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Home Decorating 101: 10 Tips to Get Started With Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Home

By Edited Jul 18, 2015 0 6

House Decorating Tips on a Budget

Who hasn’t enjoyed watching the fabulous and dramatic home decorating TV show reveals or not admired the beautiful magazine layouts showcasing incredible budget room makeovers and clever DIY furniture renovations that most of the home decorating TV shows and home decorating magazines do so well?

If these thrifty and nifty renovations were not so popular, there would not be such a plethora of television programs and entire cable networks, like HGTV, wholly devoted to homes and gardens, home styling, budget decorating or home improvement. If you are decorating your home on a budget, these tips will help you successfully begin and actually complete the decorating and DIY projects you envy and would like to try yourself.

Those Do-It-Yourself Projects on TV Look So Easy

Do you love do-it-yourself projects and do them often? Or are you DIY newbie? Are you timid about embarking on makeover projects that you have seen done on HGTV or elsewhere that look so simple on television but when you try to replicate them, the projects are not so simple or as budget-friendly as  they are portrayed? If so, here are some simple tips to help you get started with the myriad of inexpensive ways to decorate your home. These thrifty home decorating tips will also help you finish the bargain do-it-yourself projects have caught your attention and inspired you.

Home Decorating and Key Considerations for Budget Home Decorating

If you are a do-it-yourself beginner and don’t have a vast array of power tools and much knowledge or experience using tools, get started with these savvy tips for budget-friendly home decorating projects.

Home Decorating 101 - How to Begin:

  1. Search the web for inexpensive home decorating ideas. Budget home decorating ideas will vary in complexity and cost. Simple ideas like decorating with previously owned items and prized collections are plentiful as are more involved and time-consuming projects like salvaging a chair or a dresser for a future makeover. Google any number of budget decorating blogs and you will be amazed at how many great websites and blogs exist to tempt with so many neat and thrifty home decorating ideas, video tutorials and DIY projects that anyone, for the most part, can do themselves.

  2. Start small. Begin with small and easy projects to test your level of interest in doing do-it-yourself projects.  Discover what tools you will need and if you own the needed tools to complete your DIY decorating or renovation project. Test the ease and time involved for the redo or repair. Don’t overwhelm yourself by buying expensive tools to get started or embark on a furniture redo that is beyond your current skills or your present budget to complete. In my case, I don’t know how to sew or how to refinish wood. So, I opt to enjoy and tackle other thrifty decorating projects that I know I can do. And I choose projects I will have the time, equipment, interest and money to finish.
  3. Don’t do it in a weekend or try to update your home all at once especially if funds are limited. Your home is a work in progress. Allow yourself time. Half the fun of doing a do-it-yourself project, of decorating your home or of transforming a room is finding just the right vase, lamps or mirrors, et cetera to finish the room. Likewise, it is a really good feeling to discover the perfect paint color, an ideal fabric or that exceptional one-of-a-kind accessory to create the exact look and style you have always wanted. Many websites and design professionals suggest doing weekend decorating projects or weekend makeovers. I strongly disagree with this advice. It's not always easy to find that ideal piece of furniture or decor right away. Moreover, if you rush to renovate your living space or to complete your thrifty makeover, more money rather than less, is likely spent simply to finish the project. Then, too, new found pieces that delight cease to be as appealing or budget-friendly and the project becomes expensive and sometimes even irksome to finish.

  4. Buy one or two pieces of furniture cheaply to start decorating your home with that offer beauty and serve one or more functional or practical purpose particularly if you are decorating small spaces on a budget. If this is the case, you probably also don't have adequate storage. Try looking for a cabinet or a dresser that can serve dual purposes. Or search for a small bookcase, or a fabulous chair with lot of character that takes up less floor space than a sofa. With any finds like these, your redo or makeover of your small room will be off to a great start. In my case, I found a great red faux leather chair on Craigslist and an old radio cabinet to store my DVDs. The cabinet solved my need for storage and my wish for a great looking TV console. I had looked for a piece like this for quite sometime and finally found a fabulous old radio cabinet for $20 which did not require any time-consuming, or difficult and costly improvements. It's both functional and attractive and I love it. It's one of my favorite budget thrift store finds to date. As funds permit, find more nifty decor pieces and furniture to refurbish and then also try more complex projects as your experience grows.
    Great Used Furniture from St. Vincent de Paul's
    Add a Shelf to a Vintage Radio Cabinet
    Thrifty and Nifty - Budget DIY Project for Added Storage
    Fabulous Thrift Store and Craigslist Finds

  5. Try refinishing or painting just one piece of furniture yourself to save money, or add shelves to a existing cabinet, to gain some DIY experience. I am also a DIY newbie and I was able to do this redo myself  and with ease.  If you have bought a similar item, too, to spruce up, then the cost of varnishes and paint will also not be cost prohibitive. Some budget crafts and furniture fixes are really not inexpensive ways to decorate your home. This is especially true when the cost of materials add up for refurbishing projects . Not especially handy when it comes to operating the few tools I own, I nevertheless, installed some brackets to the back of my vintage cabinet with a basic drill and some screws. I also added a shelf to the cabinet and used another piece of wood to enclose the partially hollow bottom of this cabinet. Consider covering your shelf or shelves with contact paper if you have any on hand and currently lack any extra or unused paint in the garage. Save yourself a trip to the store or from spending any more money on a cheap project for new paint. I now more efficiently store my collection of DVD movies and my storage option is attractive. I  am enjoying my up-cycled and refurbished cabinet.

