FROM quaint countryside dwellings to elaborate abodes, Jamaicans typically pull out the stops at this time of the year to spruce up and deck out their homes.
For those on a tight budget, the task may seem daunting but with the season of sales, comes the deals.
It is wise however, when deciding on sprucing up, to ensure that money spent now will extend throughout the new year and that 'fixer-uppers' last all year round.
Painting can go a far way without stretching your pocket to its limit.
"Painting is commonly recognised as one of the most easy and cost-effective ways to transform the aesthetic of your home," said Victor Handal, managing director of Tile City and Home Centre.
For many persons, this is the most that will be done in the bid to spruce up so the experts suggest that effective use of paint products and quality paints will reduce the time and cost needed to achieve a lasting and beautiful effect.
"One of the most cost- effective ways to add a new look to your home while working on a tight budget is to use contrasting colours on adjacent and opposite walls," said Paul Alexander, Edge Chem marketing manager.
Alexander suggests using low sheen paints in high activity areas such as bathrooms kitchens and children's rooms.
"You want to make the most of every dollar you spend now," he said. "Low sheen is quite durable and areas painted with these products can be scrubbed and cleaned over time without losing much of the paint quality."
He cautioned against the use of inferior paints, which he says, will result in an increase in the time needed for the job as well as the overall cost of painting.
"You save time and money in the long run when you use quality products", he said.
Accessorising your home is another way of sprucing up without racking up costs. Handal contends that adding trendy, fun accessories will give any room a new look.
"Think vases, bowls, wall art and rugs," he said. "Cost effective additions can give you that flair you desire and even add a touch of elegance if chosen wisely to compliment the total décor."
"Plants and flowers can also add energy and colour with the added bonus of a pleasant aroma," Handal explained.
Adding a new lamp can also change the look and feel of you home. But if you can't afford a new lamp, "you can easily transform old pieces by repainting the lamp bases,"
So, it really doesn't take much to add that special look this holiday even if your purse strings are tied to you bed post. Get out there and shop around, you may just be surprised.