(BPT) - Conventional wisdom holds that in order to achieve a custom look in your home decor you either have to spend a bundle hiring professionals, or invest countless hours of hard work doing it yourself. In the Internet age, however, it's easier than ever to achieve the look of custom home decor without the expense or hassle of traditional methods.
That's because you can buy virtually anything online these days, from custom wall art to made-to-order slip covers. And while for some items you'll pay a bit more than you would in the local department store, online resources can provide you with virtually limitless ways to achieve exactly the look you want.
Here are a handful of home decor staples that you can customize through online resources:
* Wall decor - While family photos are one of the easiest, cheapest ways to customize your wall art, sometimes a room cries out for an eye-catching canvas wrapped print. Home decor stores can yield some acceptable options, but for a bigger selection - and reasonable costs - head over to www.canvasyourway.com. The same folks who pioneered the concept of custom wallpaper murals now offer millions of image options online that you can customize in several different sizes. Perhaps you need a cityscape to add just the right touch of sophistication to a living room and haven't been able to find it in local stores. Canvas Your Way has hundreds to choose from or you can make a custom canvas print by uploading your own image. With so many options, it's possible to find exactly what you're looking for at a reasonable price - without the worry that you'll ever see a similar piece in someone else's home.
* Lighting - Drive down any subdivision in the U.S., glance in entryway windows and you'll likely see the same light fixtures repeated over and over again. Builders standardize home lighting and many homeowners simply never bother to change things. Or, if they do, they head over to the same home improvement store that everyone else uses, so changing a light fixture doesn't really give them a unique look. A simple online search can yield thousands of options for customizing your home's lighting design - from chandelier makers that allow you to specify the number, size and color of crystals to pendant lights in myriad colors, shapes and sizes.
* Window treatments - Blinds for one room, sheers for another and valances in a third - sure, you can get all those window treatments customized from local businesses, but how much time and money will it cost? Online merchants offer virtually the same level of customization for window treatments as you would find in a specialty shop, at competitive prices and with far less hassle than driving to a custom store, or having a sales person come to your home. All you need is a measuring tape and a vision, and you can find custom window treatments online to fit any home decor.
* Slip covers - From shabby couches that are still comfy to sturdy dining room chairs that just need a new look, covering existing furniture with custom slip covers is usually much cheaper than reupholstering or replacing furniture altogether. Again, it's easy to find a host of online merchants that can customize slip covers to your specifications, including the exact size, color, pattern and fabric you desire. Easier than driving around looking at fabric samples, ordering custom slip covers online makes it simple to give much-loved, still useful furniture a whole new look and life. And most reputable online sellers will offer satisfaction guarantees, so you can be confident you'll be happy with the look of custom slipcovers that you buy online.
Customization doesn't have to cost a lot of time and money. Some smart online searching can help you create exactly the home decor look you desire.