8 Tips for Decorating Your New House on a Strict Budget

8 Tips for Decorating Your New House on a Strict Budget

Buying a house is an expensive endeavor. And while you’ll probably use a good chunk of your savings to do so, be careful not to use it all. Not only will you need funds for home maintenance, repairs, and unexpected emergencies, but you’ll also need cash for furnishing and decorating your new house. 

Fortunately, that last part doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are plenty of ways to outfit your new place without using up too much of those hard-earned dollars.

Here are eight tips for decorating a house on a budget

1. Get creative in your sourcing.

If you’re looking to save cash, don’t buy your decor and home furnishings from department stores or big-name brands.

Instead, get creative. Look to local flea markets, thrift stores, and second-hand shops, and mine resources like Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, and other social platforms

Nearby garage and estate sales can be a good idea, too. You can also look for Habitat for Humanity “ReStores,” which offer low-cost new and gently used furniture, appliances, and home goods.

2. Paint like crazy.

You’d be surprised at how big a difference paint makes — especially if you do it yourself. Rather than investing a ton of money into artwork and wall hangings, create a pop of color with an accent wall for a fraction of the price.

A nice patterned wallpaper can achieve the same effect and be just as easy and affordable.

3. Stick to high-impact purchases.

If you do opt to buy something for decorating your new house — especially something new or name-brand — make sure it’s something that will really steal the show and carry the weight of a room.

Maybe it’s a great light fixture that’s the focal point of your dining room, or it could be a beautiful mirror that makes a big impact in your entryway.

Make sure those dollars spent really deliver.

4. Opt for affordable art.

Great artwork can make a huge difference in any space. When you’re on a budget, opting for low-cost prints from places like Society6 or Art.com can be a good option, or Minted is a good choice, too. Its artists are all independent artisans, so you know your dollars are going toward a good cause.

If you don’t want to spend money on artwork, consider DIYing your own. Pinterest and YouTube have tons of tutorials you can follow for all sorts of artistic endeavors. Just head to your local craft store, stock up on supplies, and set aside the time.

Once all is said and done, you’ll have one-of-a-kind art to show for it.

5. Go green when decorating your new house.

Few items make as big an impact as greenery, so don’t skimp on the ferns, succulents, and other indoor plants that can really make your place pop.

A nice bonus?

Most greenery is pretty affordable, and it helps increase your home’s air quality, too. And who wouldn’t want that?

6. Mine discounts and set up sales alerts.

If you’re shopping online, don’t ever pay full price for something. Use browser plug-ins like Honey to search for online coupon codes, and always do a price comparison with other sites on the web when you’re decorating your new house. You might have to wait a little longer on delivery time, but often, you can find the same items at a much lower price if you just look hard enough.

Setting up sales alerts for your favorite decor and furniture retailers is another smart move. Just head to their website, sign up for their newsletter, and pay attention to the messages that come in.

One coupon code could be all you need to snag that must-have item for a deep discount.

7. Give old items new life.

Just because you have a new home doesn’t mean you should throw away all your old household items. Many of your existing decor and furnishings can likely be repurposed.

Consider repainting them, repairing them, or even reusing the materials to make something else (an older dresser could become a bookshelf, maybe?)

8. Spread the costs out.

When you’re decorating your new house, you don’t have to buy everything all at once. Of course, you need important items like your bed and a kitchen table the first week you’re in the home.

But beyond that? You can probably wait a few weeks or months to find the right deal. Be patient, wait for those sales, and spread your costs out over time to lessen the blow.

The bottom line about decorating your new house on a budget

You don’t have to drain your savings to buy a house — nor to decorate one.

Source your furnishings creatively, put a little elbow grease into it, and be willing to wait it out for the right price. You’ll have a magazine-ready home in no time.

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.