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Looking for the best ways to decorate your home on a budget? I have a lot of experience in that category! We've lived in three rental properties since my husband and I got married. Each time I've wanted to try out a different look in our new place (we're still figuring out "our style") but my budget has always kept me in check. I can't afford to completely redesign each new place! Here are my best ways to decorate your home on a budget.
Related Post: 15 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy
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1. Pull out what you have.
Repurpose old furniture by cleaning, sanding, and painting any wood pieces or throwing sofa covers over old sofas. If you feel like you're sick of something and just want to throw it out, give yourself a few days before you decide.
The biggest mistake I made in college was thinking that I had to buy brand new stuff and get rid of all of my old furniture. It was a huge waste!
Now I'm not saying you should become a packrat. Ew! Just try to repurpose the items you already own and if you can't, throw them out.
2. Paint your favorite color.
Paint your favorite color on an accent wall or even in an entire room. Our favorite shades can really cheer us up and turn a bad day into a good one.
While I'm fond of going bold it's wise to paint swatches on a well-lit wall before you commit to a particular color. Paint is cheap but the effort it takes to paint over a red or a dark blue is not worth the headache.
3. Shop at thrift stores, Craigslist, flea markets, and the Dollar Store.
You don't need to spend full price on brand new merchandise to give your home a facelift. I found a beautiful coffee table once in mint condition for $20 at Goodwill . After a good scrubbing it was as good as new.
These stores are also great for picking up knick knacks and miscellaneous decor. All of my flower vases have come from the Dollar Store or Goodwill.
4. Ask for Grandma's old stuff.
Does your Grandmother have a garage full of stuff she no longer wants but hasn't gotten around to throwing out? Try not to be a moocher but if she or anyone else has a donation pile, offer to drop everything off in exchange for first pick at any items. You'll be doing a good deed while getting a opportunity to buy decor at a discount.
5. Arrange colorful pillows and throws.
Pillows and small throws are cheap and easy to rotate throughout the seasons. Purchase the cushion alone at stores like Ikea and then add in some bold patterns and textures in the actual covers. In fact, if you're looking for anything in the textiles department at a cheap price, Ikea is the first place to stop.
If you have access to free shipping on Amazon, HOSL is a seller on there and they also have a cute selection of cheap covers too. Their black bear in a red hat and three colorful feathers pillowcases are my favorites and they are cheap!
6. Family art and prints.
Let your kids do the fancy artwork for you or even do some yourself. I filled a Pinterest board with DIY projects, a lot of them being canvas-type.
We bought a pack of canvases with a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby. Then we grabbed all the acrylics around the house, placed a old giant sheet on the ground, and painted away. I loved how this DIY Family Handprint Tutorial turn out so much that hung it where everyone can see. We get compliments on it all the time and is really precious to us.
7. DIY some linens.
Are you handy with the sewing machine? There are handy tutorials from Pinterest or free books from the library where you can find some interesting ideas.
Try a simple pillow tutorial if you're just starting out. They are surprisingly easy. Trust me, if I can do it anybody can do it!
8. Show off your family photos.
The first item that turns a house into a home is the family photo you proudly put on display. Does it really even feel like your space if you can't easily see pictures of the people you love?
Start with a collage wall or a blown up version of your favorite shot. You can use either option to fill up those boring blank spaces in the hallway or living room. And hey, it doesn't have to be expensive. This photo display is less than $20 (as of February 2016) and is adorable!
9. Warm the room up with some candles.
Even if they're not lit, candles give the impression of a room that is warm and cozy. In fact, I never actually light ours because of our son running around. I've had the same Dollar Store candles sitting on our mantle for a couple of years. But I like the perception that the room is just a bit cozier.
10. Color coordinate your book collection.
So you have a lot of books scattered around the house and in no particular order? Bring out your creative side by color coordinating your own little library.
I separated our mini library by the color of the spine years ago and I haven't gone back to anything else. I have a terrible memory when it comes to book titles. But I always remember the cover image and color. Try out this trick if you have the same problem. Here's what ours looks like. (Please excuse the iPhone quality image and over-filtering of my 22 year old self...)
11. Add some pretty mirrors all around the house.
I know what you're thinking if you have young children or pets. "I can't have breakables in my house, Allison!" But yes, you can. They just need to be hanging high on the walls.
Reflection throughout the home will make the space appear larger. It's also awesome for filling up those blank spaces you don't have any art for.
Add some extra personality to your home by choosing pieces with additional textures or patterns. You can even DIY the project by buying an old mirror from a thrift store and painting the frame.
12. Change outdated fixtures and hardware on cabinetry.
Set a budget for yourself and head to the local hardware store. Changing out the handles on kitchen cabinets or a light fixture in the bedroom is one of the quickest ways to update a home. You can spend all the money in the world on furniture and accessories but if there's a dome light from 1985 in your living room, it'll still look outdated.
13. Paint your dated cabinets and crown molding.
We painted the horrible blue (yes, blue) crown molding in my parents house years ago and the change was dramatic! It brought the room back into the 21st century with just a can of primer and white paint. There's a lot of sweat that goes into updating crown molding. But if you're willing to put in the elbow grease you'll be pleased with the results.
Try to repurpose the items you already have if you want to redecorate your home. Just moving the furniture around and throwing on a new softcover will make you feel like you've spent $1,000.
And if you find that your junk is really...well...just junk, then head out shopping with a list and a budget so you can keep control of how much you spend. It does not have to cost a penny more than you want to spend to get a good looking room makeover.
How do you decorate your home on a budget?