Are you looking for ways to achieve a unique style in your home without spending a fortune? Over the years my love of home decorating and my personal cottage style have both evolved, but my desire to decorate on a budget has not.
Everything I’ve done to enhance my home has always been done with very limited funds, and as a result I’ve become more patient in my shopping, and more creative in my repurposing.
Here are the best ways I’ve learned to decorate on a budget, whether buying secondhand or (occasionally) brand new.
Shop your house. Is it possible you already have something that will work for the space you’re decorating? Walk through not just your rooms, but your attic, basement and garage too. Maybe there is something you already own that you’ve forgotten about! For example, I recently needed a piece of furniture to use as a printer stand in my office. Due to limited space, it had to be a certain size and have open area underneath for another item of a certain size. It turned out that a piece I was using in the kitchen was a perfect fit!
Shop a friend’s or family member’s house. Someone you know might have just the item you’re looking for, so ask around! Maybe you can acquire it for a great price, or even trade/barter for something of yours.
Shop secondhand. Thrift stores, garage sales, online marketplaces, and other secondhand venues are all great places to find gently used furniture and other décor items. I’ve even found some pretty amazing items on the curb – I’m always shocked at what other people throw away, and I’m not shy about stuffing things into my trunk if I think I can use them!
Repurpose. Look at an item you do have (or are considering buying) and determine if it can be repurposed or upcycled to solve a new problem. Can you turn that low-slung wooden coffee table into an activity table for the kids’ playroom? Turn a pretty flat sheet into café curtains for the kitchen? Make a hall tree out of a vintage door?
Make your own. In an online décor group recently, someone asked for help in locating a sign for her kitchen that read, “Pantry.” She told the group she had already looked at two of the popular big-box stores, and couldn’t find one. My thought was, why not just make one? A hand-made sign would be simple to do, and have a lot more character and personality than something mass-produced. On a larger scale, I’d been wanting a primitive style hutch for a long time but was never lucky enough to find one at a price I was willing to pay. I mentioned this off-handedly to a friend one day, and he offered to build one – which he did, in exchange for a homemade supper.
Shop sales, coupons, and deals when buying new. With every retail outlet advertising massive sales on a regular basis, there’s just no reason to ever pay full price. Shopping end-of-season, or immediately post-season for things like Christmas decor, is also an excellent strategy when buying new items. Bonus tip: check to see if your favorite store has an app for your smartphone – chances are there are recurring coupons built into the app, such as 40 percent off a regular priced item. Forty percent is almost always enough to get me in the door!
There are so many ways to decorate on a budget. My style is all about timeworn, well-loved, vintage items with character and history, and that means I very rarely buy something brand new. It also means that I almost always pay very affordable prices!