Tips to Decorate Your Home on a Budget

It’s always a lot of fun to decorate your home, or even change things up in a room or two to give it a new look. But, it all comes with a price tag and things can add up quickly. With that said, I wanted to share with you some tips for how to decorate your home on a budget and change it on the cheap. I’ll share a room in our cozy cabin in the woods and hope to get you excited about the thrill of the bargain hunt and finding buried treasures … perhaps buried in a bin at a thrift store or even buried in someone else’s garage. First up is our office loft. We went with the rustic/cabin theme, but it’s a mix of different pieces that work together. See the photos below and after that the list of smart tips that you can use.

decorate home on a budget using craigslist and consignment shops

Top: Loft Office At-a-Glance
Bottom Left: Barn Wood Armoire – Craig’s List $200 (Originally $895)
Bottom Right: Desk: – Furniture Thrift Store – $140, Chair – Extra Chair from Farm Table

decorate home on a budget by reusing or repurposing items

Top Left: Frame – $0 Gift, Top Right: Southwest Rug Wall Art – $0 Friend Was Getting Rid of It
Bottom Left: Table – $0 from Friend, Bottom Right: Mason Jars – Goodwill $0.25

 Easy Steps to Decorate Your Home on a Budget:

Step 1: Get Inspired – Find inspiration online. Pinterest is great for this. You can check out my Cabin Decor Board on Pinterest if you’d like. This is where I found things that I love and that I thought would look great in the space. You can also use magazines for inspiration. Most Public Libraries now have adjoining used book stores where they sell used books and magazines for cheap. My library offers the magazines for free. You can’t beat that. In this case I came across a magazine I had never heard of called Country Sampler. I was inspired with every turn of the page and dog-eared favorites.

Step 2: Make a List – Now that you’ve got all sorts of great ideas, make a list of wants and needs. Be as specific as possible and refer back to your inspiration boards or magazines for specifics. For example, I needed a desk and wanted various accessories or pictures that worked with the space such as mason jars and barn wood frames.

Step 3: Set a Budget – You can certainly do this earlier on in the process, but I find that I need a better sense of what I might do with a space first. In this case we wanted to spend $500 or less to decorate this room on a budget..

Step 4: Repurpose or Reuse – Next look around your house for items that could be repurposed or reused in a different manner to check off items on your list. A few examples in my office loft:

  • Our two extra farm table/dining chairs serve as our desk chairs. We simply bring them downstairs if we need them to seat more guests.
  • A plastic lined plant basket now serves as my garbage can.
  • A stone toothbrush holder now holds my pens and pencils.

Step 5: Identify Where to Shop – Remember it’s all about finding the items you want and need at the best prices and to stay within budget. I always start with my needs first, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find some of my “wanted” items along the way. Be resourceful. My go-to list:

  • Additional Saving Sites – I  highly recommend using for added savings. They offer rebates, cash back and coupons, for every purchase you make from their online shopping portal of over 1500 different retailers. It’s quick and easy and a great way to save even more. They mail you a check for your cash back savings each quarter. What’s not to love about getting money back! If you shop online you are missing out if you are not using Ebates. Another similar site that is newer on scene is DollarDig . They are the newest cash back incentive site on the web where you can save money when you shop online with! 
  • Friends and Family – We all have stuff that we don’t want, need or use that’s piled up in a garage, stashed in a basement or buried in a cabinet or closet. A lot of times people are happy to give you items that they just want to get rid of. Our friends had a pine sofa table and two end tables that they gave to us for free. They said they didn’t want the hassle of a yard sale and wanted the space back in their garage.
  • Garage Sales or Yard Sales – The best thing is to scout out the big multi-family or community sales, or church sales. Remember to negotiate.
  • – This is a goldmine and where we got our barn wood armoire for about 25% of the cost if purchased new. Check often for key items on your list as the good stuff goes fast.
  • Thrift Stores – Goodwill is one of my favorite stores. What an amazing place to find amazing bargains. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Also check out Salvation Army, Humane Society, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and churches to see if they have thrift stores in your area. Again, go frequently to hunt for the items on your list as items change daily. This is where I got all the accessories in our loft office. Baskets, barn wood frames, mason jars, etc. Baskets were $0.50, mason jars $0.25. You get the point.
  • Consignment Shops – These are a bit more expensive than Thrift Stores because monies are paid out to store owners and the people trying to sell items versus at thrift stores the items are donated. I bought my desk at a Furniture Consignment Shop for $140. It easily would have retailed for 3 times that. And, you can negotiate. I got another $20 bucks knocked off.
  • Overstock and Closeout Stores – Such as or TJ Maxx, etc. Just remember to price shop and check the clearance areas We bought our rug at at a deeply discounted price.

Please share other quick tips for how to decorate your home on a budget and change it on the cheap. Go ahead and get inspired and relish in the thrill of the hunt!

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