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Interior Decorating on a Budget

Updated on April 2, 2011

Creating an attractive and functional living space doesn't have to cost a fortune. Learning how to decorate on a budget is easier than you might expect.

Finding Interior Design Ideas

Interior decorating shows on HGTV and TLC can be excellent sources of inspiration for those in search of frugal home décor ideas. You can also find ideas in magazines or on the blogs of amateur interior designers. Start a file of pictures you like, then refer to them as needed when you’re completing your redecorating project.

Many people think you need to buy all new items when you’re decorating, but learning to work with what you have is the smarter choice. Sometimes just rearranging your existing furniture is enough to give your place a new look. Move the bookcases from your office into your living room, change the position of your couch, and you've created a new look for your home without spending a dime!

Buying Furniture

When shopping for furniture, hit garage sales and thrift shops first. You can often find great deals on pieces that need only minor repairs. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders on a tired coffee table or entertainment center. Adding new knobs and drawer pulls is another easy way to give old furniture a new look.

If you can't find what you need at a garage sale or thrift shop, try shopping the "back to college" sales in July or August. Stores such as Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart, and JCPenney often have great deals on bookcases, chairs, and accent tables during this time. These pieces aren't built to last, but they're extremely affordable.

Buying Wall Art

Look for creative sources of wall art when you're trying to decorate on a budget. If you scrapbook, trying framing some of your favorite patterned papers for a fun wall display. Pages from old calendars or the front parts of pretty cards also make great decorations for your wall. If you're looking for a contemporary, yet personal look, mat some of your child's favorite drawings. If you can find a sale or coupon code, consider having one of your favorite family photos made into a large frame print by an online service such as Snapfish or Shutterfly.

Storage Solutions

Storage is an important part of any successful home décor plan. Without places for books, magazines, board games, DVDs, and other personal items, your home will quickly become a mess. You can decoupage sturdy cardboard boxes to make storage containers for tiny items. Wicker baskets purchased from thrift shops and consignment stores are another good choice for containing clutter.

Whenever possible, attach decorative labels to your storage containers to indicate where items should be placed. This will make it easier for everyone in your home to help keep things neat and tidy.

A Work in Progress

If you have a limited budget, don’t get discouraged when your redecorating project doesn’t come together immediately. It’s fine to think of your home as a work in progress; many people find themselves continually rearranging and refining a room until they create a look that suits their needs.


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