Decorating on a Budget

  1. Make use of existing furniture. Clean it and repair it if necessary. Try slipcovers or throws to hide a bad color or pattern. Repaint the table. Appreciate it for it’s “bones” and make it prettier with a little elbow grease.
  2. Eliminate clutter. I’ll say it once, i’ll say it 100 times. Clearing out clutter makes a difference. Put shoes and blankets in baskets and storage containers. Clear counters off so you have a clean surface. Limit what is seen by the eye, and hide what isn’t necessary.
  3. Change up the lighting. Add some accent lights or put on candles instead of turning on the overhead ceiling lights. Replacing fixtures that came with the home, or are outdated can make SUCH a difference.
  4. Refinish existing kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them. When there isn’t a budget for replacing cabinets…because we all know that can get pricey fast..think about refinishing. A little sanding, new paint, and updated hardware can breathe new life into old cabinets. Using colors like white can really freshen an area up and modernize a dark kitchen with old hardwood.
  5. Visit upscale shops for ideas and then hunt for bargains to get the look for less. Window shopping is the new pinterest. Shop around and see what you like. Snap pictures then search craigslist, garage sales, and online for similar items.
  6. 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?! Fresh paint can transform a space. Make sure to update trim as well. A fresh coat of white paint on trim can make a room look brand new!
  7. Add some artwork. Frame things that are free: pinecones, flowers, book pages. Free printables are available online if you look- pinterest is a great place.
  8. 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. The dollar store even has a great selection of frames. By printing them in B&W, you create cohesion and a much more planned out, gallery look.
  9. Use sheets or lengths of fabric as curtains. Curtain clips and rings, and no-sew adhesive tape make this a no-sew project!
  10. When purchasing pieces keep your big ticket items neutral and basic.  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. You can even paint or spray paint those like I find myself doing 😉
  11. Instead of wallpaper, stencil a wall using a purchased stencil or a stencil made from cardboard or projected using an overhead projector. You can find printables online as well for these- or free hand!

Bargain Shopping Tips

Bargain shopping. Wow! Where to begin here? There are SO many options when it comes to finding bargains; there really is no need to pay full price for anything!

Of course you are trying to save money with this step – which is beneficial whether you are a one income family trying to make your home cozy on a budget or you are someone who makes a comfortable income and are saving for the future – so it should go without saying that you shouldn’t buy something JUST because it is a bargain! Cause that’s just wasteful!

When you are shopping for deals you need only keep a few things in mind: know what you are looking for, know your measurements (where applicable) and know what your skills are.

Also look for pieces that can be used for a purpose other than originally intended; a door as a headboard, a bench as a table, etc. I love to repurpose so this is my favorite..but I know it’s harder to imagine sometimes.

So where are these bargains?

Garage sales

Flea markets

Dollar stores



Salvage yards

Thrift stores

Consignment stores

Trade with family or friends

The curb

Outlet stores

Patience is key! I always say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and either was your home. If you can wait and not fill every space perfectly day 1…you can have an amazing space over the course of a few months!

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