If you are decorating on a budget, then you need these expert tips! Learn how to make your home look like it was designed by a pro 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 luxe home you love!
Home Decor Ideas 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, accessorizing a bookcase, or replacing a lamp shade. These low price 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 any diy projects that are 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 wall plate rack above was made by my daughter’s boyfriend. The materials were my only expense.
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, flea market, Craigslist, eBay, discount, or craft store shopper. It’s totally possible to make a big impact with very little money.
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 really 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 with my thrifted tureen.
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 everything so you stay with your color scheme. You can easily create a focal point with free art! 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 at the Sutton Place house, and chose to print the photos in black and white. It’s a cohesive and personal reflection of our family, and it was 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. Sign up HERE!
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. Add a pop of color by bringing flowers in from your yard, or pick them up at the grocery store.
It’s amazing how a $10 bunch of flowers can make you happy, 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 Throw Pillows + Blankets for Color, Style, & Texture
No list of budget decorating tips would be complete without including the versatility of pillow covers and throw blankets. They are also an easy and budget-friendly way to give a room a whole new look, 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:
6. Stay Away from Trends and Buy What You Love
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:
7. Connect the Dots with Paint
A fresh coat of paint is affordable, and it’s 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 the walls at our Sutton Place house, 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 used that exact same color strip until the day we moved!
I’m definitely not saying you have to stick with your choice for life…but it’s an easy way to start.
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!
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 on Sutton Place, all the doorknobs, cabinet knobs, and door hinges were bright gold brass. 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.
P.S. Don’t forget about that brass fireplace screen!
10. Know When To Splurge & When To Save
My last tip is that 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 furnishings, that might be more expensive, but that last over time. Like a sofa your whole family uses, the wallpaper that adds so much personality, light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, area rugs, or curtains.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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. Look for inspiration and repaint them, or use them in totally different ways. 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.
How can I decorate for no cost?
My best tips for no cost decorating are:
- Shop your house and use what you have in different ways.
- Look to your yard for natural elements.
- Use free printables.
- Look at Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for free items.
- Move your furniture from one room to another.
- Swap furniture or accent pieces with a friend. (I’ve personally done this and it’s really fun!)
- Clear away all the clutter.
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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 plenty of 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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