40 Room Decorating Ideas for Anyone on a Shoestring Budget (2022)

Call us optimists, but we think everyone under the sun can have a beautiful home if they want one. Even if you’re pinching pennies, there’s still plenty you can do to create a stylish, inviting home for yourself and whoever you have over. The first step (and this is true no matter where or how you live) is to clean your home and get organized. Doing those two things alone will drastically improve the quality of your space. Then for the fun part—on to coming up with new room décor ideas.

"Even if you’re pinching pennies, there’s still plenty you can do to create a stylish, inviting home for yourself and whoever you have over."

With years of budget decorating behind (and in front of!) us, we’ve amassed a few helpful tips for making house with a slim wallet. Follow our cheap home decorating tips and get inspired by the ideas that prove that style doesn't need to come at a price below.

Paint an Accent Wall

Painting your walls on your own is one of the most cost-effective decorative updates you can make to your home and painting just one wall is an affordable (and seriously cool) upgrade.

Disguise a Dated Sofa with a Slipcover

Rather than buying an entirely new sofa, purchase a simple slipcover to give your space a new look.

Get Rid of Unsightly Items

Before you start worrying about what you can and cannot afford to buy, consider what you should get rid of. Dated, worn, or damaged items could be doing the look of your home a disservice, and if they’re non-essential, removing them can give your home a clean slate.

Add Trim to Your Curtains

Instead of buying new curtains, invest in what you already own by adding an iron-on trim to basic curtain panels.

Hang Prints

Framed prints don't have to be expensive, but they can transform a room. If you're really ready for a project, try your hand at your own art piece and frame your creation to hang on its own or as part of a gallery wall.

Pot a Plant

Faux plants can make for chic décor at a low price. Find an affordable option and then style it on a beautiful stand or in a handcrafted pot.


Set Up Sales Alerts

If you’re dead-set on something that’s out of your price range, try to buy it on sale. You can use ShopStyle to set a sale alert for products from literally hundreds of major brands; just enter your search filters or terms and press the pink “Add Sale Alert” button and you’ll be emailed when the item goes on sale. Retailers like Overstock, Amazon, and Macy’s will also alert you when something goes on sale or returns after being out of stock.

Hide the Cords

You can find cord concealers on Amazon for just $15. Hiding unsightly cords and wires by the TV or lighting fixtures will go a long way in making your home look effortlessly clean and organized.

Give an Old Ladder New Life

That old wooden ladder sitting in your garage could be your next favorite décor piece. Clean one up with a bit of sandpaper and maybe even a coat of paint, then use it to store spare towels or throw blankets.

Go Thrift Shopping

Buying used (pre-loved) pieces of furniture and décor is a great way to save on things that may otherwise cost you a pretty penny. You never know what hidden gems you'll stumble upon at a thrift store or flea market.

40 Room Decorating Ideas for Anyone on a Shoestring Budget (1)

Customize an End Table

With a bit of paint and a little imagination, you can make a tired end table feel brand new. Consider painting the edge of a simple black piece in gold, for instance.

Turn Plates Into Wall Art

If you never use the china plates from your wedding or you love the look of a cheap set you scored from H&M, plates can make for some seriously chic wall décor. Hang a few in a cluster on a blank wall for an instant update.

Create DIY Jute Décor

With a bit of jute rope and a glue gun, you can turn a vase or dish into a rustic creation fit for a coastal beach house.

Paint the Kitchen Cabinets

Similar to painting an accent wall, painting the kitchen cabinets will quickly give one of the most used rooms in your home a fresh feel. Pick a color and grab a brush.

(Video) 40 Decorating tips for ANYONE ON A BUDGET

Rearrange the Furniture

This zero-cost decorating idea only requires a bit of time, creativity, and some strong muscles. Pick a room and make it feel brand new by organizing the furniture in a new layout.

Infuse Your Bookcase with Personality

Wallpaper isn't for the walls. Use a small amount of wallpaper (you can find chic, removable wallpaper from brands like Chasing Paper) to decorate the interior of a bookcase.

