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Home Decorating Ideas: Easy and Cheap Home Décor

Updated on August 21, 2011
Lily Rose profile image

In my next life, I want to be an interior designer. I love decorating and home decor, taking on projects, and helping others do the same.


Most people don’t have time to redecorate their homes, with the rush and responsibilities of everyday life.  But you can make small differences that take little time, effort, or money, but that might just have enough of an impact to cheer up a room, or whatever desired effect you may be seeking.  You may be the only person who notices a small change, but if it makes you take a step back, look at your room, and smile, then it’s worth it!

Displays can go a long way to liven up a room or even create a nice focal point.  Utilizing containers to show off objects is one way to create a display.  Containers come in such extraordinary styles and materials.  A container can be a goblet, jar, bowl, vase, basket, and more – they can be filled with contrasting items, limited only by your imagination.

Beautiful apothecary jars look great and serve an important function on the bathroom countertop (click on picture for a larger view.)  See more pictures below...
Beautiful apothecary jars look great and serve an important function on the bathroom countertop (click on picture for a larger view.) See more pictures below...

Just the other day, I vowed to start flossing my teeth more often.  I like to use the single, disposable flossers – I thought that if I could find a nice container to store them in on my bathroom vanity countertop, so they’re always visible and handy, I’d use them more.  I ended up finding a beautiful lidded glass container that looks kind of like a small apothecary jar that I knew would be perfect.  Sitting right next to it on the shelf was two other similar jars in different sizes, one smaller and one larger.  They were so inexpensive ($3 each!) that I bought all three. 

I found in my storage cabinet a nice large round wicker tray, placed it on my bathroom counter and placed the three jars in it.  I added my small makeup mirror and a small ceramic bowl of seashells and it completely changed the look of my bathroom and it looks very classy, yet casual.  I’m using the smaller jar for my earrings, and the larger one for miscellaneous items that I use daily. 

Here are some more great decorating ideas using containers:

  • Fill a clear, tall, slender apothecary jar with seashells – it allows you to see the many forms and colors of the seashells so much better than if it were sitting in a bowl. Tie a tassel to the lid for a simple decorative touch.
  • Fill a vase with feathers instead of flowers. A combination of peacock, ostrich, and pheasant feathers look great together. Feathers may not work in every décor, but it might in yours…
  • Fill a treasured container with unexpected contents. Sometimes you can find small cement statuettes in garden centers that incorporate a “container”, like a bowl or shallow dish that is meant to be a bird feeder or such. Consider using something like that in your home – perhaps in the bathroom where it can hold bars of soap or a collection of decorative sea glass. Use it in another room or the entryway with potpourri, or even as a place to set down your keys.
  • Create a dramatic impact with the simplicity of a single vase or object on a shelf or countertop. An urn-style vase with a collection of tulips or other flower that can add a nice contrast to its background – the color of your walls – would work.
  • Use repetition or multiples of a design element when decorating a room or a tabletop. Picture a tabletop or countertop display with three identical clear glass vases and each is filled with fruit slices, one with limes, one with lemons, and one with oranges. Add fresh florals to an inner container and fill both the inner and outer containers with water. For a different look, instead of the fruit slices you could add shells, seeds, nuts, and twigs – without the water – to the outer container.
  • Make a vase from various objects. Bring the outdoors in by stacking two clay pots, bottoms together, and secure them with glue. Place a glass with water in the top pot to hold fresh flowers and tie a pretty ribbon with a bow around the glued edges to hide it. 

  • Fill an unused goldfish bowl with an assortment of glass ornament balls – you can use assorted colors or two to three tones of one color – you could even fill it with different fun ornaments, depending on the look you want. If you want some height to this display, remove the metal top from one (or more) of the ornaments, fill it with water and add a spray of orchids into the ornament. You can also use a florist vial to place a stem into, then simple nestle it between the ornaments. This type of display can be used anytime, but it is particularly nice during the holidays.

  • Look for a new use for an old item, like an old serving tray.  Use it to display a collection of objects, or to place a goblet or two with fresh flowers.  You could use colorful scented sachets in a bowl or serving tray as a wonderfully scented decorative element.  A decorative bowl can also be used to display a collection of cherished photos, or pretty jeweled bracelets, or a collection of bobbins – use your imagination.
  • Containers as art in their own right are pleasing to the creative spirit as well.  Display a collection of favorites.
  • Place containers inside other containers, like a basket within a brass bowl – the smooth and rough surface textures create interest.  Place seashells in the basket for an overall pleasing visual and tactile contrast.
  • It can be the container that makes the statement or the contents within it.  Place fresh fruit or vegetables into a clear container, fill it with water and top it off with a floating candle – the contents become the focus of this container.  Try wrapping raffia around a bundle of carrots and top it off with a green floating candle.  Use your imagination – you can even use whole peppers, pears, cauliflower…
  • Outdoor planters can be brought indoors for uses other than as planters.  Use a clay pot to store your kitchen utensils on the kitchen counter, or to hold pretty rolled napkins on a dining table or sideboard.

Think outside the box and let your imagination run and you’re sure to come up with a pleasing decoration that will give your room a little punch of change! 

Make a statement with a single urn style container on a countertop.
Make a statement with a single urn style container on a countertop.
Place vegetables in a container for a different accent piece.
Place vegetables in a container for a different accent piece.
Use sliced fruit to decorate clear containers.
Use sliced fruit to decorate clear containers.
Paint containers with chalkboard paint and have fun!
Paint containers with chalkboard paint and have fun!


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    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

      Glad I could help inspire!

    • Miss Paula profile image

      Miss Paula 6 years ago

      These are great useful ideas, I ranked you useful. thanks for some good ideas.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you!

    • snug39 profile image

      snug39 6 years ago

      I love that you are creative and practical at the same time. The apothecary jars in the wicker basket is a great idea!

    • Maria Harris profile image

      Maria Harris 6 years ago from Houston

      Interesting ideas. Very creative and inspiring.

    • AuntySa profile image

      AuntySa 7 years ago from Austalia

      I completely agree. Simple designs can make any room elegant.