Nassau County Family Support System of Care, and adjuncts at Queens College.  In addition, Norissa Williams is the founder and director of a non profit women’s organization called, Empowered to the Third Degree, Inc.

If this posts inspires you to get your finances in order, don’t let the work stop here.  Consider enrolling in one of my online courses. I have one on budgeting and one on saving.


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