Shop Ski Country Antiques & Home's antique furniture on 1stdibs
Shop Ski Country Antiques & Home's antique furniture on 1stdibs

Home Decorating on a Budget | Cost Saving Tips and Tricks

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Judy Rom

home decorating on a budget

Having a well-decorated home will make you feel like a millionaire, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you’re a new homeowner, decorating a place from scratch, or simply wanting to give your place a refresh, home decorating on a budget is possible. Even if you have a limited budget, there are lots of savvy ways to achieve a high-end look. We’ve compiled our top 10 tips for decorating on a budget and also included some room-specific suggestions. Read on for the tips.

1. Plan For Success

Furnishing a new home on a budget can feel challenging. If you’ve gone to look at furniture showrooms or flipped through home decor magazines, you might have been struck with sticker shock. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with a plan. We recommend that you walk through your home room-by-room and prioritize your needs. Envision how you will live in the space. Do you like cooking and entertaining or do you prefer watching TV? 

Home Decor on a Budget

Source: Autumn Hachey Design

2. Spend Strategically

It’s important to spend more on pieces that you love, that are classically designed and quality-built, because then you can enjoy them for years to come. Be prepared to spend a bit more on these foundational pieces. It can be tempting to buy cheap pieces, but this isn’t a wise long term strategy. For instance, an inexpensive bed frame is prone to prematurely breaking, but if you invest in a solid and beautiful bed frame, you can keep it for future moves and homes. 

Key takeaway: Buy cheap pay twice. 

Design Tip from the Pros:

“When you have a budget, it’s easy to buy things for the price, rather than buy good things. But if you buy good things, they will always be with you. If you buy the bad couch, for instance, you will always want to replace it as soon as you can.”  Rita Konig

Home decorating on a budget

Source: The Southern Home

3. Gather Your Collection Over Time

Your home is the place for you to showcase a collection of home decor acquired over time. There is no need to feel rushed to decorate it all at once. Prioritize your needs first and wants second. For instance, you’ll want to cover the basics of a sofa, bed, and table, but you might not need to buy rugs and artwork right away. Write out the things that you want and then rank them by priority. Then think about what a realistic budget for your home decorating would be. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend right away, you should start with the rooms you will be spending the most time in. When furnishing on a budget, it’s wise to spread major purchases over time. Also, factor in what will have the biggest impact on your space. For instance, smaller items like a print for the bathroom or a pendant light will cost a lot less than window treatments and furniture but can contribute a lot of personality to your space

You can start with an initial investment and then furnish your dream home over time. Once you're clear on the items that you need and your budget, then you can look for inspiration for your overall look. Pinterest is a great resource for this. Find one or more images that resonate strongly with you and use them as the basis for the space you’d like to create. Not sure where to begin? We have lots of great home decor inspiration on our Pinterest page

4. Shop Secondhand

A great way to get a deal on furniture is to buy it secondhand. Especially if you know quality when you see it, antique stores, online classifieds (like Craigslist and Facebook marketplace), estate sales and garage sales all offer fantastic value for money. Keep a list of items that you are looking for and browse often to find the best deals. In addition, try to shop out of season to get the best price. For instance, the end of summer is the best time to get a killer deal on patio furniture.

Thrift shops are also great places to find glassware, teapots and all sorts of kitchenware. This is a real money saver, especially when you are on a budget for an entirely new home!

Home decorating on a budget - kitchenware

Source: The Kitchn

5. Repurposing

Repurposing and up-cycling are great ways to decorate on a budget. By creatively reimagining, items are given a new life and form. There are two ways to go about it. Either you have an end-use in mind, like a bookcase, and you think what you could use to make it, i.e. peach crates. Alternatively, you come across something quirky and rethink how to use it, like these vintage shoe forms that were reimagined into a funky coat rack. 

Source: HGTV

6. DIY

When it comes to Do It Yourself home decorating on a budget, there are so many different projects you could undertake. You could start small, like creating DIY wall art, or go more advanced, like tackling a backsplash in your kitchen. Flexing your DIY muscles is a great way to rework garage sale finds and make them even more chic. You could paint and refinish a dresser, or upcycle old items into new creations. We advise starting small and gaining more confidence through experience. An easy DIY wall art project is to take your favorite pictures from last year’s calendar and reframe them. Thrift stores sell inexpensive secondhand frames. For maximum impact, hang your DIY wall art in either a grid or gallery formation. 

