Shopping & Style

Ask A Tampa Bay Expert: Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

July 22, 2014 7:00 AM

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Decorating doesn’t need to swallow your entire budget. Making your home look and feel great is something that all of us strive so hard for. Whether it’s the entire home, a spacious kitchen, a living room or maybe even your bedroom, decorating is something that can add up quite quickly. But it doesn’t have to. There are many local home furnishing stores that offer deals such as free pillows with a purchase of a sofa or maybe an entire room for a set price. Take this advice from a professional and learn how you can make your home actually feel like a “home” without taking out a second mortgage.
Molly Anderson
designsbymolly84@yahoo.com

Molly Anderson has been a freelance interior designer in the Tampa Bay area for nearly 10 years. She has helped countless clients design not only single rooms in their homes but also their entire homes as well. Molly is known for making houses become homes without breaking the clients’ budget. Molly enjoys being a freelance interior designer because it allows her to work for herself while taking care of her family at the same time. Molly works on a negotiable rate depending on the budget her clients are willing to spend and the amount of hours it takes her to make their visions a reality. Molly can be contacted at the e-mail address above for inquiries as well as consultations.

Tip 1: Use Silk And Other Artificial Plants

“Using silk and or other artificial plants are great to fill space. While most can be found at local craft and supply stores, usually no more than $20 is spent. These plants are great on half walls to separate rooms in an open floor plan or to make a shorter ceiling feel taller when added to a shelf or entertainment center. Tall artificial potted plants are great for corners to make the room feel a little more comfortable and not so cold” says Anderson.

Tip 2: Shop Flea Markets

“There are many flea markets in the Tampa Bay area that are open not only on weekends, but all week long as well,” says Molly. “Flea markets are great because they usually have products that are not only very affordable, but also handcrafted. These handcrafted pieces can add a special touch to any room so it feels a little more like home and a little less like a showroom. Also available at flea markets are sports-related items, usually handmade as well, that will make great accessories for children’s rooms, man caves or any other communal space,” says Molly.

Tip 3: Make Something “Old” “New” Again

Do you have a favorite chair that just doesn’t fit your style anymore but you would hate to part with it? According to Molly, you don’t have to, “Making old pieces new is something that really saves a lot of money! I usually encourage clients to re-upholster old chairs with new fabric to give it a new look without having to buy a new chair. Changing your designs or your styles doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of all of your belongings. Another great way to change color is by re-painting picture frames and/or wood furniture such as dressers or even desks,” she says. “Giving something a new look allows that old piece to show a fresh look while matching your decorations but also not lose the reason for why you bought it in the first place. One other great idea is to make old ottomans storage compartments such as toy boxes for playrooms or children’s rooms to make for great storage.”

Related: Best Places in Tampa Bay To Shop For Wedding Gifts

Tip 4: Paint

Molly says, “Painting is one of the easiest ways to change the look of a room, while not spending a lot of money. Sometimes people like their design and their furniture but just want a ‘new’ look. Painting doesn’t cost a lot of money so it won’t break the bank and will give any room a fresh look. Sometimes people use wallpaper to give a room or space a complete look, and while wallpaper does give a room a nice look, removing wallpaper isn’t very fun!” She says, “Paint can be changed as often as necessary without causing too much trouble to you or costing too much.”

Tip 5: Use Pillows

“Pillows are a great addition to any room, not just a living room or great room. Pillows can be found at very affordable prices in most department stores and other retailers.” Molly says that “adding pillows to a bed makes it look fuller, a sofa a little more comfortable and chairs a little more inviting. Pillows are also great to change looks as well. As long as you have a solid print that you are working with, you can add striped, polka dot or any print and make it look completely different. It also costs a lot less money to change pillows than to constantly buy new furniture.”

Related: Best Bike Shops in Tampa Bay

Bethany Cohen is a resident of Tampa and enjoys sharing her love for the city with others. Bethany loves traveling and learning about new cultures. She currently writes for Examiner.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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