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Q: What are some great starter tips for decorating on a budget?

Tamara says....
Have a well-thought-out decorating plan to ensure that you don’t end up spending money and effort backtracking. Take the pieces you’re for sure going to keep and put them in place to see what you need to replace in a hurry and what you will eventually purchase new. Devise a paint plan for the entire house that provides a cohesive flow, even if you aren’t painting it all at once, and choose colours that create the atmosphere you want and work with your existing furniture. Add accessories that highlight the pieces you love and downplay the ones you don’t (like a stunning blue vase on a great sideboard that you happily inherited and a large neutral throw to cover much of the needlepoint sofa that you begrudgingly inherited). Also, don’t be afraid to paint cheap cupboards and furniture—a rich dark-brown paint can look a lot like wood. And if you can’t afford “real” art, frame your own photos or interesting fabric or wallpaper.

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.