Decorating your home on a budget
Are you interested in updating the look of your home? Do you want to get that “wow” factor look but without the expense? It is not difficult to repurpose existing pieces to give them a new look and relocating them to give them a different purpose. With a little creativity and a lot of time and patience, you can decorate your home on a small budget and get BIG results.
How to decorate on a small budget:
Make use of existing furniture. Clean it and repair it if necessary. Try slipcovers or beautiful throws to hide a bad color or pattern. Repaint the table. Appreciate it for what it is and make it prettier with a little elbow grease.
Eliminate clutter. I know I’ve said it before. But it’s true – clutter just looks awful. It only takes 5 steps to organize anything! It ALWAYS blows my mind how much tidying up can do for a room – and a mood!
Change up the lighting. Add some accent lights or put on candles instead of turning on the overhead ceiling lights. Get rid of those BOOB lights! (Who designed those thing anyway?) Shop around online for the best deals. You can often find better lighting from big box stores by shopping their online selection. Or try places like Wayfair.
Refinish existing kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them. We did that a few years ago in our current kitchen, when there simply wasn’t any budget to replace the cabinets. I even learned a valuable and somewhat funny lesson in how NOT to refinish kitchen cabinets (a great reminder that I screw up too)!
Buy appliances used on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Also watch for appliance truckload sales and Boxing Day type sales. When we had to gut the kitchen of our tiny bungalow, I bought all of the kitchen appliances from a man who was moving out of the country, but whose appliances were only a year old. And our laundry appliances were bought at a steep discount during Boxing Week.
If buying new appliances, choose more economical finishes. A few years ago this meant that white cost less than stainless, but I noticed that that had recently changed at our local big box store. The stainless is now cheaper!
Visit upscale shops for ideas and then hunt for bargains to get the look for less. Window shopping can make you miserable if you let it, but it can provide a plethora of inspiration if you know you can get the same look for a lot less by bargain hunting or making your own. Try it with a good attitude and you may be surprised!
Repaint your walls. A new coat of paint freshens up a place more than you’d ever think. Why do you think landlords even paint between renters?!
Add some artwork. Frame things that are free: pinecones, flowers, book pages. Free printables are available online if you look. We have lots of printable art here.
Print B&W photos and frame in standard frames from Ikea or shop for them at Michaels when there’s a big sale or a great coupon. By printing them in B&W, you create cohesion and a much more gallery-esque look. See our how to decorate with family photos post here.
Frame a vintage board game or cards in a shadow box for the family room, a games room or even a bedroom.
Use sheets or lengths of fabric as curtains. Curtain clips and rings, and no-sew adhesive tape make this a no-sew project! We even used curtains made from drop cloths until we could afford to upgrade them.
When purchasing pieces keep your big ticket items neutral and basic. I know I said this when we talked about trends. But it’s worth repeating. If you want to add in trendy looks, keep these to the easily replaceable and inexpensive accessories like pillows, throws, candlesticks, etc.
Instead of more expensive wallpapers, stencil a wall using a purchased stencil or a stencil made from cardboard or projected using an overhead projector. Much like our coffee wall and our bedroom wall.