How To Decorate On A Budget

Often I’ll speak to potential clients who have big dreams of redecorating their home, but have a limited budget to work with. At first they often seem discouraged and disappointed that there’s not more money on the table, but as you’ll see, a limited budget doesn’t actually mean limited options.

In fact, the projects with a cash restriction are often more fun to work on, and a greater success in the long run, because you’ve put real energy into creating something you love – rather than just throwing money at a problem.

It’s just about thinking laterally, working with what you’ve already got, and keeping an eye out for bargains that can be adapted to your space.

For example, say you want a new wine rack for your kitchen or living room, but don’t want to fork out hundreds of dollars for the nice metal ones in the department stores. Have you got an old wooden dresser?

Keep the top set of drawers but remove all the others, and give it a good sanding to remove any gloss or paint. Then you can repaint it – or leave it weathered – to suit the room. A half hour with a jigsaw will let you cut out the half-circle grooves needed to hold the necks of the bottles – and voila! One warm, rustic wine cabinet.

This is the key principle to decorating on a budget – doing things yourself. While it does take more time, it’s much more cost efficient to do the following things:

  • Buy material and a pattern to sew your own curtains, cushion covers and wall hangings
  • Painting the walls. You can easily knock over a few rooms in a weekend, and you can always mix things up with stencils or wall appliques
  • Build your own frames and fill them with your own photos. Or use existing frames and repurpose them as towel hangers or indoor pot plant suspenders.
  • Go to the beach and find shells, driftwood and even dead (but preserved!) sea creatures to make interesting and unique decorative pieces with.