Budget décor – tips You have been allotted a certain budget and you are cracking your brains wondering how to go about it in a planned manner. What are we at Sitagita here for if we can't give you that little push which will start you off on your great adventure? Ready? Here goes! * Begin by making a round of all the good furniture shops. Take note of the current tends and styles. Remember to take down short notes on what you see. Look around for the colours and fabric that appeal most to you. Take small swatches of these if they create a ‘warm' feeling in you. * Join a library and get magazines on furniture and furnishings. Browse through these. Start a small collection of magazines that seem to inspire you with ideas. Create a scrapbook of clippings and keep referring to this when you begin to shop for your home. * Visit second-hand stores and auction houses. After all, one person's trash could well be another person's treasure. Here you might be able to pick up stuff like candle holders, knickknacks, potpourri and many more items like these. Who is to know where you picked them up from? Go through the classifieds in the daily papers. You can always refurbish any item that might be worn out but which has some special appeal for you. * Begin with a fresh coat of paint for your walls. Use bright appealing colours that will give you home a character of its own. This might be the most inexpensive way to begin your décor on a shoe-string. Always keep in mind that colours can create moods – so play with colours for a dramatic effect. * The next step should be to create your own art wherever possible. If you are an artist yourself, consider your problem solved. If you are not, never mind! A collage, attractively put together of all your favourite photographs can also pass for original art. Or, better still, you could buy inexpensive posters of well-known artists and get them attractively framed. A good frame can make anything look classy. These days one can get affordable art in the form of limited edition autographed prints of top artists. Maybe you could start a collection of these. After all, you are on the threshold of a brand new life and you could always graduate to the ‘real' stuff when you are older and better able to judge for yourself. * Most importantly, remember to exercise patience. If sales are round the corner, bide your time and don't rush into purchases that you might be able to pick up at half value a few days later. It will do well for you to take heed of the adage – ‘ Rome was not built in a day!' We certainly hope we have managed to get you started on your first post-marital adventure of sorts – decorating your new home within a certain budget! Good luck and happy hunting!