How To: Decorate Without Buying Anything New

The Fall Cure ended in November, but we've learned a few things from our first AT:Chicago Cure group. One of the best lessons is that decorating doesn't necessarily mean shopping. Although retail therapy is part of the 8-Step Home Cure, some of the biggest transformations were made by simply decluttering and rearranging. In the spirit of the Cure (coming up again for Spring '08), here are our tips for decorating without buying anything new...

Declutter! This is probably the single best thing you can do for your space. Clutter saps energy and detracts from a home's strengths.

Organize. Make sure that there's a place for everything and everything's in its place. If there's no spot for it, get rid of it.

Clean. Cleaning floors, windows, and surfaces brings a sense of order and calm to a space.

Rearrange. After your space has been cleared of clutter and cleaned, spend a few minutes in a room and pay attention to its energy flow. Draw up a floorplan and rearrange your furniture for the best flow.

Paint. Okay, you do have to buy the paint, but painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up a space.

Restore. If you have quality furniture that's a little out of date, upgrade it by restoring it with a fresh coat of paint, a reupholstered seat, or new hardware. Click here for tips on restoring old pieces.

Related Links:

  • How To: Set a Party Table Without Buying Anything New
  • How To: Declutter the Bedroom
  • Fall Cure: Before and After

    (Re-edited from a post originally published 11.05.07)

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