Decorating on a budget sometimes seems like this mysterious unicorn that other people tell you about but you’ve never seen for yourself. Am I right? In the past I’ve spent way too much on decorating only to be completely sick of items I bought only months later, money wasted. While to me, decorating is not a science, it does seem like somewhat of a craft that requires practice and all of that trial and error isn’t always in the budget. I get it.
If you’re like me, you might see gorgeous rooms on the web and think “oh how stunning” and then immediately think, “yikes!” when it comes to the price tags. In my experience, spending money on decor for the home can feel binding. Like, if you spend this amount of money you are stuck with that piece forever and ever amen. Remember my brown sofa saga? I bought a large brown sectional for lots of dough and just a couple years later I was so over it I was doing anything to try to change it, distract from it, and then I finally ditched it for a $200 sofa. What I learned from all of that is, spending less money allows you more freedom in decorating. You aren’t held back. Your space can change and evolve and you aren’t required to look at that ugly expensive sofa for the rest of your life!
Here’s a few ways to get big style without spending a lot of money.
DIY stuff for your house. Build furniture, make pillows, make wall art, the options here are endless. You might be required to think outside of the box but you are almost guaranteed to save money if you make something instead of buying it.
Large wall art can carry a hefty price tag, like $200+! Way out of my price range for sure. When I needed some large wall art over my sofa, I decided to try my hand at making my own. I made oversized wall art using plywood and paint to create one of a kind statement pieces for above my sofa. Oversized wall art is a great option for large blank walls. This is an especially great option for rental homes. I was able to make my DIY wall art for only $40 for all three pieces. That’s a complete steal when you consider how expensive large pieces of art can be.
Thinking outside of the box (or basket as it turns out) is a great way to decorate on a budget. I made a side table by using a laundry basket I found on clearance, turned it upside down and added a round top to it. For only $24, I had a one of a kind piece for my space. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to decorating on a budget. All options are open to you as long as you are willing to get a little bit creative. Think about how you can use items in different ways – that will allow you to transform something like this basket into a table!
It’s no secret that you can save big money when you buy something second hand. What does seem to be a secret is how much great stuff you can buy second hand. Vintage shops, Good Will, Craigslist, Facebook resale pages, the neighbor’s curb – you can find some great stuff that is awesome as is or just might need a little TLC. My tip for thrifting is to have somewhat of an idea of what you are looking for. I’ve been suckered into buying randoms that I think I can’t live without and then they end up sitting in my garage for a year. Staying on task will save you money and space in your garage.
After I finally made the decision to ditch the brown sectional, I found a white slipcovered sofa on Craigslist, for $200. I bought a new slipcover for it and it was like brand new. I’ve purchased tons of things from Craigslist but that sofa and my current coffee table are my favorite.
Update What You Got
I bet you have stuff in your home right now that you could spruce up! My favorite thing to “spruce up” is furniture! Slap some paint on an old piece of furniture and you’ve just given it a second lease on life. You can also take this opportunity to shop your house and if there is anything that isn’t working in one space, try it out in another. I recently moved a cake plate from my kitchen into my office and I’m using it to hold random desk items.
Know When To Splurge
You may want a quality piece of furniture or a statement piece of some sort be it art or lighting or whatever your design eye finds. Decorating on a budget doesn’t mean you have to have a home full of hand-me-downs. It means you spend your money wisely! Once you identify the item(s) you want to splurge on, do your research. If you absolutely love an upholstered bed from an expensive furniture boutique, make sure you look around. Search online retailers to see if you can find something similar for cheaper. Ask local retailers about upcoming sales. Just because you intend on splurging doesn’t mean you have to.
Planning in decorating can save you bundles. Sort of like meal planning saves you money on food – planning out your decor projects can help you stay on budget. Writing down everything you have, everything you need, and the items that you are searching for will not only keep you focus when shopping but it will also keep you from getting distracted with the shiny new trends. This is the worksheet I use to plan my decorating projects.
I hope these tips can help you hone in what decorating on a budget means to you! Happy decorating!