10 Tips for Home Decorating on a Budget

by | Jan 31, 2020

When you’re making plans to decorate your home, the toughest challenge is usually trying to stay within your budget. Even though you have dreams of making it look like a home straight out of an HGTV reality show episode, your bank account can’t handle the costs. Frustrated, you might be ready to throw in the towel and stick with your drab and uninspiring home décor.

Don’t give up hope just yet. Even without a limitless budget, you can still have the newly decorated home of your dreams. It might take a little more creativity than buying everything brand-new, but that’s part of the fun, right? Here are 10 ideas to help when you’re decorating on a budget.


DIY paint job

Nothing adds a splash of color to a room like a few fresh coats of paint. A gallon of paint will cost you between $15 to $40, and you’ll likely need two to three cans to paint an average-sized bedroom. Add in the cost of brushes, tape, and other supplies, and you could recreate an entire room for less than $200.

Getting creative with paint is also a great way to bring out your inner home decorator (and your inner child). There’s no limit to what you can do, whether you choose to make a stencil design, create an accent wall, or play around with colors to give the illusion of a larger space.


Use fresh wallpaper

If you’re renting your home or don’t want to deal with the messiness that comes with painting, using new wallpaper is another DIY option. Standard wallpaper is a little pricier than paint at a cost of $25 to $50 for a single roll, so you probably won’t be able to wallpaper your entire house. Still, it’s a good idea if you’re looking to redecorate a small space like a walk-in closet or guest bathroom.

And even though the name might make you think so, wallpaper isn’t only for walls. You can use pieces of wallpaper to cover drawers, table counters, and old wardrobes that need a bit of sprucing up.


Rearrange rooms

If you’ve had the same furniture setup in your home for years, a little rearranging might do the trick. Maybe your chairs or sofa have always been positioned to face away from the windows. Moving them around to face the window can give you a new perspective – and a better view.

You can even move pieces of furniture into different rooms, like a lamp, coffee table, or throw rug. Try out several combinations to see what feels good. In just a couple hours, you can have a completely new setup and excitement for your home, without ever spending a dime.


Add artwork

When you think of putting up artwork in your home, you might think you have to shell out thousands of dollars for a painting from a world-renowned artist. In reality, quite the opposite is true.

Almost anything can be art if you get creative enough. Go to a local paint night and create your own customized painting. Not only will you have a good time getting out to enjoy yourself, but now you have a brand-new piece of art to hang up in your home. Or take a few photos of nature or fun landmarks around your city, then print and frame them.

For the less artistically inclined, stores like Marshall’s or HomeGoods have a wide selection of colorful pieces and framed inspirational quotes, with most available for less than $20 each. Any of these ideas can help bring life to the bare walls around your house.


Go bargain hunting

If you’ve rearranged your furniture, painted, and hung up artwork but still feel like there’s something missing, it could be time to do a little shopping. Still, it’s much more cost-effective to buy items that are “new to you,” rather than brand new, if you’re decorating on a budget.

You can go the traditional route of taking a trip to Goodwill or local thrift stores. If you have high-quality taste with a limited budget, it can be worthwhile to search for items in upscale areas, where there’s a chance you’ll find designer items at a fraction of the cost.

Other options include browsing through Craigslist “For Sale” section or signing up with a group like the Freecycle Network, where members give away unwanted items at no cost. It might take some time to find exactly what you’re looking for, but the payoff can be worthwhile when you come across a steal.


Install vinyl flooring

Aside from painting, replacing your carpet or 1950s-era tile with new flooring can be one of the most satisfying ways to make your space feel like new. This is also a job that will take at least several weeks to complete, especially if you don’t have prior experience in floor renovations.

While the time investment is huge, so are the savings if you do it on your own instead of hiring a professional. According to estimates from Investopedia, installing vinyl or linoleum flooring on your own can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500, and an additional $300 to $400 to enlist the services of a pro. You’ll also have the satisfaction of completing a major project that you can show off to friends and family who visit!


Repurpose furniture

Is there an old coffee table or nightstand in your house that can be put to use in a new way? Instead of splurging on an additional piece of furniture or buying from second-hand stores, take matters into your own hands and repurpose the old piece.

A few decorating ideas for repurposing include things like turning dresser drawers into mounted bookshelves, or an old table into a new work desk. With some rearranging and a couple coats of paint, you’ll have an item to actually get good use out of.


Switch out old fabrics

Changing the textiles in a room is an easy way to update your home décor without overspending. New bedding, pillows, or throw rugs are just a few items that can be switched out for less than $100. Experiment with colors to brighten up the atmosphere, especially if most of your décor is made up of neutral tones.

You can even use fabrics to separate rooms for privacy instead of installing new doors. All you need is a staple gun and curtains and voila, you now have a quiet space to enjoy a book or knock out some work.


Clear out clutter

A disorganized space can be a key factor in unhappiness with your home décor. Before you give in to the urge to go out and buy more stuff, evaluate what you already have and decide if there’s anything you should get rid of.

Like most of us, you’ve probably collected lots of things over the years you no longer have much need for. Take an inventory of what should stay, and what can be sold or donated to free up space. You’ll probably find the new and organized environment is just what you need to feel at peace again.


Add a few statement pieces

Making your home feel like home sometimes comes down to just a few important pieces. While it would be nice to buy a brand-new living room set when you’re bored with your old one, a funky chair or colorful table can give you the same wow factor – without the huge bill.

The same goes with your kitchen or bathroom. A colorful backsplash or fancy new faucet can spice things up when you need a change but don’t have the funds for a major overhaul.


Think outside the box

We all feel some FOMO when we see homeowners on HGTV enlist the help of experts to take on elaborate interior design projects. What’s most important though, is not how much you spend on furniture and other décor but getting creative and finding the unique items to make your home appealing to you. And finding that balance is priceless.

Image: NeONBRAND/Unsplash

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