You can have a classy home on a modest budget. A beautifully modern home, tastefully done, is possible. Even on a prudent budget. Start your home makeover with simplicity. A crowded, cluttered up room full of decorations and furnishings and furniture looks tacky in comparison to a simple, almost spartan home.
The trick is to go minimalist.
The time for lavish spending on white elephants is over. Now is the time to learn from the Shakers and go simple. Form and function. Everything should have a reason to be in a room. Everything in the room should go with the decor and the color scheme. Pare down your furniture and furnishings to the bare minimum. Keep only the best items which go with your color scheme and with the style of your home.
To deal with a smaller budget, you can do two things:
1. Cut costs by buying only the best. The best meaning, what looks best in your home, which is the most useful and fits best with your lifestyle and home decor. If anything does not fit all these criteria, walk away. Spend only on the very best things -- furniture and furnishings, for your home.
2. Bring in more money by selling off the clutter. Pare down your decor. Go simple. Get rid of clutter to reveal space. Your room will look more spacious and classier when the surfaces are bare. When the mismatched furniture and furnishing are gone. Better to have less in pared down room that looks simply chic, than to have more in a cluttered up room that feels crowded and makes everyone in it feel claustrophobic. The money from selling off the excess will come in handy during the recession.
Start by selling away the excess. Hold a garage sale to sell off all the white elephants as well as anything that does not fit in with your intended decor.
Join ebay and auction off all the clutter in your home. From the old rugs that just don't match the decor, to the old sofa that looks like an eyesore. Hey, it is an antique right? So it should fetch some money on ebay.
All those white elephants-- well meaning gifts from friends and family, impulse buys and all, sitting on the shelf or hidden in the store room can be sold for cash.
With the proceeds of all these sales, and having gotten rid of the clutter, you can now buy key items for your home, that actually go well with your decor and which you will actually use.
Take stock of your now less crowded home.
Choose your color scheme. Should it be warm and woody? White and spacious? Pink and girly? Floral and feminine? Green, brown and masculine?
Give the walls a fresh coat of paint that will go with your intended color scheme.
What else do you need?
What else does not go with your color scheme?
Conduct a second round of garage sales and ebay auctions to pare down your home even further.
Is your home strewn with books, magazines and newspapers?
Would a classy magazine rack be enough? Or would you need bookshelves and cupboards as well? Don't settle for something third rate. Go for something you really love. Fewer items, but really good ones, will still cost less than lots and lots of cheap stuff you don't like that much.
What kind of chairs and tables would you prefer?
A leather sofa and wooden tables?
A fabric sofa?
Glass table tops?
Pick a theme that goes with your home and stick to it.
Pare down your home, sell off the excess and go for lasting items of great quality which you love. That would make your home something you would be really proud of, even as you stay within your budget.