6 tips on how to decorate your first home on a budget

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You went through ups and downs of the search, making offers, possibly getting them rejected, but finally finding the home that not only fits your budget, but also matches your needs. Now, it’s time for the fun part… decorating!

Wouldn’t it be great to go shopping and splurge on all of the furniture and decor to style your new home exactly to your preferences?

Well, it would be great, but unfortunately, many of us don’t have a bottomless bank account! That doesn’t mean that we can’t decorate our home with style. It’s still possible to decorate your first home on a budget, not to worry. We’ve compiled the top ways to decorate your home without breaking the bank.

1. Choose Your Style & Get Decorating Ideas

First and foremost, pick the decor type that best suits your style. Maybe you love the vintage-chic look, or you like industrial-modern, or perhaps you’re more of a minimalist. Explore Pinterest boards or Instagram hashtags to get ideas. You can even create collections in Google image search to group the images you find on Google into saved groups to reference later. However you get your decorating ideas, it’s important to find the underlying style that attracts you before you start your search.

Decorate Your First Home: Pinterest Boards for Inspiration (Pick Your Style)

Vintage Decor Ideas

Industrial Decor Ideas

Minimalist Decor Ideas

2. Make a List of the Furniture & Household Items You Need

Do an audit. Examine the space you’re working with and make a list of the furniture you need. It may seem overwhelming to make a list of all of furniture and items you have to buy, but it will help you prioritize what to focus on first. Once you have your list, you can start doing your research – what to buy, where. Some things you may want to buy new, others… you may find be surprised to find using less-conventional methods.

3. Separate Budget Buys vs Not-Budging Items

To build on the previous point, use your list to segregate the household items which you can find at discount retailers (think, IKEA, or Costco.) These are usually the simple items like towels, dish rags, other small but necessary items. You can save some of your budget by purchasing these items at a discount, freeing up dollars that can be used toward the items that you won’t budge on (you have your eye on that retro coffee table? You can have it! Don’t back down on your priorities. Cut costs where it makes sense for you.) Make a list of your “budget vs not-budging” items to see where you can “find” money.

4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

One effective way to find inexpensive home decor and furniture is to talk to friends and relatives. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Maybe your aunt has an old armoire that you can take on as a DIY project and refinish it. Although DIY takes commitment and time; there’s nothing better than the pride you feel after completing the project. Or maybe your friends are downsizing and need to get rid of a few pieces that are more aligned with your taste. Throw a post out on Facebook and ask around. Or, try using the “looking for recommendations” feature and see what your friends recommend in terms of where to find the items you’re looking for. That way, you don’t have to weed through Craigslist (although it’s another option.) The point is that you can find treasures in the most unsuspecting places… all you have to do is ask!

5. Paint is Your Best Friend

Decorating a home to your personal preferences takes time and money. However, a simple way to spice up your space is by putting some paint on it! A room’s character can change completely with a coat of your favorite tone. So, while you save up to buy your dream furniture pieces and decorations, you can make a huge step in the right direction (with a small budget) by painting. It’s also good to do this before you buy all of that furniture!

6. Budget- AND Eco-Friendly? Tell Me More…

One way to buy furniture and home decor on a budget while being eco-friendly is to peruse antique shops for used furniture. Not only that, but also check out online auctions (like ours here at Gray’s.) Auctions are a great way to find beautiful antique furniture from virtually any era at a reasonable price. Typically auctions are comprised of items that someone else needs to get rid of, therefore you can find things that would usually cost much more at an antique shop, but for a lower price. The great thing about auctions is that you pay what you want. Not only is it fun and exciting to bid at auction (live or online,) but it’s also a great way to be an eco-friendly buyer.

However you decide to approach decorating your new home on a budget, have fun with it! Remember that you can always change it later, so don’t overthink it. Let the creativity (and not dollars) flow!