Being broke–we’ve all been there, done that, and I’m going to be honest–it sucks. When you’re broke, you’re forced to choose between the essentials: food, alcohol, and entertainment. Just kidding about the alcohol…kind of. But in all seriousness, when you break down your budget at the end of the day, there’s not much room left for home decor.
I mean, have you seen how much a pallet sign costs, or what about the price tag on a faux crate? You’ve tried hitting up estate sales and garage sales, but suddenly, thanks to TV shows like American Pickers and Storage Wars, everyone thinks that what they’ve got is pure gold. The point is, trying to keep a cute home is costly, and for many, just not worth sacrificing that Friday night ‘Beam…I mean burrito.
If you’re at the point where you want a nice looking home but your paycheck just won’t cover trips to Ikea and Targé, you might just find these home decorating hacks to be quite useful.
Work With What You’ve Got
Before you go and blow money you probably don’t have, take stock of what you actually have. Do you have old furniture that can be sanded down and painted for next to nothing? What about old lamps, excess fabric, pallets or canvases you wouldn’t care to paint over? Redoing what you already own is a far cheaper option than trying to start from scratch. If you have something that can be repurposed into something useful, use it!
Use Your Walls To Create Storage Space
If space is an issue (because when isn’t it in a tiny studio apartment?), use hooks, shelving and other vertical storage to your advantage. Get creative with your storage and use door knobs for coat hooks, floating brackets for books, wall planters for indoor herbs, a smart organizer for magazines, mail and keys, and small-space storage that pulls double duty, such as an entryway mirror and hooks.
DIY Your Furniture
You don’t have to be creative or even all that handy with tools to build your own furniture. As of now, rustic is in, which means that imperfections are appreciated. That said, even if imperfection is not your style, there are dozens of DIY furniture plans out there that are easy-peasy for the inexperienced to pull off without giving away the fact that you are completely and utterly clueless as to what you’re doing. Bob Vila shares 21 ways that you can build professional looking furniture without an iota of experience.
Buy in the Off Season
There are certain materials and design elements that you can pick up in the off-season for far cheaper than what you’d be able to get them for in the peak of the season. Take wicker for instance….if you buy wicker furniture at the end of the summer or in early fall, you’re likely to get a steep discount, as stores want to get rid of inventory to make room for the next season’s. You can use this strategy with furniture, wall decor, holiday decor, bedding, towels, and almost any other household decor item to score steep discounts.
Headboards are expensive but they really do make a bedroom look 20 times better. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend two months’ worth of your salary trying to get your room to look classy. In fact, you don’t even have to spend a whole paycheck. From hanging a rug with a cool pattern to utilizing a scrap of wood as a minimalist backdrop, there are dozens of ways in which you can dress up that dreary white wall behind your bed, most of which won’t cost you more than $5 at a hardware store or $10 at a garage sale. Find more ideas here.
Don’t let a tight budget get in your way of a cohesive design. Use paint to make all of your second-hand findings look like a matching set, and to turn those old spaghetti jars into kitschy utensil holders. If you own the place, use paint to dress up your doors, or to paint an entire wall in chalk-paint so that you can use it as your ever-changing mural wall. Paint, for all that it can do, is relatively inexpensive, making it a worthwhile investment.
Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean that you can’t live a classy lifestyle. Put your creative juices to work and you may just be able to decorate a home that is both stylish and uniquely, wonderfully you.
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