Smart Tips for Decorating on a Budget

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So you’ve paid your taxes (early) and have gotten a refund -- or have saved up a little money -- and want to spend it on making your home more comfortable.

Where do you start?

First of all, let me commend you for setting up a budget. According to recent AHFA research, 87% of consumers don't set a budget for decorating and furnishing their homes. We think that's a mistake. Setting a budget helps you plan and understand your goals.

If your budget is small, decorate what you can now and continue saving for other pieces to buy later. Always buy the best you can afford, since furniture lasts for many years.

In selecting furniture, consider your lifestyle and what is most important to you at home. Do you like to entertain? Do you enjoy watching TV and movies? Or is creating comfortable space for quiet reading and relaxing more important to you? Do you have children, pets?

Think about who will be using the room and how they will use it. Browse through magazines and books for rooms that you admire. Collect these pictures and take them with you when you shop. It will help you and your retailer in making selections.