Decorating a home can be challenging especially if you are on a tight budget. But it gets much easier once you know what you have and how to work with it. Keep reading to learn tips and tricks on how to decorate your home on a budget!

Planning a budget

Before you start decorating on a budget you need to know what your budget is. Even if you have a really small sum of money that you can use right now for interior design, keep in mind that there are things that you can do to save up, create extra money, or get cute items for free.

Planing a budget for home

Decide on a budget

To decide how much budget you will need, you have to assess what you are going to do.

Scenario 1

Will you change the floors and upgrade the built-in kitchen? Will you do a renovation in the bathroom? Do you need to purchase new furniture pieces? If the answer is yes to these and similar questions, you will need a quite big budget. There are definitely situations when you can get a bargain here and there but overall these are pretty big renovations that need high-quality raw materials. After all, you will use these things like built-in kitchen and bathroom appliances for the next 10, 20, and more years.

Scenario 2

You have a good-looking kitchen, bathrooms, and other rooms are in overall good shape as well. Maybe some pieces are not in the style you want, but overall they are fine to look at and are still in good condition. The furniture is OK as well. However, you might want to change a few things.

If scenario 2 resonates with your situation more, then you can definitely achieve a good change with a little budget. Now it all depends on your taste, preferences, and patience.

Make a wishlist

Once you have decided on how much interior design changes you are going to make in your home, you can start working on a wishlist of items you would like to collect. It can also be a Pinterest board or any other visualisation. A wishlist will help you make an assumption of how big of a budget you will need for your interior design boost.

Research pricing

After making a wishlist, it is time to research some prices. Researching prices and getting an idea of what items might cost that you want to get, will give you even more precise budget. Remember though that you can get similar items in stores with different price ranges. You can get a vase for 300$, 100$, 60$ or 10$. When researching prices think realistically what might fit into your overall budget.

Save for interior design pieces

When you know your budget, don’t worry if you don’t have all the finances yet. Do it as with anything else – create a savings accounts specifically for interior design! You can set aside a sum of money every month and that way save enough money to do interior design changes you desire. You can do it in two ways – save money and start spending it once you have the whole sum, or spend a little every month and make small changes step by step.

Add a buffer of 10%

Once you have your budget in mind, add 10% as a buffer. Especially if you are doing renovations. Renovations famously are always going over a budget, so it is better to be prepared. And if you don’t have to spend it on mandatory purchases, you will have extra bucks for a splurge item or you can treat yourself to a SPA after all the interior design work is done.

Find your style

Before you start any renovations, take time to research and find your interior design style. The better you will know your style, the better design choices you will be able to make. Also, if you know your style well, there is a less likely chance that you will purchase items that doesn’t fit into your room decor. And that will definitely save you some money!

Interior design choice

To find your style you can take several online tests, create a Pinterest board, and go window’s shopping in interior design stores and chat with the consultants.

Within you style, definitely think also about your color palette. Choose a few base colors and a few accent colors. When you go to the shops to purchase items, keep this palette as a reference. It will help you purchase decor pieces that go well together and doesn’t clash. Also usually a design style comes with a default color palette. If it satisfies you, stick with it!

Invest in some pieces, and save money on others

When decorating on a budget, it is good to know when to invest and when to save. You definitely want to invest in pieces and elements that are for long-term use, for example, floors, plumbing, big furniture, etc. However, it is ok to save money on smaller items like pillows, figurines, throw blankets, etc.

Classic style pieces

To have a timeless interior decor, for the big elements choose pieces in classical style. That way you will a good base that will be stylish for years to come. So, for example, for the living room choose a beige or gray couch in a standard style. Don’t overthink it and don’t try to follow any trends with this item.

The same goes for floors. Choose a solid option that will serve you for years. And for a built-in kitchen choose a layout and style that works for your personal kitchen needs. Always plan in lots of storage, the more the better! And lots of outlets for your kitchen appliances. When speaking about the color scheme of your kitchen, choose something neutral. You can go white or beige, gray, or natural wood. Also, keep in mind that, if you choose a cabinet surface that supports paint you can easily change the look of your kitchen according to trends and your preferences.

