By Deborah Devenney
Moving can be an expensive and trying time for you or your family. And while you need to focus on all the details involved in a big move, who has time to think about creative ways to save money?
And yet, moving is also a great opportunity to use one of my favorite fun ways to save money: decorating on a budget! I love turning an empty space into something totally mine, and you get so much more creative when you are thinking of ways to save more money. Make your house a home with these tips to help you decorate, or redecorate, your space on a budget.
Use what you have
- Take inventory of what you already have to decorate your space - including things you may not consider decorations (Christmas lights, Mason Jars, old postcards, etc.).
- Look through the attic for vintage items you forgot you had.
- Take out some of those souvenirs and books you have but are never able to use or display - now is your chance!
- Kid’s artwork can be a great wall decoration, and it’s a great way to show off the family talent!
- I even ripped a page out of an Anthropologie catalog to use as wall art - anything goes!
- What are some of your favorite clothing or home decor brands? Browse their websites and catalogs for ideas.
- Don’t forget that form follows function: what does your space need to do? Then you can decide what it will look like.
- Bookmark or pin your inspirations to step back later and get an overall sense of your style - do you like beach-themed style? modern? bright colors? muted colors? minimalism?
- If you are sharing a space and have very different styles, come together by calming down each of your personal styles and meet in the middle. My sister and I have very different styles, but we each agreed on how many posters we could hang up to create a simpler, understated tone.
Build your collection
- Group items you’ve gathered into themes or color schemes.
- Don’t be worried if something doesn’t quite fit as well, you may still be able to use it! Sometimes if you surround an odd object with stronger-themed objects, it can fit in just fine.
- Once you have a theme or color scheme, you can head to the thrift shop and look for one or two items that will help round-out your collection.
- Don’t forget the guide to thrift shopping! You don’t want to come home with chipped glassware and cheap knock-offs.
- Check out blogs and other sites for some great DIY decor ideas. You can make something totally new or give something old a new look!
- Color is your best friend - pick a wall color to repaint the whole room, or even just one accent wall. Even if this is all you do, it will make a huge difference!
- For our huge bedroom, we chose two colors to help break up the space. The end walls are one color and the longer side walls are another color.
- For smaller rooms, consider a light color to open up the space.
- If you can’t paint the walls - you can still add color! Try hanging fabric on the the walls or making an arrangement of photos in a single color or scheme.
- For my shared bedroom, we realized that we each had a lot of item in two colors: I had lots of orange and she had lots of red. We carried paint chips with us of our signature colors when we went to the hardware store. We chose muted colors that complemented each of these colors so that neither of us would look like our stuff didn’t belong.
Creating an arrangement
- Remember the rule of threes - group items in groups of threes as it is very pleasing to the eye.
- Remember to decorate at several different heights - you have the floor to the ceiling, so use it all!
- Look at the room from different angles, keeping in mind what people will see when they first enter the room.
- Group items that you wouldn’t expect to go together for a fun surprise - I have a doll from Mexico next to a miniature of the Taj Mahal. The doll is colorful and the statue is a simple color, so they balance each other out and look well together.
- Display a collection in a creative way to utilize space efficiently. You can display your colorful collection of scarves on hooks in the living room to add color to a new room and free up space in your closet. Consider arranging books by height or color to make a plain bookshelf a work of art.
- Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colors. If you are not as creative, look at the catalogs you gathered and try to imitate what the designers put together.
- Make sure that you use proper lighting to make all your hard work worth it!
Did you do something creative to help you make your house a home? What are some more fun ways to save money when decorating?