Redecorating on a Shoestring: Inexpensive Decorating Ideas

On a tight budget? Decorate with DIY crown molding to change the look of any room.
On a tight budget? Decorate with DIY crown molding to change the look of any room. | Source
Consider changing the lamps for a decorating change.
Consider changing the lamps for a decorating change.

Inexpensive Decorating Ideas Are Not Hard to Implement

Home decorating might be the last thing we consider when you're on a very tight budget and let's face it, we're all a bit more careful with how and where we spend our dollars. Yet, being the restless spirits that most of us are, change is usually on our minds. One of the most obvious, and many times the easiest places for change is in redecorating our home. Fortunately, although you may not realize it, inexpensive decorating changes can happen in nearly every room without wreaking havoc on the budget. Home decorating, especially finding cheap or inexpensive decorating ideas, can be simple, fast and very easy to put in place.

Getting Started

Picking a theme is an easy way to jump start your decorating ideas. Maybe you would like to add a beach element to one or more rooms to remind you of the great vacation you took. Or you may choose to add southwest touches. Don't overlook Asian or Eastern influences. You can even adopt a minimalist theme, subtracting a few key pieces, to give a quick update to your rooms. Its your choice. Ultimately, it's creating an environment that makes you and your family happy to be at home without breaking your budget.


Bedroom Ideas

What about considering cheap decorating ideas for the bedroom? The bedroom is your sanctuary. This is the room where you retire to regenerate. If at all possible, let this be the only function of the room. It is restorative for both your body and your relationships. That said, look at your existing space with an eye to making a few quick decorating changes.

  1. Look first at the color of the walls. Can you repaint one wall either a darker or lighter color of the same color family as the existing color? This can give a change as bold or as subtle as pleases your eye.
  2. Consider painting the ceiling, again, either the same color as the room or choose a darker or lighter color. Darker colors will make the room appear cozier and the lighter color will make the room appear more expansive.
  3. Visit local discount stores such as Stein Mart for high end products at budget pleasing prices to change the bed ensemble. Your room can take on a whole new look with a change of bedspread, comforter, quilt or duvet, adding matching sheets and throw.
  4. Add pillows in contrasting and/or complimentary colors. Nothing says luxury and sumptuousness like mounds of pillows.
  5. Change the lamps in the room. Again, shopping at discount stores gives great looks for less. No one has to know that you didn't make your purchase at the department store or designer boutique. Be willing to make a few trips until you find what you want. Or try shopping for them online to eliminate the drive time.
  6. Add or remove sheers at your window. Sheers behind draperies can add another dimension to your window treatment. The same will happen if you remove the sheers and open the draperies to let in more natural light.
  7. Crown molding is an inexpensive change to a room that can add elegance. Your local hardware store can help with selections and installation.

Add interesting and attractive bathroom accessories.

Change the colors or the fixtures in the bathroom or the kitchen.
Change the colors or the fixtures in the bathroom or the kitchen.
An attractive glass tile and upgraded faucet can make an inexpensive decorating idea. Install both yourself and save.
An attractive glass tile and upgraded faucet can make an inexpensive decorating idea. Install both yourself and save. | Source


Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Little touches in the bathroom can amp up the comfortable, pampered feeling you get. Think spa-like and ideas will come to you.

  1. Update the fixtures at the sink and tub. Believe it or not, your local hardware store can teach you how to do this yourself. Places like Lowe's and Home Depot often have classes showing how you can replace your existing hardware with up-to-date styles.
  2. If you have cabinets in your bathroom, change the cabinet door knobs. Knobs come in many decorative styles and colors. Let the overall design of the room be your guide.
  3. Change the bathroom accessories. Nothing is easier than changing the soap dish, the lotion dispenser, the trash can. Simple, inexpensive, yet noticeable.
  4. Paint the room.
  5. Change the bath rugs. Add a rug that you wouldn't normally find in the bathroom.
  6. Change the mirror(s). If you have a mirror that is affixed to the wall, don't remove it unless that is expense and time you are willing to expend. An inexpensive way to dramatically change a frameless mirror without taking it down is to add a frame. You can purchase a frame that is made specifically to attach to mirrors. The local hardware or consumer friendly building supply store is a great place to shop. And voila! A new mirror without a lot of headache, time, or money.

Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Redecorating the kitchen is definitely at the top of the list in importance when you consider making a change. Generally, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It's usually mutli-purposed, especially when there are children around, serving as homework central during the school year and the room everyone seems to congregate in when there is a gathering.

  1. Change the faucets. Here again, the local hardware/building supply store is your source for help. High end looks to an existing sink can easily be achieved.
  2. No money or time to change existing cabinets? Change the knobs. If they are gold, try silver. If you have stainless steel appliances, give nickel a try. Experiment with one cabinet until you settle on the look you want. This only takes a few minutes and the new look can be a dramatic change. And the best is, if you don't like it, you can change it again.
  3. Replace your placemats. You probably don't notice them, they've been in place that long. Throw on a tablecloth. Buy something new.
  4. If you have an eating area in the kitchen, add an area rug under the table. This makes the area even cozier.
  5. Set the table with the "good" China and silver. Saving them for a special occasion? You are the special occasion. Use your cloth napkins and napkin holders. If you don't have these items, purchase them. "Finish" your table when setting it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  6. Do the unexpected, hang an inexpensive chandelier in the kitchen. This is eye-catching and fun. Paris Hilton had a great chandelier hanging in her country style kitchen, adding polish and extra dimension to the space.