Refresh Your Thow Pillows

If you already have throw pillow cushions, replacing the covers is an easy and cheap process. We love the selection of cushion covers from brands like Zara, H&M, and IKEA.

Swap Your Bathroom Mirror

Nothing spruces up a dated bathroom faster than a new mirror to hang above the vanity or sink. You can find plenty of affordable new options or go searching for a cool vintage piece with a low price tag.

Give an IKEA Hack a Try

The internet is home to seemingly limitless ways to upgrade affordable IKEA furniture and décor into pieces that look far more expensive than they really are. Get inspired by a few IKEA hacks from serious DIYers.

Turn a Wine Bottle into a Vase

Hold onto a few bottles of wine after your next dinner party and repurpose them into eclectic vases. You can easily wash off the labels with a bit of hot water and soap and then you'll be left with a slender vessel fit for holding a few delicate stems.

40 Room Decorating Ideas for Anyone on a Shoestring Budget (2)

Buy a Woven Basket

You can find cheap woven baskets at almost any retailer. They give a room a bohemian flair and offer a place to store spare items to keep any space free of clutter.

Use Sheepskin Rug

IKEA sells ridiculously affordable sheepskin rugs that you can use to transform ordinary barstools, chairs, and sofas into luxe, Scandinavian-inspired pieces. We love the look of the wool in contrast with industrial, iron furnishings.

(Video) 40 Top Design For Small Bathroom Ideas On A Budget

Download Apps

Shop pre-owned furnishings and décor on mobile apps like OfferUp and LetGo. They make finding used pieces at low prices almost too easy.

Get Eclectic

On the spectrum of home décor styles, eclectic designs are often the easiest to replicate. Why? The look is all about mixing—and not matching. Since there’s no need to find a specific side table, or that exact shade of blue, shopping for furniture and décor will be much more affordable.

Shop on Craigslist

You can find great deals for pieces on Craigslist for a number of reasons: Sellers don’t know the value, sellers are eager to sell, stores are liquidating, or something is brand new and strategically listed for less than retail.

Update Your Kitchen Hardware

Purchasing and installing stylish hardware is an affordable way to make your kitchen feel brand new overnight. Head to CB2, West Elm, Target, or Home Depot for handles and knobs that will transform your space on a budget.

Install Sconces

Replacing a few lamps with plug-in sconces is a task that's so much simpler than it sounds. Plus, you'll be left with a more modern look that you can personalize to your liking.

Stock Up on Candles

Candles are an affordable feature that can seriously shift the mood and atmosphere of a space for the better. For a really elevated look, search for candles that come in stylish holders rather than those with loud labels.

Hang a New Shower Curtain

An often underrated piece of décor, the shower curtain is likely the most decorative item in your bathroom. If the space is feeling dated, start by searching for a new curtain to hang.

Add a Table Runner to Your Dining Room Table

When a bare dining table feels too minimal but a tablecloth seems too formal, opt for a simple table runner. It's a small (and usually pretty cheap) accessory that instantly dresses up the dining room for any event.

Paint the Floors

Hear us out. A good floor paint won't cost you much more than any regular interior paint and you can use it to create the look of linoleum or vinyl floors at a fraction of the cost.

Make a Garage Sale Map

Garage and estate sales are great places to score cheap home décor and furniture, but stumbling upon one is a rarity. If you have the time (and energy), you can track down nearby garage sales and map out their locations on a Friday night so you're prepared for the Saturday morning rush. Don't forget to bring cash!

Pick Out a New Lamp Shade

This small detail can make a big difference. Treat yourself to a fresh lamp shade to give new life to an older piece.

Invest In Chic Kitchen Storage

Keeping your pasta, rice, cereal, and other pantry items in stylish glass or plastic containers is sure to make you feel like you have your life together. Whether tucked away or on display, they look pretty good, too.

Upgrade Your Bedding

You don't have to replace everything, but even something as simple as a new duvet cover can give your bedroom a contemporary look.

