Style Your Home on a Budget

Use these 5 tips for creating high-priced ambiance with inexpensive elements.

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  1. Design 101

Want an expensive look without the expense? Turn any room in your home into a sensibly chic space with these tips.

  1. Check out flea markets and garage sales for deals on mismatched chairs that vary in style, size and decorative elements. This approach is perfect when you want to achieve a relaxed, informal feel.

  2. Use your imagination when shopping for accessories. If the finish isn't right but the price is, think about how the piece can be manipulated-repainted or given a metal-leaf finish, for instance.

  3. If original artwork is a budget-buster, consider poster art. If you want an aged look that would be appropriate in an Old World or rustic setting, doctor the image to make it look authentic. Mount the poster onto canvas with spray adhesive and add dimension with a coat of modeling paste or acrylic varnish, following the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Whether used for a chandelier, a display in an empty firebox, or for a tabletop arrangement, consider unmatched candle sets. Mismatched single candles are not only less expensive but more interesting in a grouping than too-similar candles.

  5. Slipcovers ready-made or custom-made offer unlimited decorating potential. You can change the look of any seating piece for the season or for a special event. It's also a great way to hide worn upholstery or protect an expensive piece. And you can embellish any slipcover with ties, trim or beads to dress it up.

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