You’re spending more time at home than ever and have probably noticed your environment has a major impact on your mood and productivity.
Now that I’ve perfected my wardrobe, I’m working diligently on beautifying my home. It’s a long process because large furniture items are pricey and I can’t afford to redo a whole room all at once. However, I have found it’s been very easy to really get a lot of bang for my buck improving my space with small purchases.
Turns out making your house a home is less about getting the best big-ticket items as it is about getting the right accent pieces. I’ve been able to delay getting things like a new couch but still making my living space gorgeous by purchasing the right smaller items instead. If you’re on a budget and looking for cheap home decor, here are my tips!
How can I decorate my home for cheap?
Before you work through the list of cheap home decor below, there are 3 main rules to keep in mind to guide your purchases.
Be a copycat
Home decor is something I’ve never been good at, but I ended up with a beautiful space because I copied the methods of those who are. All you need to do is spend a few hours on Pinterest browsing spaces to find what fits your vibe. Create boards for each room of your home, and pin anything that catches your eye.
Once you have a few dozen images of what you like, patterns should start to emerge. You should be able to identify some themes in your style, whether it’s mid-century modern or farmhouse chic. If you’re not sure, look at the tags on the Pins, and then search them. You’ll end up with a wealth of gorgeous home decor templates to replicate. Pick your favorite room and dupe everything in it. Yes, it really is that simple!
Choose colors sparingly
As someone with a documented passion for neon, I know that when it comes to colors, less is often more. Choose only 2 to 3 dominant hues for a room, and then try to stick to those shades, especially for large items. Once you have a good foundation of what you like, you can begin to introduce new pops of color. Or you can even change up the entire feel when the mood strikes by simply changing pillow covers and switching throw blankets.
If you go bold with wall colors or rugs, choose more neutral decor or vice versa.
Focus on textures
A simple way to breathe a little extra luxe into a room is to add more texture. Don’t focus solely on colors or specific pieces, and instead, look for ways to incorporate a mix of textiles and hardware in a space. Think fake leathers, faux fur, and corduroy for pillows and blankets, and metals, plastic, glass, or ceramic for accents.
Even if you execute color coordination perfectly, you’ll find your rooms fall flat without the right mix of textures. Furthermore, different textures is a great way to add a lot of depth to your space without deviating from your chosen color palette. You can even pull off monochromatic rooms by mixing textures!
Cheap home decor you can afford on any budget
Below are some easy purchases you can make to rapidly transform a room without breaking the bank!
Paint an accent wall
If your landlord allows and you’re up for a day of work, a few coats of paint is the easiest way to completely change the feel of a room. You don’t even have to paint an entire room! A single accent wall can be the difference between drab and chic, and a can of paint is about as inexpensive as you can get.
Fake or real houseplants
The shortest path to a homey space is some green. You need plants. If you can manage the ritual of watering, go ahead and buy some real houseplants to brighten up your space. Not only will they look beautiful, but they’ll also freshen the air. If you can’t even keep a cactus alive, fake plants will do the decor job just as well.
One of the mistakes I made early in my home decor journey was hanging too many traditional 4×6 photos. It took years before I felt confident enough to blow up my photos larger. Now I’m partial to 16×20! Large frames in arrangements of 3, 6, or 9 make for beautiful gallery walls, so an abundance of large frames can work in many combinations in your home.
It’s easier than ever to find something unique and cool to brighten up a wall. Instead of opting for expensive large canvases, look for decorative prints on websites like Etsy or Society6. Many sellers offer digital downloads, which means you can choose the size and paper type when you have them printed at a local office supply store.
Yes, macrame is back. And it’s awesome. If you ever had to tie an elaborate wall hanging or pot hangers with white rope, you already have all the skills you need to brighten your home with macrame. If you don’t want to resurrect your skills for DIY, you can order directly from Etsy or shop your local flea market instead.
If you empty shelf, table, or counter space in your home, you need more decorative bowls in your life. Not only are decorative bowls an easy way to spruce up a space with something other than pictures and plants, but they’re also useful too. I use pretty small bowls to catch my jewelry at the sink and my keys at the front door.
If your home feels perpetually in disarray, there’s a good chance most of that can be solved by simply creating a space to catch the clutter. Small bins, either with or without lids, can be used for everything from storing nail polish bottles to organizing your pantry. Mary Kondo had it right when she showed us all the secret to an organized home was really just more tiny boxes inside our cupboards.
IKEA is a clear leader in the bin game, but you can also get beautiful boxes from stores like Winners or HomeSense.
Throw pillows are one of the fastest shortcuts to changing up a space with little effort. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color or pull a room together, more pillows are usually the answer. This is one of the better opportunities to introduce texture (think fur, knit, or foil fabrics). You can also opt for different pillow shapes, lumbar or round pillows, which can also add quite a bit to a room.
Much like fake houseplants, fake flowers can really bring a room alive. They’re especially good in cozy spaces, like the bedroom. Stay away from large suppliers like Wayfair who will overcharge, and look at Etsy or your local craft store instead.
When it comes to displaying art in your home, the frame matters just as much, and sometimes even more, than the image. Instead of focusing on finding really eye-catching art, look for a funky eye-catching frame instead. Simple black & white or abstract photos can be perfect for ornate and colorful frames.
Baskets are great for keeping pillows or blankets in one place, but they also work for heavier items, like books. If you have children, they’re a nice way to keep toys out of sight! You can go for traditional wicker baskets, or opt for something more modern like metal.
Sectionals and footstools are expensive, but you can get a bargain on furniture to uplift your feet if you opt for a poof instead. These come in all kinds of patterns and sizes but are a fraction of the cost of a regular footstool. Most poofs are priced under $100. They can double as extra seating too, which makes your home more inviting to friends!
Where to buy cheap home decor
There are quite a few places you can go both on and offline to get cheap home decor. One of my current hacks is to click through Rakuten to get cash back on all my purchases, then select curbside pickup.
Here’s my list of favorites:
Of course, that list is if you want to buy new, but secondhand is one of your better options for affordable home decor pieces. Make sure to check out your local thrift shops, flea markets, and even estate sales. You’re more likely to find something cool and unique of good quality if you pick it up secondhand.
Don’t forget that one of the biggest perks of cheap home decor is you can easily modify anything that’s not quite right to perfection. Often all it takes is a coat of paint!