Style ideas on a lower-than-low budget
Hang some paper
Chinese paper lanterns are easy on both your eyes and your wallet. They give off perfectly diffused light and go with nearly any decor style. Snag the perfect size for your space at AsianIdeas.com.
Divide a space
Forget construction; create visual separation in an open-plan room by bringing in a simple folding screen. Even cooler? A bit of chalkboard paint lets it double as a message board. Get your own can at HomeDepot.com.
Make electronics disappear
When the TV isn't on, Smoot covers hers with a cute fabric curtain. The finished look is playful and really clever.
Mix styles and periods
Having only one style throughout a home screams "catalog!" Pairing a turn of the century portrait with a mid century cabinet and accessories makes this room feel fresh and way less predictable.
Craft a collage
Skip all those rules about layout and spacing (just this once) and simply place pictures where they make sense to you. Frame a bunch and "hang" others directly on the wall with colorful tape. So chic!
Create a nook
Not enough space for a real home office? Just carve out enough to create a personal "work zone." All you really need is a little inspiration (and OK, maybe a desk and chair).
Make sure to put something purely sentimental and personal in every room. For Smoot, that "thing" is often family photos (again, framed with brightly colored tape).