DIY home decorating on a budget is very common practice in the modern world, with people not only looking to simplify their lives, but really save some cash in the process.
You want your home to look good, but don’t want to spend top dollar on decor, furniture or redecorating, and you really don’t want to shell out the money to hire an interior designer either.
While this won’t be an exhaustive post of ideas, we’ll look at some top tips to make your home look great without the need to spend up big.
Do Your Research Before You Buy Furniture and Appliances
This isn’t just about researching the latest and best prices for something either. It helps you determine exactly what you want and actually need.
For example, if you’ve downsized your home and now don’t have as much space, you’ll need to find furniture that fulfills your needs, but also fits comfortably in more confined spaces.
A great way to find furniture like this is to search for “best of” lists. We write quite a few on this site. For example:
- Best Small Sofas for Small Spaces
- Best Beds for Small Spaces
- Best Kitchen Tables for Small Spaces
- And so on…
These lists can help shortcut your search, as well as provide you with links directly to the featured products.
You’ll also want to see what other people are saying about furniture items and particular appliances, just to be sure that you’ll receive good bang for your buck.
Always measure the intended area for a piece of furniture, so you’ll know what will fit and what won’t.
Look To the Internet for Inspiration
This could apply to anything you want to do around the home, from buying furniture, to painting, floor coverings, budget artwork for the walls, colour schemes. Anything.
The internet and something like Google Images will be your best friend.
There’s no better way to gather ideas and work out design concepts than to see visuals from other homes. You don’t have to copy what someone else has done, but you’ll definitely come up with some cool ideas by seeing what else is out there.
People used to (and likely still do) flip through magazines for inspiration. Nowadays everything is just a screen tap or mouse click away online.
If You Can DIY, Then DIY
Anything you can do yourself is going to save you money, but only if you can do it well and do it right. Make mistakes and the task will likely end up costing you more than if you had brought in a professional in the first place.
Redecorating could involve adding a fresh coat of paint, redoing the tiling, adding some shelving, putting on new kitchen benchtops. All manner of things. Just don’t attempt to do any of these remodelling types of projects unless you’re confident you can pull it off yourself.
If you’re not sure, either give the idea a miss, or pay for an expert to come in and take care of it.
Never attempt your own electrical or plumbing work, not unless you’re a licensed professional. Legally you can’t do this kind of work anyway unless qualified, and for obvious safety reasons, you shouldn’t even attempt it.
Try Simply Rearranging Your Furniture
This might depend on whether you have enough space to play with to try different arrangements, but sometimes you can really freshen up the look of a room simply by altering the layout. It might only take changing one or two items, or it could be a complete overhaul.
Living rooms usually offer up the most options and tend to have the most furniture. Once rearranged to a new layout you’re happy with, the look can be further updated by changing out some couch cushions, or the strategic placement of a throw rug to add a splash of accented colour.
Rearranging the living room furniture can also make it look and feel more open and spacious too. You never want the area to feel cluttered, or where furniture is blocking access. Cramped sucks. Open plan is great.
Buy Second Hand
Not everything you need for sprucing up and decorating your home needs to be brand new. Let’s say you’re on the hunt for some photographs or artwork and designs to liven up your walls, or even some mirrors, doing the rounds of the weekend garage sales in your area will likely provide you with everything you need.
People often sell off stuff they simply don’t want anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s all old and drab and junk. Often you’ll find stuff that still looks like new at these sales, and for bargain prices too.
When people want to get rid of stuff, they usually don’t expect to get a fair market price for items when they sell them at garage sales
Bargains are always on the cards.
You could also shop online on sites like Gumtree or Craigslist for quality second hand items at decent prices.
Paint a Feature Wall
Having just one feature wall in the home can really breathe new life into it. You don’t have to be an expert painter to get one wall painted either, and you won’t spend much on paint.
A feature wall should stand out and contrast with the rest of the paintwork and decor. It might be a vivid red or deep blue, maybe even gold or silver.
You can then use this feature wall to display some of that artwork you discovered, or hang a series of small mirrors on there.
Feature walls never really go out of fashion, but if you find you change your colour scheme in some way and the feature wall just doesn’t fit anymore, you can always repaint it a new colour.
Change Out the Fabrics
If you really think about it, fabric is everywhere in a home.
- Bed linen
- Cushion covers
- Furniture coverings
- Floor rugs
- Throw rugs
- And more…
Not only can you change colour schemes by changing out the fabrics, you can also give the room a new texture, as there are so many materials and designs that fabrics come in.
Thinking about your living room again, if you changed the curtains to a different colour, then also changed the lounge cushions and a floor rug to a similar colour, you’ve effectively – and rather simply – altered the accented colour scheme of the entire room.
In a bedroom you could do the same thing. Change the curtains and match up your pillow cases.
All it takes is a little imagination and not a hefty budget.
Replace the Fittings In Your Bathroom
So long as the rest of your bathroom still looks presentable, such as the tiles, tub and so on, changing out the old taps and shower rose and replacing them with shiny new, modern fittings can really give the room a much needed boost and facelift.
These might only seem like minor components in the overall scope of the bathroom, but it’s the fittings that can really sparkle it up and modernise the look of the bathroom.
You could even do the same thing in the kitchen to modernise it a little.
Just like it’s so vital in photography, lighting in the home is everything when it comes to how it looks. This includes both natural light as well as artificial lighting.
Poor lighting will make everything look gloomy and drab, unless you’re going for a low light theme.
Allowing in enough natural daylight is the most important aspect of lighting, as at night you tend to expect things to be dark until you switch a light on anyway. A house that always appears dark and eerie in the daytime can be somewhat unsettling.
If you have dark curtains your house is going to look really gloomy unless you open them up. On the contrary, curtains that are too light can let in too much sunlight when you may not want them too. Dark curtains are definitely better in bedrooms, unless you like to rise at the crack of dawn.
For artificial lighting, to change the look or the mood you could have dimmer switches installed by an electrician so you can vary the intensity of the light to suit your needs.
The addition of trendy looking lamps will also set the tone, rather than having to rely on bright overhead lights all the time.
Spotlights directed at the artwork on your feature wall is a really cool idea as well, accenting the wall itself and also providing another ambient light source.
The internet is loaded up with helpful ideas. There is really so much you can actually do on a budget to change the look of a single room, or your home in general.
In this post we’ve really only touched on a few basic ideas to get you started. Online you’ll find many helpful resources.
If you’re looking for quality furniture and appliances for downsized living at the right price, then be sure to check out our best of posts for some really great options. We are regularly adding new best of lists, so check back regularly to see what we’ve come up with.
Happy home decorating.