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Decorating on a Budget

Decorating on a budget is easy – when you’ve got the pros on your side.

To help you refresh your space without breaking the bank, we asked three Living Spaces designers for their top budget decorating tips + essentials. Here’s what they had to say!

Meet the Designers

decorating on a budget

Gabrielle Bocanegra

Top 'budget decor' tip: DIY objects for home accessories.
Can't-live-without decor essential: Accent pillows
budget designer tips

Danny Hsu

Top 'budget decor' tip: For a dramatic, refreshing change, paint an accent wall.
Can't-live-without decor essential: Living plants
budget decor tips

Sugata Sanyal

Top 'budget decor' tip: A rug pulls everything together, adding layer and comfort/luxury to a room.
Can't-live-without decor essential: Wall art

12 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

1. Start with the floor.

By: Danny Hsu 

A strong canvas such as an area rug will keep your furniture pieces feeling defined and pulled together. Select a neutral area rug with hints of color to add intrigue and flair. It’s an easy and affordable way to make a statement.

2. Get chic storage.

By: Gabrielle Bocanegra

A good piece of storage furniture will save you money in the long run. To keep from splurging on multiple pieces, go with storage furniture. Storage beds, storage ottomans, and lift-top coffee tables make it easy to stack magazines and books, and stash your throw blankets. Such designs combine several functions in one. They work double the duty and double-purpose to keep you tidy, organized, and on-budget.

3. Mix and match.

By: Sugata Sanyal

When it comes to refreshing your space with chic, defined style, mixing and matching designs is one of the best-kept secrets around. It can also help to save you money. If you need to furnish an entire living room and have your heart set on a particular sectional on the higher end of your budget, mix-and-match it with more affordable pieces from different collections to help bring down your overall spending limit..
durable portable

4. Look for durability and portability.

By: Gabrielle Bocanegra

In home furniture and decor, affordability is one thing, but value is entirely different. Budget-friendly designs that give a unique artful and structural integrity built to last will save you more money down the road than 'cheap' pieces lacking quality construction. Along the same lines, take note that how you arrange your furniture now may not be how you want it to look in the future, so look for pieces that are portable, transitional, and can be easily moved and matched in your space – while maintaining high durability and longevity. 

5. Bring in plants.

By: Danny Hsu

Some small succulents and houseplants can be bought for under $10 – yet they hold tremendous decorating power. Use plants like rosemary and lavenders to add instant refreshment to any room. (Added bonus: their natural ability to produce carbon dioxide will help to literally clean the air!)

6. Get creative with the walls.

By: Sugata Sanyal

Collecting giant paintings can get real expensive, real quick, so get creative with your walls’ blank spaces. Wall hangings, sconces and even mini galleries of small framed prints will brighten up the space for half the price. Choose a painting or photograph that makes you happy – for they are really an expression of you and what you like!

7. Update the pillows.

By: Gabrielle Bocanegra

Swapping out throw pillows can change an entire room's look and vibe. Go for a geometric print like chevron for a refreshing modern touch, or an intricate floral pattern for an 'Old World' feel. Solid-colored pillows will bring out the best on both geometric and patterned ones, allowing accents to blend the whole atmosphere.

8. Swap out the lighting.

By: Sugata Sanyal

There's a decorating adage that says every room should have at least three sources of light. For the lighting you do have, keep it updated; good lighting can redirect the focal points in your room and make your room look warmer and more inviting.

9. Update the side tables.

By: Danny Hsu

Accent tables, side tables and nightstands are affordable ways to refresh your decor. They’re also designed to complement big furniture pieces like sofas – so updating them is also an easy way to make your bigger furniture pieces seem new and refreshed – without actually spending on the bigger furniture pieces themselves. You’ve heard of accent chairs; side tables are no different! Consider bringing in an accent side table and introduce another finish material to the space to give it a bit of intrigue and character.
budget decorating

10. Paint.

By: Sugata Sanyal

Paint an accent wall in your bedroom or den in your favorite color for a dramatic, refreshing change that won’t break your budget.

11. Rearrange the furniture.

By: Danny Hsu

Sometimes, making your space feel new again is all about perspective. Push your sofa against a different wall, rotate your chairs or ‘nest’ together your side tables. It’s a zero-cost solution that will make you see your room in a whole new light.
Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to add depth and dimension in your space by incorporating shelving behind sofa!

12. Wallpaper a nook.

By: Gabrielle Bocanegra

Make a small corner or cabinet interior pop by wallpapering it! Incorporate a small slice of your favorite pattern to turn an average surface into a beautiful statement. Select warm and bright colors for boldness and to enclose a fun and inviting feel. Earth and dark tones will create a dramatic look while remaining classy.
Watch: Take Your Space from Functional to Fun

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.