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How to Decorate on a Budget – Cheap Decorating Tips

Learn how to decorate on a budget with these cheap decorating tips from an interior designer. Decorating your home can be challenging when there is not much money but it is possible.  Here we are going to talk about cheap decorating ideas with very little to no money.

Cheap decorating tips. Decorate with little money by painting your home

Learning how to decorate on a budget at home was my only option while in college.  So I learned all kinds of tips and tricks to transform a room on little money. But now after years of being an interior designer I have learned cheap decorating tips without loosing a beautiful home interior design.


Our first little house was beige, beige, and brown and in bad need of updating.  So I did what I do – I saved my pennies during the semester and did magic to a room during the break!  Here are my top go-to tips on decorating and making big changes with little or no money.


You can paint just about anything!  Wall, furniture, cabinets, accessories, books. The list goes on.

How to decorate your home with little money by painting

Paint is an inexpensive DIY that can really transform a room.  A good quality paint like Sherwin Williams is about $30 for a gallon. For $30 you can change the whole look of a room. A good quality paint means fewer coats of paint.

If your painting furniture or accessories go with spray paint.  Spray paint is very cheap for under $5 dollar. I like to shop for spray paint at Walmart because it is usually cheaper there. 

Just remember how to decorate home in low budget best friend is spray paint. LOL!

If you are painting cabinets you will need more than one paint so here are directions on how to paint cabinets without sanding.

Decorate on a dime by painting kitchen cabinets

No matter what you plan to paint a great place to start is Popular Sherwin Williams Paint Colors. Sometimes just picking a paint color is the most challenging part. These colors will give you a head start.


Curtains are another way to warm up a room but if you are not a curtain person skip to the next step.

Purchased curtains are generally cheaper than custom-made curtains.  Look at stores like Walmart, Amazon, Target, TJ Maxx, and so on. 

Once you get your drapes hang them on the sides of your window and not over the window.  Then hang them as high as you can with only about 1/4 inch from the floor and just covering the window on each side. 

How to hang a wreath on a window with ribbon

Wreaths are another fun window treatment idea. Here are tips on I have how to hang wreaths on windows. And here is a DIY on how to make a heart shaped wreath from the dollar store. I made this wreath for $12 and you can make it round instead of a heart.

This gives a designer look without breaking the bank.


Good lighting is very important not just for function but also for ambiance.  Look for lamps, chandeliers, pendants, and more at Goodwill, garage sales, and thrift stores.  Or make a hanging basket light for cheap to go over your nightstand or dining table.

This easy DIY pendant basket light will give you step by step instructions.

Decorate on a budget by making a DIY hanging basket light

Next, let's break out that dollar spray paint.  Some of the best lamps are found second-hand.  With some spray paint, they can be transformed in less than an hour. 

The lampshade is a harder thing to find at thrift stores, so if you need a shade try Target or Walmart again for a less expensive alternative.


Look for an assortment of accessories ranging from clocks, art, family picture frames, bookends, hardback books, dishes in your home to accessorize with. Also consider your mom's or grandma's attic, storage room, or wherever they may have some old accessories.

I found this mirror frame in my mother-in-law's attic. It was brown so I spray painted it and dry brushed some gold on it then made it into a chalkboard where I could change out the design seasonally.

Cheap decor tips: Decorating with no money by using decor from attics

Also, a great place to shop for accessories is thrift stores or garage sales but it's important to include some high-priced items into your accessories.

I like to shop for more high-end items at Homegoods, TJMaxx, Kirklands, and Marshalls where you get name brands at lower rates.

Look at the shape when thrifting and think about how it will look with a coat of paint. This bunny was average when I found him but with a coat of paint and a raffia bow he now fits in with my decor.

How to decorate on a budget using paint

Spray paint is great for painting accessories but I love using chalk paint. Here are directions on how to paint with chalk paint.

When you go shopping for pillows also look at Homegoods, TJMaxx, and Marshalls. Their pillows are of higher quality but cheap price. I also love to look on Etsy for pillow covers. This will give your design a homemade element which sometimes is the touch your room needs.

Etsy is also great for other accessory items like wood bead garland and printable wall art. I have an Etsy shop that is full of cheap printable wall art.

How to decorate on a budget with cheap printable wall art

There are designs for every day like this botanical print or holiday decorating. I also have a free printable art shop on my website with downloads that won't cost you anything.

All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter to get access to the shop.

Are you starting see that you can decorate your home to look pretty with these cheap decorating tips? Let's keep looking at more ideas.


Whether you have carpet or hard flooring rugs really add style to a room. Let me recommend shopping online for rugs like Amazon. I have found some really cheap rugs that are decent quality on Amazon.

Budget friendly decorating living Room painted Benjamin Moore Bone White

I have also found great deals on rugs at Homegoods. This living room rug at Homegoods but I have found Eyely rugs to have great deals on rugs also. I got my guest bedroom rug there for under $100 dollars.

Cheap decorating ideas: Farmhouse paint color at Life on Summerhill guest bedroom

Decorating from Thrift Stores

Probably the cheapest way to add character and style to your home is shopping at thrift stores, garages and estate sales.

Cheap decorating tips: Decorating with thrift store finds

In this decorating from thrift stores blog post there are many ideas to get that designer look for cheap.

How to Decorate on a Tight Budget

Remember decorating your home doesn't have to break the bank. Here again, are the five things to do to your home when you are decorating on a dime that will give you the biggest impact.

  • Paint walls, cabinets, accessories, and furniture
  • Add curtains or wreaths on windows
  • Spray paint lightings like lamps and pendants or make basket lights
  • Accessories like printable wall art, books, dishes, and decorations from thrift stores
  • Rugs

Shop the post:


Decorating on a tight budget can be fun.  And honestly, the best designs are a collaboration of old, new, low and high-end accessories.  

decorating on a tight budget

I hope these tips and tricks help you get started on how to decorate on a budget. Do you have any cheap decorating tips to share with little to no money?

Happy Decorating!

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I’m Coming Out of the Closet…So to Speak

Thursday 29th of January 2015

[…] away, and we’re all three very close.  My sister Linda is an interior designer and blogs at Life On Summerhill, and Pam lives in North Carolina.  We are all Seminoles, and I have several degrees from FSU but I […]


Thursday 22nd of January 2015

Brought back memories of when I was young and always strapped for cash. Paint and curtains were my go to for decorating, and this is when I really learned how to sew well.

Young people are lucky because now there are pre made curtains that are cheaper than you can make them. I did make some kitchen curtains out of a sheet that I found for a dollar one time.

Back then my thrift store was my grandmothers' and parents' hand me downs.

Thanks for the memories.


Thursday 22nd of January 2015

I'm glad I brought you down memory lane. It's also good advice to include grandma and moms hand me downs.