6 decorating tips to save you money, time & your sanity

Saving time and money — words all homeowners love to hear — are easy with some decorating tips.

We all have a dollar amount we can set aside for decorating or updating our home and it would be great to accomplish as much as we can with the dollars we have, so the question is: How do we stretch our dollars and make an impact?

My passion is helping homeowners update their homes by getting the look they want without breaking the bank. With that in mind, here are six of my favourite and most popular products and decorating tips to save you money and time.


decorating tips to save you money Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus bar stools

Before (front) & after

#1: Stool makeover

Have you got stools that have seen better days? Maybe the fabric is soiled or ripped or the frame is in need of a paint refresh.


This is one of my favourite things to do with clients. It’s a quick weekend DIY project anyone can do that will transform your old, dated stools and give them new life. All you need is paint, a staple gun, staples, and a fabric you love. No special skills needed to use decorate tips like this one.

Simply pull out the old staples to remove the old fabric and measure it against the new fabric. Before stapling the new fabric in place, do any repainting that’s required, sanding first to give the paint a better chance to grip. You’ll be amazed at the transformation.

#2: Decorating tips to update your kitchen

Are your kitchen cupboards dated? Can’t afford to spend thousands on a new kitchen? I have a solution.


Paint is the quickest and least expensive way to update your cupboards. No special skills required — just make sure you purchase the right type of paint, have some patience and you can transform your cupboards while increasing the value of your home.

I know it’s probably a shock for some homeowners to think about painting their cupboards, but the end result will look amazing. If you’re not sure, try painting your bathroom vanity first and see what you think.

#3: Update your hardware

After you’ve painted your cupboards, be sure to choose new hardware to add that final updated touch to your project. There are so many styles to choose from.


Tip: Buy a contractor pack of your favourite handles to save money instead of buying them individually.

decorating tips to save you money Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus#4: Fireplace makeover

When I moved into my home here in Ottawa two years ago, I wanted to make my boring basement fireplace stand out without spending a lot of time and money.

Looking for decorating tips to use in my own home, I did a bit of research and found this amazing faux-wood-like peel-and-stick wallpaper from Walmart and knew this was the product for me. Two rolls and an hour later I had totally transformed my downstairs fireplace into something that is warm, unique and right on trend — all for under $80.


The best thing is that if I do decide to do something different or more permanent I can just peel off the wallpaper with no trouble. I even had enough left over to do a wall in my powder room and in my ensuite closet.

decorating tips to save you money Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus#5: Remove carpet indentations

One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to give your home a refresh is to simply move your furniture around. The problem is that furniture can leave indents in carpets and when we move it, these unsightly indentations are exposed.

This may seem odd, but I’ve found that by using ice cubes those carpet Indentations can be removed. Simply place ice cubes on the indents, let them melt and then let the carpet dry.


Vacuum the area and you should notice a difference. You may need to do this procedure twice if you have an extra heavy piece of furniture or it has been in the one spot for a long time.

#6: More decorating tips: dents & scratches

Everyday life is hard on our wood floors and furniture. While dents and scratches are usually small in size, they can be very noticeable. I’ve found two easy and inexpensive ways to quickly get rid of them.

Minwax finishing cloths: These amazing cloths come in 22 shades of stain and can easily be matched to your existing wood colour. I liken them to Wet Ones with stain because that is basically what they are. Wipe it over the dent or scratch, wait one hour until it dries and the mark is gone. Big box stores carry these cloths in the stain aisle, usually for about $12.


decorating tips to save you money Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plusdecorating tips to save you money Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus

Furniture markers: I don’t leave home without these furniture markers; they’re a lifesaver for me and my clients. This set of three markers are just $1 at Dollarama — a fabulous buy. I especially like these as they have three shades of markers to cover light, medium and dark wood areas and they are so easy to use.

I hope I have inspired you to think about using some of these ideas. There’s nothing better than being proud of your home and the work you have put into making it your own, all while saving time and money.



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About the Author

Sue Pitchforth

Sue Pitchforth of Decor Therapy Plus is an international award-winning designer and Readers’ Choice winner for eight years in a row. Sue is a TV personality and professional speaker who takes a refreshingly unique and inexpensive approach to design that yields luxurious results. Believing your home is an expression of your life and personality, Sue says most people usually have a lot of what they need, they just don’t know it. She uses her popular workshops and seminars to inspire homeowners and her newest program is Design & Property Styling from a Distance. Having recently relocated to Ottawa, Sue is thrilled to be here and is already helping homeowners make the most of their spaces.



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