Home Decorating Cents

With all of the talk about the economy and rising gas prices, a decorating diva may be leery of spending her hard-earned cash, but there are ways to indulge that artistic homemaker that make sense and keep more cents in the bank. The following list will help those that are addicted to beautifying their home, but also interested in saving some much-needed money.

If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It

With the instability of the economy and the job market, now is not the time for high dollar projects such as building an addition, putting in a spa, remodeling the bathroom, or renovating the kitchen. As tempting, as those pictures are in magazines of the sleek new appliances and luxurious countertops, do not get sucked into the hype. Projects that dip deeply into the pocketbook can wait for special offers, large discounts, or the next President.

If It Is Broke, Fix It Right Away

Leaking or dripping fixtures are a constant financial drain. Replace them immediately. The upfront cost will be much less expensive than the wasted water or damaged cabinets and floors. Home improvement stores often run weekly sales and kitchen and bathroom fixture usually make an appearance. If you do have to repair damage from leaking fixtures, be sure to check out those same sales for needed supplies.

Shop Online

Now more than ever, the internet is the first stop for many shoppers. Websites such a Amazon.com offer discounts that make them a better choice than the traditional brick and mortar stores. Shopping.com offers comparison-shopping with a click of the mouse, just enter the ZIP code that the item will be shipped to and compare total prices on any item. This is a good practice for any purchase.

Decorating In The Real World

Domestic divas and home decorating television shows often offer valuable advice on low cost décor and design, but sometimes that advice does not fit into the real world or real budgets. For example, a collection of brightly colored plates can add color and personality to a bare wall. That is a simple idea that makes a big impact. On the other hand, fresh flowers play a big role in the designs of today in the form of centerpieces and wreaths. An interesting idea, but who can afford to replace the flowers every week for every room? A quality silk arrangement is just as beautiful and much easier on the bank account and can be just as beautiful.

Home Sweet Home

Regardless of the economy, your house is your home. It is not only your showpiece and entertainment venue, but also where you live day to day. It is your haven from the rest of the world. While you may love the look of that luxurious white carpet, if you have children and pets, your time may be spent cleaning it. A better choice might be a darker color or laminate. Keep in mind your family and your lifestyles. Be comfortable and make your home uniquely yours.

Online Vs Store Home Decor

The internet has opened up a whole world of possibilities for lovers of home décor. Suddenly you are able to connect with and be inspired by artistic visions being created in almost every country in the world. You can spend hours, days, even weeks pouring over the various designs, comparing prices, and just enjoying the world of decorative beauty.

However there is still a lot to be said for actually getting up and going to a store to shop for your home décor products. In a store you can actually touch and feel what you are buying. You can pick it up, run your fingers down its side, and know exactly what you are getting.

Pricing

As far as price comparison shopping the internet can’t be beat. There are thousands of shopping aggregators which will line up prices on the same item being sold in hundreds of stores, showing you what the best deal is.

While the internet is great for pricing deals, you always have to factor in the cost of shipping. Smaller light weight items such as books should be a no-brainer, but larger heavier pieces may cost more. You also have to factor in whatever location the item is being shipped from, in comparison to your own address.

In this way, as far as price comparisons, you should look at both online and offline ads, and weigh in the cost of shipping to find the best deals.

Touch

Going to a store and actually being able to reach out and feel what a product is like in your hands is a wonderful way of connecting with it, allowing you to truly understand what you are getting. However, the fact that the items is sitting in a store, taking up space, space that costs rent, can drive the price of the item up quite a bit.

The price can be further inflated if you live in an expensive city, or are visiting an expensive boutique.

One way to combat this is to shop in physical stores, record the items that you like, and then search them out online. There is also an app for the Google phone, which allows you to scan the bar code of items. Once scanned the phone searches the internet and finds the same product, from all of the online and offline retailers offering it, along with comparative pricing.

Uniqueness

One of the great things about the internet is that it has allowed a huge number of artists and designers to sell their work independently, directly to customers. This not only cuts out the middleman, but opens you up to a whole world of new products that would never otherwise have been available to you.

However there are also many old school artists and designers who are not computer savvy, and you generally won’t find their work online. To experience their creations, you actually have to go out into the world and track them down at flea markets, craft shows, and boutiques.

If you are looking for something really unique, generally you should avoid commercial areas both online and offline. Whether it’s a local shopping mall, or a giant web store like Amazon, you won’t really find anything different there. They specialize in buying popular and timeless items in huge quantities and selling them at relatively low prices. In general, they have no interest in carrying new products that don’t already have a following.

For interesting finds you can try places like eBay, or Etsy. These are like online flea markets where artisans gather to share there wares. You can also just use a general search engine, rather than a product search engine, to explore new and innovative design companies.

In the end you can’t really say whether online or offline shopping is better. They each have particular qualities, which make them both important and useful. The best way to shop for home décor is to use both methods, the one against the other, to compare and contrast and get the broadest range of choices available.