Dining room decorating ideas on a budget

Don't spend a week's salary on dining room wall art.

More isn’t always better. When it comes to making your dining room the place where everyone hangs out, keep it simple, uncluttered, and cozy. Here are a few ways you can make it more inviting.

Inexpensive window treatments

Add a dash of color to the room by hanging curtains or drapes with a pattern or bold hue. If thick, lined drapery isn’t in your budget, turn to the bedding section of your favorite home store . High quality Egyptian sheets, think high thread count, can double as silky, sleek curtains for half the cost of drapes. Simply open the ends of the wide top seam on the top sheet and you have an instant curtain rod pocket. Then hem the bottom of each sheet, and use pretty curtain tie backs to display the window coverings.

Thrifty wall art

Don’t spend a week’s salary on dining room wall art. Instead, head to the nearest thrift store for a selection of paintings, drawings, and crafty framed pieces. Choose inexpensive items that coordinate with the wall color and window treatments. Or, get the kids into the decorating spirit and have them create original artwork. With a package of paints, colorful paper, and resale store frames they can create one-of-a-kind wall art.

Edible centerpiece ideas

Make your weekly grocery haul double as a colorful centerpiece. Pick out a decorative serving bowl, and pile it full with colorful fruits or vegetables. Then, use them throughout the week and refill the centerpiece on grocery day. This is a great way to display your favorite colorful peppers from the farmer’s market, or a vibrant assortment of red, yellow, and green apples. When a holiday rolls around, make a festive edible centerpiece using a topiary form, cut fruit, and toothpicks.

Tablecloths add color

In just a few seconds you can add elegance to your dining room. Use a tablecloth. Although it may look a little too formal for everyday use, it can easily become an inexpensive, focal point of the room. Choose a patterned table cloth with a mix of colors for daily use that looks great any time of year . This will also protect your table from unwanted gouges or chips.

Serving-wear as decor

Finally, stock up on wooden wall shelves from garage sales, thrift stores, and clearance aisles. Then use a can of spray paint to make them match. Go with white for a classic, clean look or a shimmery metallic paint for a modern appeal. Arrange the shelves in the dining room then display your specialty serving-wear pieces. These might include an antique gravy boat from your grandmother, that you dare not actually use ,or a collection of wine glasses that are too pretty to keep hidden in a cupboard.