20 Best Budget Decorating Tips

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Home decorating on a budget is totally doable! Get started with The Budget Decorator’s top 20 budget home decorating tips! Feature photo, above, from ‘Good Housekeeping‘.

Paint your world.

Paint is the cheapest, fastest way to dramatically change a room in just hours! This colorful living room by ‘BHG’ is a great example of how they used inexpensive furnishings and lots of paint to make this room shine.

Colorful living room


Use a theme.

Choose a theme for every room, even if it’s a favorite color scheme or one you found in a magazine, it’s a place to start and plan. One that’s really now and easy to do on a budget? Modern farmhouse or vintage themes. See how one of our favorite bloggers ‘Liz Marie‘ does it! Can you just see all the DIY possibilities here?

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Change things up.

Rearrange…move things around until you find a pleasing arrangement that works for you, whether it’s your furniture or your bookshelves! Check out our post on furniture arranging tricks! Here is a great arrangement for awkward rooms from ‘Midwest Living‘.



Reflect upon your home.

Use mirrors to reflect light, make a room look larger or just to double a pretty view like ‘BHG’ did with this bathroom. Or go even further, and turn a thrift store dresser into a vanity with this tutorial from ‘HGTV’.

Mirror over dresser


Picture this.

If you can’t afford larger pieces of artwork yet have a lot of wall space to fill, pick up numerous photo frames at the dollar shop and spray paint them all white. Hang them together as a large grouping. Try this DIY fabric in wall frames project by ‘Sincerely, Sara D’.



Decorate with plates.

Hang decorative plates as wall art, from the kitchen backsplash to over the bedroom headboard for texture and interest. This example is by designer Kelly Wearstler at the ‘Viceroy Hotel’ in Santa Monica. The take away? Stay in a small color palette that coordinates with your room, and go big!

Decorate with plates


Think green.

Bring in live houseplants to any room of the home to add life and style. Learn how to root plants in water from ‘My Domaine’. Love this, it’s easy, inexpensive to add lot’s of greenery to a room, and if you choose a pretty and clear vessel, even the roots are part of the show!

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Use the fabric of our lives.

Flat sheets are an inexpensive and easy source of fabric for curtains, slipcovers and pillows. Rachel at ‘Smile and Wave’ shows us how to make these DIY cloth napkins and placemats. I love the fresh, happy colors and patterns!

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Use what you have.

There are so many items around the home that can be repurposed…learn to look at things in creative ways and see if they might meet a decorating need.

The art of disguise.

If you can’t afford to replace, disguise! Cover a sofa, lay a rag rug over that stained carpet, or use fabric to screen an unpleasant view.

Be a treasure hunter.

Use fabric from sheets and quilts, use yard sales to locate furniture to be painted to match your décor, and visit your dollar shop on a regular basis for picture frames and candles.

Kitchen creations.

Use paint to transform and customize your kitchen cabinets, knobs, counters and floors. Use good quality primer and sealer to make it last years! Jenna at ‘Jenna Sue Designs’ did an entire budget kitchen makeover! If you scroll down to the bottom of her post, there is a tutorial for all the DIY projects they did. Don’t forget to check out the “before” photos!

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Use solid colors for your bedding and window treatments so that you can easily change out accessories to change the mood or style.

Bathing beauty.

Use fabric and your sewing machine to soften your bathroom with coordinating towel edging, shower curtains, throw rugs and window treatments. This pretty bathroom from ‘BHG‘ would be really cold and boring without the sunny curtains and towels.



Make it shine!

A simple tip to make rooms look larger? Keep your windows and slick surfaces sparkling clean!

Style it.

It isn’t what you have, it’s how you use, what you have. Check out our post on how to style bookshelves. It’s easy, relatively fast, and inexpensive. Check out the tutorial on how to style a vignette by Yvonne of ‘Stone Gable Blog’. So pretty!

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Family tree.

Print out black and white photos of each member of the family, and then hang them in matching black frames gallery style as a grouping for an unforgettable focal point. ‘Pottery Barn‘ shows us how to do it. Remember, don’t hang the frames too far apart, you want them to feel connected in a grouping. Also, use a few different sizes for interest.

Family photo wall art


Welcome home.

Place a piece of furniture in the entry, such as a chest or cozy chair so that visitors will feel the welcoming comfort of your home.

Sew not? So what!

If you don’t know how to sew, pick up some iron on hem tape at your local craft store. You can create simple hems and rod pockets easily with your iron!

Get personal!

Inject yourself and your family in to your home with personal items…photos, vacation finds, or ball game tickets in a frame all bring interest and life to your rooms.

Image Credits: Good Housekeeping, BHG, Sincerely Sara D, Designer: Kelly Wearstler, Smile and Wave, Niji, Stone Gable Blog, Pottery Barn



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  1. That plate wall inspiration is so stunning! It was my inspiration for a plate wall that I created in my dining room. I shared it on my blog, House in the Heights, here: http://houseintheheights.blogspot.com/2013/07/27-plates-story-and-tutorial.html I would love it if you stopped by to check it out!!

  2. Donna Bradshaw says:

    I need help ! I want to buy some decorative curtain rods,how do I get them to stay up in sheetrock?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Hi Donna,
      Go to the hardware section and have someone help you find “wall anchors”. They are easy to install by just pounding in with a hammer, then you screw into the anchors and they hold much better!

    • Find the wall studs. That is a 2×4 board that is the wall structure. There will be studs on either side of your windows. Screw your curtain rods hardware into these studs. Wall anchors work well for less heavy objects, such as pictures, but curtains and the hardware are heavy.

      • Kathy Woodard says:

        Thanks Jan!
        Good point. Should have said – check first to see if you can attach your hardware into studs first.

  3. Lisa Reagan says:

    What is the color and brand of blue wall paint in the top, open family room picture with the gray sofa?

  4. My husband & I recently moved from TX to SC. he was in the USAF for 20+ years so we are not strangers to moving, remodeling, or renovating. One thing that has helped us over the years has been repurposing our own stuff. And, my number one method is to paint things. For example, my country signs, I just repainted the words to match my new home. Or, something new I did for our new house was instead of buying all new flower pots I just painted all of mine. It didn’t matter if they were plastic, ceramic or clay; I just bought the stone texture paint and went to town. Talk about instant upgrade, they turned out beautiful. In addition, I use lots of glass jars, bowls and dishes to either paint with stone or metal finishes and twine and everything old is new again. I also look at Goodwill and other similar stores for unique vases, pots, or old ugly paintings on canvas and then go to town painting those as well. Just a few idea that have worked for me. Thank-you for your ideas and inspiration!

  5. Thank you for sharing this post, and very useful tips. decorating your home can sometimes be demanding, it requires your effort and creativity on how you decorate your home.

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