8 Thrifty & Frugal Decorating Ideas

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I am a firm believer that it’s possible to create a beautiful home using frugal decorating ideas and tips. You don’t have to spend a million dollars on furniture and home decor to achieve swoon-worthy space. By simply implementing cost-effective decorating strategies, you can create your dream home.

I love Home Goods just as much as the next person, but you can drastically reduce your decorating costs by not buying new all the time. I get it: Home Goods always has the best statement pieces, most beautiful furniture pieces, and the prettiest décor items, and they’re not overly expensive. But, buying new decor does add up, even if you buy at the best-priced stores. To reduce your decorating costs even more by not buying new, you’ll have to do a bit more work. DIY projects, for example, are are a great way to achieve a certain look when you don’t have the budget to buy new.


A great example of me implementing this strategy is when I created Fixer Upper inspired side tables. Joanna Gaines’ furniture line, Magnolia Home, offers a beautiful primitive bobbin side for right under $200. I created a similar version for just $27.

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There are, of course, times when you can’t DIY something and have to buy new. I’m all for buying new when other methods are exhausted and it’s cost-effective. When I have to buy new, I like to implement certain strategies so that I get the best deal possible. (Check out #5 below.)

The below list encompasses frugal decorating ideas for both the buy-new times and the DIY times.

 

HERE ARE 8 THRIFTY & FRUGAL DECORATING IDEAS: 

1.MAKE PAINT YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND.

You can paint nearly anything. Yes, even fabric. Paint is cheap, and it’s a quick fix. You can get a lot of bang for your buck by painting; you just have to make sure you choose the right paint color. Sometimes you can get lucky and find discounted paint in the ‘Oops’ section at Home Depot.

Fortunately, if the paint color doesn’t look as wonderful as you expected, you can always re-paint with a new color.  I have been known to re-paint the same item several times when I’m itching for a new look. It’s such an inexpensive way to get the look you want.

Before trashing an item that you don’t like, think, ‘Can I paint this to make it into something I do like?’ If you answered yes, then you can implement this easy frugal decorating idea.

Here are a couple of my favorite paint projects:

This DIY hand-painted address sign that cost me just $5.

A Brick Home: DIY Address Sign | DIY Address Plaque | home address signs | home address sign diy | address sign ideas

This chalk-painted side table that cost me just $27 in total.

This tutorial is so easy and helpful! I can't wait to try it on my end tables.

Below, you can see the before and after:A Brick Home: chalk paint tutorial

 

2.ROOT THROUGH YOUR FAMILY’S UNUSED THINGS. 

I have to admit this: my mom dubbed me the family ‘rotto-rooter.’ That’s what she calls me because I am constantly searching through her boxes of stuff. I have been ‘rotto-rotting’ since I was little, and let me tell you, it has paid off over the years. I have found some awesome items that I repurposed in my house, like my mom’s old plant hangers. You can see how I repurposed them into candle hangers here.

Next time you’re at a family member’s house, try implementing this frugal decorating idea and see if they’ll let you root through any of their unused items. If your family or friends are willing to let you have any unused items, take them up on that offer. It’s way cheaper to get something for free and then up cycle it than pay for it new. 

 

3.REUSE BEFORE BUYING NEW. 

I bet you have lots of items sitting around the house that aren’t serving a good purpose.  A great frugal decorating idea is to try reusing those items in a different room. If an item doesn’t have the look that suites the room or your style, try simply repainting it, staining it, or having it function as something else.

You can also check out thrift stores or yard sales for pieces that need a little TLC. I especially love finding old, cheap pieces of furniture and then up cycling them. Furniture can be so expensive, so thrifting for a piece of furniture is a great way to save some serious cash. If you’re specifically looking for a piece of furniture for cheap, use this method along with the next method.

The below pitchers are a great example of how I reused before buying new. I had thrifted these years ago and then spray painted them to match my fireplace decor.

Living Room | A Brick Home


I was actually able to decorate my entire fireplace and mantel using things I already owned. I didn’t spend a dime!

4.FIND INSPIRATION, THEN DIY. 

This is one of my favorite frugal decorating ideas. In fact, I am notorious for doing this. If you’re looking for something particular for your home, first search online for design inspiration. I personally love browsing for goods online at Pottery Barn, Joss & Main, and Wayfair, just to get inspired to re-create a particular look.

