You love the idea of a home makeover but don’t have the cash for an HGTV-style upgrade. Don’t give up on your dreams of cultivating a stylish space! With a bit of extra effort, you can skip the expensive decor and create a more affordable, personalized look that feels both trendy and grounded. Follow these simple suggestions to get started:

Develop a Budget — And a Plan

Many allegedly budget-conscious decorators struggle to make practical decisions simply because they don’t know how much they can spend. With no plan, it’s easy to waste money on seemingly affordable tools and materials that don’t actually give your space the fresh look it needs.

The solution? A clear budget, divided into categories. Instead of beginning with an arbitrary number, consider how much spare cash you have available, how much extra you’re able to save, and your priorities for decorating.

For example: through careful reflection, you may realize that you’re mainly interested in, say, lighting fixtures or wall art. If you’re willing to sacrifice other upgrades, you can go big on these features. If, however, you desire a more comprehensive makeover, you may require modest updates for a variety of design elements.

Next, create design categories, complete with estimates for how much you might spend in each area. Feel free to add a timeline to keep you on track.

Finally, determine which style you prefer. We’ll touch a bit on the most affordable aesthetics below. For now, it’s worth mentioning: Your decorating budget will go a lot farther if you opt exclusively for items or materials that fit your preferred style.

Create a vision board that reflects your desired colors, patterns, and concepts to stay organized and inspired. When you struggle to determine whether a particular item fits this aesthetic, use your vision board as a guide.

Start With Decluttering

No decorating effort will feel particularly transformative if your home or cabinets remains chock full of clutter. Cleaning may not be the most exciting part of your makeover, but it easily provides the most bang for the buck. Meanwhile, you may uncover decorative elements that you forgot you owned.

The decluttering process is simple, albeit dreaded at times: Go through each room and examine each item before determining which should be tossed, kept, and donated.

Opt for a Rustic or Weathered Look

Your preferred aesthetic may determine the extent to which you’re able to find decorations within your budget. When in doubt, rustic styles are desirable, as they allow you to invest in vintage items or simply upcycle existing objects. What’s more, rustic styles are more likely to remain relevant. Contemporary trends come and go, but there’s always plenty of appeal in a cozy space.

Get Crafty

DIY types can accomplish a lot on a seemingly modest budget. What’s more, crafted decorations feel extra personal. As with any aspect of your remodeling project, it’s important to create a thorough plan for your crafting efforts. After all, some decorative elements will lend themselves far more to DIY initiatives than others.

A quick glance through Pinterest or any craft magazine will reveal all kinds of ideas that add pizzazz to your home on a minimal budget. Common projects include:

  • Living plant walls
  • Wine cork photo frames
  • Homemade wreaths
  • Painted wood crates for stylish storage
  • Vintage teacups as candleholders
  • Washi tape lanterns
  • Repurposed barrels for end tables or bars

Use the Power of Paint

Painting isn’t a viable solution in every situation, but it’s often the quickest path to making your space feel fresh. No, landlords may not accept new paint for rented houses or apartments, but you can still paint old pieces of furniture to give them new life. However, if you’re able to paint the walls or cabinets, you can go all out.

If you struggle with the cost of paint, find creative ways to do more with less. A great option? Painting an accent wall. Use a bold color and stick with a single side of the room to make an instant statement.


Take Technological Shortcuts

Struggling to find the right pieces at local thrift shops? A variety of technological solutions can help you score the best decorations for a fraction of the price. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist have long been top options, although apps like LetGo or OfferUp can also lead to impressive finds.

Apps that help you visualize furniture or decor are also worthy downloads; this approach will prevent you from wasting money on items that ultimately fall short of your aesthetic expectations.

Add Plants to the Mix

Plants provide an affordable means of bringing the outdoors in. Many are surprisingly cost-effective — and they can be easy to care for, even if you don’t have a green thumb. The pots in which they’re kept can also be economical, particularly if you create DIY planters from upcycled items.

Many plants are incredibly affordable, with some even available for free if you know where to look. Favorites include spider plants, snake plants, and aloe vera. Add a few as accents or build a vast collection to make your home feel like the great outdoors. Not only will your space look and smell fantastic, but you’ll also enjoy a variety of documented health benefits as soon as plants take over your home.

It’s possible to create a stylish space without spending a fortune. A little ingenuity can go a long way if you put your mind to it. Start planning for a beautiful design that reflects your personality while abiding by your budget. You’ll be rewarded with an interior oasis that you’re eager to show off.



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Chloe Miller

Chloe Miller, with a Bachelor’s in Interior Design from the New York School of Interior Design, has been an expert in home decor and design trends for 15 years. She joined our website in 2021, offering her expertise in space optimization, color schemes, and sustainable decor. Chloe’s prior experience includes working with interior design firms and as a freelance consultant. She is a DIY enthusiast and enjoys upcycling furniture in her spare time.

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