9 Tips for Decorating Your New House on a Strict Budget
Buying a house is an expensive endeavor. The cost of furnishing a new home has increased significantly since 2020. According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the price of furniture and home furnishings has increased by an average of 15.3% between 2020 and 2023. This is the largest annual increase since 1980!
According to The Spruce, “The best way to furnish your home on a budget is to be creative and resourceful. There are many ways to find great deals on furniture and décor, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a stylish and comfortable home.”
Here are nine tips for decorating a house on a budget
1. Make a budget and stick to it.
This is the most important step, as it will help you avoid overspending. Determine how much money you can afford to spend on furniture and décor, and then divide that amount by the number of rooms you need to furnish. This will give you a good starting point for budgeting for each room.
2. Start with the essentials.
Don’t try to buy everything at once. Focus on buying the most important pieces of furniture first, such as a bed, sofa, dining table, and chairs. You can always add other pieces later as your budget allows.
3. Shop around for the best deals.
Don’t just buy the first piece of furniture you see. Take some time to shop around and compare prices. You can find great deals on furniture at a variety of stores, including thrift stores, consignment shops, and online retailers.
4. Consider buying secondhand.
Look to local flea markets, thrift stores, and second-hand shops, and mine resources like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other social platforms. Be sure to check out these thrifting apps: OfferUp, Chairish, Everything but the House, and AptDeco.
Or you can try 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.
5. Be creative with your furniture placement.
Sometimes, simply rearranging your furniture can give your room a whole new look. Try moving your sofa to a different wall or placing your coffee table in a new spot. You can also use area rugs and throw pillows to add color and interest to your space.
6. DIY your own décor.
There are many easy and affordable DIY projects that you can do to decorate your home. 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.
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.
7. Grab some expert books and self-educate.
Here are some top books on the subject:
- Affordable Interior Design: High-End Tips for Any Budget by Joanna Gaines
- Your Space, Made Simple: Interior Design that’s Approachable, Affordable, and Sustainable by Ashley Robertson
- The Budget-Friendly Home: Stylish Decorating on a Dime by Diane Keaton
- Thrifty Decorating: How to Find and Use Bargains to Create a Beautiful Home by Amy Butler Greenfield
- Decorate Your Home for Free: 200+ Ways to Save Money on Furniture, Accessories, and More by Melissa Michaels
- IKEA Hackers: 100+ Clever Ideas for Upcycling Your IKEA Furniture by Jules Yap
- DIY Home Décor: 100 Inspiring Projects for Any Room in Your Home by Kristi Murphy
- The Flea Market Style: Easy Ideas for Creating a Unique and Stylish Home by Tara Dennis
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.
9. Be Patient.
Furnishing your home takes time and money. Don’t expect to have everything done overnight. Start by buying the essentials, and then add other pieces over time as your budget allows.
The bottom line about decorating your new house on a budget
So there you have it. You absolutely 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.
Here are some product recommendations you may want to consider:
- Cabinets: IKEA’s SEKTION cabinets are a popular budget-friendly option. They are unfinished, so you can stain or paint them yourself to match your décor.
- Countertops: Home Depot offers a variety of affordable butcher block and quartz countertops. You can also find laminate countertops that are even more budget friendly.
- Appliances: Lowe’s has a wide selection of energy-efficient appliances at a variety of price points. You can also find refurbished appliances on websites like Amazon and eBay.
- Table and chairs: World Market offers a variety of affordable kitchen tables and chairs. You can also find secondhand tables and chairs at thrift stores and consignment shops.
- Accessories: Target has a great selection of inexpensive kitchen accessories, such as dish towels, placemats, and artwork.