Once you settle into your new home, clear away the boxes, and finally sit down, you’ll notice those blank walls and empty spaces glaring at you. They need your attention and aesthetic touch, that’s for sure — but for most of us, the moving process eats up most of the budget. Rather than live amidst empty walls and bare-bones furniture for another month or two while you gather your pennies, we’ve got your tips on home decorating on a budget. You can make a stunning start without breaking the bank, we promise.
1. Get creative with what you already have
This seems like the most obvious idea on the list, but it’s often the most overlooked: remember, you can reupholster, refinish, or paint just about any piece of furniture you have. Add a splash of color or just give an old couch some new life. Turn the bookshelf that sat in your old office into a feature piece for your living room, where you can display your collection of antique teacups. Arrange your living room in a completely different way, or put your area rug at a diagonal instead of aligned with the walls. There are many free ways to spice up your existing furniture and accessories!
2. A fresh coat of paint does wonders
Painting your walls is one of the cheapest ways to give your new (or existing!) home a fresh feel. Even if you don’t change the colors drastically, any little shift in the tone will be noticeable. If you’re feeling bold, add a feature wall in a bold color. Or? Get on the current stick-on wallpaper trend for a pop of something interesting. This is a great trick if you’re doing some apartment decorating on a budget since you can peel it off again when you move out.
3. Change up the accents
For a quick dose of kitchen decorating on a budget, grab yourself some new cabinet handles and drawer pulls in a different style or material. Change out your lampshades or find a new funky light fixture, add a few interesting or textured throw pillows, or even replace your sink fixtures. Go with something classic that will stand the test of time, but will also keep things interesting while you’re in home decorating mode. Think juxtaposing vintage with modern, farmhouse faucets with brushed nickel drawer pulls, and so on. If you want some quick design tips, check out some of the most popular interior design apps.
4. Splurge on the things that matter, find cheap options for the rest
Sure, it might be tempting to read the words “decorating on a budget” and think you need to buy everything on the cheap. But when it comes to some of the big-ticket items, sometimes it’s worth it to spend extra on something that will last a long time. For example: if it’s been a dream to own a leather chair, don’t buy a fake one — scour the furniture sales to find a good one at the right price that will give you many, many hours of comfy joy. The ottoman? Maybe you find one at a yard sale, on Craigslist, or at a second-hand furniture store, but you’re probably not going to think quite as much about it.
5. Finding good artwork doesn’t have to be expensive
A big part of what makes art look expensive is the frame. You can often find interesting artworks at local college art sales, yard sales, even online art shops that just sell prints. Stores like Michaels sell decent frames and give you the option to purchase a matte board to do the framing DIY style. Hint: gallery-style frames for prints often give a giant border around the image, even as wide as 8” — an easy way to make your humble yard sale find look gallery ready. Add a feature piece of funky artwork to the wall in the john, and you covered your bathroom decorating on a budget, too.
These home decorating ideas on a budget are just the beginning — there are so many ways to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. Whether you’re designing your bachelor pad or your family’s new home, a fresh new feel is within reach.