Shop estate sales, thrift stores, online auction sites and salvage yards to find unique decorating items. Rate My Space contributor LewisDesigns hit up the Endless Yard Sale last year and the Nashville Flea Market to create a French chic-inspired room.
Look for Knock Offs
Don't have the budget for your favorite designer piece? Look for reproductions. Instead of buying a high-end chandelier for $2,000, Rate My Space contributor jak1975 found a replica for only $80. This clever bargain hunter also paid just $25 for the glass table and $40 for the artwork.
Big Box Retailers for the Small Stuff
Mix DIY projects with smart buys. Rate My Space contributor sherij87 went to her local superstores, purchasing the black-and-white dishes at Target and wall color (Palm Grove) at WalMart. In addition, she did some DIY work by painting a vintage table, chairs and desk a glossy black.
Repackage What You've Got
Furniture is often the most expensive purchase, so use your existing pieces in a new way. Rate My Space contributor Perri combined her dining set with new, low-cost artwork, accessories and a chandelier.
Are you a master builder? Then put your skills to work. Rate My Space contributor taitrt made over this dining room for only $1,500 by building all the furniture except for the leather chairs.
Casual Yet Chic
Make your own artwork. Rate My Space contributor mysweetsavannah handpainted the sign above the buffet and framed black-and-white photos to create this family-friendly dining room.
If you get tired of your furniture, slipcover it for a fresh look. Rate My Space contributor emmadiva created a traditional and sophisticated dining room with a striped paint treatment and chair molding.
Out With the Old and In With the New
Rate My Space contributor 11059165 sold off old items, including the existing cabinets through Craigslist to pad their remodeling budget. Gray-blue walls are combined with yellow accessories for a creative and fresh color palette.
Save money by sewing your own linens. In this sunny breakfast room, Rate My Space contributor jrunde kept the cost down by making the curtains, pillows and chair covers and framing inexpensive prints.
Get creative with salvaged pieces. Rate My Space contributor rosevinecottage found unique pieces at Goodwill, Salvation Army and antique stores to repaint for a romantic, shabby-chic look.