5 Tips For Beautiful Home Decorating On A Budget

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decorating on a budget

Welcome to the Fall (or spring here in Perth, Australia) 2017 One Room Challenge.  If you are not familiar with it, this is where design bloggers completely transform a space in just six weeks, documenting the process on their blogs, and revealing a brand new room at the end.  If you are new here I’m Jane and I blog at Organised Pretty Home, which is all about the best organising and decor ideas for your family home.  Welcome! This is my FIRST TIME participating in the One Room Challenge and I am participating as an Australian blogger.   Can you believe, I’m 5 weeks into this living room makeover and there are only two short weeks until room reveals??  This week I share some of the purchases I have made for this space while decorating on a budget.

Related Posts:

Week 1 – The Plan For The Living Room

Wk 2 – Hidden Storage Ideas For A Family Friendly Living Room

Week 3 – DIY Pallet Coffee Table

Week 4 – How To Create A Reading Nook

You want the dream house 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 decor shopping, my kids would often find me with several tabs open, comparing similar products at different retail stores.  I generally limit my search to stores that I are within driving distance, so I can pick up in store and save on shipping costs or online shops which provide free shipping.

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 1st 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.  Go 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 website.  For example; Gumtree or Craigslist, or if you have time, scour op and thrift stores.  It gives 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 makeover 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 better fit the style or decor of your room.  Or even re-purposing a secondhand item!

Let me share with you a secret… Paint is my number one favourite 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 colour on it.  But with an application of gloss white spray paint over a few of those gold areas, it looked much better.

So if you see something on a clearance but dislike the colour, consider whether it could be the right piece for your room and budget, with a change or two.

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 decor will be your second or even third choice.

What helps you have reasonable expectations, is remembering that decorating a room is about creating a feeling in contrast to showcasing beautiful, expensive, “have to have” pieces.  Thankfully, less expensive decor can still contribute to the feeling and style you want to create in your room, whether that’s a sense of calm, fun, beach etc.

One of my compromises in decorating on a budget for our living room, was with the cushions!

Initially I looked for cushions at Myers.  OMG I feel in love with a couple of different ones, which were all linen and at least $69 a cushion.  There is something special about linen!

Yet this time I didn’t want to spend that much on ONE cushion.  I saw these ones on Etsy, two for $80, which I did consider as they were a much better price and hand made. I still might buy some of these later on!decorating on a budget linen cushions on etsy

Image Credit Linenbee

In the end I bought a few different cushions from Kmart, Target and Spotlight, where I had gift cards to use.  Cotton really isn’t a terrible compromise!  There’s more in the budget to put towards the sofa because of that!

5.  Spend Where It Matters

The Living Room Couch

Talking about the lounge room seating, 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 2 and 3 seater sofas had worn out.  It really felt like we were sitting on just the springs!

I knew that I wanted something that suited how we use our living room space most of the time.  I found with our last ones, that the 2 seater was barely used compared to the bigger 3 seater sofa.  Our living room is where the kids play games, use their Lego etc. and the adults like to relax.  We all do a lot of reading,  occasionally watch a movie, or lie on the couch and chat/ scroll Facebook.

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.  I didn’t even bother looking around for anything cheaper as Ikea prices are very reasonable for the quality.  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

Floor Rug

One item that I did not mind spending less on was the floor rug.  I love rugs made from natural materials over synthetic.  But my thinking is that in a few years we can invest in an expensive handmade wool floor rug, if we want to.  Right now, with younger kids, it’s not as suitable or even a priority!

So I went with the decorating on a budget friendly, natural fiber Lohals floor rug from Ikea!

OMG we are getting close to the finish line! So excited!  Yes, only two more weeks to the final reveal!

Now, let’s all hop over to Calling it Home to check out how the rooms of the 20 featured bloggers and other guest participants are progressing.  Only a few more weeks for all of us to get our rooms completed!

You can follow the progress of my living room makeover, by connecting with me on Facebook or by receiving weekly updates by email.

UPDATE – Related Post:  What Happened To Our Living Room In The One Room Challenge

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