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How To Decorate On A Budget

How To Decorate On A Budget
decorating on a budget

Home Decorating On A Budget

Want to make your home look amazing and you are decorating on a budget! Possible? YES!! Here’s how:

1. Shop Around

Decorating on a budget works best when you take the time to shop around and compare prices for similar products.

Do you prefer online or in-store shopping?  Personally, 90% of my shopping happens online and I found it one of the easiest ways to compare products and prices between stores.

For our living room makeover, my kids would often find me with several tabs open, comparing similar products at different retail stores. 

These are some of the options I was looking at in regards to table lamps for the living room.  You can see below the price comparisons.

decorating on a budget - table lamps for the living room ideas

Australian Retail Table Lamp Prices as of Nov 2017:

Bunnings Mercator – $89 / Myers Australian House & Garden – $249 / Ikea – $49 / Bunnings Home Design Sorrento – $189 / Kmart – $20 / Freedom Chloe – $64.95 / Freedom Holden Tripod – $169 / Target Ivy Glass Lamp – $49 / Freedom Twisted – $169 /

2.  Buy Secondhand

“I love it when someone else pays full price first.” – Justine

The next step to take after comparing retail prices for an item, is to do a search on your local buy and sell websites.  For example; Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or Craigslist, or if you have time, scour op and thrift stores. 

Having a look will give you a good idea of the value of an item secondhand, availability etc. and can show up a bargain in the process.  Plus, secondhand is just a better choice for the whole wide world!

For our living room I spent quite a bit of time looking for table lamps secondhand.  I was pretty open to what style and age the table lamp was. 

The biggest criteria was that I had to like it and it be in my price range! Unfortunately, it seems like everyone is holding onto their stylish, cool lamps and selling only their old, daggy ones.

However, I have also been looking out for a French door for the living room.  They are much cheaper second hand or through private sale.  Sometimes, brand new doors are available as they were bought and then not needed for renovations or new home builds.  Quality or style is not an issue in this case!

3.  DIY It

Decorating on a budget sometimes requires you to think outside the box!  This might mean buying a cheaper item and using it from a different purpose than was intended.  Join the hack club!

Or it could mean buying a brand new item and changing it in some way to fit the style or décor of your room.  Or it could even mean re-purposing a secondhand item!

Let me share with you a secret. Paint is my number one favorite decorating tool!  And I’m not talking about painting walls!  Yes, you really can paint anything!  Including brand new items!

This floor lamp below was a bargain $20 on clearance from Target.  However it had way too much tacky gold color on it.  But with an application of gloss white spray paint over a few of those gold areas, it looked much better.

decorating on a budget - with paint

4. Compromise

I know, how can I use the word “compromise” and “dream room” in the same post?  Well, what about adjust your expectations, instead?

I will be one of the first to loudly say, that I would rather live without something temporarily than settle for ugly and uncomfortable. 

Thinking about our lounge room seating in particular!  But sometimes, the perfect décor will be your second or even third choice.

What helps you change your expectations, is remembering that decorating a room is more about creating a feeling in contrast to showcasing beautiful, expensive, “have to have” pieces. 

Thankfully, less expensive décor can still contribute to the feeling and style you want to create in your room, whether that’s a sense of calm, fun, beachy etc.

decorating on a budget linen cushions on etsy
Image Credit Linenbee

5.  Spend Where It Matters

Sometimes decorating on a budget means spending more on what matters. 

This is what I decided to do with the purchase of a new living room couch. We did need to get a new one, as the previous sofas had worn out.  It really felt like we were sitting on just the springs!

I also wanted it to be great quality, as it would get lots of use from 2 adults and 3 kids.  Plus, cats wanting to use it to nap.

So that’s why I decided to go with an Ikea Kivik couch.  The Kivik is apparently very comfortable for lying on, big enough for all of us to pile on and watch a movie or read a book together.  I also loved that their covers are removable which makes it perfect for a kid friendly living room.

decorating on a budget

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