Decorating on a budget? You’re in good company.
Top interior designers will tell you, creating a space that feels like home and looks like a million bucks has little to do with how much you actually spend. The truth is, masterful decorating comes down to knowing how to best work with what you already have, first and foremost. And then getting thrifty.
So let’s get started.
Painting rooms a new color is often one of the most eye-catching decor changes you can make. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest and least expensive.
Even if you don’t pick a drastically different color, a fresh coat of paint will instantly update any space in your home. If you don’t have the time or energy to paint an entire room, repainting the trim can also make a big impact on the feel of a room.
Consider painting just one accent wall. Not only is it inexpensive, painting an accent wall is one decor trick that is always extremely effective. No matter the color you go with, it’s an undoubtedly chic update in any room that may even transform it completely.
Go Antiquing & Thrifting
For great deals on unique decor and timeless treasures, start perusing local flea markets, antique stores, estate sales, and yard sales. You’ll often find one-of-a-kind items for cheap that would otherwise cost a fortune if you bought them brand new.
Much of the time, you’ll also discover vintage decor that you absolutely won’t stumble upon anywhere else. Decorating with rarities will allow you to create a home with incredibly personal touches, and you’ll be able to do so affordably.
Once in a while, you’ll find pieces in practically perfect condition while others will look “good as new” with a fresh coat of paint, a new drawer handle, or maybe a different lampshade. So keep your eyes open for imperfect pieces with potential and prepare to get creative. It’ll always make decorating more fun.
While you’re out antiquing, be sure to look for things that you could potentially upcycle as well. Upcycling is a clever way to decorate that’s frugal, inventive, and great for the environment.
So when you start bargain hunting, bring along that imagination!
Make The Most of What You Have
Sometimes, you don’t need to spend any money to decorate. You just need to rearrange a few things. So before you break the bank, look around at what you already have.
Play around with existing pieces and easy-to-move decor first. See how different objects play off your furniture, wall colors, and immovable objects. Relocate items to another room and see how they work. Sometimes, it helps to put all of your decor in the center of the floor first, and start rearranging with a clean slate.
Ultimately, moving things around will completely change or help elevate the look of a space. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how versatile the furniture you already own really is.
And if you really want to master the decorating art of harmonious rearrangement, here are 10 simple ways to Feng shui your home, compliments of Everyday Health.
Change Out Accents
This one’s all about saying “out with the old and in with the new” in an incredibly affordable way.
Swapping out accents is a small, quick, and inexpensive change that often makes a major difference in the overall look and feel of a room.
Changing out throw pillows is one of the most popular go-to’s, but there are other ways to cleverly update your accents. Consider replacing handles or knobs in your kitchen and bathroom. While you’re antiquing, stay on the lookout for low-cost, unique, and high-quality replacements.
You could also easily replace lampshades or light fixtures. And as always, sprucing up your seating is never a bad idea. New throw pillows or a throw blanket can quickly transform your sofa or cozy chair and create a new vibe in the room. For a little more creative fun, consider changing out accents out by season and mixing up or mingling textures.
For instance, try velvet pillows in the winter, silky or beaded throws in fall, and lighter linen in the spring.
Buy a Slip Cover For Your Sofa
Even when you find one for a bargain, sofas are always an investment. To make your investment last and change things up a little, consider a slipcover.
This decorating hack may not work with every sofa, but it’s worth looking into, especially for people with pets.
Because sofas are considered the centerpiece of a home, a slipcover can easily give the entire space an entirely different look. And it will always be cheaper than splurging on a brand new couch.
Create an Inviting Atmosphere
When it comes to decorating, it’s all about creating an atmosphere. The good news is, no matter what mood you’re going for, it never has to cost very much.
Atmospheric touches are also one aspect of decorating you can consistently change up to keep your home feeling fresh. Even if your bigger pieces stay as they are, you can easily change up the vibe of a space with some cost-effective and easy-to-incorporate additions.
For instance, add some candles to create a feeling of coziness. The soft, dim lighting will bring out the beauty in any room, while hiding flaws you may not wish to draw attention to.
Another easy way to create a welcoming atmosphere is to bring in some greenery. Live plants, fresh flowers, and bowls of fruit can really bring a space to life and connect your home to the evolving seasons.
Not only do plants give any space a lively touch, decorating with them is proven to be good for your health, as we all could use a little more oxygen indoors.
When I’m antiquing, I’m always on the hunt for interesting vases, bowls, pitchers, and unique containers to put flowers, plants, and fruit in. And remember, when it comes to perfecting an atmosphere with living things, the container matters just as much as its content! But you never need to overspend.
Creating an atmosphere for each room is something you can endlessly play around with. You’ll also be able to affordably figure out what colors and textures work best in each space. After all, flowers won’t live forever. And so, you can use bouquets to decorate whilst temporarily contemplating different color schemes for bigger changes you might want to make later, like painting or furniture.
Wall art is one of the most striking aspects of any home. As a final touch, it can easily tie together each space. When decorating, what you hang up will always feel like a statement piece, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Before you splurge on a painting, look into prints. Affordable and quality options are endless, especially if you’re shopping online.
No matter your style, wall art doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. Chances are, you’ll find that most of your guests will only have nice things to say, no matter how much you actually spent. And there’s something about a hanging print that has its own stylish, unique flair. So start looking around for pieces (and prices) that speak to you.
Plus, the beauty of not overspending on wall art is that if it doesn’t work out, you’ll have no shame in swapping it for something else.
While this one might seem obvious, it’s also one of the most important (and energizing) things you can do to redecorate. Not only will this simple step revive any and every space in your home, getting organized is completely free. And it’s always where you should start.
Interior designers endlessly suggest de-cluttering as a key decorating hack. There’s a number of reasons for that. Firstly, a clear space and a clear mind often go hand in hand. Once you’ve created a blank canvas of sorts, you’ll be able to see your home’s potential in ways you couldn’t when it was buried beneath the mess.
And oftentimes in decorating, less truly proves to be more.
To transform any room without spending a cent, start by dividing and conquering the clutter. Once you have space to move things around, try styling your bookshelves by rearranging books, integrating art, and strategically placing priceless mementos. Keep your surface areas neat and tidy, so you have the freedom to display a piece of art or a flower arrangement. Leaving some spaces open will allow you to mix things up more often.
No matter your decorating goals, de-cluttering will always unlock the potential of your home and bring the best out of every room. But a word to the wise, work on only one room at a time. You should give each area your undivided attention and deserved TLC. Plus, it might take longer than expected to sort it all out.
As for anything you don’t want, put it in a donation box so that someone else can get a steal of a deal when decorating their home someday.