7 Low Cost Timeless Decorating Ideas That Don’t Involve the Dollar Store are not earth shattering revelations. Rather, they are simple reminders that even when the decorating budget hovers near zilch, creativity can yield high style and fresh moments of style around the home.
I just arrived home from an afternoon of local estate and yard sale shopping. What did I buy? A 1950s shabby chic pale pink painted chair (for which Rachel Ashwell may have wrestled me), an old wood country stool, a handmade-on-casters antique industrial curiosity, and a box of homegrown tomatoes. The grand total? 10 bucks. And nothing came from the Dollar Store.
7 Low Cost Timeless Decorating Ideas That Don’t Involve the Dollar Store
Not that I have a gripe with that vendor. It just seems the internet is saturated with posts and tutorials for Dollar Store derived, disposable, trendy decor. There’s something gratifying about timeless decorating with a mix of old, new, and unexpected.
YOU: Wait. Are you actually linking to a bunch of decor and furniture similar to what you have in your own home in this post about how to save money?
ME: I’ll get emails with requests if I post pics but don’t link to ’em…so yepper, I’m saving myself a few hours. 🙂
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Decorating Idea No. 1: START WITH ONE ROOM
When you’re ready to make some changes, refresh, or even start at square one, it can feel like a daunting prospect to look at your home in its entirety. There’s too much work to be done! It will take forever! Who has the energy or time!?
Instead of giving in to overwhelm (and maybe numbing with Netflix or pouring another glass of happy juice), find your bearings again by focusing on one room or one part of a room.
Inexpensive & Timeless Decorating Tips
You might even want to start with the room you have been procrastinating about (for me, it is our laundry room!) since what do you have to lose!?! If it can only get better, the odds are in your favor.
Decorating Idea No. 2: START WITH PAINT
It always helps me personally when I begin with setting the mood with the paint color first, and need I remind you paint is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big lovely change.
So dig in my archives to discover paint color and mood ideas for your space, save money by painting yourself, and pat yourself on the back for getting off to a grand start that will likely propel you forward!
Decorating Idea No. 3: CLEAN LIKE A FIEND
How does cleaning your space qualify as decorating? When you get intimately up close and personal with the room in need of love by vacuuming, scrubbing surfaces, clearing cobwebs, polishing finishes, and laundering linens, it will tell you things.
Suddenly you will see things you didn’t see before…the furniture arrangement may need a tweak, too much clutter on the dresser, ahhhhhhh that’s where those reading glasses went, and so on.
There’s no downside to cleaning the space, but some folks forget that the process of housework often bears unexpected fruit when it is approached in a zen manner rather than a frenzied one.
Decorating Idea No. 4: TAKE A PHOTO
This tip comes straight from my life as a visual person and as a blogger since I’m always snapping pics.
Viewing a room while standing in the doorway is a different sort of experience than viewing a photo on your phone or iPad.
So try getting a fresh perspective by noticing in the pics you took what bothers your eye and what pleases it.
Score a Different Perspective
For example, you may discover you hate the scale of a particular accessory or recognize you should swap the accent tables in the room.
You may notice “holes” in certain areas in need of layering or suddenly realize YES, that’s where you can hang the new piece of art gathering dust in a closet.
What seems off balance? What seems too formal or fussy? Are the window coverings at the right level? Are the wrong things jumping out of the photo that you would prefer to de-emphasize?
Shop my home
Decorating Idea No. 5: SHOP AT HOME
Something that is currently driving me a little nuts these days is how I have decor stashed in a variety of different places all around the house as opposed to living in one organized location.
So this decorating idea is for us all. Let’s decide to take the time to round up what we have to make this part of decorating a whole lot more efficient.
It never fails. When it’s time time to move, and I’m packing, I discover all sorts of treasure I haven’t seen in years.
Shop Your House and SHOP MINE HERE!
I wonder what treasures are already yours, waiting in a box in the basement or garage?
The truth is, for many of us in modern culture, it takes less time to drive to a local Homegoods to buy what we already may own in multiples stashed away!
The beauty of shopping your home (beyond the economic advantage) is that if you liked it enough to bring it home, it’s probably a good contender to bring into service once again. If it’s not, donate!
Decorating Idea No. 6: Shop at Thrift & Consignment Shops
You’re gonna think I’m far out, but when people admire something in our home and ask about its provenance, more often than not I have to admit “it found me.”
And there’s always a story.
When there’s a specific piece for which I’m hunting, I actually go out into the wild with an eerie confidence that just the right table, chair, or vintage bicycle or steel cart will indeed manifest.
And it does!
For example, today’s mission included finding a stool to replace the broken one at my makeup vanity.
There it was at the very first stop: a collecting granny’s overflowing garage.
Years of accumulated dust mean I can’t even bring that stool into the house before a power wash, but as soon as I saw it, a “thank you” bubbled up in my heart.
The Thrill of the Hunt
It never gets old…does it? Hunting for cast-offs and vintage wares which cost next-to-nothing is a sport some of us design freaks excel at if only because we have learned to be sensitive to the energies of objects.
(I told you this is hippie trippy, far out, crystal visions, dumpster diva intelligence level processing!).
And isn’t it curious how we may forget anniversaries or the entire 6th grade year but not the stories of how this jam pot or that Fireking mug came into our possession?
Decorating Idea No. 7: Don’t Be Afraid to Customize Inexpensive or Free Pieces That Are Not Quite Right
It always surprises me when I am out thrifting and hear folks say things like, “It’s the perfect scale, but the color is just a tad off,” or “That painting is fabulous but I hate the frame.”
In both cases, a little bit paint may be all that is needed to tweak something mediocre to take it to the next level. (BTW, if it’s the art inside a beautiful frame that is hideous, have fun painting over it!…I have done this dozens of times!)
Take a Risk If It’s Inexpensive
Go ahead and take some chances! There are always going to be flops. A couple of years back, I found a peach velvet vintage chair at a local shop and loved its curves but not the color. I decided to paint it white, and the result was less than ideal since the fabric became too stiff to enjoy.
I used it for a few styling shots before placing it curbside for another treasure hunter.
Just last week, I found it in an antique store across the stateline, styled beautifully and poised for its next happy owner!
For more great tips for timeless home decor, see Yvonne’s post HERE.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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