20 Cheap Home Decorating Ideas for Tight Budgets

Easy Home Accessory Upgrades


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Easy Home Accessory Upgrades


While New Year's resolutions often revolve around self-improvement, the beginning of the year is also a great time for home improvement. Thankfully, upgrading a home with a fresh and modern look doesn't require as much of a commitment as a gym membership -- and doesn't have to cost nearly as much. From new curtains and pillows to getting creative with bookcases and bar cars, here are home accessories calling out for revitalization.

Window Curtains
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Ditch those basic blinds and faded curtains, and explore fresh, contemporary looks that reflect your personality. Remove bulky valances and dated drapes that block light, and add decorative curtain rods with a faux wood or metallic finish above the window frame. Consider solid jewel or metallic tones, natural fabrics, or fun geometric patterns for stylish curtain options, and use a sheer fabric as well to let light in while maintaining privacy.

Area Rugs


Adding or replacing area rugs is cheaper than redoing floors, and they're easier to replace and have a more contemporary feel than wall-to-wall carpeting. Get creative with bold colors, patterns, and textures to create a visual centerpiece to the room. Design experts recommend opting for larger rugs oriented to match the shape of the room and fit the key pieces of furniture (or at least their front legs).

Throw Pillows


The pros recommend choosing accent pillows with bold, complementary colors or warm, neutral colors, depending on style preference, and contrasting them with small or large patterned pillows. On a couch, the pillows should get smaller toward the center -- just make people can still sit comfortably -- and try for three descending sizes on the bed. Use symmetrical arrangements. And the crafty can consider using inexpensive pillow inserts with fresh covers.

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A couch (or sofa, if you prefer) might be used more than any place in the home, aside from the bed. It's often the centerpiece of a home and yet is usually the last to get an upgrade. Buying new can get expensive, but there are usually good deals on Overstock or at Target and Ikea Alternatively, get a stylish slipcover for a fraction of the cost to make a couch look brand-new.



Replacing worn-out lampshades is an inexpensive, quick fix to revitalize the look of a home without having to buy new lamps. If you're the least bit crafty, existing lampshades can be easily and cheaply upgraded or redecorated with fabric dye, hand paint, or spray painted. Shades can also be covered with fabric.



It's finally time to let go of those movie posters from college and upgrade to quality artwork. And while art can get expensive, there are plenty of ways to add color and creativity to a home without spending a lot. From flea market finds to inexpensive prints from local artists or online, there are plenty of fun options. Just can't let go of that one favorite poster? Consider getting a decent frame to give it a fresh look.

Photo Frames


Chances are the frames for photos around the house could use an update as well. Since most photos are online or on phones these days, consider printing out favorites from friends and family and frame those, too. Check the clearance section of box stores for inexpensive ones or keep an eye out at thrift shops and flea markets for vintage items that need just a minor touchup or cleaning.



Plants are a great way to breathe life into a home, and the oxygen they produce will help you breath easier, too. Ditch plants that bit the dust and chose indoor kinds that are easy to maintain. Popular options that work well indoors include ficus trees, peace lilies, spider plants, and aloe.

Bar Cart
Courtesy of target.com


The time has come to stop storing that well-curated selection of booze on top of the fridge and add style and sophistication by upgrading to a bar cart. It doesn't have to be expensive. Look at places such as Target or on Amazon, or go for the DIY approach.



Once loaded up, bookcases often don't get much thought. But upgrading one can add plenty of style -- especially by looking a bit beyond the ubiquitous Billy bookcase from Ikea, good as it is. Or remember there are tons of easy hacks to give a fresh look or new purpose to the Billy or similar cases, such as adding colorful wallpaper to the back panel.

Coffee Table


Much living room activity revolves around the coffee table, but they're often one of the last items to get an upgrade. Consider some DIY coffee table options that often add more style and personality than store-bought options while costing a fraction of the price. You can repurpose old windows and doors, vintage luggage, or even wooden pallets for a chic and rustic look, or consider refinishing an old coffee table.

Duvet Cover
Courtesy of amazon.com


Adding a new duvet cover and pillowcase set to a bed is a good way to create a dramatic look for a bedroom without spending much. Look for a high thread count duvet cover with a pattern or a bold, solid color that complements a room. Upgrade to a new set of sheets to match and it'll feel like sleeping at a fancy hotel.

Chair Cushions


If kitchen or patio chairs have easily removable cushions, replace the old, worn-out ones with bright and plush new ones. Those feeling particularly crafty can reupholster the existing cushions (and even add extra cushioning).



Mirrors are a great way to make a room feel larger and lighter, by hanging them across from windows. Something new from a design store can get expensive, but there are plenty of ways to repurpose inexpensive mirrors from big-box stores, including reframing or repainting. Keep an eye out for vintage mirrors at flea markets and yard sales that often just need a bit of TLC.

Shower Curtain
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Bath Towels
Courtesy of amazon.com
Bathroom Decor


In bathroom decor elements, consider using vintage mugs or mason jars to hold toothbrushes; stylish refillable dispensers improve on the clutter of store-bought bottles when it comes to soap, shampoo, and other toiletries. A shelf rack with hooks is a great way to store extra towels and hang robes, while vintage crates or baskets can be great for storing extra rolls of toilet paper discreetly.

Trash Cans
Courtesy of amazon.com


We don't often think of trash cans as a significant aspect of home design, but having a quality bin adds class. Let go of that worn-out plastic bin and consider upgrading to stainless steel. Amazon sells relatively inexpensive Simplehuman step trash cans for the bathroom ($20) and kitchen ($50).

Drawer Handles
Courtesy of walmart.com


There's a good chance the handles and knobs on drawers in the kitchen and bedroom are the standard-issue, uninspiring ones that came with the cabinets and furniture. Find an array of stylish replacements online or at the hardware store to replace them, or get creative by repurposing other materials. There are also plenty of ways to use handles and knobs to add style elsewhere in the house.



It's one of the first things guests see when coming to your home, but doormats can get shabby after a while in such a high-traffic area. Give the front door a refresh with a stylish doormat that's sturdy, easy to clean, and traps dirt well.