How to Decorate a Home You Love on a Budget

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Ever since we built our home, I’ve fallen more and more in love with home decor and styling. I find it to be such a great way to practice creativity and to make our house feel unique and comfortable to live in. Like most people however, our family is on a tight budget and we don’t have a lot of extra cash for “extra” things like new furniture or a ton of new decor items each season. As we’ve worked on our home, I’ve found it an exciting challenge to find fun ways to decorate our space spending as little money as possible. We want to use the money we have with our INTERAC Debit card rather than falling into steep credit card debt. Here are some tricks I’ve used over the past couple of years to decorate our home on a budget. If you have a small decor budget too, I hope you find these helpful!

Fall in Love with Paint and Fabric

A beautiful vintage industrial kitchen featuring black and white Ikea cabinets, turquoise accents and a Carrara marble stone panel backsplash.

Paint and fabric are my two secret weapons for decorating my house on a small budget. It is incredible what a change of wall colour can do to your space, and a can of paint is relatively inexpensive. As for fabric, you can find it from as little as $5 a meter, and it’s easy to sew throw pillow covers or simple drapes to make your room look completely different. You can also paint old furniture for a quick and easy update. They’ll look like they’re brand new!

Mix Investment Pieces with Inexpensive Pieces

White, Gray, Mint & Coral Vintage Modern Sitting Room

Don’t feel like you have to spend the big bucks on everything in your home. You can save money for investment pieces like a leather sofa that will be well used and last over time or a high quality rug that won’t show wear as easily. Mix these pieces with more budget-friendly accessories from big box stores so that you have a stylish look that doesn’t break the bank. In our sitting room, we splurged on the gorgeous settee and everything else is handmade or second-hand.

Upcycle Hand-Me-Downs and Garage Sale Finds

Shabby Chic Farmhouse Table with DIY Chalk Paint

Most of the furniture in our home is used furniture. I love it because it has a story, most of it is very good quality, and it was free or very inexpensive. One of my favourite pieces is our kitchen table and chairs that my mom gifted me – they were my parents’ set when I was growing up and I painted the table to match our home. It’s not too hard to find fantastic deals on furniture on buy/sell websites or groups, at the thrift store, at garage sales, or from friends and family. A little bit of repair and a paint job can go a long way! Plus, you’ll have incredibly unique furniture gracing your home.

Learn Some Finishing DIY Tricks

How to install an easy DIY beadboard hook wall in a bathroom. It's pretty and practical!

If you can find someone to teach you how to use a saw and a nail gun, you’ll be able to do so many wonderful things to your home! People will spend a lot of money on labour when it comes to home finishing, so it helps to be able to do some of those things yourself. A DIY hook wall isn’t that hard to install if you have basic finishing skills, and at the very least it’s really handy to know how to hang a picture frame or a shelf on your own.

Take Your Time

DIY aqua & red vintage inspired small laundry room design idea with a giant pegboard

Decorating a home you love doesn’t have to happen overnight. Don’t feel like you have to buy all of your furniture and accessories right away – you can add to your collection over time. I actually find this to be a more meaningful way of decorating. This way, every piece of furniture and every decor item you purchase has been carefully thought out. Wait for that really, really perfect piece that calls your name! The same goes for renovations. Do your renos one room at a time; there’s no need to rush. This spreads out your spending over time so that you don’t have to dole out large amounts at once. We’ve definitely done this with our own home – the most important and well used rooms were finished first, and we’re still working on the extra ones!

Speaking of living on a budget, I’m participating in the Interac 21 Day Credit-Free Challenge! Want to join me? Life is better when you use your own money. And, spending money that isn’t yours by using credit for everyday purchases is the number one bad spending habit. Research shows that it only takes 21 days to change a habit. So, participants will be setting aside our credit cards for 21 days! Come check it out and read some wonderful budget-friendly tips here.

I know this will be a difficult challenge, but I’m looking forward to working on developing smarter spending habits. I know that in the long run, using the money we have rather instead of credit is a wise choice for our little family!

Disclosure: This post was part of a sponsored collaboration between Interac Association and SheKnows 

Interac is a registered trade-mark of Interac Inc. Used under license.


