I received a question this morning about how I practically decorate on a budget. My husband and I don’t have “home” as a line item on our budget, but we do each have a monthly “fun budget”. If I want to go to a thrift store or buy something off of Facebook marketplace, I take it out of my “fun budget”. So when I use the words “budget decorating”, what I really mean is “decorating and furnishing your home for as CHEAP as possible”. Cheap doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality though.
Here is my number one tip for small decorating budgets (we’re talking “not even a line item” here). If you are looking for a specific piece of furniture or decor, I’d recommend NOT buying the first new thing you see.
If you’re patient, determined, and keep your eyes open, you can probably find something secondhand that is higher quality and a lower price. Example: this leather ottoman I got yesterday. I wanted one for functionality and looks for this chair, but couldn’t afford a new one. The new ones I could maaaybe save up for were still $100+, and probably wouldn’t have been real leather. I waited and waited and searched, and got lucky to find a real leather ottoman on Facebook marketplace for $20! Is it super modern/trendy/perfect? Nope. Is it a leather ottoman that has the same general aesthetic as the fancy high end ones for a fraction of the cost? You bet!
We’ve taken this approach for most of the furniture in our home. A handful of our furnishings were purchased brand new, but we saved so much money overall by waiting to find the right pieces secondhand. Our tiny home budget couldn’t have afforded anything fancy if we bought everything new, but we’ve found a few high quality pieces for a fraction of what buying new furniture costs. If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, and the patience to not impulse buy the first thing you see at Target or HomeGoods, you can decorate and furnish your home with pieces that will last (and won’t break the bank.) The key to decorating on a budget is not buying cheap junk- it is being thoughtful about the purchases you want to make and then having patience for the right piece to come along.
I wrote more about shopping secondhand in my HomeMade series. You can find helpful decorating tips and guidance in my post , HomeMade: Does Your Home Have A Recipe? .