Tips for Decorating on a Budget

I can’t believe that I’ve been in the new house for 8 months now.  It’s flown by so quickly!  I have had a blast decorating though.  When we first moved in together, Mr. Determined and I were still paying off the old house in another state.  That meant living in a 700 square foot apartment that was sparsely decorated as to not end up with it cluttered.  It was cozy.

Now that we’re in a house, I was really excited to start decorating until I realized exactly how much it was going to cost us.  The woman who lived here before us did a fantastic job of decorating, so I have some great inspiration along with my own style.  We’re going room by room and here are some of the things I’ve picked up along the way about how to keep this from costing a fortune.

Re-Use What You Already Have

We have this gorgeous solid oak armoire that’s a couple decades old.  Note the solid oak part, we couldn’t get it up the stairs in our new home, even with our strong helpers.  So rather than throw it out, it has been repurposed in the living room on the main floor.  The top section that used to hold a tv is now full of DVDs and the drawers in the bottom store the kids’ art supplies.  One piece of furniture has taken the place of two downstairs to save money and the tv upstairs in our bedroom can be mounted instead of placed in the cabinet.

Learn What Skills You Have

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re capable of until you do it.  Mr. Determined and I were well, determined, to find the perfect 2-person desk for our new office in the basement.  When that didn’t happen, we built one.  You might remember the video I put up when we were in the process of building it:

And here’s the finished desk:

diy desk for two

I didn’t have any idea I could pull this off until I sketched it out and tried it.  All we could find was stuffy cubicle-looking desks, so we did our own for less than $100 and I couldn’t be happier with it.  It’s sturdy, and it’s pretty.  Start with a bookshelf and move up from there.  Use the internet to find basics on how to build and work out a plan from there.

Clearance Racks Are Not A Bad Thing

Most household decor items go on clearance because they are no longer trendy for that season’s decor.  The canvas paintings in the background of the Sandwich “Sushi” recipe I did two years ago are really pretty pictures of cakes with script writing.  I LOVE them.

sandwich sushi

They were also only 75 cents at Hobby Lobby because they were in a clearance section.  Places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and other craft stores with a decor section are great places to start.

You Can Make Art

Not everyone can pick up a brush and paint a masterpiece or turn a lump of clay into small statues, but I bet you have a camera phone.  Find something beautiful outside.  This doesn’t have to be a fancy rose bush unless you have one.  Get a close-up of the ice hanging off of branches or the clover that’s popped up in your yard.  Find a butterfly or ladybug, or even a snail and get a picture of it with steady hands and good light.

clover art

Go to your local Walmart, Target, Meijer, or anywhere else that prints photos and use the kiosk to print out an 8×10 of your picture.  Look for a simple frame in a color that matches the rest of the room and put that picture inside.  Instant wall art that maybe cost you $5.00 for the frame.

What are your tips for saving money on decor?  Let me know in the comments.


I'm busy diving into motherhood stilettos-first while earning a modest living from my couch. I have an obsession with baking and a passion for handmade products. Connect with me on Google+.

2 thoughts on “Tips for Decorating on a Budget

  • May 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Awesome desk, video is helpful but what happened to the follow-up with the finished product?


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