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15 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your House

15 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your House
Written by Oana Schneider

If you’re tired of staring at the same-colored walls which you’ve had for the past decade, it is high time for you to do a little home decorating. Unlike a few years back when such projects need a lot of time, interruption with your home life and a big budget, there are plenty of things that you can do now to save money.

To minimize interruption with your routine at home, redecorate one room at a time. This will also help minimize the clutter. Make sure that the scale of the project is something that you can handle, otherwise, it is best to seek the help of a professional.

It also helps to set a budget so that you can make sure that the project gets finished, and you won’t have to deal with an unfinished kitchen for a year or so because your funds fell short. Read on to find out more about how you can save money when decorating your house.

Top 15 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your Home

No matter which part of the house it is that you are planning to spruce up, there are ways for you to save money. Take a look at our top 15 tips on how to save money when decorating your home:

1. Set a budget

If you are dying to remodel your kitchen, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is not setting a budget for it beforehand. What if your funds  run out and the project is only halfway through? You won’t have the extra funds to pay for what else is needed, so you would have to let your family eat in a cluttered, unfinished kitchen for the next few months.

Before starting on decorating or remodeling projects, determine your budget and time frame. This way, you can have the project finished in no time.

2. Consider your needs as a family

The way homes are designed say a lot about the personalities of the owners. When planning a decorating project, consider your needs as a family. If you always hang out in the kitchen and you think that it needs the extra space for everybody to move around, that is a project that you should be working on. If you spend a lot of time in the living room, what can you do to make the ambiance brighter or homier?

3.  Repaint

Perhaps the cheapest way to redecorate your home is by splashing on some fresh paint on the walls. You only need a paint brush, some bargain paint and a design inspiration. You can overhaul the look of your home by adding a bold splash of color. If you currently have an eye-catching color on the walls, you can go the other way and look for more muted shades.

15 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your House

4. Accessorize

Another easy way to redecorate your home is to rearrange the existing furniture, then accessorize to bring in a new look. Look for ways to rearrange the furniture pieces in a room to make the space look bigger, or to cosy things up if the area is too big.

Purchase bargain throw pillows, blankets, area rugs, lamps, and knickknacks or personalized items to tie up the look of a room together. Use a theme or a color scheme, and your home will end up looking like its décor came straight from a lifestyle magazine.

5. Personalize

Go online and look for ways to frame or put in a canvas print the pictures that your kids painted, or photos of your grand vacation as a family. If you have a mini-library, look for letter accents that you can use as a personal stamp on the shelves. You can even go on a trip to the store and make your own personalized decorating items.

6. Use accent lighting

Is there a favorite painting or framed picture that you would like to highlight? The cheapest way to do so is by using accent lighting. Seemingly empty hallways or foyers can be made to loo warm with directional or accent lighting. For areas where you need to focus on a specific activity like reading, using the computer or working on the kitchen, task lighting is a must.

7. Use mirrors to make small spaces look big

Mirrors have come a long way in the decorating industry.  Instead of merely installing them in bedroom vanities and bathrooms, they can be installed just about anywhere. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, designs and even customized shapes.

The best way to incorporate mirrors in your decorating scheme is to make a small space look bigger than it actually is. The same thing holds true for glass, which can be used to let as much of the natural light into your home as possible.

8. Learn about the new ways to refinish hardwood floors

If you have hardwood floors and you’d like to update its look, you can simply look for a different paint or stain to apply on the surface. Ask the staff at your local hardware store to recommend a product that will give your hardwood floors a new lease on life.

9. Invest in multifunctional items

Settees that double as storage, coffee tables that can be converted into a work desk – there are plenty of multi-functional furniture pieces that you can invest in to save money when decorating your home.

10. Give your bed a makeover

In the bedroom, all you have to do is purchase some new bedding to update its look. A new set of duvet cover, sheets, blankets and pillows which you can all buy on sale is the cheapest way to redecorate your bedroom.

11. Prolong the life of your existing furniture

If you have leather furniture, bring it back to life by using olive oil or a treatment solution that you can buy from the hardware store. A spray paint and some new fabric for reupholsters will prolong the life of your unique kitchen chairs. You can also look for cheap solutions to get stains out of your wooden furniture, or eliminate grout from the bathroom tiles so you won’t have to invest in a bathroom makeover.

12. Don’t discount the possibility of owning second-hand furniture

Most people cringe at the thought of buying second-hand furniture, thinking that this is limited to used lumpy couches that they had to use in college. There are actually lots of good quality second-hand furniture that you can buy at a very low price, without scrimping on quality. Check out chests for your bedroom from Craigslist or similar sites. 

The garage sales of stores like Pottery Barn would also feature a collection of old furniture which are not necessarily bad quality. Even if you think that the color will clash with your existing home décor, you can always repaint or stain it, or change the elements that you do not like. Just make sure that the second-hand furniture does not have water damage or bad odor – stick to ones with minor chips, scratches or stains on the paint.

15 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your House

13. Know how to save money when adding an interior decor

Similar to how it is in the fashion industry, trends in interior decorating come and go. If you would like to follow a certain trend, look for cheap DIY solutions that will incorporate the color scheme or look in a room so you won’t have to spend too much.

14. Know where to buy cheap items for your DIY projects

Craigslist, eBay, Amazon – there are plenty of websites where you can get the items that you need at a fraction of the price. You can also check out garage sales, flea markets, outdoor markets and similar events. Even consignment sale stores and thrift stores can be an excellent source of second hand furniture or mismatched chine if you’re going for a shabby-chic look for your home.