Go for trends and accents on less expensive items

When you know what to splurge on, you can choose good inexpensive items for highlighting the trends of today or experimenting with style a little bit. However, remember, that a lot of inexpensive items can sum up really quickly, so it is still best to think over inexpensive purchases as well.

Throw pillows and blankets

Throw pillows and blankets are perfect for adding a trendy color or pattern, as well as for giving a room an accent. Go crazy with the pillows, if that’s your vibe! You can purchase them in malls, and thrift shops, find them at grandma’s house or make your own. The same goes for cozy blankets that give texture to the design and can act as an accent and color boost.

Vases and small decor

Vases and other small decors can show off your personality and your preferences at the moment. They can also be good for adding interest to the room and bringing the look together. Since you might want to change them often, for example, according to season, you can surely save some money on choosing a budget version of these items.

Wallpaper and paint

Easy way how to add a big change to any room is to paint it or wallpaper it. If changing the look of all walls is a bit too much for you at the moment, you can go for upgrading small areas.

Accent wall

To avoid wallpapering all room, you can use wallpaper for the accent wall. That way you can also choose a very bold print and make it extra effective. Here are some great prints for an accent wall: Tropical fish, Abstract Ditsy, and Curved Pink Lines.

Wallpaper for unusual spaces

Maybe you have leftover wallpaper from several projects? Use them to brighten up the space by adding them to cabinets, drawers, and backsplash of shelving! You can also wallpaper just a nook you have in the room or cut it out in an interesting shape and use it as wall art/decoration. Keep your creative mind open and find new solutions on how to exploit wallpaper in your home!

Paint trim

You can also paint to highlight some features and give a room a fresh look. For example, paint the doorway or window sill in an accent color. You can also paint the doors. Look around the room and find small areas you can paint to freshen up the room!

Where to shop?

If you are decorating on a budget, stay clear of high-end luxury interior design shops. You can go there to find inspiration and see what’s in style and what you would like to have. But to avoid breaking the bank, try to find similar items in other shops and places.

Home decor shopping

Thrift shops

You can find amazing deals and unique decor pieces in thrift shops. Definitely browser their home section and you will be surprised! There might be some things that you still want to get new, and that’s ok! But if you can save some dollars shopping second-hand, do it!

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist

Another option is to buy second-hand straight from the previous owner. When looking for specific items, use the power of the internet and browser online marketplaces, like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and others. You might find good deals and amazing items there.

Flea markets and Garage sales

There are more and more places where to shop second-hand but Flea Markets and Garage sales are one of the oldest options. Don’t miss it! You can definitely find some gems there.

Friends and Family Garages

There is a great possibility that your family, for example, grandparents are housing some interior design gems in their garage. With their permission, of course, go digging! And you might find something not only beautiful but also with sentimental value. That also goes for checking out what’s in your friends' garage nooks and crannies. They might be interested in selling some stuff for cheap that they don’t use anymore but that’s still in good condition.

Deals and Discounts

If you have already something in your watching that goes on sale, definitely grab it! But try to avoid buying things just because they are on sale or have a huge discount. That is how we end up with those things in the garage that we don’t need.

Shop your own house

And last but not least, shop your own house. That means rearranging rooms, changing the placement of decor, moving furniture and decor from one room to another, mixing and matching. You might find some new combination that sparks you joy and give you the feel of a fresh start!

In conclusion

Decorating on a budget asks for great patience, planning skills, and commitment. It is doable and you can achieve great results as well as even enjoy the process. Start with setting a budget, getting inspiration, learning your style, and what room decor you like. Then decide on what you will save money on and where you will splurge. And then go out to find good deals for the items you would like to have! When decorating on a budget definitely keep the saying “measure twice, cut once” as your motto and you will easily acquire the most beautiful room decor that you will enjoy for years to come!

May 31, 2023