Show you style smarts! Get the most bang for your decorating buck


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Posted Online: March 23, 2013, 9:30 am
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By Mary Carol Garrity
I'm a firm believer that great design doesn't have to be expensive. The key to getting the most for your decorating dollars is to know where to splurge and where to cheat. Let's talk about how to pick key pieces for your rooms that maximize your look and suit your budget.

Invest the greatest portion of your decorating budget in the room's focal point, items that bring you bliss and pieces that don't have lower-cost substitutes.

Then, use these cheats to stretch the remainder of your decorating funds:

- Get creative with artwork
- Repurpose old furniture
- Accent with inexpensive accessories

Now, let's talk about how to pick the very best home furnishings to fit your budget, whether it's an investment piece or a lower-cost cheater. Here are three examples:

Occasional Tables

From side tables to consoles to coffee tables, there is a wonderfully wide range of great-looking pieces to choose from that will give you a smart look for any budget.

When selecting a lower-cost occasional table, hunt for one that can play a support role in your furniture grouping. This piece won't be the star of the room, so you don't want anything that will distract from the space's focal point. Less-expensive wood pieces can usually give you 10 years of great use, but aren't pieces that will last a lifetime. So, it's OK to go a bit trendier with these pieces, if you want.

If you're looking for a table that will be highly visible, you will want to take a step up in style and budget.

If you want a table that will be the highlight of your space, invest in a piece that features exquisite craftsmanship and fine detailing. When selecting an investment piece, you want to look for expert workmanship, the highest-quality materials and exceptional design features.

Artwork

One of my greatest weaknesses is artwork, whether it's an inexpensive print or an original painting. It's fun to mix together artwork of all shapes, sizes and values to create visually provocative galleries.

Whether you're just starting out and have lots of walls to fill with a limited art budget, or just want some filler pieces that you can change out in a few years, it's easy to get a great look on a limited budget.

If you have more to spend on higher-quality artwork, go for pieces that light up your wall and make it a focal point.

Ready to invest in truly fine art? A hand-painted oil is the kind of painting you will have forever. What is your bliss when it comes to artwork? Signed photography? Originals by local artists? Investment pieces? Buying outstanding art is a wonderful place to splurge, because artwork can transform the look of an entire room.

Lamps

One of the recommendations I make most often is to replace lamps that are outdated or the wrong size. Nothing dates a room more than the wrong lamps, and lamps that are the wrong size can sabotage an otherwise lovely space.

Unfortunately, it's harder to cheat when it comes to lamps these days. Those that are inexpensive usually look it.

I've scoured the markets to find lamps that cost less but still feature fine lines and details that make them look more expensive than they are. If you're allocating less of your decorating budget to lamps, pick one that is more subdued and acts as a support player, allowing a more fetching piece of furniture or accent to be the room's focal point.

If you'd like to invest in a truly fine lamp that instantly elevates the look of your room, go for one that offers timeless beauty, like a blue-and-white Delft lamp.

When shopping for a high-end lamp, look for lovely details, like a charming finial. Finishes like that set a high-quality lamp above lower-cost options.















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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