Home Decorating on a Budget

When decorators redo a room (or an entire house) they usually take the most expensive route possible; they throw out everything and start from scratch, replace dated items with the latest version, and hire contractors to do the heavy lifting. The results are usually amazing, but not something you can recreate on a limited budget. So how can you update your look and freshen up your home without breaking the bank? Take a tip from the pros, but don’t try to follow in their footsteps. Here are some suggestions from those who have traveled the home remodel/ refresh road and emerged from their home improvement projects with wallets intact.


Keep what you can

Your goal when making over a room should be to keep as much as you can and find inexpensive ways to make your old things look new. By using things you already have (or that you can pick up secondhand) you can breathe new life into a space without spending too much money. Check out


Do it Yourself

Unless you’re a professional contractor, don’t take on projects that are beyond your scope. We all have at least a little DIY in us, so start small with things you know you can handle, and build your experience bit by bit. There are plenty of instructional videos online for home projects such as painting a room, building small items like bookshelves, a coat rack, a mail center for your home office, or a storage chest that can double as an ottoman or coffee table, and other DIY projects that can bring a fresh look to your home.


Make a statement with your front door

Upgrading your front door can go a long way toward updating the exterior look of your home. A new basic steel door can cost $1,500, a fiberglass or wood door will range from $2,000 to $2,500. However, painting your front door a new, bold color will only run you $100 to $300 and a few hours of your time. Be sure to get the correct paint for your exterior door, or you’ll have premature cracking, drying, UV damage, and peeling.


Upcyle Family Favorites

Got an old red wagon your kids have outgrown? Clean it up with some hot soapy water, white vinegar and a brush, and a can of red spray paint for the outside and black for the bed and/ or trim, then fill it with seasonal flowering potted plants and place it on your front porch for a pop of life and color.


Switch out Switch Plates

Over the years, light switches and outlet covers can become yellowed, cracked, and well, old looking. Replacing switch plates and outlet covers with fresh new ones can give a room a subtle upgrade that goes a long way. While you’re at it, take a look at your doorknobs and ask yourself if a few new ones wouldn’t help make your room look a little fresher as well.


Change out Hardware

While you’re thinking of details like doorknobs and light switches, take a look at your kitchen cabinets. How would they look with a new set of hardware? New drawer pulls and cabinet door handles can totally change the look of your cabinets. To take it a step further, consider pulling those door fronts off, sanding them down, and applying a new coat of stain or paint to freshen them even more. You can even change the paint color to create an entirely new aesthetic and achieve it at a fraction of the cost (and hassle) of getting new cabinets.


Move Things Around

If you’re in the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” camp, it may have been quite a while since you rearranged the furniture, but this can be a great way to change things up and bring a whole new vibe to a room. You can improve traffic flow, create a new focal point, and change how the room looks and feels without spending a penny. This works for any room in the house (except maybe the bathroom) and can give you a whole new perspective. If you find you have too many pieces in one room, try moving something into a different room, or swapping pieces between rooms.


Repurpose Your Pieces

There may be more than one use for your favorite pieces. For instance, consider repainting or refinishing a wooden table and converting it to a writing desk, or taking that baker’s rack outside and using it as a potting station in your garden. Maybe instead of repairing an old piece of furniture you can give it new life and a new purpose by taking it apart and using the different elements in new and creative ways. You can make a wet bar from an old bookcase, a new bookcase from an old dresser, or turn that dresser into a new vanity for your bathroom sink. The possibilities are endless, and Pinterest is a gold mine of ideas in this department!


There are so many different ways to accomplish home decorating on a budget! If you’re willing to watch a few DIY videos, take a class at a local home good store, and take the plunge, you just might surprise yourself and discover hidden talents you never knew you had! The best part of doing your own home decorating on a budget is if you mess up, you won’t have spent a ton of money paying a contractor to make changes you don’t love as much as you thought you would.