NEW YORK -- With the housing recovery gaining steam, Americans have more incentives to paint up, touch up and otherwise redecorate their homes. But there's no need to spend willy-nilly.
From finding treasures on eBay.com to taking advantage of new offerings at department stores and discounters, there are plenty of ways to make your home more stylish on the cheap.
"There's no excuse for an undecorated home on any budget," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a retail consultancy. "Home has as much retail selection as fashion. And you can get a lot of buys."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has expanded this year its assortment of window treatments like blinds, and is also bolstering offerings on rugs, decorative pillows, bathroom accessories and patio furniture. Under the discounter's Better Homes & Gardens brand, decorative pillows range from $11.97 to $13.97.
Meanwhile, Target Corp., known for its cheap-chic home designs, has launched a full line for the new store brand called Threshold, which offers a variety of goods from dinnerware sets to sheets and towels. And J.C. Penney Co. is counting on a newly revamped home area that contains new brands including Jonathan Adler, Sir Terence Conran and Bodum. Michael Graves, who ended his 13-year partnership with Target last year and is known for his stylish tea kettles, is also joining Penney's this spring.
Here are six tips for decorating your home:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK: First, create a budget and search around to get inspiration. To get ideas, attend open houses to see how other people are decorating their homes. You can also find how-to videos and decorating blogs on such sites as HSN, HomeGoods, Lowe's and Home Depot.
There are fewer home decor magazines than there used to be. But you can always flip through catalogs from stores such as Ballard Designs to get some tips.
Also, experts encourage you to do broad searches on the Web. EBay just launched a new technology called Feed that allows you to personalize your searches based on your style, like mod 1960s.