10 Ways To Update Your Home Decor for $50 or Less

One of the biggest questions I get asked when it comes to interior design isn’t just how to design a space, but how to do it on a budget. No matter what that budget is, everyone has one – that amount set aside specifically for home projects – and it’s usually important to stick to it. So I wanted to address some of the things you can do when you don’t have a large budget, or you are just trying to save money in this area. Here are 10 ways to refresh and renew your home on a major budget:

How to Switch Up Your Home Decor

1. Add greenery. Fresh flowers/greenery add more to a space than you’d imagine. Instead of spending big bucks at the grocery store on bouquets that aren’t your fave, shop at local farmers markets. There’s more variety and you can get bigger bundles that can be divided among the shelves and tabletops in your home to create an inviting (and beautifully scented) space.

2. Deep clean fabrics and furniture to give it new life. This goes especially for those who have white or light colors throughout your home. Even if a fabric, rug, or surface doesn’t appear dirty to the naked eye, once you give it a deep clean it can actually look brand new again. It’s surprising simple yet effective this is.

3. Add curb appeal. Landscaping and paint projects can be spendy and time consuming, so if it’s curb appeal you’re going for, just focus on something small like the front door. Give it a fresh coat of paint in a new accent color or simply hang a DIY wreath on it to give it that welcoming feel.

4. Rearrange the furniture you already have. An old trick that never ceases to give a space new life, whether it’s your college dorm or first ever house! Let this be one of the first things you try. Often it seems like there aren’t other solutions, when in fact there are tons of ways to switch up a single room. Ask a friend who isn’t there too often for their opinion – you’re probably just too familiar with the current setup to imagine a new layout.  

5. Shop around. Fave shops out of budget? No problem – you can still gather inspiration for the style you love, and try to recreate the look with something in your price range. Like I’ve shared in my High & Low Home Décor series, you can usually find inspiration in one shop, and find a more affordable version in the next.

6. Start small. Accents like knobs, door pulls, and handles are all going to be much more affordable than replacing an entire dresser or cabinetry, and it will give them a whole new look.

7. Craft the décor. Read my post on finding unique artwork for the home to see how we have made or found our own custom décor from photographs and antique finds. 

8. Make your space look bigger with a mirror. When it comes to expanding space without actually knocking down walls, here’s a trick: Add a big mirror rather than artwork to a central wall to expand the depth of the room.

9. Add color and texture. Swap out towels and smaller linens in order to give a space a clean, fresh look without having to replace major items. When it comes to things we wash frequently, colors can fade and fabric can get worn, so swapping them out will actually make a huge difference.

10. Decorate with your kids’ art. Last but not least, find cute ways to display the art your little ones have made for you. Think outside the box – frame those pieces that have just been hanging on the fridge or get prints made in order to make it easier to display.

What do you do when your home décor needs a refresh?


How to Mix Prints in the Home

Just like in fashion, choosing the right color and print pairings with your home décor doesn’t always come easy. While decorating our home I spent a lot of time testing out which prints and patterns go well together and which don’t, especially in my living room. It’s one of those things that looks really simple, but when it comes down to it, there’s a fine line between carefully mismatched and totally throw together… Yikes! Even though a lot of this process is guess and check – sometimes you really DO need to hold two patterns up next to each other to see it in full force – there are a few rules to follow to pull off that mixed prints look.

home decor tips

Same patterns, different sizes. Go with similar versions of the same print – like I did with our ikat throw pillows – but add variety with different sizes. This way it doesn’t look like you’re trying to match up patterns that aren’t actually the same, and they’re like enough not to throw off a room’s theme, like my beach house vibe.

Similar patterns in different colors. You can always add more color! Just because I love these different shades of blue doesn’t mean you have to stick to 1 color. (But if you do go that route make sure you have a contrasting element in the room – with our house, it’s white walls.) There are a ton of genius rooms I’ve saved on Pinterest that pull off bold color and mixed prints.

Completely different prints. One way to balance out a room with several different prints or patterns is to throw in some solid colors for contrast. My dark couch does the trick for us, but you can also add in solid colored throw pillows or choose a solid area rug to balance it out. One tip for choosing various different prints is to make sure they’re different enough – pair some angular patterns with softer shapes, lines with curves, etc. so you’re not overdoing any one thing.

3 ways to mix prints in the home

Throw pillows. Gotta have my throw pillows! I don’t know about you but my sofa is for curling up on with a good book or snuggling with family. Naturally I took every opportunity to cozy up our couch. A simple, cost effective way to inject your personality in a home is to find patterns that go with the room’s theme and go crazy with the pillows and throw blankets.

Rugs. We actually have a few rugs and have even layered them to add more interest. Since rugs take up so much space and are a huge focal point, be selective. The subtle color and large open pattern on the rug in my pic made it easier to find pillows that complement it, and it even went with my nautical striped chair.

Furniture. To really make a statement, carrying the pattern through to furniture is the way to go. You don’t necessarily need custom upholstery either – there are plenty of discount shops that have chic statement armchairs with stripes, flowers and other prints to mix ‘n match.

What are your biggest décor struggles?