15. Stock up on DIY supplies

You can always update the look of your existing furniture without having to spend too much. As long as you have a supply of decorating items, you can get started on small home improvement projects that will instantly upgrade the look of your home. Some of the budget decorating items that you can stock up on include:

  • Fresh fruit or wild flowers  to use a centerpieces for the kitchen or living room.
  • Spray paint, varnish or stain to update the look of old furniture pieces.
  • Wall decals, Washi tapes and other craft items which you can use as borders for walls, furniture, etc.
  • Printed pictures of your family or travel mementos which will personalize the interior décor of your home.
  • Old books which you can read or use as home décor/accents.

With a lot of planning, some DIY and budgeting, you can upgrade the look of your home without having to spend anything on professional interior design.

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

14 Comments

  • For me, nothing beats a fresh coat of paint inside and outside a home. It brings new life to the home and doesn’t cost too much to make happen. If you do the painting yourself, then it’s even cheaper, and getting a professional looking job done yourself isn’t actually that difficult. I might be painting my home this year, in fact.

  • As someone who is looking to get my own place soon and looking at the scary prospect of renting unfurnished, I love the idea of acquiring and refurbishing second-hand furniture! Better than heading to Ikea and your furniture will be unique, too. I just remember doing the rounds of housewarming university flats where everybody had the same Ikea furniture, carpets, crockery…

    I’m also digging the idea of giving your bed a makeover and moving it around! Beds take up a very large (and central) space in your room so changing their ‘look’ can really change the feel of the room.

  • Repainting helped us give a complete different feeling to our rooms without having to spend much money! It’s also fun to do as a family, the kids love to roll the paint on the walls!

    I also am a big fan of DIY deco sites — I could not do it without them. But then you see it and you see the possibilities! It’s great.

    • I find repainting to be a great way to give the room a new feel. Repainting or refinishing the wood on furniture or reupholstering furniture to give it an updated look is also really helpful. My daughter’s favorite thing to do is rearrange the furniture. It sometimes looks like a whole new room when she’s done.

      • Rearranging furniture is literally the cheapest way to get a change of pace in your decor without even stepping out your front door. Rearranging furniture, depending on how far you go with it, can alter the whole flow of traffic in and through a room which can have pretty decent effects on which areas are suitable for socializing and working.

        It’s pretty neat that the Chinese have been doing it for hundreds of years through a practice called Feng Shui. It’s pretty interesting but also has a lot of superstitious components.

  • Seeing this article was really good timing for me since one of my IKEA chairs fell apart yesterday and since then I’ve been thinking about how I can possibly cheaply redecorate my kitchen. The tip about craigslist or ebay is a lifesaver, but I think I’m going to use a bunch of these on my home- not just my kitchen. It never occurred to me to use mirrors to make a room look bigger but I can see how that would definitely work. My bathroom is teeny tiny so I might try that in there first and see how it goes. Thanks for the useful article!

    • Your bathroom would be a great place to include a large mirror anyway, as it’s definitely something that you can make good use of in there. Along with a mirror, you can always try changing the paint colour on the walls to something brighter, as I’ve read that bright colours make a place feel less oppressive and thus more open, at least compared to darker colours.

  • Great article! Paint really is the greatest way to completely change a house with low cost. If you can’t afford to redo all of the rooms in your house, look up some fun ways to add accents or decorations with less paint. A few rooms in my house have one wall that’s another color, and I love the effect it has. When I was a kid, we did stencil painting around my room for some fun as well.

    • In a similar manner, I’ve seen some homes with the chalk-board walls that can look pretty cool when done right. It seems it’s usually in the kitchen area, or den, which is great for just having a games night, or maybe writing up a recipe that you’re working on.

      Plus, it sure beats having kids draw on the walls in crayon when you can just hand them some chalk. Of course, be prepared to have chalk dust eeeeverywhere!

    • I’m kind of cautious when it comes to furniture off of Craigslist or Ebay or whatever. There’s a bit of a bedbug problem in my area and it’s been said that you can never be 100% sure with items that you get second hand.

      Especially when that item is covered in fabric or has a lot of nooks and crannies… just be careful!

  • Second hand furniture and restorations in general seem to be a popular trend nowadays. There are television shows and stuff where people go raid thrift stores and other such places to find antiques to restore.

    I think that in the right home, it can really tie a room together as a centerpiece assuming your decor fits it. For the average person though, it might be a bit too much work/skill to successfully restore an antique.

  • Buying your own materials and figuring out ways to do things yourself rather than hire professionals is an excellent way to save money.

  • Some of my decorating ideas started at our Dollerama. Lately they have been adding a lot of nice painted pictures along with ornaments and other accessories. It may be cheap but some of it does look really cool in my opinion.

  • Agreed with budgeting being the number one tip, absolutely. I’ve seen people do overhauls and makeovers with only the slightest ideas of forward planning. While they were lucky enough not to get too badly burned by it, their lack of forethought caused unneeded stress and relationship strain. Better to think ahead and save yourself trouble later on, especially with large scale decorating/remodeling projects.

    I’m a fan of smaller-scale projects myself, like repainting and rearranging, working mostly with what I already have. And I always crave for multitasking furniture. This makes me want to create a little reading nook in my bedroom.

    On Craigslist not too long ago there was an Eames chair available relatively near my area. Still way out of my price range, even secondhand, but there can be indeed some absolute gems to be found.

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