Decorating on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style or choose tacky home furnishing and accessories. All it means is with a little creativity you can make your home reflect who you are without spending a fortune. To help you save money making your home beautiful, we’ve created this resource of 47 budget home decorating tips – you’re sure to find some creative ideas and inspiration here!
Home Styling Tips on a Budget
- Declutter & Organize: Donate or Sell items you don’t use or need, and organize things to help make your decor both functional and beautiful.
- Top to Bottom Deep Cleaning: Deep cleaning is one place to start with helping giving a room a new look and feel. Dust, mop, vacuum, wash the walls…all of it makes a big difference believe it or not!
- Try New Furniture Layouts: So often we get stuck in the rut of keeping furniture in the same place for several years. Sometimes all a room needs for an updated look is to simply move the furniture for a better layout!
- Change Out Accessories: Big pieces such as furniture or a sofa probably don’t need replaced – often times just changing out the accessories of a room can give it a completely different style!
- Restyle Bookshelves, Tables, China Closets & Bakers Racks Often: Not only will this help reduce dust collecting on your shelving, but restyling and rearranging these items often can give you a new look without spending a dime and satisfy your inner urge to decorate!
- Use Mirrors: Mirrors can be found sometimes inexpensively secondhand or at discount retailers and can add light and make a room seem more spacious.
- Fresh Coat of Paint: A fresh coat of paint can go a long way when styling a room and it doesn’t cost a fortune, especially if you’re lucky and find a can of “oops paint” for sale at your local home improvement store.
- Don’t Worry About Matching: These days the trend is an eclectic and varied look – matched sets not only cost more money, but it can make a room look dated. So don’t be afraid to mix up different furniture styles and colors. This is also a good tip for place settings and table decor.
- Don’t Forget the Windows: Make sure windows are clean and decorate using inexpensive curtain panels or better yet, choose DIY blinds or shades or curtains you make yourself. You could even try making your own shutters!
- Add Lighting: Lighting in a room makes a huge difference and can be done inexpensively. For example, you can purchase a pack of LED battery operated lights for bookshelves and cabinets that can really accentuate your space.
- Give Your Bathroom Some Attention: Bathrooms are often looked over or are missing some decor touches. Think soap dispensers, soap dishes, pretty towels, curtains, and different items to decorate and make your bathroom a little more interesting for yourself and guests. Even just changing up the shower curtain can make a huge difference!
- Add Some Greenery: House plants and fresh flowers make a huge difference in just about any room, and really add a special touch, especially in the kitchen and living room areas.
- Think Odd Numbers: Odd number groupings (such as three of something, five of something, etc.) can give a room dimension and avoid it looking too symmetrical.
- Rotate Items: Keep some items in a box to rotate for the future. This is a great way to decorate seasonally for a room or to always keep things looking fresh.
- Create a Feature Wall: A feature wall can have a vinyl lettering saying, or display plates or clocks or photographs or original artwork. It can really add a new look to an old space!
- Go Natural: Head out to your backyard and look for items that can be used in your space. Acorns, pine cones, twigs and branches – you never know what you might find and how it can be used creatively!
- Give Your Room Texture: Textiles and mixing different materials (ie: glass, wood, ceramic, etc.) can really give a room some feeling. (Haha, sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) – Seriously though, adding texture is a great way to contribute to a room’s decor without spending a lot of money.
Inexpensive DIY Projects & Ideas
When it comes to saving money on home decor, DIY projects can really help you stretch that decorating dollar a little further. Here are some simple things you can make yourself for less than what it costs to buy new:
- Recycled Wine Bottles & Corks: There must be thousands of crafts for wine bottles and corks. They add a nice decorative touch to any room, especially when decorated or used creatively.
- Make Your Own Throw Pillows: No sewing skills are really necessary to make throw pillows, as there are many tutorials online for no-sew pillows these days. Best of all, you get to choose the fabric design, so they’re sure to really coordinate well with the rest of the decor in your room.
- Mason Jar Crafts: Mason jars add a touch of elegance in nearly any type of room theme. Use them for lighting, for displaying small items, or just browse Pinterest for more ideas.
- Refinish Ugly Old Furniture: Furniture can sometimes look dated or ugly if it’s in rough shape or from several decades ago. One way around this is to refinish it. You can paint, decoupage, and more to give it a new look that’s sure to be fresh and help you express yourself in your rooms. Not good at refinishing furniture? Often times in many areas you can find someone to do it for you inexpensively, saving you the cost of having to purchase new.
- Upcycled Crafts: Turn old things into new things by making upcycled and repurposed crafts. You can often transform regular old household items and thrift store items into new works of art!
- Use Your Own Photography: Go through photos and using photo editing software turn them into black and white and then have them professionally printed. Frame them up and arrange in a photo wall or place on top of shelving.