Reorganize Your Bookshelf

If your bookshelf has deteriorated into a place to hold anything and everything you don't have a designated place for, it's time to purge. Get rid of the clutter and then have fun with the way you organize what's left. Perhaps you stack your books according to color or spruce things up with some new bookends.

Add a Rug

While a rug may seem like a major investment, you'd be surprised how many cheap options are hiding at retailers like Target, Wayfair, and Amazon.

Use a Chair as an End Table

If you have an old chair that no longer fits in with the rest of your décor, repurpose it as a nightstand or end table. You can even give it a fresh coat of paint to make it work in the new setting.

Buy Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers instantly bring a home to life with their vibrant colors, fragrant scent, and sophisticated look. Invest in a nice vase and replenish your bunch with a few extra bucks at the market each week.

Frame Family Photos

Turn your personal memories into art by printing out a few photos on high-quality materials and styling them with nice frames. Make a gallery wall or simply display a few shots on a console table or bookshelf.

(Video) Top 40 Home Decorating DIY Ideas On a Budget For Small House Minimalist Handmade Things 2018

Empty list item


How can I decorate my room without spending money? ›

Now it's time to put them to use.
  1. Rearrange your furniture. Nothing is so simple as rearranging furniture. ...
  2. Make use of those old paint cans. ...
  3. Put old fabric swatches to use. ...
  4. Freshen up the linens. ...
  5. Display your wares. ...
  6. Mirror, Mirror on the wall. ...
  7. Put your unused fireplace to good use. ...
  8. Pull the photo boxes out from under the bed.
13 Jun 2022

How do you decorate a big space on a budget? ›

7 Ways To Decorate A Bigger Space On A Small Budget
  1. Invest In Key Pieces First. ...
  2. Repurpose Existing Furniture. ...
  3. Anchor Spaces With An Area Rug. ...
  4. Don't Space Your Furniture Out. ...
  5. Paint Your Doors. ...
  6. Don't Buy Everything New. ...
  7. Add Smaller, Cozy Nooks.
27 Oct 2021

How can I make my house beautiful in low budget? ›

10 Ways to Make Your Home Look Elegant on a Budget
  1. 1 ) Crown Molding – Details Matter. ...
  2. 2) Paint – Color Matters. ...
  3. 3) Pillows – Comfort & Elegance. ...
  4. 4) Window Treatments – A Must-Have Accessory. ...
  5. 5) Hardware Finishes – Opt for Unique. ...
  6. 6) Lighting Makes a Difference. ...
  7. 7) Hardwood is Preferred Over Carpet. ...
  8. 8) Accessorize Your Home.
13 Jun 2022

How can I make my room look good without buying anything? ›

How To Decorate Your Room Without Buying Anything - YouTube

How can I make my hallway look more expensive? ›

7 Easy Ways To Make Your Entryway Look Expensive
  1. Harness the power of mirrors. If you're going to splurge on anything in your entryway, mirrors are the way to go. ...
  2. Keep fresh flowers on hand. ...
  3. Play with pattern and color. ...
  4. Rethink your lighting fixtures. ...
  5. Add in a statement piece. ...
  6. Don't overcrowd the space. ...
  7. Add in some art.
16 Jun 2015

What order do you decorate your house? ›

What order do you decorate in?
  1. Start with the ceiling. By painting from ceiling to floor, you'll avoid those pesky splash marks on a freshly painted wall. ...
  2. Then move onto the walls. ...
  3. Paint the skirting boards. ...
  4. Painting the window and door frames. ...
  5. Finish with painting the doors.

What is the 60 30 10 decorating rule? ›

What is the 60-30-10 Rule? It's a classic decor rule that helps create a color palette for a space. It states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture and the last 10% should be an accent.

