I hate those design shows that have those titles and then have a thousand dollar budget for one room...
For those of us with out 6,000 dollars to spend on decorating here are few tips:
1. Use what you already have.
If you have a chair that has seen better days, recover it. If you have a table that is tired, refinish it or paint it. If you don't like the lamp paint it and find a new shade. Most of the things you have you bought because you liked them right? Invest a little time and paint or fabric into them and it will be like brand new!
2. Make your own fancy art!
Even if you think you can't paint, find something that you like and copy it. Or just move some paint around on a canvas. Get into it! Make it a fun time for you and your kids or you and your husband or boyfriend or girlfriend! There is no reason that you can't make art for your home. This is one of my husband's favorite paintings of mine.
3. Shop around.
Go to thrift stores, junk stores, yard sales and even your grandma's garage for fun finds! You never know what you are going to find and sometimes you get some really great things. Go to the older parts of town for garage sales. I found the most beautiful antique desk from the 1940s at a garage sale for 20$. I did have to refinish the top, but now I have a gorgeous sewing desk. Ask your family if they need to get rid of some stuff. I know my mother is always looking for new tables, for some reason, and she lets me take the old ones off her hands. I also decorated my entire balcony for free with clippings from my mom's houseplants and pots my aunt no longer used.
I know there are going to be things around your house that you just hate and want to get rid of so ask around if anyone wants to swap something with you. If you've got friends and neighbors, they've got stuff they want to get rid of too. Like my aunt with the pots. They were just piled up behind a bush collecting pine needles. She just gave them to me!
5. Dumpster dive.
This is a little extreme if you are going to drive around town and actually scout out dumpsters and dive on in. My version is a little less extreme. I live in an apartment complex with a very clear view of the dumpster (lovely, I know). But I am usually the first to see what goes into the dumpster and when there are a lot of people moving in and out all the time they tend to leave things behind. The people in my complex are nice enough to leave usable items next to the bin. I'm sitting on a chair rescued from the trash compactor!
All it takes is a little time and imagination!