Budget Decorating


Create a big impact with small changes.

Do you put up with a drab or outdated interior design because you don’t think you have the budget to splurge on a new look? Making small changes to your décor can have a bold impact on the appearance and mood of your home without making a large dent in your wallet. It’s easy to fake the feeling of a total makeover without spending big bucks simply by trying a few of these ideas.


Changing the cabinet and furniture hardware in your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom is a quick and inexpensive way to modernize older pieces. Buy new door handles and/or drawer pulls for bedroom armoires and dressers, bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets. Calculate the total number of pieces you will need before shopping; a two-dollar difference may not seem like much when deciding between styles, but that difference can add up quickly if you need 20 pieces. Switch plates are another inexpensive pick that can add a touch of elegance to any room.


Leah Hennen of HGTV recommends painting, stating that it “is the cheapest investment you can make, it’s also the one with the most dramatic result.” You don’t even have to buy paint for an entire room to get a fresh look. Choosing one or two accent walls is a great way to add style while saving cash and time.

If your room is a neutral shade of beige, tan or white, a bold color, such as burgundy or burnt orange, will really pop. If your walls are already a bright color, adding a deep slate gray or chocolate accent wall will create a dramatic and sophisticated look. Choose natural focal points for your accent walls, such as the wall behind your bed or one with a fireplace, to get the biggest impact.


Aside from paint, nothing makes as big a statement for as little money as linens. If you have a sewing machine or can borrow one from a friend, making your own duvet covers and pillowcases can save hundreds of dollars. Martha Stewart suggests making a duvet cover for your comforter out of two sheets. Start by facing them right sides in and sewing a half-inch perimeter around both long sides and one short side. Next, turn it right side out and attach Velcro, buttons, or ribbon ties onto the open short end so that you can close it up once your comforter is inside. Nothing could be simpler. If sewing is not for you, discount stores like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx sell high-quality sheets, duvets, comforters and bath linens for much less than first-run department stores.

Accessorize with texture

Adding various layers of texture to a room is a trick that stylists use to create a feeling of elegance and luxury. Throw rugs allow you to define separate spaces within a larger room or to camouflage dirty or ugly flooring. If you have plush carpet, adding a rug with short fibers can introduce new colors and texture. Shaggy area rugs go a long way to warm up rooms that have wall-to-wall laminate or tile.

Pillows and throws are another easy and inexpensive option for adding different textures and creating a lived-in, homey atmosphere. Faux fur is back in style and helps to create a whimsical and trendy look on any budget. A deep brown fur throw spices up neutral couches and chairs, and fur pillows make a bold impact when juxtaposed with shiny satin or beaded pillows.

Don’t let a limited budget discourage you; use it as inspiration to stretch your imagination and learn to accomplish something you never thought you could. For more inspiration, check out some professionally styled rooms by visiting the designer’s portfolio from HGTV at www.hgtv.com/designers-portfolio.

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