Your home is your sanctuary, a place where you should always feel relaxed and comfortable. However, as time goes by, you might notice the wallpaper peeling, paintwork losing its luster, and furnishings showing signs of wear. If you’re anything like me, these issues can make you feel restless and uncomfortable in your own space. The good news is that you can revitalize your home without breaking the bank. In this article, I’ll share some creative tips and tricks that will help you transform your home decor on a tight budget.
Assessing Your Budget
Before you start your project, it is essential that you define and set your budget. You need to know how much you have got to spend. If you don’t already have a set amount of money squirreled away for this, you should put together a really quick worksheet of your incomings and outgoings, and take a look at what you have left over. This will enable you to set a realistic budget, and it will help you make sure you don’t blow the budget on a whim.
Planning Your Transformation
To make sure that you stick to your budget, you need a good plan. Dedicate a substantial amount of time to this as you only have one chance to get it right, and if you spend your money on something and then see something you like more, you are going to be full of regrets and out of pocket.
So you need to learn what your style preferences are. Brainstorm ideas, put together mood boards, and find out more about the different types of styles available. Pinterest is a great site for helping you with this ideas phase. Not only can you pin things you like and come across online, but it will help you find similar styles and products that align with your style goals.
Exploring Home Decor Trends
To help you get those creative ideas flowing, here are some of the hottest budget-friendly home decor style trends.
Minimalism is all about simplicity and functionality. It is a popular and timeless trend, with a broad appeal. Because it is all about having the bare minimum in the room, it is easy to achieve on a budget. For that serene and uncluttered feel, buy neutral paint shades such as whites, grays and earthy tones. Declutter the room, removing anything that serves no purpose, and add a plant and maybe a throw and a couple of cushions in to add a little warmth. Furniture should be basic, clean and non-fussy.
If your style is more eclectic, then the thrifty bohemian look is more for you. This trend celebrates unique and affordable treasures, which you can find in thrift stores, charity shops, flea markets and garage sales. For boho-inspired decor choices, look for colorful and patterned textiles, quirky wall art, and vintage rugs.
This look also works well with creative and quirky homemade craft pieces, such as macrame plant hangers. Here’s a tutorial
to help get you started with making your own.
Natural and Sustainable Design
If you want your home revamp to also align with your sustainability goals, then a natural and sustainable design might be more up your street. This is a trendy style that is also environmentally responsible, and fortunately, it’s also very budget-friendly.
To achieve this look, you want to get into repurposing and recycling furnishings. Sand and repaint wooden items to give them a fresh and modern take. See more on this below.
Houseplants are also a big part of this design as they bring a touch of nature indoors. Propagate plants from cuttings or buy budget-friendly plant varieties from DIY stores.
Why have one style when you can mix two? Pure vintage decor can be a little comical, like you are playing dress-up with your room. But mixing a modern look with vintage items can really help them to accentuate the room and give it character.
Some examples of how to achieve this include pairing a sleek modern sofa with a vintage 20s coffee table. Give your furniture a vintage feel by artificially distressing it and giving it a charming, aged appearance. Vintage accessories can also be picked up cheaply from antique dealers and thrift shops. Look out for interesting items like art-deco mirrors, old-fashioned typewriters, and brass candle holders.
Getting Started: Cleaning and Clearing
You would be surprised about how much a good clean and clearout can transform a home, so before you even start buying anything, get your rubber gloves on, grab a roll of bin bags and start your deep clean. Your home will look brighter, clearer, and you will feel better in your home knowing that you are more organized, have more free space, and every cobweb has been obliterated.
You may come across items stuffed in cupboards that you can transform and use in your DIY projects. See below!
You can save a fantastic amount of money by creating decorative items for your home yourself. If you didn’t manage to find any potential treasures in your house clear, ask around to see if anyone has an old set of drawers or coffee tables they no longer want. Tell them that you would be willing to take it off their hands. Usually, you will find that people will be delighted to get rid of the old unwanted furniture that is taking up space and gathering spider webs in their garage.
