For me, the benefits of creating a comfortable space that reflects my personality are financial, emotional, and mental. If I enjoy being in my space then I’m more likely to spend time there (and less likely to feel the need to spend money elsewhere), and I can start and end each day feeling recharged and relaxed.
But home décor is not something that I feel particularly pumped about spending money on. So instead of recreating a Pottery Barn catalogue (and going broke in the process), I’ve followed these tips and tricks.
Go to local art shows
I’m lucky enough to come from an incredibly artistic family, so my home is filled with lots of original artwork. But if I didn’t have that family perk, local art shows (especially those put on by students) would be my go-to.
There’s even a festival in Colorado for this very purpose – the Affordable Arts Festival at Arapahoe Community College.
You can also go the less traditional route and decorate your walls with postcards or old photographs (ThreeThriftyGuys explains where to get photographs here.)
Shop thrift stores and garage sales
I routinely go to the Goodwill and, weather permitting, garage sales in my area, but I’m always specific about what I’m looking for.
Killer deals on glassware and dishes are easy to find second-hand and usually have minimal wear and tear. Fresh out of college and with just a few dollars to spend, I found a colorful set of ceramic dishes for less than $10 – including big plates, small plates, and bowls.
I have also managed to find great decorative items – an awesomely unique glass bourbon decanter for $5, a huge red vase for under $5 and plain picture frames for $.50.
Perform a little DIY
This brings us to the next point – a lot of home items you’d find in second-hand stores or garage sales might not look like your style, but with a little paint or DIY love, they could be more suited to your personality than anything you’d find in a store.
After picking up a few small glass bottles (all under $1) at a Goodwill store, I grabbed some paint, filled them up, swirled it around, let the paint dry, and voila! I had a bright, colorful display perfect for my bathroom counter.
Bring out the old and make it new again
Sometimes family members are storing old items that they think are outdated, but would be considered ultra-cool by today’s standards.
When I went through my grandma’s things before she donated them, I found a beautiful set of champagne flutes, a set of tin stars to hang on the wall, a collection of old postcards, and patio furniture that was worn but still perfectly usable.
It’s also nice to have a bit of nostalgia around that brings back good memories – like my grandmother’s things.
Just because your space seems outdated or visually unappealing doesn’t mean you need to make a bunch of huge purchases. Instead, find small ways to make a big difference – think couch pillows, window coverings, plants, rugs, etc.
My living room felt incredibly bare for a long time and I couldn’t pinpoint why. Then I bought a large area rug for under $50 and the space immediately felt unified and full. It managed to tie together my furniture and my wall coverings into one cohesive space.
If color is what you need, opt for small pops – picture frames, vases, a throw for the couch. (Home Goods is awesome for this.)
Need a little bit more inspiration to transform your space for less? It almost goes without saying that Pinterest is awesome for that.
How do you save money on home décor?