How do you decorate your room with things you already have? ›

10 Ways to Decorate For Free Using What You Already Have
  1. Purge all the things you don't love. ...
  2. Tidy up. ...
  3. Hush your spaces. ...
  4. Rearrange the furniture. ...
  5. Paint or refinish something you already have. ...
  6. Swap Furniture (and accessories) ...
  7. Bring some things in. ...
  8. Gather decor into vignettes.
22 Aug 2022

What colors make a house look expensive? ›

Add or Change Colours

Some of the most expensive-looking homes sport a neutral colour palette. Shades of whites, beiges, and greys work wonders on the exterior. Not only do they give a classy and expensive look, but they also go well with most types of designs.

What makes a house look tacky? ›

Bright, white lighting is a quick way to make a room feel washed out and makes any potentially tacky design decisions stand out even more. Dim, minimal lighting, on the other hand, can work in basements but can also pretty quickly make a man-cave feel a bit too much like an actual cave.

What makes an interior look expensive? ›

A great way to ensure you're in keeping with the luxury look is to make sure your large, base pieces are neutral-toned – so think white, off-white, cream, taupe, beige, grey. A lot of high-end spaces will use neutral furniture and then will bring in accessories and textiles for pattern and color.

How do you make a room not look childish? ›

9 Ways to Make Your Bedroom look 'Grown-up'
  1. Get the bed right. ...
  2. Invest in a headboard. ...
  3. A detailed nightstand is next. ...
  4. Frame your pictures. ...
  5. Ban the TV, bring in music. ...
  6. Add a couch, or two. ...
  7. Get yourself a chic clothes rack. ...
  8. Use a mix of textures.

What is a warm color for a bedroom? ›

Yellows, reds, pinks and other warm hues can help turn your bedroom into a cozy retreat. Warm colors can take the chill off north- or east-facing rooms. They are also good choices in rooms with small windows or no windows. Warms colors don't have to be dark: Yellow, even in pale shades, is warm, as is peach.

What colors make a room look bigger and brighter? ›

So, what colors make a room look bigger? For an optimum effect, go with soft tones like off-white, blues, and greens, and always remember that brighter rooms feel bigger and more inviting. And here's another hack: Try painting your wall trim and moldings in a lighter color than your walls.

What makes a house look beautiful? ›

Choose bold, bright, neutral or serene, just make sure the colors are complementary. Give thought to the walls, decor, flooring or floor coverings, and furnishings and accessories. Everything should work together, creating a space that visually pleasing, no matter the style or the color scheme.

Where do I put my bed in relation to the window? ›

For the best result, place your bed where you can see your bedroom door and windows from your bed. Also, do not place your bed too close to your window to avoid drafts. With this, you can also have easy access to both sides of your bed.

What patterns make rooms look bigger? ›

Large Patterns

While smaller patterns tend to make a room look smaller, a large repeating pattern will make a room look bigger. Look for a design that has a lot of negative space in between motifs to achieve an expansive look.

Which sofa is best for small living room? ›

A Thin Low Arm is the Best Option

In a small living room, you don't want furniture to feel bulky. You want the eye to glide over each piece of furniture. Comfort is important, of course, but you want to reduce thickness in each piece. That doesn't mean you can't have arms on your sofa, but ideally they're low and thin.

What makes a home feel inviting? ›

The front of your home should usher in your guests with great lighting, a piece of art or a mirror, something that will draw your guests attention into your home. When decorating, feel free to experiment with décor. Go bold and try to find a statement piece or go with something as simple as a chic welcome mat!

How do I make my house feel homey? ›

14 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy and Inviting
1 Dec 2021

What makes a house feel like a home? ›

Family photos, fresh bed sheets and a fridge full of food are among the things which most help a house feel like a home. A study of 2,000 homeowners has revealed what transforms four walls into a homely space, with their own bed topping the list according to 65 per cent.

What colours make a room COSY? ›

Cozy. A cozy room feels warm and welcoming as if it's giving you an emotional hug. The way to create that feeling is with the warm side of the spectrum: golden yellows, soft oranges, muted reds, browns with yellow undertones, honeyed neutrals—basically, think soft, warm and slightly muted.