Then the fun starts. Learn how to strip and repaint the furniture to restore it and give it a new life. Use stencils to add different color shapes and patterns. Stick to the color scheme of your chosen style and this bit of old tatty furniture could become a fabulous centerpiece.
There are loads of other upcycling projects like this that you could take on, like turning old tennis rackets into wall mirrors or turning light bulbs into candles. This is a whole article in itself which we will definitely return to at a later date.
Thrift Shopping and Second Hand Gems
Sometimes you just can’t get the goods for free, but that still doesn’t mean you need to pay top dollar. Many websites now are concerned wholly with helping people resell their old unwanted items. EBay is the obvious one that has been going for years, Facebook marketplace is relatively new to this space and works quite well for this, and Craiglist is another old favorite. You can also visit charity shops and many of these shops now have online stores too. There is nothing quite like the feeling of going into a charity shop and finding an absolute gem at a bargain price – I highly recommend real-life charity shopping for this endeavor.
A surprisingly straightforward way to transform your living space without spending any money at all, is to simply rearrange the furniture. This idea is often glossed over, but should be your first port of call. Changing the flow of the room can give it a new and fresh look, make it easier to move around in, and make you see the room in a new light. Instead of looking at the same wall that you have looked at for the last ten years, a slight reposition and you could be looking out of the window in that same seat instead.
Even if an entire layout change is not possible due to the size and shape of the room, usually there are a few bits of furniture that you can swap around, maybe from one room to another, and you’ll be amazed how much of a feeling of newness and fresh perspective that still gives you.
Paint and Color
The obvious answer to freshening up your home and giving it a new look is to give it a paint-over. Different colors can generate very different feelings in a room, making it look dark and cozy, bright and fresh, and colorful and vibrant, depending on the color scheme that you choose.
This is where your mood board comes in very handy. You need to get the color right first time as paint can be expensive, and painting over mistakes can therefore be costly. This is especially true if you are going for a dark color scheme. Try and find a real-life room that has a similar color scheme to the one you desire to see how it feels to be in that space. This will help you decide whether the color scheme is truly livable.
If you want a rich, dark color on your wall, but are worried about it being too intense, then the best way around this is to only paint some of the walls with the color. Then choose a complementary neutral color for the other walls. This really helps to prevent your space from becoming too dark and dingy, and it means that you can buy less of the expensive ‘feature wall’ paint and more of the cheaper neutral paint.
The difference between somewhere warm, welcoming and homely, and somewhere bland, uninviting and cold, almost always lies in the accessories.
Picture a bedroom with the essentials – a bed, a wardrobe and a dressing table. Now picture the same room with pictures on the wall, a fluffy white rug, a tiger print bed throw, luxurious velvet cushions, a tall green plant in the corner, a string of fairy lights, and books, plants and flowers on a shelf. This might not be entirely to your taste, but the difference is clear. If it is to your taste, then the second room feels like a room that you want to snuggle up and read a book in, whereas the first feels more like a jail cell.
Accessories can add up though, so it’s important to accessorize frugally. Cushions are transformative on their own, and are relatively inexpensive. If you have any old cushions, or you can get old cushions from friends and family, then you may only need to buy the cushion covers which will save you money.
Plants make a room come alive with their evergreen leaves. Just make sure you look after them so they don’t die and need to be replaced. You can ask for cuttings from friends and family for plants. Spider plants are a good example of this. Find out more about how to propagate houseplants here
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Maintenance and Longevity
Once you have put in all this work and spent your budget on paint, accessories and furnishings, you need to make sure you make it last as long as possible to avoid having to spend more ahead of time. Add a regular paintwork clean into your diary, including the skirting boards and grouting.
Get into the habit of rotating different accessories around the house, as this will regularly give you a new perspective on things without having to spend any more money.
Plan your budget, clean and clear, upcycle and repurpose, and accessorize frugally. Work through these steps and you will find that you can revamp your home for much less.
It’s time to get creative. We’d love to see some photos. Use our contact form
to let us know how you get on. Good luck with your project.