How to Decorate on a Small Budget

  1. Make use of existing furniture. Clean it and repair it if necessary. Try slipcovers or beautiful throws to hide a bad color or pattern. Repaint the table. Appreciate it for what it is and make it prettier with a little elbow grease.
  2. Eliminate clutter. It’s true – clutter just looks awful. It ALWAYS blows my mind how much tidying up can do for a room – and a mood!
  3. Change up the lighting. Add some accent lights or put on candles instead of turning on the overhead ceiling lights. Get rid of those BOOB lights! (Who designed those things anyway?) Shop around online for the best deals. You can often find better lighting from big box stores by shopping their online selection. Or try places like Wayfair.
  4. Refinish existing kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them. 
  5. Buy appliances used on kijiji. Also watch for appliance truckload sales and Boxing Day type sales. 
  6. If buying new appliances, choose more economical finishes. A few years ago this meant that white cost less than stainless, but I noticed that that had recently changed at our local big box store. The stainless is now cheaper!
  7. Visit upscale shops for ideas and then hunt for bargains to get the look for less. Window shopping can make you miserable if you let it, but it can provide a plethora of inspiration if you know you can get the same look for a lot less by bargain hunting or making your own. Try it with a good attitude and you may be surprised!
  8. Repaint your walls. A new coat of paint freshens up a place more than you’d ever think. Why do you think landlords even paint between renters?!
  9. Add some artwork. Frame things that are free: pinecones, flowers, book pages. 
  10. Print B&W photos and frame in standard frames from Ikea or shop for them at Michaels when there's a big sale or a great coupon. By printing them in B&W, you create cohesion and a much more gallery-esque look. 
  11. Frame a vintage board game or cards in a shadow box for the family room, a games room or even a bedroom.
  12. Use sheets or lengths of fabric as curtains. Curtain clips and rings, and no-sew adhesive tape make
  13. When purchasing pieces keep your big ticket items neutral and basic. If you want to add in trendy looks, keep these to the easily replaceable and inexpensive accessories like pillows, throws, candlesticks, etc.
  14. Instead of more expensive wallpapers, stencil a wall using a purchased stencil or a stencil made from cardboard or projected using an overhead projector.