Decorating on a Budget

Fixing Up Your Home Without Going Broke

When you move into a new home, as many military families frequently do, it’s important to make your living space a pleasant environment where you can feel at ease – whether you’re enjoying some family time or recuperating after a deployment.

But decorating can be expensive and time consuming even for the most seasoned interior designers. So here are a few tips and tricks you can use to create a space you’ll love to come home to, without blowing your budget.

Buy Used

If you want to buy an item that’s pricey, first check to see if you can find something similar from a second-hand vendor. Thrift stores, antique shops, garage sales, Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, and new apps like Let Go are good resources. Rugs, lighting, pictures, throw pillows, mirrors, and even furniture can usually be found at a fraction of the price compared to buying new.

Picture frames in particular are much cheaper purchased used, especially if you want larger frames. Visit thrift stores and look for art with frames that can be removed and repurposed. Bring a tape measurer to ensure you have the proper size. You can also use mat board or paper to make up the difference if the frame is too large. If you don’t like a wooden frame’s finish, you can easily add a coat of paint.

Do It Yourself

For those who like to get crafty, there is endless inspiration available on sites like Pinterest and Instagram for DIY home décor. If you’ve ever wanted to make a plant wall or a faux headboard, get your closet in order with clever shelving, or simply see some impressive before-and-after photos, it’s smart to peruse these apps for ideas.

With so much content already out there, exploring different design themes and color palettes that match your home is a breeze. You could even start a new board on Pinterest for each room and tackle them one at a time to stay on budget. Once you’re inspired, look for sales at craft stores in your area and see what you can find.

Update Old Items

Rather than replacing an outdated piece of furniture, consider updating it with a budget-friendly coat of paint. For larger items like couches and chairs with the frame in good shape, some simple DIY reupholstering could give it a new, modern look. Similarly, you can replace old cabinet hardware or add some funky wallpaper as a backsplash on your shelves for a fresh look without spending a fortune.

Mix It Up

Rearranging the furniture and décor you already own can often improve a room’s look and feel. Sometimes that makes more sense than buying new things and adding them into the mix. And, best of all, it’s free! Check out for tips on making the most of your floorplan.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your space but your budget is limited, there’s a lot you can do without breaking the bank. With a little inspiration and some smart shopping, you can create a unique and affordable interior that you and your family will love.


About the author: Alex Williamson

Alex Williamson is a writer and editor, the sister of a military mom and the daughter and granddaughter of veterans. She studied creative writing in Kansas City, and is currently living in New York.



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