15 Quick Budget-Friendly Decorating Tips

Maybe the budget is a wee tight but you want to add a little zest to your living space. Maybe you’re in a slight inspiration/motivation slump but want to get the creative juices flowing again. Sometimes it just takes one small change.

1. Make it smell lovely!


Let’s start small and simple: scents can immediately elevate a space. It’s so atmospheric to step into a house that “smells like Christmas” or “smells like spring.” Candles, essential oil diffusers, incense, wax warmers, many options to choose from, but one of my fav methods is to set a small pot to simmer with whatever items I have on hand (orange peels + cinnamon, cut lemons + mint leaves from the garden, etc.). If you don’t know where to start may I suggest my ultimate-favorite, most-superemly-divine recipe?

2. Move them books around!

shelfshelf (2)

(sources, clockwise: 1, 2, 3, 4)

This will make some people’s skin crawl, but I’m gonna throw it out there anyway! I personally love the way organizing books by color looks, and it’s a free way to add a playful, beautiful vibe. Truthfully, I have a harder time remembering an author’s name than I do the how the book looks: size/texture, font used, color of the spine – so finding books is visual for me anyway.  Another idea is to flip the books. Perhaps use this idea for a little stack on an entryway table or go all out with a bookcase if that simple, textural, minimal look is what you’re going for.

3. Makeover your washer & dryer with electrical tape


4. Freshen the windows


(source: 1, 2, 3)

The variety of bed sheets at second hand stores are endless: colorful, vintage, comic book hero, neutral cottons (you get the idea) and they make excellent, CHEAP-CHEAP curtains. Simply open up each end of the top fold of the sheet with a seem ripper and you will find an instant loop through which to put the curtain rod, or for a more finished look, follow a tutorial.    

5. Hang some string lights


 (source: gardenista)

 String lights give a whimsical, textural touch to a room. Personally I like the dramatic “outdoor” ones (like above) rather than “twinkle” lights. But a general tip would be to pay attention to the lighting in your rooms since indirect or low lighting keeps things cozier.

6. Take off a cabinet door or two


(source: bhg)

Evaluate your kitchen organization, and if you can arrange things to afford having open cabinets go for it! Just fill the screw holes with putty and paint/stain to match the cabinets.

7. Display Jewelry. Make it art instead of stashing it away. 


8. Download inexpensive art


(sources: 12)

Get from places like Etsy, and then put in a re-purposed frame from Goodwill/Salvation Army. Seriously, get yourself to that jammed, unorganized picture bin! I just bought a frame almost identical to the one pictured above for $1.99 this afternoon.

9. Make a focal wall


 (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

10.  Add plants


Not only do plants add beauty, but they can detox the air of your living spaces to keeping it clean. Beyond that there are studies which show having house plants can actually relieve stress similar to that acquired from being outside in nature! Think all houseplants are the same? Start with this list of 17 incredible house plants or 10 best plants to purify the air. Or perhaps add a small herb garden to your kitchen windowsill.

11. Spray paint is your BBF


In my mind spray paint it like Midas’ touch. It takes just about anything (out-of-date, cheap, old, fill-in-the-blank) into something unique, modern, and gorgeous! Mentally think through things you would like to replace in your home: that ugly blotchy faucet can turn a modern oil rubbed bronze beauty, the scraped up vent cover can transform into fresh white to match the wall, the ugly lamp can renewed into a joyful turquoise. Cheap plastic can turn to metal. Branches or ugly green string lights can turn into chic gold room accents. Make your own mercury glass. Your imagination is the limit!

And finally, 12. Freebie Printable Art


(source: geometric heart . ferris wheel . ship . twinkle . Eiffel tower . quote . New York . palms)

Let’s end the list here, shall we? Otherwise I’m worried I’ll never stop! No one really needs a reminder that there is free printable art on every corner of the internet…but you’re getting one anyway 😉 And I tried to gather a few I would actually hang for you.

May the inspiration be strong with you! What is one of your favorite decorating tricks? Do share!


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