About four or five times a year, I get the urge to redecorate or rearrange something, much to the chagrin of my husband. Now we’re not rich. We live comfortably but I don’t always have money to blow on things like new decorations. After almost eight years of being on my own, and three of those living with another person, I have found some hacks to help me scratch the decorating itch. Here are my top ten tips for decorating on a budget.
- Begin with the end in mind
Sometimes the reason we go over a budget is because we don’t have an end goal in mind. Make sure you know what furniture you want where or what you want your accent wall to look like. If you know what materials you need, decorating on a budget becomes easier.
- Utilize things in storage.
Most people keep Christmas decorations tucked away for the majority of the year. However, are pieces like pine trees or big bows that you can re-use depending on the season. For example, I have a beautiful runner that I use for both fall and Christmas decorating because it works well with both themes.
- Switch up your pictures.
Check your weather and find pictures to fit the season. For instance, put up a picture of the kids fishing during the summer months. In the same way, some people will keep different canvases or other framed pictures in storage for years. So look for colors and themes that fit your current style.
- Utilize your keepsake box.
Most of us carry a few precious things with us from childhood. For me, it was my horse collection. So when we got ready to decorate our son’s nursery, we went with a western theme and put my horses everywhere!
Similar to using old keepsakes, you can use favorite books. I have two very old books: “Black Beauty” and “The Little Prince.” These are editions from when my grandparents were kids. Subsequently, they look like an expensive decoration as opposed to hand me downs when used to spruce up a bookshelf.
- Scour the dollar store.
You would be very surprised what the dollar store carries if you look. They carry fun mugs, a hoard of candles, plastic flowers, and other little nick knacks. If you know what your end result is, see what you can find at your local dollar store first. This will your more money for decorating on a budget. Moreover, this will save you money on the designer ware that you really don’t need.
- Keep an eye on social media.
Facebook is especially great for this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you can save on shipping anything by going to pick something up. Also, you can find some unique pieces that many people are just happy to get rid of.
- Trade a skill.
Maybe you have a friend who is a skilled painter. Maybe you know someone who knits the most beautiful blankets. Offer to make a meal, or trade another skill you have to see if you can get a discount or a free decoration piece. Obviously, this works best with very close friends.
- Involve the kids.
One summer day, my sisters and I had a “thrift sale” in our basement where we traded items we didn’t want for something that someone else had. Whatever was left, we donated. This is a great way to teach the value of money or bargaining to your kids.
- Check the local flea market or garage sales.
If you intentionally look at smaller pieces, you can find some fascinating things you can use while supporting businesses or other artists at the same time.
My next decorating project is my master bath. After I clean it out, maybe I’ll use some old paint on the walls for something fun or get creative with how I store my towels. Remember to have fun while you decorate, no matter how much your family rolls their eyes at you for doing it so much.