Home Decor on a Budget

Source: The Creativity Exchange

7. Fresh Paint

Paint is one of the best ways to use money when home decorating on a budget. It’s amazing the difference that a fresh coat of paint can have. Paint really transforms a space and there are so many options for what you can do! The colors you choose will set the mood for the rest of your home decor. When it comes to adding glamour and elegance, we recommend going with either soft neutrals like whites, greiges and oatmeal or a bold and dramatic color scheme. If you like the idea of dramatic colors but are a bit hesitant, you could paint an accent wall or highlight architectural features like a fireplace. Paint is great for creating a focal point as the color gives you something interesting to look at. And it doesn’t stop with walls either. You can inject a splash of color by painting a backsplash, ceilings, floors or doors. Paint can also be used to update cabinetry, counters or furniture. This can be a real saving. Instead of buying brand new pieces, thrift store chairs could be painted for a modern look, or you could give your current coffee table a refresh.

Home decorating on a budget

Source: Annie Sloan

8. Finishing Touches Make a Huge Difference

When decorating on a budget, finishing touches can make all the difference. Items like unique hardware pieces for your cupboards, window treatments and crown molding really elevate the overall look of your home. 

A well-dressed window looks glamorous. We recommend avoiding filmy materials and going for a more luxurious finish. Hang your curtain rods close to the ceiling make your space look bigger. If you prefer blinds, wooden ones look well-designed and won’t break the bank.  

Crown molding is the finishing touch between your floors and walls, or walls and ceilings. It gives the room an elegant appearance and is relatively inexpensive. You can also add it to cabinets for a touch of class. 

home decorating on a budget

Source: Family Home Decoration

9. Lighting Matters

Want a bright idea for decorating on a budget? Swap out or update outdated light fixtures. Light fixtures are often focal points of the room and a well-chosen light fixture can have a dramatically positive impact. If you can’t afford to replace it, you could always update a dated light fixture with spray paint and stylish Edison bulbs. 

Home decorating on a budget

Source: MyDomaine

10. Pull it Together with Accessories 

Accessories like throw pillows, placemats, table settings, trays, and decorative accents can really bring your personality to life in a space. This is also a wonderful way to seasonally decorate without blowing the bank. Come visit us in store for a wide range of decor and accessories at every price point. We've got some Easter and spring ideas here. For another cost-saving idea, turn a small, thrifted mirror into a tray by applying some felt as a backing.

home decorating on a budget

Source: SFGate

Decorating on a Budget: Room Guide


New kitchen cabinetry can be really expensive. Rather than replacing what you’ve got, give your kitchen a significant makeover by painting your cabinets and updating the hardware. Even just swapping out the hardware on the cabinets will make a huge difference. Make sure to measure your existing hardware so that the new ones fit. Or, if you need more shelf space in your kitchen but don’t have cabinets, you could add open shelves. The look is very on-trend right now and it will cost significantly less than adding cabinets.

open shelves

Source: Leanne Ford

Living Room

Make a focal point in your living room by grouping like items together. It only takes a few special pieces to start a collection. A bookshelf is the perfect roost for these bird figurines. 

 bird figurines

Source: DIY Network


A new shower curtain will have a major impact on your bathroom. Store-bought shower curtains often don’t reach the floor, which can look a bit awkward. You can DIY a couture look by sewing a deep fabric hem at the bottom of shower curtain.

Home decor on a budget

Source: Primitive Star Quilt Shop 


A headboard will have a massive impact on the overall look of your bedroom. You can DIY a showstopping headboard by repurposing antique window frames.

home decor on a budget

Source: Karen Rosenlund

As you can see, there are lots of ways to achieve an elegant home decorating on a budget. To recap, our top 10 tips are: plan for success, spend strategically, build your collection over time, shop secondhand, repurpose, do it yourself, freshen up with paint, focus on finishing touches, lighting matters and pull your look together with accessories. If you follow these guidelines you will be delighted at how feasible it is to decorate your home on a budget!

Posted in accessories, budget, diy, finishes, finishing touches, lighting, paint, repurpose, secondhand, wall art