The day you move into your first house can be very liberating. It’s finally time to choose your own style of furniture and your own artwork for the walls. You can find your own little knick-knack shelf and your own comfy TV couch. The time has come to do things your way.

Whether you’re going to be camping out on a bean bag or invest in one of those leather sofas you’ve always admired in furniture catalogues, it’s all up to you. The only obstacle might be your budget. Well, fortunately for you there are ways to decorate your home on a shoe-string budget.

Budget Makeover Made Easy

We all want to walk into our first home with a truck of new furniture and accessories in tow. But, it doesn’t always work that way. There are simple ways to decorate your home with a basic budget. Let’s look at a few of those ways.

Use What You Have

The biggest trick to surviving your budget is to use what you have. It’s at this point where you need to think out of the box. Repurpose curtains into tablecloths and make cushion covers from an old duvet cover.

It’s also a good time to repurpose items from your parents’ basement! That extra leather lounge set in your mom’s spare room might make the ideal statement piece in your new home.

Don’t Buy Everything All at Once

Establish your budget. Decide what items are the most necessary. These will be items that need to be bought immediately such as a bed or a refrigerator. Set up a plan that involves you buying something new every month or every second month.

Use some of your budget to repurpose items you already have. Buying a few tins of paint and setting up a painting schedule over a few months will have your space sorted out in no time.

Fight the Urge to Match

New homeowners, who are decorating their homes for the first time, often fall into the colour trap. This is the idea that everything in a particular room needs to match a specific colour palette or a particular theme.

Make peace with the notion that your home doesn’t have to be colour co-ordinated to the exact shades and hues of your favourite colour scheme. Mixing colours or themes will give you more freedom to use what you have.

Inexpensive Ways to Make Changes

When you’re looking through your new house, there might be moments when you feel as though you’ve bitten off more than your budget can chew. Everything might seem like it needs replacing and there just isn’t money for all of it. This is where you need to be creative.

Let’s look at a few inexpensive ways to spruce up your home:

  • Does or knobs on your kitchen or bedroom cupboards.
  •  If your budget allows, give the cupboards a fresh coat of paint or varnish.
  • Buy a new shower curtain in a bold colour. This will instantly brighten up your bathroom.
  • Use throws and cushions on your bed or sofas.
  • Change lampshades or light fittings where possible.
  • Add candles and a few bold bathmats to the bathroom to create a less stoic atmosphere.
  • Display your small appliances neatly on counters so that the room doesn’t look empty.
  • Add table clothes to spruce up old tables.

Can’t Afford Artwork?

The artwork you choose for your home doesn’t have to be the most expensive pieces in town. You can purchase inexpensive pieces from local college art students or art stalls at a flea market. If you have children or nieces and nephews, ask them to draw a few pictures that you can frame.

Another alternative is to have some of your favourite photographs printed and framed. Not only will you be filling wall space, but you’ll also surround yourself with cherished memories.

Shop at Flea Markets

There are a lot of character pieces you can find at flea markets and thrift stores at very cheap prices. Items such as lamps, corner tables, bedside tables or even local art pieces can make a huge difference in an empty space. Look out for unusual pieces that will help you create your unique atmosphere.

Create your Own Atmosphere

Atmosphere is not something you buy in a store. You might be tempted to replicate a setting you’ve seen in a shop window, but that won’t really be unique to you, will it? The easiest way to create your own atmosphere is to add elements like candles, fresh flowers, plants, or bowls of fruit. These elements all help create a unique mood in your space.


Moving into a new home with a very small budget doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take stock of what you have, what you can use, and what you can find at thrift stores and flea markets. With a little imagination, you’ll be well on your way to creating a home you’ll adore and which will ‘wow’ your guests.

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