Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas | Midwest Living

Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas

Refresh every room in the house with our cheap and chic decorating ideas.
  • Easy bedroom makeover

    Tired of your bedroom furniture, but don't want to buy new? It doesn't take much to transform a room using items you already have or can easily make. A bright green patio chair is at home in this warm, orange space, and an upholstered headboard looks fancier than it is. Cut plywood into the shape you want, line with foam for padding, and cover with fabric.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Shop the other rooms of your house (don't forget the attic and basement) for furniture and accessories. Pick your favorite things and see how they look together.

  • Mantel designs

    A collection of antique mirrors creates a beautiful focal point over a fireplace mantel. The mirrors vary in size and quality, making the mix both romantic and unusual.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Show off your collections. Silver tableware along the mantel complements the hanging mirrors. Unmatched sets of silver at garage sales and flea markets are usually inexpensive.

  • Easy wall art

    Don't wait for a special occasion to enjoy a set of pretty dishes -- hang them on the wall! This three-by-three grid of colorful dishes surrounded by white frames packs a big punch. With green walls as a backdrop, the frames don't need mattes or glass.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Look around your house for everyday items that can become art. Consider old calendar pages, fabric swatches or paint chips.

  • Door makeover

    French doors are beautiful, but sometimes you need a little privacy or want a change of scenery. Colorful maps attached to one side of the door offer a fresh perspective.

    Budget Decorating Tip: You don't need a French door to do this project. Pop out the insert in a basic cabinet door and cover it with pretty fabric or decorative paper for a quick facelift.

  • Creative headboard

    Think outside the box when you're decorating. A pair of old shutters stand in as a headboard in this guestroom.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Sometimes a fresh coat of paint on an old chair, lamp base or frame is all it takes to transform a piece.

  • Inspired by nature

    Fresh flowers are a quick pick-me-up for any room. Be creative about what you use as your vase. Pink and white roses are beautiful in a white soup tureen.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Plant your garden with indoor decorating in mind. Choose flowers such as roses, zinnias and daisies that make easy bouquets so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor inside and out.

  • Memorable centerpiece

    A bowl full of wine corks labeled with dates of special events and anniversaries acts as both a table display and a conversation starter. Mix oranges and limes or other colorful fruit in the bowl for additional color.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Postcards, seashells, and books all make great decorations.

  • Repurposed designs

    Muffin tins can do a lot more than serve fresh muffins. Turn an old tin into a jewelry holder.

    Budget Decorating Tip: The kitchen is a great place to look for inexpensive decorating ideas. Cookie sheets become message boards, pitchers double as flower vases, and glass jars hold crafts supplies.

  • Free artwork

    Rather than spending money on a pricey landscape, collect ferns and display them in simple white frames. Place the frames close together so they read as one element.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Before hanging a group of frames, trace their shapes on a piece of craft paper and tape it to the wall to test the arrangement.

  • Mantel makeover

    Take advantage of your mantel's prominent position with a stylish but inexpensive arrangement. Turn a swatch of wallpaper or fabric into artwork. A frame with an ornate edge doesn't even need to be filled. Spray-paint it with a metallic finish to highlight its design.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Old frames are usually dirt cheap at garage sales and flea markets. Collect a variety of shapes and designs, and create a collage of empty frames on a wall.

  • Small-space decorating

    Prop an oversize mirror on the floor of a small room to create the illusion of a bigger space.

    Budget Decorating Tip: You don't need to hire a professional decorator to get a high-class look. Find inspiration in catalogs and furniture showrooms for free.

  • Seasonal bouquet

    A simple white pitcher creates a charming vase for a bunch of flowers. Red, white and blue pinwheels add a playful spin.

    Budget Decorating Tip: Dress up a $5 grocery store bouquet with a pretty vase and quick add-ins such as ferns, twigs or ribbons.

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