When you scroll through your Instagram feed, you probably see lots of beautiful rooms and décor ideas. The only problem is, you’re on a budget, and you can’t quite afford the trendy, artsy pieces you love.
If that’s the case, we’ve got news for you. You can stop comparing your shabby home and put your envy aside!
There are 11 frugal ways to decorate your home to look stylish. And who knows, maybe your Instagram following will grow, too.
1. Your Home Should Reflect You
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we all make when it comes to dreaming up the perfect home is that we forget who we are. We look at magazine spreads and celebrity homes and think, “I want that!” But do we really? Will it work for you and who you really are, deep down?
There are trends that seem to monopolize the décor world, and even though they might look very attractive, it’s important to ask yourself, “Does that reflect me and my style?”
2. Identify Your Current Lifestyle
You can take time to step back and give home décor an objective look. This can keep you from getting swept up in the trend. And now, it’s time to step back even further and identify your current lifestyle. An all-white bedroom looks nice, but pets or children could make that impractical.
So, take some time to look at how you live and how certain décor ideas will align with your life, or how some – no matter how cute and stylish – will only get in the way of what’s important to you.
3. Clear the Slate
So, you’ve stopped comparing your home to the unrealistic homes in a magazine and on social media. You’ve also taken some time to identify your current lifestyle and what your ideal yet realistic home would be. Now, it’s time to clear the slate and clear out everything and anything that doesn’t fit within your new home vision.
Books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Mari Kondo, can really help you embrace the old adage, “Out with the old, and in with the new!”
Clearing the slate will probably mean getting rid of unloved and unused items. And this can be a great way to fund your new decorating endeavors, too. Did you know that you might have close to $1,500 worth of unused items in your home?
Chances are, if you use an online selling site or have a garage sale, you’ll not only clear the slate, but you’ll make some money while you’re at it.
4. Create and Gather Ideas
What would you like your home to look like? Is there a color scheme you’re into? Is there a classic piece of furniture that you’re willing to invest in? Are there themes that you go gaga for?
Start coming up with your ideal home by collecting images. They can be pictures of real decorative or furniture pieces. They can be random items that speak to you. It can be a painting of flowers. Sometimes all you need is one piece to inspire and influence an entire room.
5. Don’t Buy Cheap Just to Be Trendy
Trends are oh so tantalizing, but try not to jump on the bandwagon. You might end up saving money by purchasing a cheap, trendy item, but next year, it will look even cheaper and your home will look even less stylish.
Instead, be willing to invest in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Or, at least, they’ll stand for more than a couple of years!
6. Paint a Difference
Paint is an affordable décor method that can make a world of a difference. You can repaint your entire home white for a minimal, open vibe. You can make a statement by painting one wall a stand-out color. You can highlight and trim, or you can paint stenciled images throughout your bedrooms and bathrooms.
If you have key furniture pieces that you can’t part with but they’re looking a little shabby, a new coat of paint can give them an instant facelift. Look around at your wardrobes, dressers, nightstands, cupboards, and shelves. Maybe all you need to do is repaint them to uplift your living space.
7. Visit Garage Sales and Antique Stores
Quality pieces don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re open to buying used and pre-loved pieces, visit garage sales, online vendors and antique stores. If luck and timing are on your side, and you’ve done your research, you can find gorgeous pieces that are one-of-a-kind and belong in your home.
8. Follow Sales and Bookmark Favorite Items
You might love a high-quality piece, but not be able to afford it right now. Keep checking for sales, or sign up for special offers for email subscribers. We’re all used to instant gratification, but being patient can really pay off. Plus, waiting can help you decide if you really want that piece.
9. Repurpose Your Items
When you cleared the slate, there may have been things you absolutely had to get rid of, but there are probably items that still have plenty of life left in them.
But sometimes, they’re not thriving where they are. If that’s the case, it’s time to put your creative cap on and think up new ways to use old pieces.
If you’re stuck, Design Sponge has a slew of DIY tutorials and ideas. A rickety chair can double as a bedside table. A dresser can hold be your new kitchen pantry. You can even hang towels and kitchen utensils off the side.
10. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Add a touch of Versailles to your tiny bedroom or living room by adding a floor length mirror. It will add space, light and effortless glamour to your home.
11. Print Your Own Prints
Minted and Society6 have an endless selection of prints to choose from for your gallery wall, but depending on your budget, they might not be the most frugal way to go. Instead, head over to Etsy and purchase digital downloads to print. By printing graphics yourself, you can save a lot of money.
You can decorate your home stylishly without having to remortgage it. Just be clear on what you love and want, and then be patient. Everything will come together, one piece at a time, and you’ll love where you live.