When decorating a space, never underestimate the power of plants. Go for a mix of sizes and for a more dynamic look vary the leaf shape. The snake plant on the floor is angular and vertically oriented, while the lush fiddle leaf fig has large undulating leaves. Save yourself a bit of cash by periodically clipping from an interesting shrub in your back yard. Place them in a large pot, add water and you have an instant statement-making centerpiece.
When using old books, if the covers or spines are ugly or in bad condition, open them up and use the pages to soften up the mantel decor. Designer Janna Allbritton always tries to incorporate something soft (such as pages or ribbon) with something shiny (such as mercury glass) and greenery (such as a succulent or topiary). She also loves bringing in wire, wood and metal elements, which can be snagged for just a few dollars at yard sales or thrift shops.
Staged homes are almost always graced with fresh flowers and pricey orchid arrangements, but you can get a similar effect simply by raiding your yard. Budding magnolia clippings or unfurling fern fronds herald the arrival of spring, summer blooms add splashes of cheerful color, blazing fall foliage warms up your decor on chilly autumn days and holly branches heavy with berries look smashing in winter.
For free patio and porch decor, use stones from your yard or a piece of driftwood from the beach or lake. "You would be surprised to learn that you already have plenty of decor options right in your own backyard," says Atlanta designer Alice Cramer.
Add some rustic charm to your yard with tree silhouettes made from plywood and nail heads. These attractive trees, designed by Brian Patrick Flynn, are fun in the daytime but look breathtaking when silhouetted at night by outside lighting.
Silk floral is available in a wide variety of styles and materials. For a more authentic look, search for blooms and leaves designed with discoloration that mimics the sun-faded, wind-blown look of real flowers. Mask the foam wreath with burlap bought by the yard, then cut the burlap to size and attach it to the wreath form with hot glue.
Dress up a pair of vintage skates by lacing them with festive ribbon. Search yard sales, flea markets and secondhand stores for old skates you can use in decor, suggests home decor blogger Amy Buchanan of AttaGirlSays. She adds: You'll find the best deals on winter items, such as skates, in the off-season.
A cobblestone walkway leads to the decorative and distressed wood door frame opening up into the front yard of this home. A pair of large distressed vases frame the doorway complimenting the antiqued style of the decor.
A concrete retaining wall creates a private feel around this cool, Bohemian patio. A planted yard extends above the wall for additional privacy and natural decor. Neutral tone fabrics and a collection of throw pillows create a calm environment perfect for relaxation.
Add some farmhouse charm to your front yard or foyer this holiday season with a rustic, wooden Christmas tree. This rustic Christmas tree, made from driftwood, is part of the Lisa Lampanelli's celebrity home decor and is an unusual yet attractive alternative to a traditional tree.
Deer are not just holiday appropriate but often used as a way to add rustic and farmhouse style to a front yard and porch. For the holidays, options include carved wood deer, antler decor and illuminated reindeer of all sizes, offered by retailers such as The Home Depot.
Home decor blogger Amy Buchanan started with a yard sale table and layered in finds, such as a tobacco stick star, a pinecone garland and a frame from an old dresser. Ticking ribbon and wooden Christmas trees painted to look like old grain sacks are in keeping with the farmhouse theme. "I love collecting vintage items throughout the year, then mixing them together to create rustic and farm-style vignettes," says Buchanan, who blogs at AttaGirlSays.
A terrarium made from old windows and architectural elements is a great place to display holiday greenery, a nativity, ornaments, plants or outdoor candles. Home decor blogger Amy Buchanan of AttaGirlSays also clipped greenery and holly berries from her yard for this terrarium on her front porch, which contributes to the rustic style with vintage appeal. When working with old windows and painted wood, be sure to test for lead paint, Buchanan says.
"Mercury glass is pretty inexpensive. A collection on a mantel looks just as well as doing pairs," says Atlanta interior designer Lance Jackson, co-founder and creative director of Parker Kennedy Living. Mercury glass also works year-round and fits nicely with holiday decor, whether your palette is red and green, or another choice. For your collection of combine mercury glass you pick up from antique stores, estate sales and yard sales with new pieces from home discount stores.