A Guide to Low-Cost Decorating
Decorating on a Budget

A new house means a new look, but an old home might just need an upgrade. You may be looking to give your home a high-end look, but your budget is small, and you cannot afford an interior decorator and you have no idea where to start. The good news is that a tight budget does not have to put a crimp in your decorating plans.

It is very possible to decorate each room in your home for a low cost as long as you take the time to calculate how to maximize the budget. Remember, designing a room is a matter of balancing form and function. By downloading our guide, you will learn how to affordably decorate your home based on the room’s purpose, vibe and space.

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Calculate Your Budget

Before even purchasing any decorative pieces, focus on the places in your home that will have maximum impact. Brainstorm the form of the room based on its function, and prioritize a design element that will make the biggest, most notable impact for you at the moment. Consider rooms like the bathroom, the home office or the entertainment room — these rooms will likely have the most foot traffic as well as the most eyes scanning the space.

To kick off your redecorating mission, our guide recommends calculating the budget and prioritizing your needs before your wants. Consider the primary use of a room and the space. Certain elements are necessary to make the room serve its purpose, but even if you cannot afford multiple items, consider a single item that will make the space feel stylish. As you will learn in our guide, sometimes a single, signature functional element can have the most impact — a shower curtain and mat in the bathroom, an attractive headboard in the bedroom — these small items can go a long way toward making a room stand out and feel homey. If funds allow, consider adding a few accents or background elements such as house plants and throw pillows to help unify the décor.

Where to Find Low-Cost Items

Once you have pinpointed the rooms and elements that will be used for decoration, our guide will show you how to actually buying the items. Most importantly, our guide will inform you of the best locations to obtain decorative items to spruce up your home. As you will learn, many items can already be found in your home or at a garage sale. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Items at a garage sale may not look brand new, but just about anything can be repurposed. As mentioned in our guide, you can repurpose an old shower curtain to recover pillows or create placemats. You can also find designs online and print them at home for free to use as decorative elements.

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While this may seem odd at first, dumpster diving is another great way to find low-cost items. Your local dump may be just the place to scout out end tables, chairs and other small items, which can then be repurposed and refinished to be made like new again. By downloading our guide, you will discover what items are worth rescuing and whether regulations allow for its removal.

There are also various stores you can visit to scout out low-cost items. Places like discount stores and secondhand venues offer a multitude of items that can be purchased for a small price, but will make a big statement. As our guide will show you, there is no need to shop at pricey home good stores or major malls. There are plenty of retail giants that sell decorative crafts at a much affordable price, or you can make your own version by purchasing materials and building it yourself.

DIY is a growing trend and there are all sorts of items you can make or repurpose right at home. Instead of buying new décor for your home, you can simply breathe new life into your existing décor by renovating, repurposing and repairing them. Add new upholstery, give an item a fresh new coat of paint or pull up an old carpet and give the hardwood floor beneath it a good sanding, staining and/or buffing.

Do not be put off by used items. Secondhand venues like thrift shops and vintage stores offer great bargains on unique, decorative items. Used items purchased online are also a great way to save money. Our guide recommends going through the classifieds to yield some decorative treasures. Items that have been used before offer character, charm and a personal history that can be infused into the décor of your home.

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Maximize the Space

After obtaining all of the decorative items, it is time to actually decorate your space. Before placing anything, you will want to make sure that the rooms you intend on decorating are free of clutter and have plenty of space. As our guide mentions, getting all the clutter out of sight is one way to highlight the décor of the room. Storage is a great form of decoration — add in a closet or some bookshelves to help organize and hide your clutter. Another good rule you will learn is how to save money on dual-functioning items. By purchasing items that serve two purposes, you can maximize the living space and use the one item for many different things. Take a pull-out couch for example — it serves as a couch and as a bed in the event you have overnight company.

Create sections in your home where you only have to decorate small spaces rather than larger ones. This is sometimes easier and cheaper as the larger space is divided up into smaller, multiple spaces, which can then be set up with inexpensive dividers or freestanding shelves. It is also good technique for turning one large room into two smaller rooms. And do not forget the ceiling and walls. They cover an entire room and are often left bare, which can be boring. Consider hanging a ceiling fan, a pretty chandelier, or a mirror or two along the walls. This will give the room a fresh, spacious look, creating a sense of space and warmth.

Then there is crown molding. Few design touches tie a room together more than crown molding. It helps unite the ceiling and walls around the entire room and gives the design of the room a feeling of completion. Moreover, crown molding has the ability to make an average room appear elegant. However, this is one item to be cost-aware of. There are expensive crown molding available for purchase, which leads to a costly installation. For a considerably lower price, consider buying plastic molding, painting it and hanging it yourself. As you will learn in our guide, doing your own crown molding is not difficult so long as you have a helper and take your time.

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