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).