  1. We’re ready to cut up our credit cards, too! Living debt-free is more and more appealing.

    I also think your decorating philosophy is spot-on. I recently scored an excellent solid wood buffet for FREE on Freecycle, and I’m giving it a makeover. It’s already more meaningful to me than if I just went out and bought something, and I’ve only done one coat of primer! (Going to chalk paint and dark wax it, BTW, using your tutorials!)

  2. I really appreciate you pointing out that decorating your home doesn’t have to happen overnight. We’ve been in our home for about 8 months now, and I’m so stressed about the fact that I haven’t put up all the decor I want to use. I love the idea of using fabric as an inexpensive way to change up a look, though. I will have to head to the fabric store and see what I find.

  3. I think it’s great that you mention paint and fabric as great ways for decorating a home. I agree with you on that point! I don’t have a lot of money to buy furniture or different decor items, but I can paint. I think I’ll take your advice and paint my bar stools. My wife will love it!

  4. I like your tip to use paint and fabric to spruce up your home. Like you said, you can easily add new life to old furniture by giving it a new coat of paint or adding a cute seat cushion. Plus, learning to paint can allow you to choose furniture based on style and then change its color to fit the rest of the room. Thanks for all the tips.

  5. I love the teal paint on that stool, I have been painting things for a while now also. I think that is a great idea to use different fabrics as well. I don’t think you need to break the bank to have great decorations.

  6. Wow, your home is gorgeous and has so much character! Updating your decor and giving your walls a new paint job really makes all the difference in every room’s appearance. This is awesome! You did a great job! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I agree that you should tone down your paint. I think that will make the home appear more inviting. I think when walls are too bright, people feel uncomfortable.

  8. Your decision to put the cost of the design on debit, instead of credit, was a good move toward the spending improvements you described. Also, your tips on the importance of learning to like DIY painting and fabric manipulation for budget-friendly home design were very informative.

  9. I really appreciate and keep writing.This is a great inspiring post. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. I am looking to reading your next post.

  10. Wow! such an amazing post. I like your ideas and tips. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post. And teach us how to decorate our house in low budget. I just want to give a thumbs up to your amazing work!

  11. Nice share. Thanks for sharing these budget-friendly decorating tips. I think by doing some personal works on your home inside the house will help you save so much money. Anyway, I like your decorating ideas. your tips on the importance of learning to like DIY painting and fabric manipulation for the budget-friendly home design is very helpful.

  12. Great job Christina! Your home so beautiful and gorgeous. Adding DIY things and do “repainting” are a good way to save our budget, Your article and tips are so helpful

  13. Great post !! DIY home decor is always the best. I think the secret to having the perfect home decor is being creative and being open to the possibilities. 🙂

  14. Awesome post! Definitely some great tips and advice on home decorating. I Love the idea of mixing an investment piece with other less expensive or DIY/recycled pieces. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Contractors are also great help in narrowing the range of materials to be used and in deciding on minute details like whether you should have suspended ceiling panels for the project. Doing this will surely help you save a great deal of money.

  16. hi

    thanks for post about Decorate a Home You Love on a Budget recently i have bought a house but i have don’t have enough money to Decorate it. now i will able to do that thanks again


  17. I think the part you mentioned about keep a budget, controlling spending, and avoiding using credit is so important.

    The temptation to use credit is SO strong and what feels like the blink of an eye, you can have amassed a lot of debt that takes months – if not years – to get rid of!

  18. That is a very easiest and innovative decorative idea for the home. Everyone wants to keep their home very smart and clean and increasing their home beautification. So we need to decorate our home perfectly. Thanks for sharing this great informative idea.

  19. It is not an advice to you, I am eager to know that a fixed budget is not full fill the house decorative. If you are accomplished to diy work it can reduce the cost.

  20. The save money advice is an essential subject. You’ve shared the post just awesome. Your article is very helpful. I’ve benefitted from your blog. I follow your rule.
    Thanks for sharing the informative post!

  21. To play, players must sit on one side of the room and slide the bracelets to the other side of the room, trying to get them to land on the edges of the box. If they land outside of the box or inside of the box, they don’t count.

  22. Hello Christina, Love your ideas that you share about the budget-friendly decorations. With these helpful tips now I can sure, I can make my home more beautiful without spending more effort and it will look awesome. I love the point that you made about “Learn Some Finishing DIY Tricks” , Keep up the awesome work.

  23. I am looking for ideas for budget-friendly house decorating. Your article and colorful images idea really help me.
    thank you so much sharing a great article.

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