I also love creating design boards to capture inspiration when I’m designing a space.

Here are a couple of my favorite design boards that I created:

This Fixer Upper inspired office decor board. 

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This living room design board.

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There are many times when you can find a $500 piece of furniture online and then make something similar for less than half of the store cost.

You can always get the look for less if you’re willing to do a little DIY. Take the below DIY project, for instance. Similar magnolia wreaths, like this one, cost over $50. I embraced that look and created my own DIY version.

My magnolia leaf wreath cost me less than $7. That’s a huge cost savings!

Here’s another great example. Similar wood trays like this one cost nearly $50 on sale. My DIY serving tray cost me less than $18, and I used expensive hardware. You could easily make a similar tray for way less!

DIY Industrial Serving Tray that Anyone can Make



5.BARGAIN SHOP. 

Thrift stores and garage sales are always a hit or miss. That’s why you have to be willing to sometimes purchase something that you weren’t looking for. If there’s no way you can escape shopping new, head to the back of the store, that is, wherever the clearance section is, first. Home Goods and Target both have clearance sections that are worth perusing.

That being said, don’t buy something just because it’s in the clearance section. Only buy something at a discounted price if it’s something you love and are going to use. This is one of those frugal decorating ideas that you need self-control for. 😉

 

6.BE WILLING TO BUY WHAT YOU WEREN’T SEEKING. 

You can’t always force décor. Sometimes it just happens, if that makes sense. If you’re at a thrift store and are specifically shopping for a coffee table but find a pair of awesome end tables for your master bedroom, get them! You may not have been planning to tackle that end-table project for awhile but that deal may not come around again. And when you find something you absolutely love, don’t pass it up – especially if it’s a good price.

 

7.REPURPOSE UNUSED ITEMS. 

You’re going to have to think outside the box on this frugal decorating idea. Browse your cabinets for items you already have. Can you use that cake stand that’s hidden away and repurpose it as makeshift bookstand on your fireplace mantel?

There are so many unique ways to repurpose items.

The first step is to do a scavenger hunt in your home. Dig deep in your cabinets, attic, basement and anywhere else you store unused items. What aren’t you using that has potential to be a pretty décor item? Don’t overlook anything.

Make a list and then do a simple search on Pinterest. For example, you can search ‘uses for pitchers’ to get some ideas on how to repurpose the three pitchers you have sitting in the back of your kitchen cabinet.

 

8.PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. 

When you’re decorating, it’s easy to skip the details. But the details are what take your home from ordinary to extraordinary. And, usually, updating the small details of your home won’t break the bank.

Let me give you some examples. If you have outdated brass fixtures everywhere, you can update these with just a few cans of spray paint. Update your doorknobs, door hinges (this one often gets overlooked but it’s so important), shower fixtures, bathroom vanity fixtures, and kitchen sink fixtures by simply spray painting them.

The hard work comes in by having to remove all your fixtures to paint them. Removing the hinges on the doors is especially a nuisance because you have to take the door down, which usually requires two people. But after you spray paint the fixtures, either a silver or bronze tone, you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. And, you’ll get the same look as this one without paying upwards of $20 per doorknob.

This is another one of my favorite frugal decorating ideas. One project where my husband and I implemented this idea is when we up-cycled this standard bookcase. Among other things, we added crown molding and legs, which, as you can see, make a huge impact. It’s all in the details. 😉

A Brick Home: DIY Bookcase Makeover, bookcase ideas, how to upcycle bookcase, diy bookshelves makeover tutorial

I hope you found some new frugal decorating ideas above that you can easily implement. Do you have any other go-to frugal decorating ideas?

 

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A Brick Home: frugal decorating ideas, decorating ideas for the home, budget decorating ideas, thrifting

Marly Dice
Marly is the founder of A Brick Home, a blog about home renovation, DIY projects, and decorating ideas. A Brick Home helps readers create their version of a beautiful and thriving home on a budget. Marly has had a passion for beautiful home living since she can remember. Even when she used to work in the corporate world as a marketer, she spent her evenings and weekends creating an inspired home space one DIY project at a time. Marly also has a passion for everything blogging-related. She often outlines blogging tips and strategies to help others achieve their blogging goals.

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