officeLast year I wrote about how after five years in our home, I still hadn't decorated it. I was simply paralyzed by options, and choices, and just did nothing instead. I'm happy to report that now, six months later, I've finally taken some small steps that have made my house at least start looking like we own it.

Oh, there's still much more to be done, but I at least got my office started, and found bedding for my daughter's "big girl" bedroom, and found a mirror to hang in our dining room wall. Even more, that mirror is actually hung!

I found that while I didn't have the budget to hire a decorator who would just do the whole thing for me, there were plenty of other free or less-expensive options out there to help people like me. Here are five to consider if you're also home-decorating challenged ... or just want a fresh perspective.

1. In-Store Services

I had no idea how many stores will come to your home -- at no cost -- and do consultations. Now, personally, I always feel obligated to buy something if someone comes all the way to my home, but I also found that if I took in pictures on my iPad to the store, they were more than happy to give me plenty of ideas on everything from floor plans to paint colors to accessories.

2. Friends

I sat down and thought about which of my friends had homes that I love, then I sent them photos, told them what my goals for the room were, and asked them for any advice. It came flooding in with links, pictures, and suggestions.

3. Online Consultation

Much like in-store services, there are plenty of mail-order sites that will offer a consultation over the web. I worked with the folks at Serena & Lily to find the perfect duvet cover for my daughter's specialty bed, and they were incredibly helpful.

4. Houzz

If you haven't discovered this site, make sure you have some serious time to explore it before you click on it. It's addicting, but full of so many room-specific photos. It's instant inspiration at your fingertips.

5. Pinterest

Okay, sometimes this site makes us all feel inadequate, but when it comes to ideas for do-it-yourself projects and inspiration galore, this site is fantastic. 

What sources do you use to help decorate your home?

 

Image via Julie Ryan Evans