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12 Tips to Decorate Your New Home on a Budget

August 3, 2017

Your wallet may take some time to recover after you purchase a new home in Austin, but you don’t have to wait to decorate and furnish your space. Here are 12 ways to get more with less for your house.

1. Upgrade your lighting.
Replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs can provide a difference as stark as night and day. LED bulbs are brighter and more energy efficient than other bulbs. They’ll brighten up a room instantly. Once you’ve changed the bulbs, consider upgrading the light fixtures themselves, or giving lamps a fresh look with new lampshades.

2. Add hardware to cabinets, drawers, and doors.
Add new hardware where you want! Adding drawer pulls to kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets will give them a polished, sharp look.

3. Create a gallery wall.
If you have it, hang it. This goes for old photographs, posters, repurposed magazine pages, free prints you find online, and even empty picture frames.

4. Hang new blinds and curtains.
Replacing old blinds will freshen up your home and make it feel more expensive without adding a lot of cost. Curtains can also add a luxury feel to your home; hanging curtains higher and wider than the windows themselves make the room feel taller and more spacious.

5. Fill your home with plants.
Mix real greenery with fake flowers to liven up your rooms, add pops of color, and improve air quality. Green plants tend to last a lot longer and require less upkeep than flowers. Austin has a wealth of great resources for live plants, from The Great Outdoors to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. You can find quality fake plants anywhere from TJ Maxx to Homegoods to Etsy. Fake flowers can look remarkably lifelike, adding to the lush look and feel of your home. You can even pull greenery and flowers from your own garden.

6. Embrace accent pieces.
Purchasing smaller pieces to accent larger furniture pays off. Throw blankets, pillows, and rugs are inexpensive options to add color and change the tone of a room, without buying a new couch or coffee table. They can make a room feel warm and cozy or formal, depending on your purchase.

7. Use mirrors.
Mirrors catch and throw light, making spaces feel larger and brighter. They can add to your gallery wall, add light to an entryway, or even serve as a tray for drinks or jewelry. They look chic no matter where or how you use them.

8. Decorate with candles.
Candles create a feeling of warmth. Fill an unused fireplace with candles, set up a pair on your dining room table, or gather all your unused candles on a horizontal space with sprigs of greenery and glass.

9. Use what you have.
Do you have anything collecting dust in a closet? Take a second look. Old books, picture frames, empty vases and glassware can break up the monotony of a bookcase or create a unique display on an empty shelf or table.

10. Paint is not just for walls.
Consider painting a piece of furniture, your front door, or the ceiling in your living room. A bright pop of color, an accent wall, or a pattern in an unexpected place can add flare and depth to your new home. Stencils, tape, and even marker can offer additional options and inspiration.

11. Shop estate sales or the Austin Habitat for Humanity Restore.
Whether you’re looking for a specific piece to finish a room or furnishing your new home entirely, estate sales and resale stores like the Austin Habitat for Humanity Restore are a gold mine. You can find amazing furniture and decor for less. Patience and persistence are key, as inventory and opportunity shift constantly in these places.

12. Clean regularly.
Don’t overlook the value of a clean home. Minimizing clutter, scrubbing counters and floors, vacuuming and dusting regularly will give your home a polished look that never goes out of style.

What are your favorite ways to save when decorating? Leave your suggestions on our Facebook page.