- Chalkboard Paint: Very popular right now, you can find chalkboard paint inexpensively at most hardware stores and do a number of different DIY crafts with it, such as making signs, decorating kids rooms and more!
- Make Your Own Rug: There are a number of tutorials for rug making using fabric scraps, old t-shirts and more!
- Clock Kits: You can purchase clock kits inexpensively and make your own wall clocks for a fraction of what you might pay at a department store.
- Make Stuff From the Dollar Store: Google “Dollar Store Crafts” or “Dollar Store Decorating Ideas” and you’ll find thousands of awesome low cost ways to organize, decorate, and create for your space.
- Use Old Books: There are so many things you can do with old book pages! Whether you decoupage an item with them or place pages in pretty frames, you can make something awesome pretty inexpensively, as you probably already have an old book or can pick one up at the thrift store for a couple of dollars. Sheet music is awesome for the music lover too!
- Old sheets or dresses can sometimes be purchased at thrift stores for less than what it would cost to purchase new fabric.
- Purchase Baskets at the Thrift Store: Spray paint a basket and give it a nice place in your decor or use for storage.
- Make Your Own Storage Containers: Using a pretty wrapping paper or scrapbook paper or even collage materials, decorate cardboard boxes to make them unique storage containers.
- Update your lampshades: There are tons of cool things you can do with a lampshade, and no we don’t mean just putting it on your head while you dance on the table.
Budget Savvy Shopping Tips
There are many ways you can save money when shopping for home decor furnishings and accessories. Here are our favorite budget savvy shopping tips:
- Set a Budget and Stick to It: Whether your budget is $100 or $1000 – knowing what it is ahead of time and sticking to it will help ensure you don’t overspend.
- Buy Used or Secondhand: This might seem obvious, but this is a great way to get items for less. You’re also more likely to find unique pieces this way as well. Flea markets and thrift stores are great places to find items, but you can also find accessories to decorate your home on sites such as eBay and Craigslist as well.
- Craigslist like a Boss: Learn how to search for items on Craigslist, check it often, and know exactly what price you’re willing to pay. See our article on how to shop Craigslist for more ideas on how to get great items for less.
- Get stuff for FREE: You can often request free samples online, ask family and friends for free things they no longer want, or scout out Yahoo groups like Freecycle to find things without paying a dime!
- Shop Clearance Racks: Most stores have a clearance section and you’ll be amazed what you can find there! The best times to shop clearance are after seasons/holidays. You can often do a quick Google search for the name of your favorite stores to find out when they have their clearance markdowns and sales.
- Sign up for Email Newsletters: Most stores have email newsletters you can sign up for that will give you huge discounts, whether it’s free shipping, 30-40% off coupons or more. These coupons and free shipping can really add up and help you get what you’re looking for without spending full price. You’ll also be alerted anytime your favorite stores have a sale.
- Actually Use Those Coupons: There are many ways to get coupons, but if you don’t use them, you’re missing out. One way around this is to only go shopping if you have a coupon or before heading to the store searching online to find coupon deals for the store you are going to. A coupon is no good if you leave it at home or forget to use it!
- Don’t Be Afraid of Discount Retailers: You might be surprised what you’ll find at the big box discount retailers, whether it’s cute curtain panels or a throw rug. Many stores now stock Martha Stewart and Better Homes & Gardens product lines.
- Be Prepared When Shopping: I’ve found it’s best when going shopping to know exactly what I’m shopping for. Otherwise, I might end up just wasting time or buying things that don’t actually work in the room. Of course, it’s good to keep an open mind when on the hunt for an item (you never know what you might find!) – but when you have a “shopping list” it helps keep you focused and less likely to spend money on things you probably don’t need.
Even More Tips for Decorating on a Budget
- Enlist the Help of Family or Friends: Sometimes all you need is an extra set of eyeballs to brainstorm about ideas to decorate, or maybe your family or friends can help you finish that DIY project that you haven’t the slightest clue how to actually do.
- Take it One Room at a Time: It can be overwhelming to try decorating an entire house all at once. Think baby steps and just focus and concentrate on working on one room at a time. Not only does this help you know and stick to a budget, but it will keep you from getting distracted.
- Use a Little Aromatherapy: Making your home smell good can make a big difference about how you feel about a room. I love scented wax warmers that give off a great scent for my mood.
- Give Yourself a Deadline: Ever watch those room makeover television shows on TV? They usually have a deadline, whether it’s a few hours or days or a week. Making it so the room has to be finished in a certain time period will help you keep from overspending.
- Have a Swap Party: Invite friends and family over to swap unused household items with each other. This can be a lot of fun!
I hope this post gives you some ideas for how you can achieve the look you want for less! Do you have any tips for decorating on a budget you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!