Your home is where you can relax and be comfortable. And if your home isn’t decorated to reflect yourself and your tastes, it can be hard to fully feel at home. Home decor is a great way to add your personality into your home, but it can be expensive.
My ultimate goal is to make my home the place we all want to be (especially since we’re spending so much time there now)! And I’ve learned a few frugal tips for refreshing home decor on a budget.
These tips are more than “paint and buy new curtains” - they’ll help you identify how you want to update your home, what will make the most impact, and clever ways to shop for it so you can refresh your home decor on a budget and still have it look good and like you.
It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison, especially when you see a perfectly decorated home on Pinterest or HGTV. It’s important to remember that you have unique tastes and your family's needs will vary from what you see in the media. Setting the goals for your home decor refresh will keep you grounded to what you actually want.
When considering your goals for refreshing your home decor, ask yourself some open-ended questions.
All of these questions will help you make smart choices when refreshing your home decor and be a touchstone when buying something. You can ask yourself if it supports your goals and the reasons you’re refreshing your home decor.
This is especially helpful if you’re standing in the clearance section of Pier 1 and agonizing over whether you should buy that lamp or not. Does it align with your goals? Great! If not, pass on it.
Also, consider your budget for these improvements. Doing so will help you stay in your lane and not get carried away. A budget will also help you determine what you improve now and what will be on the table for later.
For example: if you know you want a new couch, you can set your budget based on what you have now or you can start a monthly savings plan based on the price of the item you have your heart set on. Either way.
This is my favorite frugal tip - because it really has nothing to do with traditional “sticking to a budget” advice!
It can be easy to get caught up in internet jealousy and think you want something, only to realize after you have it, you didn’t really want it after all. This step will help you avoid those I-think-I-should-want-this purchases, which in turn will save you money because you’re not buying what you don’t actually want.
Write down everything you want and why you want it or how it will benefit you to upgrade it. This is especially helpful to do if it isn’t a “need” and rather more of a “want.” It’s okay to want something!
For example: even if your current coffee cups aren’t defective and “in need” of replacing, you can still write down that you want new coffee cups because having a matching set makes you feel like a responsible adult with their business together.
As you write, you’ll also see if there’s anything you think you should want. If you realize you can’t articulate why you want it or you answer “because so-and-so has it,” cross that off your list!
You’ll see that some things will impact the whole family (like adding more pool toys) and others will only be an upgrade for select members of the household. Review the list as a family and vote on what you’d like to invest in first.
Keep this list saved on your phone. That way, when you’re out shopping, you can buy what you know will make an improvement in your home and what will make you and your family happy to have.
How will you know what you need if you don’t know what you have? A decluttering session helps refresh your home decor in a few ways.
First and foremost, sometimes all your home needs is to be cleaned up. You may think that in order to have the Pinterest-perfect living room of your dreams, you need to repaint, buy new curtains, and find a new rug for the living room. But after a deep decluttering session, you see that your living room is plenty bright and airy, the kids’ toys were just taking up too much space.
Also, you may find things you forgot you had when you declutter. You can display them and it’ll feel like you have something new in your home - because you essentially do!
Finally, clearing out the clutter will help you frugally refresh your home decor because you’ll find things you can swap or sell for something you want.
Clearance sections are great, but they’re only the start for frugal home decor buys. Plus, I always get sucked into that “But it was on clearance!” loop and buy what I don’t need...simply because it was a good price. Consider these other out-of-the-box options for refreshing your home decor on a budget.
Between Facebook Marketplace and Groups, the Nextdoor app, and other digital resale shops, not to mention traditional brick-and-mortar stores, you can easily find cute furniture and home decor accessories that still look good and will make your budget go further.
Not only is pre-loved home decor a budget-friendly option, but it’s also earth-friendly, too. Shopping pre-loved items first before going to a retail store will keep things out of landfills.
Bonus: you can sell what you’ve decluttered and put that money toward your home decor budget. You’ll be able to use your money wisely and get more for your dollars when you buy pre-loved items!
I love a good swap. After all, nothing is more frugal than free! Look for groups to join in your area on Facebook or host your own. When picking up swapped items, carefully inspect their condition. Similarly, when sharing items, make sure the home decor you bring to the swap is clean and free of stains, holes, and defects.
Also, think outside the box when you’re considering items at a swap. How can you repurpose or reclaim items to use elsewhere in your home decor? Just because something is labeled for the kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t use it in your study (and vice versa). Maybe a painting isn’t to your taste, but you can cover it with a base coat and try making your own. This is a great tip to remember when shopping pre-loved items, too!
Sure you can buy new pillow covers, but if you do that a few times a year, the money is going to add up. Learn how to sew your own pillow covers out of repurposed fabric. Or if you love candles, try making your own.
While I don’t want to tell you not to buy something that makes you happy, I do want to make sure you’re making wise choices with your home decor budget. And you may find you enjoy this as a hobby, so not only will you refresh your home decor, you’ll be flexing the part of your brain that’s activated when you try something new.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple rearranging to make you feel like you refreshed your home decor throughout your entire house.
Move things around your home to create new looks for your rooms. Remember that decluttering you did? Here’s a great way to challenge yourself to repurpose some of those items!
At the end of the day, you can refresh your home decor on a budget and it can look great. All it takes is a reminder of why you want what you want in the first place and a little creativity!
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