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Decorating on a Budget – 10 Quick Tips

If you are decorating on a budget, then you need these expert tips! Learn how to make your home look designer without the price tag.

In this guide, you’ll find a list of actionable budget decorating tips to help you create a warm and welcoming home you love, and that reflects your personal style. They are all simple, they won’t break the bank, and no experience is required!

When your decor needs refreshed, but your budget is limited, there are still ways to accomplish small updates without spending a fortune. I’ve put together a list of 10 simple budget decorating tips that range from shopping advice, to picking paint colors. I hope you find one or two tips that speak to you, and that help you create a home you love!

wall plate rack at end of hallway example of budget decorating tips

Decorating On A Budget: Tips You Can Use

Here are my most-used room decorating tips. They will help you save money and make your home look incredible! From making your own artwork, to using pillows and color to maximize your designs, these tips are going to transform your interior design.

1. DIY When Possible

My first tip is for you to figure out how much of the project you can do yourself. This is something that has saved me a lot of money over the years.

When I start a project, the first thing I do is figure out what I can do, and then what I have to hire out. If I can do the whole thing myself, I am so happy. That rarely happens though, especially with anything that’s labor-intensive. Most big projects around here are a combination of DIY and paid labor.

In recent years, I have been relying more and more on contractors and handymen, which has greatly impacted what I can and can’t do. I know for a fact that money can be saved if you have access to free labor…a handy husband, family, or friends. So carefully consider your budget, and go from there.

For example, the plate rack above was made by my daughter’s boyfriend. Get all the details {HERE.}

limelight hydrangea centerpiece in ironstone tureen budget decorating tips example

2. Shop Second-Hand and Discount Stores

One of the best budget decorating tips is to shop second-hand. Nothing is really off-limits, or out of reach, if you are a good thrift store, Craigslist, eBay, discount, or craft store shopper.

My favorite ironstone tureen was a Goodwill find, and cost a whopping $3. I rarely shop at the higher-end stores because I know I can find the look for less if I take my time and try. It takes patience, because sometimes you can’t find exactly what you want. Hang in there though, and keep looking.

It’s only a matter of time before you find exactly what you are looking for. In the image above, I made the hydrangea centerpiece out of thrifted items.

flowers and framed picture on shelves budget decorating tips

 3. Make Your Own Artwork

Making your own artwork is a very simple and inexpensive way to fill your walls. Frames and mats can be purchased at any craft or discount store. You can personalize the colors too. Here are a few ways to find budget-friendly artwork:

  • Find free printables online. Pinterest houses a treasure trove of free art.
  • Search Etsy for original art. Many artists have the capability to scan their original pieces, and sell them digitally.
  • Take your own photos. Enlarge them at a photo center, and then put them in frames. I did this for a gallery wall on our stairway, and chose to print the photos in black and white. It’s a cohesive and personal reflection of our family, and it’s inexpensive.
  • Join the OSP email subscriber list and get instant access to the Members Only Library. You will find digital downloads that are perfect for DIY wall art. Click {HERE} to sign up! Get the printable pictured above {HERE.}
white roses in pitcher on round table budget decorating tips example

4. Add Inexpensive Natural Elements

I love natural elements. I love fresh flowers and greenery. They bring a room to life, and you can use them in your decor without breaking the bank. Bring flowers in from your yard, or pick them up at the grocery store.

It’s amazing how a $10 bunch of flowers can cheer you up, and light up a room. Forage for pinecones, add dried lavender, cut low branches from your trees, or display your produce. The next time you are feeling stuck with your decor, and don’t have much money, give this idea a try. You will love it!

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

5. Use Pillows for Color, Style, & Texture

No list of budget decorating tips would be complete without including the versatility of pillow covers. They are also an easy and budget-friendly way to switch up the look of a room, seasonally or just for fun.

By choosing two or three main colors, any pattern or textured fabric will work together. For example, my color palette is blue and neutral. I use different shades of blue, and make sure to add texture when I use neutrals. By sticking to these colors, my pillow cover collection can be mixed and matched, as well as moved from room to room. 

