10 Ideas for Affordable Decor Accessories

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Use these 10 ideas for affordable decor accessories to add your own personal style to your home! Sprinkle these ideas in every room to add coziness, interest, and texture. 

Adding accent decor to your home is like putting on lipstick after you’ve applied your makeup…or tying on a scarf over a plain sweater. Home accessories are the finishing touch to your decor plan. They are also the perfect way to inject your own personal style into your spaces.

Accessories can tell the story of your family. They can reflect your interests and passions. They are like the icing on a cake. Read on for 10 ideas for affordable decor accessories that you can use in your own home.

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Update in no time with THROW PILLOWS

I’m starting with the most obvious…and the easiest! Switching out your pillow covers can completely change the look and feel of your space. If you have neutral furniture, the sky is the limit. Pillows are the perfect way to add color and personality. If you have furniture or a sofa with pattern, or bold colors, go neutral and plain with your pillows. Another idea is to mix patterns. Pair a small check with a lovely floral, or combine a stripe with a geometric pattern. Embellishments also add to the personality of a pillow. Tassels on the corners, or buttons on an envelope closure, add texture and interest. Click {HERE} for the ivory chair.

Use BASKETS for storage and layering

Baskets are one of the most affordable decor accessories, and they can be used with any decor style. They are especially handy because they provide both form and function. They are the perfect room accessory for storage, and they provide amazing texture. They come in all sizes, and can be stored right in your space, because they are beautiful. Stack them in a corner, or use them as a side table. There is a wide array of baskets online and in retail stores, but don’t forget to check thrift stores and flea markets. Baskets have been around for centuries, and in my humble opinion, you can never have too many!

Gather items together, layer, and add interest with TRAYS

I have two favorite affordable decor accessories that I use all the time. The first is trays, and I adore them. I love to use them on our coffee table, dining table, and entry chest, to add layers and extra texture. Trays can take a simple item like a lantern or stack of books, and with some basic layering, turn it into a real statement. Trays gather items together, so they can be displayed cohesively. Any vignette will be improved by simply anchoring it with a tray. Use just one, or layer multiple trays. Use wood, wicker, silver, copper…and the list goes on!

pitcher of spring flowers on table

Use PITCHERS for fresh or faux flower arrangements

If you’re wondering about my second favorite decorating accessory, I’m sure it’s no surprise that it’s pitchers. I have a small collection of ironstone pitchers that move around our home. I use them mostly for flower arranging, but I also like to let the pitchers “speak for themselves.” Grouped together on a shelf, they become a collection, and can definitely stand on their own with no flowers needed.

Add softness to a dining table with TABLE RUNNERS

Table runners will soften the hard surface of a dining table, console table, or dresser. Along with the softening effect, they add color and seasonal interest. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to table runners. The traditional way to use them is running the length of the table, in the middle. Try mixing it up by running two or three table runners across the width of your table. It’s unexpected, and makes the table look very cohesive.

Bring a room to life with FRESH FLOWERS

I’ve said this so many times that you’re probably tired of hearing it…but I believe that fresh flowers can instantly change the atmosphere of a room. They are a must-have affordable home decor item. Adding a natural element always makes a room seem alive, and fresh flowers are the perfect way to achieve that. They add so many things…a fresh touch, color, unique design, and beauty, just to name a few.

Use ACCENT LAMPS to add low lighting

Accent lamps can be any size, and they work best placed in an out-of-the-way spot in your room. They are perfect for highlighting a corner sitting area, or an end of a room that would otherwise be dark. They are also a great way to add shine and color. Other unexpected places to use accent lamps (if an outlet is close) are in a hallway, on your kitchen counter, on a mantel, or in a bathroom.

Add PLATES to your walls. Mix up colors, sizes, and shapes

I have been decorating with plates since my husband and I moved into our first home. My dad helped me install a DIY colonial style plate rail in our dining room soon after we moved in. Not only did I love plates in general, but they were a budget-friendly way to fill a blank wall. Over the years, I have continued hanging plates in almost every room in our home. Use plates to complete a gallery wall, or to flank an architectural feature like bookshelves, or a mantel. My favorite way to hang plates is with wire hangers like {THESE.} They don’t damage the plates, and they are easy to hang with a simple nail.

Use BOOKS in vignettes to add height and interest

Beautiful books should be displayed in your living space, and not hidden away. Use your larger books in coffee table vignettes, and use smaller books to accessorize bookshelves. Leave the book covers alone, or for a more cohesive look, cover several books in the same paper.

Use BOWLS to display natural elements and collections

Bowls fall in the same category as trays and baskets. They help contain a group of items, and they make that group of items more noticeable and cohesive. However, they are a completely different look than a tray, so using bowls instead of a trays adds variety and charm. Bowls are a timeless decor accessory that will never go out of style. My very favorite bowl, pictured above, was a gift many years ago from a good friend. Even though my decor tastes have changed over the years, this bowl is still an integral part of my accessory collection. Investing in a large, neutral bowl, with a transitional style, will be a purchase you will never regret. Here are some suggestions in varying price ranges:

Bonus Tips

  • Mix textures and colors: to give a neutral collection a different look, add wood tones. Another idea is to combine a neutral collection with silver or gold.
  • Clear the clutter: your decor accessories will display better if they are featured in a tidy area. Clear the clutter out of your spaces so your accessories are the star of the show.
  • Add seasonal scents: although not mentioned above, candles make a wonderful decor accessory. It’s an added bonus if the candles are scented!
  • More ideas: area rugs, wall art, curtains, picture frames, throw blankets, wallpaper, accent chairs, candle holders, chandeliers.

Now that you have an abundant list of affordable home accessories, take a look around your home to see what you already have. Then make a short list of items you would like to add. Take it slow, and be patient. You will definitely achieve your own signature style, and you will love where you dwell.

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  1. Great article! I’ve decorated for years and am always looking for new ideas. Last Christmas I ordered some plaid pillow covers and inexpensive pillow forms. What a difference it made. Who knew something so inexpensive could add so much difference.

  2. I always look forward to your emails. I was searching around here and couldn’t readily find a source for your sofa. Do you have one? TIA.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Kim…I don’t have a source for the sofa. I purchased from a local furniture company that has since gone out of business. I wish I could be more helpful!

  3. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Thanks for your post, Ann! Once again, you have given us so many great ideas. I like how you hung the plates and platter in your foyer. They look so pretty! I love adding fresh flowers to our home. Just looking at a fresh bouquet brings so much happiness. Have a wonderful week, Ann!

  4. Ann,
    Thank you for the great resource to bring spring into my cottage. I also appreciate you simplifying the printout page. I love your graphics for all seasons and holidays.
    Karen B.

  5. I love your style and all your fun ideas! Your home is just beautiful. I keep looking for your living room lamps and have yet to find something similar. Maybe someday😊