  6. Take a road trip and increase your chances of finding even more great thrift store finds nearby. Do you get giddy searching for decor, furniture, treasures and other useful household items at thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales? I do, too, like many other bargain hunters also looking for inexpensive ways to decorate and liven up or refresh their homes. Why not meet a friend for lunch or visit relatives in their hometown and shop some new thrift stores and those out of your ordinary vicinity. You will find some great new thrift stores, many more items to refurbish in neighboring locales, and be able to venture out of your ordinary thrift-store shopping routes, too.

  7. Look for a nearby Real Deals franchise store. These new stores are popping up across the U.S. They are located in only a few states to date but their stores offer real value and great deals on home decor items. The stores are usually only open two days a week, either only on Thursdays and Saturdays or Fridays and Saturdays. Real Deals keeps their overhead costs low by opening only two days a week. Customers will find beautiful items to decorate every room in the house on a budget at this retailer. Real Deals stores are usually large, unfinished and plain-looking stores. Don't let their warehouse-like appearance deter you from visiting one of their locations. Real Deal's has a terrific shopper’s bill of rights to make shopping fun. They also open for business on additional nights during the year, on occasion, for themed-shopping or in-store holiday events.

  8. Recycle and re-use and then do it again. Refurbishing or re-using furniture or common household items is not only smart and beneficial for the environment, but many older items are made to last longer than newer furniture. Vintage pieces, likewise, can be great conversation starters as they are so unique in their design and exceptional detail. I prefer some used or vintage decorative items solely because of the detail, style and craftsmanship of these items. Some newer goods and products appear simply too generic and common-looking to buy.

  9. Mix and match old and new items. While I do love vintage pieces for budget decorating, I also love shopping in the home section at Target where I have also found many excellent items that I was looking for to complete or compliment exiting furniture I own. Not only that, Target is a great resource for inexpensive home decorating ideas and affordable products. TJ Maxx is also another very good store for buying budget home must-have items and decorating accessories.

  10. Don’t buy it if you don’t love it. Not much more needs to be said regarding this tip. Only fill your home with items you find beautiful, affordable and ones that you will actually use.

As you already know, it is very possible to do small updates, marvelously transform furniture and complete incredible whole-room home makeover improvements on a budget.  Many interior designers, non-professionals and budget-minded individuals alike do fabulous DIY and thrifty projects themselves. When you get the impulse to start a great new do-it-yourself redo enjoy it. Also give yourself some time to complete your project. These tips are sure to help the timid newbie begin and finish some DIY projects. It might even further inspire the more experienced DIYer to find even more ways and ideas to inexpensively decorate their homes, too.



Jan 14, 2012 7:10pm
Your tip #10 is so important. Too often we settle for something because we can't find what we want now and often regret it later. I've been a DIYer for as long as I can remember. The most important thing I've learned and would like to share is, if you can't afford to redecorate an entire room, don't buy a lot of little inexpensive things to change the look. Instead, find one stunning piece as the focus of the room. The right piece can make the whole space feel new!
Jan 14, 2012 9:03pm
Hi Diva,
Yes, it's very true. One piece can make all the difference. Thanks for the comment. That's why I like to decorate over time and take the time to find just the right pieces versus buying to buy. I love shopping at thrift stores and find really unique furniture, mirrors or lamps. I have a thing about lamps. Also if I don't spend too much and my tastes change I don't feel bad about changing my decor again. I'll get more advanced in my own DIY skills as I find more projects to try and successes to experience like my radio cabinet. I'd like to refurbish a dresser at some point but for now another great and easy project I have my eye on is wallpapering the back of a bookcase to boost its style and give my rooms some extra color etc.
Jan 20, 2012 7:54pm
Great tips. I like your third tip to take all of the time that you need to decorate your house.
Jan 24, 2012 3:09pm
I agree completely with #10 -- I won't buy it if I don't love it. Great decorating ideas, very useful.
Apr 4, 2012 6:39pm
Great decorating ideas! I love the tip about starting small. I have seen so many people start a huge project, and take years to finish it!
Apr 4, 2012 7:01pm
Thanks Jack and Deb for your comments. Yes, it's easy to start a project and then not be able to finish it due to time or monetary constraints. Also, others seem to work on the five year plans for home repairs and some decorating tasks.
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