New lamp for the home office or the family room

Flowers in any space can add a special touch. Here, they are used in the home office.
Flowers in any space can add a special touch. Here, they are used in the home office. | Source
Eliminate window dressing, add a throw and pillows to comfortable sofa for change
Eliminate window dressing, add a throw and pillows to comfortable sofa for change | Source
Repainted and repurposed wicker chairs moved to sunny breakfast nook for a cheap decorating idea.
Repainted and repurposed wicker chairs moved to sunny breakfast nook for a cheap decorating idea. | Source

Redecorating the Home Office Ideas

If you have a designated space for the home office, great. If not, look around and create one in whatever existing space makes sense to you. With the uptick in working from home, the home office has become a necessity and not an afterthought.

  1. Repurpose a room to become the home office. I changed a living room that was never used into the home office. It's on the ground floor, unlike the guest bedroom which was the other likely room candidate, which means I can meet potential customers in an office environment and never enter the living spaces of my home.
  2. Join the Flower of the Month Club with a popular flower delivery service and have a beautiful arrangement delivered each month. Or simply pick up a bouquet each week as you do your grocery shopping. This will not only make you feel good, but will also lend an air of purpose to the room.
  3. Invest in pretty file folders to hold receipts and other items that can't be stored digitally.
  4. Add shelving over your desk. This can clear up the clutter on your desk and add interest to the area above.
  5. Change the artwork and photographs in the room. Bring in pictures that were in other areas of the home. Choose inspirational themes, especially if you are a writer. One piece of art that I have on my wall is the Chinese symbol for prosperity that my son did for me.
  6. Rearrange the furniture. Maybe the desk would work better in front of the window. Consider not having your back to the door.
  7. Hide wire clutter with molding or gadgets especially made for that purpose. Where/when possible, go wireless.

Cheap Decorating Ideas in the Family Room

In the family room you want comfort, functionality and style to meet as one. That accomplished, there are times you may want to shake things up a little and give the room a lift inexpensively.

  1. Rearrange the furniture.That's an obvious change. If you have the couch facing the fireplace, why not place the sofa in front of the fireplace in summer. It's not in use and the change will give a different perspective to the room.
  2. I'm a fan of pillows. Add more to your sofa. They're easy changes and when you walk into a room, they often catch your eye first. Since it is the family room, try scattering oversize pillows about or stack them in a corner for easy access.
  3. Instead of buying a new sofa, why not buy a fitted slipcover. Voila! New sofa.
  4. Add an area rug over the carpet or the hardwood flooring.
  5. Change the lamps or simply change the shades. Red shades will cast a warmer glow, making the room feel comfortable and welcoming. Black shades give add a touch of elegance. Tip: No need to buy a new shade. Use black chalkboard paint and paint over a lampshade black. Move lamps to different areas of the room while you're at it. Illuminate the space differently. Add a dimmer.
  6. If your flat screen is perched on a stand, try hanging it on the wall above the stand or on another wall altogether. They are much lighter these days and you can even buy an inexpensive frame to "frame" your tv like a work of art.
  7. Paint - one wall if you're short on patience and budget; the entire room if you have enough of both.
  8. Change the artwork; rearrange the books and collectables on the bookshelves.
  9. Plants are always a good addition to a room because they are both pretty and healthy. Add them if it makes sense and you have a green thumb.

The biggest tip? Repaint, rearrange, or repurpose furniture to create a new look in a room without breaking the budget. The bookcase in your bedroom could work just as well in your office. Try a floor to ceiling mirror in the foyer. Baskets become excellent repositories for book overflow. Repaint wicker chairs and bring them into the breakfast nook, add cushions in the color scheme of your kitchen.

Be creative! A little imagination, a little time, and a little money and you can give your home a new look.

If you have a tip for inexpensive decorating ideas in any room of your home, I would love to hear about it. Leave your comment; leave your tip.


Copyright 2011: Cynthia Turner

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Comments 10 comments

Levi Byrd 5 years ago

Good ideas. I think it is time to redecorate.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 5 years ago from Georgia Author

A change is always good. Have fun with it.


kellylover profile image

kellylover 5 years ago from An Island

beautiful ideas! a rug really helps to create a room


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Kellylover, thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed my ideas.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Great tips. I have to admit... if you were in my home you would be disgusted. I have no talent at home decorating... in fact, my house looks a little bit like a bachelor pad even though I am married with 3 kids. Ok - so I will admit, in time it has gotten a little better. I have graduated from posters in a frame to real pictures on the wall! I will definitely need to heed some of this advice. Voted useful and shared! :)


SMD2012 profile image

SMD2012 4 years ago

I love the idea of simply changing the lamp shades! I was thinking about that just the other day and how easy it would be to make a simple lamp go from looking rich and dramatic, to clean, crisp and minimalist! Great hub. Shared, beautiful and voted up!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, I'm glad you enjoyed the tips. You know what, though, the whole point is to be comfortable where you are and if you and your family are happy and enjoying each other, then the way the house is decorated takes a back seat. Thank you so much for the vote up and the share. I appreciate it! Take care and enjoy the kids.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Yes, little things can make a bid difference. Lighting can really change the look of a room and changing the shade is so inexpensive. Thank you so much for sharing and voting.


lauper79 17 months ago

I brang a fireplace right into my home without paying a single dollar ;) I just play a video of one on my screen. Videos are for free and my electric bill is going up inconsiderably. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbIbYFj2F7Q Lets be honest, as soon as you switch off the power of your TV it becomes an ugly, black square. So this can work miracles in small flats.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 17 months ago from Georgia Author

What a clever idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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