When it comes to home decor, going big at home may not seem like an option, especially if your budget is less than grand. In reality, it is possible to make a big difference in your home decor on just a moderate budget of $5,000 or less. The room that will give you the biggest “wow” for your investment is the one your guests spend the most time in — the living room.

Here are some tips for getting that “go big” feeling for less money.

Do it yourself

Look for high-visibility projects that you can reasonably do yourself, like painting, tiling or even installing murals for living rooms. Keep in mind your level of DIY skill and how polished and professional you can reasonably expect your finished product to look. If you choose a project that’s a bit above your current skill level, make sure you prep for the new experience with plenty of research or a hands-on class. Many home improvement stores offer low-cost or even free classes on popular home improvement projects.

Big projects look … well, bigger


It’s no mystery why repainting the walls, changing out flooring or switching window treatments all make such an impact on how a room looks. The bigger the surface area of the design element you change, the greater its affect on the room’s overall appearance. Making a design change to a large room element can allow you to generate major impact with a relatively minor investment of money. Window treatments can add up if you go with custom options, but if your windows are standard sized and you’re a savvy shopper, you can track down bargains that will allow you to dress up your windows for as little as a few thousand dollars. Painting is even more cost effective, and you can redo a large room for a few hundred dollars.

Borrow a designer’s trick

When it comes to grand statements, designers have a trick or two up their sleeves. They also know how to make the most of a shoestring budget, so look to popular designer tricks for inspiration. One interior design technique that has held its popularity against the test of time (and the economy) is a wallpaper mural. Adding a custom wall mural to your interior design plans offers the opportunity for creativity and customization, and maximizes the use of your wall space in making a grand statement.

You can find plenty of online options at websites like MuralsYourWay.com, many for less than $1,000 and most for well under $3,000. They’re easy to install, and you can even opt for the type that is removable and reusable. So if you tire of the look, you can take it down and move it elsewhere, fold it up and store it for another time and even color match it to your wall paint color.

If you’ve decided to keep your fun money at home this season, you can go home and go big, with some planning, savvy shopping and a touch of DIY creativity.

The joy of vinyl wall murals


Designs — some measuring over seven feet tall and made of vinyl for easy application and clean-up — are showing up all over the house. And why not? These peel-and-stick murals are recommended for smooth surface application only. No glue or water required.

Wallies®, the nation’s leading sewing and craft pattern manufacturer and distributor, previews something for everyone in a free catalog, available online at www.wallies.com. Here are just a few possibilities:

• You can turn a dull dining area into a chic cafe with modernist Color Swatches, or transform a child’s bedroom into a planetarium with serious science study.

• It takes only a few easily applied applications of these completely washable decorations to brighten a kitchen and change the area’s mood.


• Wallies® Peel & Stick Vinyl Wall Murals feature Renaissance Tulips, an elegant larger-than-life floral rendering, or a five-panel set of Modern Leaves. Both make attractive additions to any home or apartment walls.