1. The best things often come in small packages. Less expensive than full-size sofas, settees also function outside the living room — bringing comfort to a foyer, providing seating at the foot of a bed, cozying up to a dining table. So you're likely to love a love seat long after you've kicked a hulking couch to the curb.
2. Give an outdated lamp a top-down makeover. A modest white drum shade can modernize the fussiest old fixture. And no need to splurge on silk — paper delivers a crisper, more contemporary look.
3. The $2 secret to beautifully stocked bookshelves: Scour thrift stores for hardbacks, typically a couple of bucks each, then arrange them by color for extra pizzazz.
4. Empty frames offer endless potential. It's easy to score these castoffs at junk shops for next to nothing. To turn one into a posh bulletin board, cut a piece of foam core to fit and wrap it in burlap. Another possibility: Have a pro cut mirrors to size.
5. Group dime-a-dozen accessories for major impact. A lone tag-sale tchotchke doesn't say much, but a whole gang of similar ones — now that's a statement.
6. Furniture goes on sale seasonally, just like clothing, so it pays to be patient. The world's largest furnishings trade show takes place every April and October. Over the course of the following months, retailers discount "old" merch to make room for the new. In other words: Shop late spring to early summer and late fall to mid-winter for bargains.
7. Fine art doesn't have to cost a fortune. Before you settle for posters, check out zatista.com, which sells original oils, watercolors, and illustrations — not prints — by emerging artists, for as little as $25.
8. The frugal fix for homely floors? Paint. Refinishing them on your own involves renting a sanding machine, about $75 per day, and buying supplies like polyurethane. As an alternative, simply clean floors and hand-scuff any rough spots; then apply a few coats of a self-priming floor paint (from around $25 a gallon).
9. Expand your seating options. Even affordable dining-room chairs become exorbitant, fast, once you calculate how many you need to surround a table. The smart solution: a bench or two.
10. Feel free to scrimp on shelving. Ordinary bracket shelves from Home Depot start at around $10 — leaving plenty of dough for filling them with decorative stuff.
11. Why pay a premium for matchy-matchy pieces? When pairs of lamps, chairs, and side tables get separated, their prices usually plummet. Take advantage of the opportunity to shake up an overly symmetrical room.
12. Keep it local when deal-hunting online. Winning a $50 wing chair on eBay seems like a coup — until you factor in the cost of shipping it cross-country. Narrow your purview to items you can pick up, with an advanced search that targets sellers inside a certain radius of your zip code (you choose the distance). On Etsy, you can use the "shop local" tab to find goods in your city, state, or zip code.
13. Create handsome storage with hardware-store supplies. Instead of springing for a full-fledged wardrobe or hall stand, put pretty hats, bags, and scarves to work as a wall display. The notched leather straps shown here came from a flea market, but two vertical rows of hardware-store hooks will do the job.
Recommended for You
The baseball legend's family has listed the pine-infused lodge for $6.5 million.Zillow
Huge Selection! Over 50,000 Quality Products Ensure You Find Everything You Need to Get the Job Done Right. The Equipment & Expertise You Need & More.AdChoices C&H DistributorsSponsored
"It was the opposite of grand, but ... I was mightily proud. A man is not a man until he has a house of his own."Spaces
Welcome to Yahoo Homes of the Week, powered by Zillow. This week, we're putting your architectural tastes to the test. Do you prefer historical character or modern design?Spaces
After nearly a year as a pocket listing, Bonds' estate has officially hit the MLS at $23.5 million.Zillow
The 4-bedroom, 4-bath town home is listed for $1.899 million.Zillow
By Adrian Glick Kudler , Curbed To our minds, "ranch house decorated by Phoebe from 'Friends'" is not an acceptable living arrangement for an aging punk rocker, to our minds. But here's John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, and a loud and frequent…Curbed
By Erika Riggs , Zillow Blog This time around, Howie Mandel chose to say “deal.” The host of “ Deal or No Deal ” recently sold his Malibu home for $7 million, after the counterintuitive move of raising the price on it. According to real estate agent Mike Gardner of Malibu Real Estate , Mandel…Zillow
Last year, the pop superstar bought a sprawling estate in Southern California.Spaces
Dec. 2 is Britney Spears' birthday, so Yahoo Homes is taking a look at her Thousand Oaks house to mark the occasion. Click here to read more about Britney Spears' Thousand Oaks house on Yahoo Homes' Spaces blog.Yahoo Homes
The 2,442-square-foot unit in Seattle's Escala building is listed for $2.495 million.Zillow
New York City loft where HBO Girl's star Lena Dunham filmed "Tiny Furniture" is for sale for $6.25 million.Zillow
By Jennifer Karmon, Yahoo Homes Off and on for almost five years, singer Billy Joel has been trying to sell this Nate Berkus-decorated Hamptons mansion in Sagaponack, N.Y. In 2007, Joel bought the home from actor Roy Scheider for $16.8 million, reportedly as a gift for his then-wife of three years,…Yahoo Homes
Welcome to Yahoo Homes of the Week, powered by Zillow. This week, we're looking at how much it costs to live in a roughly 20,000-square-foot home in different parts of the country. From movie theaters to wine cellars and motor courts, these mansions have it all, but prices can vary greatly from one…Spaces
The president and first lady finished the home in October 1963 and spent only two weekends there.Zillow
A-list actor Matt Damon has been trying to sell this Miami Beach mansion for months. He just knocked a million and change off the price to sweeten the deal. | By Jennifer Karmon, Yahoo Homes Click here to read more on Yahoo Homes' Spaces blog at http://yhoo.it/MattDamonMiami. Related on Yahoo…Yahoo Homes
The home is on a double lot of nearly an acre -- with 170 feet fronting Biscayne Bay -- and it has 12,705 square feet of living space.Spaces
Wexford was the house that Jacqueline Kennedy personally designed, and the only home that she and President John F. Kennedy ever built. Its sad story is told on Yahoo Homes' Spaces blog at http://yhoo.it/JFKJackieWexford . You'll also find home movies of the weekends that the Kennedys and their two…Yahoo Homes
They moved into Wexford, their home at Rattlesnake Mountain outside Middleburg, Virginia, just a few weeks before the assassination.Spaces
Nov. 22: A peek at Scarlett Johansson's surprisingly modest condo and her fancy love nest on her 29th birthday
Actress Scarlett Johansson, born Nov. 22, 1984, begins the last year of her 20s today. To mark the occasion, we're revisiting two of her former homes.Spaces
Photos: Scarlett Johansson's surprisingly modest condo, and the gorgeous home she shared with Ryan Reynolds (26 photos)
As actress Scarlett Johansson enters the last year of her 20s, we're taking a look at two of her homes: the surprisingly modest condo she owned from 2003 to 2013, and the gorgeous midcentury modern she briefly shared with then-husband Ryan Reynolds. | By Jennifer Karmon, Yahoo HomesClick here to…Yahoo Homes