Now that you’ve moved out of your parent’s home and are a bonafide adult, you’ll be wanting to decorate your new space. We’re here to help. We’ve got our tried and true tips for decorating on a budget, because candles are expensive.
You know what else is expensive? Everything!
I know you’ve spent hours scrolling through Pinterest, and you’ve figured out your likes, design styles and are ready to decorate. I’m here to prepare you for sticker shock. Because the first time you go to the store, pick up a throw pillow you absolutely love, and check the price tag, you might want to cry. It’s messed up. There’s no possible way that a decent throw pillow costs $30+. It’s insulting really.
How are you supposed to recreate your dream room when you can’t even afford a pillow?
Take a deep breath. It’s possible. Here are some useful tips for decorating on a budget.
First things first, clean up your mess. Having stuff lying around everywhere will make your space seem smaller than it is. And it costs $0. Once you’ve cleaned up, you’ll have a clean canvas to start from.
Refresh with Fresh Paint
Nothing will freshen up a room faster than a new coat of paint. Do an accent wall for an extra pop of color, or get extra creative and paint a geometrical design for your wall. Either way, it’s the most cost-effective upgrade to any wall. (Do ask your landlord for permission first. You do want to get that security deposit back.)
Update Your Old Furniture
If you can’t afford new furniture, think about updating your old stuff. Sanding down and staining an old dresser can drastically change it without costing very much. (Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing the job right.) Update an old couch by covering it with a slipcover. You can also transform your furniture and cabinets by putting new handles on them. Most home stores have them, including Home Depot and Wayfair. Voila.
Pot a Plant
Get a real plant or fake one if you’re a plant killer like me. Plants make for chic décor at a low price. Style it on a beautiful stand that you can find at a garage sale or Goodwill, or get all DIY and put it in a handcrafted pot.
Turn a Bottle into a Vase
Plants are nice, and so are flowers. Hold on to a few bottles of wine or other pretty bottles and repurpose them into vases. You can wash off labels and paint them if you wish. Add a few flowers and tada – centerpiece ready. Who said you couldn’t decorate on a budget? Ha!
Refresh Your Throw Pillows
Ok. Yes, some throw pillows are stupid crazy expensive. The good thing is, you can find them on sale – you just have to look. Also, if you already have throw pillow cushions, replacing the covers is easy and on the cheaper side.
Stock Up on Candles
Who doesn’t love candles? They smell good, and they look pretty. Candles are another one of those things that are more expensive than you realize, BUT you can find them on sale at just about any store. Marshalls and TJ Maxx usually have lots of candles for cheap. And, as a bonus, when you’re done burning them, you can turn the glass container into a pot for a small plant or succulent, a pencil holder, a small storage container, or anything else you can think of.
Frame Your Photos
Turn your memories into art by printing out a few photos and styling them with nice frames. Make a gallery wall or display a few shots on a console table or bookshelf. Beautiful. And you can get cheap frames at your local thrift store.
Update Lamp Shades
Update your room by switching out old lamp shades for new ones. Keep the original lamp base and buy a new shade that adds a pop of color or a graphic pattern to liven up your space.
If you really want a new accent piece, buy it used. This is a great way to save on things that may otherwise break the bank. You never know what hidden gems you’ll stumble upon at a thrift store, a garage sale or Facebook Marketplace.
And there you have it. Our 10 tips for decorating on a budget. Which one will you try first?
P.S. Now that you’re an adult and living on your own, you’ll also have to cook for yourself. Here are a few tips for cooking on a budget.