Here are my favorite sources for inexpensive pillow covers:

tufted chair in living room with neutral pillow

Nothing will eat into your budget faster than jumping on every style trend that goes by. Don’t do it! I admit that occasionally I am tempted to buy that trendy rug at Crate and Barrel, or that fun vase at West Elm. I quickly talk myself out of it though. I know I would get tired of them, because they aren’t really “me.”

Buy what makes you happy when you walk in a room…not what is on the cover of the latest catalog. Unless, of course, whatever is on the cover makes you blissfully happy.

If you want to shop the look in the image above, here is a quick list:

on sutton place paint colors lid graphic 550c

7. Connect the Dots with Paint

Paint is cheap. Paint is easy. Paint is the quickest way to transform a room. The best way to make the rooms in your home flow is to keep everything in the same basic color family. In my case, that color is blue.

For walls, I used different shades of blue, along with one main neutral. The easiest way to accomplish this is to pick colors from the same paint swatch. I picked my paint strip several years ago when I painted our front door navy blue. I am still using the exact same color strip today.

I’m definitely not saying you have to stick with your choice for life…but it’s an easy way to start. Read this guide to learn more about our paint colors.

spring wreath on blue front door

8. Shop Your Home & Stash

Remember to shop your home before buying anything, and to look through your “stash” regularly. Most of us have a place where we keep decor items that we may not be using at the moment, but aren’t ready to discard or donate.

The spring wreath above was made almost for free…the only thing I had to purchase was the faux pink ranunculus. I already had the wreath, garland, and white berries. So this project covered two budget decorating tips: shop your stash, and DIY!

french market basket on doorknob

9. Update Your Hardware

One of my favorite budget decorating tips that has a huge visual impact is changing the hardware on cabinetry or furniture. It can instantly update an old piece, and it’s the perfect way to add color where there is none. It’s also an update that can be accomplished over time, which is a very budget-friendly way to decorate.

When we bought our home, all the doorknobs and door hinges were bright gold. They were old, scratched, and definitely needed to be replaced. I started with the first floor and changed to oil-rubbed bronze hardware in the entry. I worked my way through the downstairs and then moved upstairs.

It took two years, but eventually, all our hardware was replaced. Nowhere is it written that a project has to be done all at once. Take it slow, and update at your own pace. 

small master bathroom remodel reveal

10. Know When To Splurge & When To Save

My last tip is that sometimes, it’s ok to splurge on your home decor – you just have to know when that is, and do it intentionally.

Personally, I think this is a hard one…especially if your first instinct is to always go the less expensive route. (I’m raising my hand!) Sometimes spending less is perfectly fine, and the end result isn’t compromised. Other times, it’s best to buy quality products, that might be more expensive, but that last over time.

Replacing an important design feature because it didn’t hold up is like throwing away money. Follow your instincts, and you won’t go wrong.

hydrangeas in clear pitcher

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more questions that people have about saving money on home decor. See if any of your questions made the list.

What should you not do when you are decorating a room?

I’m not a fan of giving people a long list of “decorating don’ts.” Decorating is such a personal thing, and I stand behind my “decorate for you and don’t follow trends” tip.

I think the only thing you should not do when you are decorating a room is to spend a bunch of money on something just because it is the current fad. Instead, follow your heart. If it makes you happy, decorate with it.

dough bowl centerpiece in dining room with board and batten

What are some tips on how to decorate a room with things I already have?

One of my favorite ways to decorate with items I already have is to make your decor items look new. Repaint it, or use it in a totally different way. For example, use a mason jar as an office organizer, and repaint it so it has a different look and feel.

When you redesign what you currently have, it all looks completely brand new.

arranging garden flowers 3 2021

Share your budget decorating tips!

Well…if you made it to the end, thank you for hanging in there! Like I said at the top of the post, I hope you found one or two budget decorating tips that you hadn’t thought of before. The most important thing to remember when decorating your space is to surround yourself and your family with meaningful pieces.

It doesn’t matter how much they cost, or where you purchase them. All that matters is that YOU love them. If you have a favorite tip you’d like to share, please leave a comment!

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