10 Home Decor Tips to Update a Room on a Budget… without painting a wall!

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These easy home decor tips will help you update your room on a budget… no painting of a wall required!

I’ve launched a podcast! The idea of having a podcast has been rolling around in my brain for quite some time, and I’ve finally decided to go for it. The podcast is called “Dear DIY Mommy“, and I’ll be answering questions about DIY & home decor from YOU, my fantastic readers!

This week’s question:

Other than changing the wall colour, what is your favourite way to update a room on a modest budget? – @akitriv, Instagram

I love this question because I tend to default to painting walls to create an instant change on a budget. However, I did manage to come up with 10 ways to update your room without any wall painting required!

Watch my YouTube video for visual examples on all of these budget home decor tips:

Listen to my Dear DIY Mommy podcast episode for an audio version of these 10 tips to update a room on a budget:

Subscribe to my Podcast:

Rearranging the Furniture

Simply moving furniture you already have to different spots in your room can make a huge difference in how your space looks and feels. Head to Pinterest for inspiration, and Pin furniture layout ideas in rooms with a similar function and dimension to yours. You can create a whole new look for $0!

Cozy Fall living room decor in mustard yellow, teal and grey

Changing throw pillows

It’s no secret that I love throw pillows, and I think changing them every season (or simply when you’re craving change) can change the personality of a room. Save money by making them (I have tons of pillow tutorials here), or save money by swapping out the covers only. I like the cushion inserts from IKEA for a fluffy looking throw pillow that doesn’t cost much money.

Painting furniture

Spray painting or chalk painting things like chairs and side tables can give your space a facelift. Update dated wooden pieces, or brighten darker pieces by simply painting them a whole new colour! Just make sure that you follow the directions on your paint packaging to prepare your piece properly. You’ll most likely need to clean, sand and prime your piece, however some chalk-style paints don’t require any sanding or priming first.

Learn how to sew drapes with pleater tape with this simple DIY curtain tutorial

Changing drapes

Generally, I recommend using long white drapes for the ultimate in versatility in home decor. However, changing out your curtains or drapes to a bold colour or pattern can really pack a punch in a room! Recently I made these gorgeous floral DIY drapes for our breakfast nook, and they truly changed the look of the space. IKEA drapes are my favourite for budget friendliness (and their long length!), or you can DIY drapes with inexpensive fabric, sheets, tablecloths. Here’s my DIY drape tutorial for these French pleat drapes that look high-end.

Swapping out artwork or adding new artwork

Adding artwork to a bare wall, or swapping out smaller artwork for larger, show-stopping pieces can make a big difference in a room. Check out Etsy for inexpensive downloadable art that you can print at a print shop, or create your own DIY art with paint leftovers on a canvas. You can also create large photo art with engineering prints at Staples or similar print shops. Engineering prints are large black & white prints that you can frame and hang on the wall to make a big statement.

Eclectic living room with teal velvet sofa, brown leather chairs, and black and white walls

Adding trim details

A trim feature like board and batten or DIY shiplap can be inexpensive if you buy MDF and do it yourself. I love the look of crown moulding, shiplap or board and batten accents. Check out how I DIYd the board & batten in our home right here!

Updating lighting

Swapping out light fixtures makes a huge difference in how modern a room looks. Lighting can be expensive, but if you don’t want to splurge on it check out home discount stores like HomeSense/HomeGoods and home improvement stores like Home Depot. I’ve found some gorgeous fixtures at stores like this!

How to make a Dried Flower Wreath

Bring nature in

Add natural elements to your room that you can find for free or for cheap like wildflower arrangements, a vase of interesting branches, a pinecone wreath, greenery for the mantel or in a vase. Natural or natural-look accessories can add an instant rustic charm to your space. I think this look is absolutely timeless. 

Swap out hardware on cupboards and furniture

Changing smaller details like knobs, handles and cabinet pulls can make a huge impact. I like Home Depot, Wayfair and Amazon for budget friendly knobs and handles. Matte brass is having a moment right now, so try swapping out some older hardware for this beautiful sheen!

Modern coastal bedroom makeover with deep blue shiplap wall, vinyl plank flooring, IKEA furniture, and gold accents


Even though I don’t love this as much as decorating, cleaning and decluttering will make your room feel fresh!  It’s always a good idea to leave blank space for the eye to rest. Not every surface has to be covered in accessories. Go through your room and decide if all the pieces are (a) useful or (b) joy-inducing, and then get rid of everything that doesn’t fall into at least one of those two categories.

This week’s challenge:

This week, I challenge you to update one of the rooms in your home using at least one of the above home decor tips. Let me know how it goes and if you think your room looks different! I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy DIYing!


Here's how to update your room on a budget... no wall painting required!

One Comment

  1. Such a great blog, thank you for the tips. Everything was explained very well and clearly. I appreciate it very much.

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