How do I make my room cozy and aesthetic? ›


How can I make my living room more inviting? ›

Here are thirteen ways to make your living room more inviting.
  1. Display Photos Of Your Network. ...
  2. Add An Area Rug. ...
  3. Add Pillows For Comfort. ...
  4. Play With Wallpaper. ...
  5. Add A Scent. ...
  6. Play With Lighting. ...
  7. Add Pops Of Color. ...
  8. Remove Clutter.
8 Jun 2016

What color makes a hallway look wider? ›

The gradation of shade and color of paint on opposing walls can either lengthen distance by using a lighter shade, or shorten a distance with a darker shade. Light colors such as creamy white or light gray help to brighten a room, making it appear larger and wider.

What is the best color to paint a hallway? ›

The best colour choices are light beige, creams and light greys. Choose colours that are more on the cool side of the colour wheel. Avoid the deeper shades of these colours to keep the hallway feeling open. For the finish, we recommend that you go with a satin, eggshell or gloss finish.

What's a good color to paint a small hallway? ›

The best interior paint colour choices for narrow hallways are taupe, light tan, light gray, creams, and definitely light greens and blues. Also, you can always opt to cover one side of your narrow hallway with artwork or photographs as well.

When decorating a room where do you start? ›

From Ceiling to Wall Painting - Decorating in the Right Order
  1. Step one: start with ceiling paint.
  2. Step two: wall painting.
  3. Step three: windows, doors and skirting board paint. The last steps in your guide to decorating include the windows, door frames and skirting boards.

What is the first thing to decorate a room? ›

Start with Art, Wallpaper, or a Textile to Begin a Decorating Plan. It's easier to start planning a room with one of those three items before anything else. That's because it's much easier to match a paint color to a fabric pattern (like an area rug), wallpaper, or art than the other way around.

What is the first thing to do when decorating a house? ›

Related To:
  1. Clean house at the old place. Even before you make an offer on a new place, get ahead of the game by starting this process. ...
  2. Start with the bedroom. ...
  3. Don't buy everything all at once. ...
  4. Fight the urge to match. ...
  5. Tie everything together with color. ...
  6. Solve practical problems inexpensively.

When designing a room What is the most important factor for you? ›

1. Space. While all seven elements on this list are indispensable components of interior design, space is perhaps the most important to get right.

How do you decorate your room with things you already have? ›

10 Ways to Decorate For Free Using What You Already Have
  1. Purge all the things you don't love. ...
  2. Tidy up. ...
  3. Hush your spaces. ...
  4. Rearrange the furniture. ...
  5. Paint or refinish something you already have. ...
  6. Swap Furniture (and accessories) ...
  7. Bring some things in. ...
  8. Gather decor into vignettes.
22 Aug 2022

How can I decorate for Christmas with no money? ›

Decorating For Christmas With No Money
  1. Tree branches, firewood, and twigs: Wood is one of my favorite decorating props. ...
  2. Anything can be a vase. ...
  3. Let it Snow. ...
  4. Matching tree skirts. ...
  5. Wrap it up. ...
  6. Candy: Who doesn't love a bowl of peppermint sticks or candy canes? ...
  7. Think long-term.
16 Dec 2013

What order do you decorate your house? ›

What order do you decorate in?
  1. Start with the ceiling. By painting from ceiling to floor, you'll avoid those pesky splash marks on a freshly painted wall. ...
  2. Then move onto the walls. ...
  3. Paint the skirting boards. ...
  4. Painting the window and door frames. ...
  5. Finish with painting the doors.

How do you decorate for Christmas quickly? ›

5 Easy Ways to INSTANTLY Decorate for Christmas! - YouTube

How can I be amazing at Christmas? ›

12 top tips for the perfect Christmas
  1. Make sure you plan in advance. ...
  2. Get the tree right. ...
  3. Don't be afraid to get crafty. ...
  4. Make your presents great... and don't forget anyone! ...
  5. Throw your own office party. ...
  6. Conquer the mighty Christmas dinner. ...
  7. Keep your family traditions going (and make new ones)
6 Dec 2018


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