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Home Decorating For Less…But Was it Really?

By Julie Norman

Changing the look of a room can often be an expensive process.  We've seen it time and time again on shows like "Trading Spaces" (which ended in 2008) and others.   Each team or designer will get a set amount of money to re-do a room in someone's home.  Usually these people have a budget of $1000 for ONE room!  That's crazy!  I can't imagine spending that much to renovate a room.  Let's face it, paint is cheap and can have a dramatic effect on the look of a place.

This weekend though I was working on a much simpler project.  I needed "doors" for our guest bedroom closet.  It houses sleeping bags, ski stuff, etc and, while it's not messy, it's certainly not a space that you want to show off to your guests. The BF offered to put doors on the closet. I didn't want him to go to that much trouble or expense.  We'd have needed 2 sets of bifold closet doors and those are about $44 a piece or MORE.  So that would have been $88 plus an additional hardware we needed.  No, I was looking for a cheaper option.

I thought I could use a spring tension rod and some curtain panels.  This way it would soften the look of the room while also hiding our junk. Still, we all know curtains can be break-the-bank expensive.  So how could I save money that way?  Two words: BIG LOTS. Big Lots always has inexpensive yet durable curtains. The biggest problem with curtains is that they're all sold separately.  At department stores and places like Bed, Bath and Beyond ONE panel is usually $14 or more.  I looked online and did find some for as cheap as $10 for EACH panel. 

The difference at Big Lots is that you can often find TWO panels for the price of one.  So instead of paying $40 for four panels, I was able to pay only $28 for four panels.  Then I got a spring tension rod for $9.  That seems to be the basic price for those anywhere.  So what would have cost me between $49 and $57 at a department store or Bed, Bath and Beyond cost me $37 at Big Lots.  It's not a huge savings, but every time you save $12 well, you save $12!

Here's the final product.  One final tip:  Always take the time to iron curtains or steam comforters ( you can use your iron to do that).

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