Home Hacks That’ll Stretch Your Decorating Dollar

These quick fixes deliver designer results—for a fraction of the cost.

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Toss cushion designs
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Home Hacks to Feather Your Nest

The secret to luxe-looking cushions

The most affordable way to make over your sofa is to swap out the toss cushions. But there’s no need to splurge on entirely new ones; keep the insert and find cushion covers you like. And here’s a trick to making your new cushions look luxe and lofty: get cushion covers that are five centimetres (two inches) smaller than the insert in both height and width.

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Home hacks - hanging wall mirror
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The mirror-hanging hack that’ll save your walls

Hanging a mirror (or any framed wall art) that has pre-drilled holes in the back can be a major headache. For an artful solution, run a strip of masking tape across the mirror’s back, from the left-hand hole to the hole on the right, and use a marker to indicate the position of each hole on the tape. Remove the tape and reattach it to the wall in the position you want the mirror hung; use a level to ensure it’s straight. Drive your screws into the two spots marked on the tape, then remove the tape and hang the piece. Stand back and admire your perfectly placed installation.

Don’t miss these invaluable decorating tips from Brian Gluckstein, Canada’s most in-demand designer.

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Home hacks - artificial houseplants foliage greenery
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Fresh–looking foliage

Even artificial plants need some TLC. To keep those everlasting leaves looking lustrous and dust-free, give them a regular blast of (cool) air from your hair dryer. This trick also works on real plants.

Here are 10 hardy indoor plants you (probably) can’t kill.

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Grommet drapes
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Elevate basic drapes

Grommet drapes are often the most affordable option when it comes to window coverings, but they never seem to look as good as they do on display in the showroom. The secret to styling them at home is to slip a cardboard toilet paper roll between every other grommet as you’re threading the drapery rod through the drapes. It’ll ensure equal spacing between each fold of the drapery panel for a smooth-hanging, Pinterest-worthy look.

Discover 13 secrets real estate agents want you to know.

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Wooden clothespin
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Hammer helper

If you’re more likely to hit your thumb than the nail’s head when you’re hammering, keep the nail in place by clamping a wooden clothespin onto it. Your delicate digits are now out of harm’s way.

Find out the home renovation mistakes that could send your property’s resale value into a tailspin.

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Jar candle burned down
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How to light a tricky wick

Trying to light a burned-down candle and you have only a regular-sized lighter? To avoid scorching your fingers, extend your reach by lighting a piece of uncooked spaghetti.

Looking for more money-saving home hacks? Check out HGTV star Sarah Richardson’s best budget-friendly decorating fixes.

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Home hacks - empty glass candle jar
Tarzhanova / Shutterstock.com

Repurpose a candle jar

Don’t junk a beautiful glass jar candle just because its burned-down. Place the jar in the freezer overnight and the remaining wax will shrink away from the glass, making it easy to remove. (If it’s still a bit stuck, break it up with a butter knife.) Wash and repurpose the pretty vessel as a coin dish, pen cup, or bud vase.

Here are 50 more things you should be repurposing all around the house.

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End of measuring tape
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A makeshift “tape measure”

Forgot to bring your measuring tape, but need to check dimensions before you buy? Reach into your wallet: a Canadian bill is an excellent ruler, as it is exactly six inches (15 centimetres) long, no matter what the denomination. Fold it in half, you’ve got a three-inch measure, and so on.

Considering a major makeover? Here’s HGTV star Bryan Baeumler’s best kitchen reno advice.

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Home hacks - yellow paint can
Efetova Anna / Shutterstock.com

Better-planned paint jobs

Even if you know the colour of paint inside that old paint can—since it’s splattered all over the outside—you probably can’t recall exactly how much is left. Eliminate the guesswork after your next home improvement project by painting a line on the outside of the can indicating the paint level inside. It’ll save you the hassle, down the road, of prying open the lid to check.

If you enjoyed these home hacks, be sure to check out 20 painting tips the pros don’t want you to know.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada

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