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How to redecorate on the cheap

Updated on February 20, 2014

Redecorating your abode can be a daunting task. What color do you paint the walls? How many throw pillows should you have? How do you stay on budget?

Determine your budget

Not everyone has thousands of dollars to invest in a home decorating project. The first step in making a home more livable is making sure you can still afford to live in it when you are done. Before undertaking a redecorating project, sit down and set a budget.

  • How much money do you have to spare? Be honest with yourself. How much money do you have put to the side, and will you still have money left over for anything else? Remember, life happens, and you don't want a simple project to put you over budget and prevent Junior from getting braces.
  • How long will this project take? If you are looking for a quick pick me up or refresher, your budget probably won't need to be large. It may also be smart to spread out the big updates to prevent wallet shock.
  • What improvements need to be made? Are you planning just a coat of paint or some wall paper, or do you need carpeting, furniture, and lighting?

Pick a theme

You may just want to stick with a certain color pallet, or you may want to design a room after a certain theme. Whether you are decorating a child's room with a certain cartoon character in mind or a living room with a country feel, pick a theme and stick with it. This will prevent unwanted frivolous purchases. Do you really need a lava lamp if your theme is country western? If you are using dark colors, do you want a polished brass chandelier?

Shop around

You may start your search for the perfect couch and throw pillows at the high end furniture store to help build the idea of what you want, but don't forget to check around.

Resale shops or thrift stores have been springing up around the country. These stores aren't stocking just unwanted leftovers like Aunt Millie's old floral couch from 1973. There are also some excellent finds like gently used furniture. The added bonus to shopping at one of these stores is that they are often linked with a charitable organization, so you aren't just getting a good deal. You are also helping the community.

Spend a little time in your local craft stores. Craft and fabric stores often have many options for do it yourself little touches to make a house feel like home. They may also offer crafting classes, and students sell the results. You can pick up anything from floral arrangements, decorative signs, clocks, baskets, pillows, and furniture. You can even get stencils and appliques for your walls.

Little Touches

It's the little touches that bring it all together. If you are using a theme, don't let it overpower, but pick items and accents to complete your message. Stencils and wall decals are easy touches to jazz up a plain wall. Mirrors add size to an otherwise small room. Family pictures are the biggest way to make a house feel like home; if you don't have children, pictures from events and places you have experienced can be just as powerful.


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