7 Cheap Home Decorating Ideas

Use one of these cheap home decorating ideas, and it will make a real, tangible difference to your space.  Use all seven, and your home could change your life.

Cheap Home Decorating Idea #1:
Color is key.

Great colors make great homes. They can uplift your living space, unify it, make it look more spacious, warmer or cooler, more elegant or more relaxed. They can even hide clutter. Take advantage of Color Psychology to give your home a look you love!

Here are some cheap ways to use color:

  • Paint/stain walls, floors, furniture. If it doesn't look right the first time, try a different hue or shade.
  • Slipcover a sofa, chairs, a headboard or a bedspread. Much cheaper than buying new furniture.
  • Add/change textiles: Cushion covers, window blinds, a curtain, or an inexpensive rug to cover ugly flooring.

Even small color changes can shift the mood in a room. It's a simple, inexpensive, high-yield investment.

Color can be challenging; many people are scared of 'getting it wrong'. I know, because I used to be one of them! It was my single most difficult issue when I started Design School. But the good news is, you can learn color. Check out the Color 101 section on this site, and/or visit my little Bookshop here (in partnership with Amazon):

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #2:
Get Your Home To Make You Happy.

post card on brick wall

It can do that!

Make sure that wherever you look in your home, you see something that lifts your spirits and reminds you of what you love about life.

These could be pictures, a wall color that makes you feel good, or even a clean, clear space where there used to be clutter.

Here are some cheap ways to create a happy home:

  • A picture gallery of your loved ones, favorite places, or happy moments. Use thrift shop frames, or just hang the photos from bulldog clips (as in this picture) or pop them on a large magnetic board.
  • Mementoes of a wonderful trip (I tend to bring things home that I can use or wear, so there's a dual function of being useful and making me happy!)
  • Prized possessions - if you have a lovely china set from your Grandmother, why reserve it for special occasions? Use it often, or at least show it off in a glass case so you can enjoy it daily.

half-moon table with large photo of a flight of rooms

Images are important.

Everything we see leaves an imprint on our mind and influences our mood.

Images can also influence our perception of space.

In my tiny kitchen, this picture (of the poet Goethe's house in Weimar) visually extends the space and gives the kitchen a much more generous feel.

Similarly, you could use sweeping landscape photography to 'widen' a small room and give yourself more breathing space.

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #3
Calm Space, Calm Mind.

Use your home as an antidote to the daily overstimulation of work, traffic, and things to do. Create calming, 'Zen' spaces that refresh and invigorate you. (This is very cheap as it involves mostly getting rid of stuff ;-)

Eliminate anything that is a wet blanket for your spirit. Get rid of things that

  • don't work,
  • are fussy to operate,
  • get you down,
  • get in your way, or
  • are just plain ugly.

If you have something you need but don't like, and you don't currently have the funds to replace it, try one of the following cheap home decorating ideas:

  • repair it
  • clean it until it shines
  • paint it
  • hide it (behind a door, screen or curtain), or
  • cover it (ugly table + great piece of fabric = gorgeous table).

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #4
Choose Your Luxuries.

mother-of-pearl spoons

Invest only in things that will make a big difference in your daily life.

This could be as small as a set of beautiful spoons (the ones in the photo are mother-of-pearl, and they always put a smile on my face).

Or it could be as big as a state-of-the-art mattress (after all, we spend one third of our lifetime sleeping!)

Make it something you use every day, not just on special occasions.

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #5
Big-Ticket Items In Neutrals.

Sometimes it's cheaper to invest in a quality item that will last a long time.

In that case, pick a timeless style and a neutral color. What's cutting edge right now will be so last year next year! (And you can always update your beautiful sofa with a new throw or a couple of cushions.)

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #6
Be Yourself!

ivory carving of a stag

This is super important.

Shelter mags, shop windows and catalogs scream at us to spend our hard-earned cash on the latest 'must-haves'.

The promise is that we'll feel better, stand out from the crowd, or head off the competition.

But is it a competition you want to be part of?

When you are true to yourself, there is no competition.

It can be incredibly tempting to buy something just because it's fashionable right now, and "everyone" has it (or wants it). But if it's not really "you", if it's just a fad, if you don't truly love it, it may not be worth your money.

You are the original. Nobody else can be like you. Why copy?

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas, #7
Start Somewhere.

Try one thing. You decide which.

If you're not sure, start by de-cluttering your home. It's incredibly rewarding. When you take a bagful of discarded suits or books to a charity shop, you create a new stretch of 'blank canvas' for your life. You'll feel relieved and wonderful. Good things will come of it.

Even faster: start with a spring clean. A clean, clear, tidy home will always brighten your mood and give you a sense of achievement and control. Once you're finished, you will feel a big, delightful shift in the energy.

Your home shows what you are about - your values, your hopes and dreams, the things that make your life beautiful and worthwhile. You're worth having a home that 'loves you back'!

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas:
Bonus Tips

Build A Small Garden In Your Cupboard. No kidding. Have a look at this superbly informative and inspiring website about hydroponic gardening. Particularly cool if you're low on outdoor space. Enjoy!

Use Small Spaces Smartly. With appropriate furniture, you can get even the last corner in your home to work. Have a look at this informative page about furniture for small spaces to see what I mean.

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