99 cheap decorating tricks
1 Clear clutter and get organized. It's the first step to achieving a beautiful home.
2 When decorating, set a budget and stick to it.
3 Vacuuming and washing the floors of your home may not be the most pleasurable way to decorate, but we guarantee it will make your home sparkle.
4 Getting rid of that film of dust coating your existing home appliances and furniture will help to breathe new life into tired spaces.
5 Sometimes all you need is an extra set of eyes to gain some perspective about how to redecorate a room. When you’ve been living in a space for a long time, sometimes simple things can remain obscured. Get a friend, whose taste you admire, to lend a critical eye and a helping hand.
6 Move decor items to different places around a room or to a different room altogether. Rotating your existing accessories will help breathe new life into rooms without spending a dime.
7 Let the sun shine in. Give your home a new outlook by washing your windows both inside and out.
8 Concentrate your redecorating attention on one room or area in the house at a time.
9 Place odour sponges or volcano rocks in musty basements to absorb unpleasant smells.
10 Set a time limit. This way you can avoid going over budget by limiting the time you spend redecorating.
11 Create a focal point in a room. It can be a singular item displayed proudly or a collection of items grouped together.
12 Work with odd number groupings when decorating ledges and mantles. Combine objects of varying heights and leave a little space between each object to create the perfect look.
13 Don’t buy stuff just to fill empty space. Think about your purchases and buy only what you really love.
14 After you think you’re done decorating a room, step back and take away a few pieces.
15 Clean and repaint the blades of your ceiling fan.
16 When decorating around a theme, don’t go overboard. Include just one or two pieces that act as focal points and allude to your theme.
17 Clean out the garage, paint the walls and create an organizing system to make extra space.
18 Don't feel obligated to display items you don't like. If there’s a decor item hanging around that holds little value (sentimental or otherwise), get rid of it or pack it away.
19 Clear up existing displays of accessories by packing up, labeling and storing items and then pulling them out when you feel it’s time for a change.
20 Rearrange your existing furniture; move pieces like a chair or sidetable to a different place in your house.
21 Give old and unused items a new lease on life either by giving them away, selling them or transforming them into something new.
22 Line the kitchen counter with repurposed glass bottles filled with water. This makes a beautiful display on its own or as ready-to-use vases.
23 Painting can do wonders when it comes to refreshing your home. If you can’t do the whole house, pick just one room.
24 An accent or feature wall is an easy starting point when decorating. Pick one blank wall, preferably in a fairly visible location like at the end of a hall, and paint it a stand-out shade.
25 Add shelving behind the toilet to create storage and display space.
26 Paint or sand and stain old furniture. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what a few new coats of paint and a little elbow grease can do!
27 Use ceramic paint to create unique designs on the tile of your kitchen backsplash.
28 Using a neutral colour palette to give your home a timeless feel and make it a sophisticated space.
29 Rather than one complete tablesetting, mix and match pieces from different sets that work well together.
30 Display scarves, tapestries or large pieces of beautiful fabric from wooden dowels to create an instant piece of art for a large space.
31 Play with contrasting materials to create a unique look, like setting a glass vase on a wooden table.
32 Make a great first impression by adding a fresh coat of paint, a new knocker or a shiny door knob to your front door.
33 If you don’t have money to spend on a sleek new media unit use an old, antique armoire.
34 Use old pillows and sheets to make new decorative cushions.
35 Old sheets or unused bolts of fabric can easily be made into window treatments or a new shower curtain.
36 Use a great wallpaper to punch up an old shelving unit by papering the inside back section.
37 Repurpose old furniture with simple DIY weekend projects. For example, turn an old table into an ottoman for extra seating.
38 If you don’t want to use wall decals or wallpaper to accentuate a space, stencils are a wonderful way to add a little creativity and personality to a wall or door. Best of all, making your own stencil is a breeze. All you need is cardboard, paint and an exacto knife.
39 Get together with friends and neighbours and hold a swap meet where each person brings household items they no longer need or want and trade away. At the end, donate all the unwanted items to charity. This is a great to way clear clutter in your home and to collect potentially precious decor items to refresh your home.
40 Add an accent without having to commit to painting the entire room. Paint the trim, doorjambs, windowsills, baseboards and around fireplaces in a complementary but contrasting colour.
42 A large area rug or hallway runner can hide scuffs and worn hardwood and costs a lot less than having your floors refinished.
43 Cafe curtains give privacy, let in light and are easy to create yourself.
44 Cover old boxes of varying sizes with pretty paper such as leftover wrapping or wallpaper to make lovely storage containers.
45 A woven vintage basket or big bowl filled with seasonal fruits, vegetables or greenery makes a cheap and chic centerpiece for the dining table.
46 Wood moldings salvaged from the lumber yard can add architectural details to a room not just around the baseboards or ceiling but around window frames and in doorways too.
47 Install dimmers in the living room and bathroom to help create instant mood lighting.
48 Group together small framed pictures and art for maximum impact.
49 Update lampshades by adding hand-stitched accents or by gluing flat braided or tasseled fringes along the edges.
50 When framing artwork, use an oversized matte and frame for a sophisticated and stylish gallery look.
51 Display your wardrobe or collectibles as art. Use display hooks and picture ledges to display hats, handbags or accessory collections as art on your walls. It’s a chic storage and display idea.
52 Combine several textured elements (shiny, matte, soft or rough), to add richness to a space.
53 Use colourful accent pieces, such as throw pillows, that can easily be changed with the seasons or latest trends.
54 Glue magnets onto the backs of fabulous faux flowers and affix to the edge of solid-coloured tablecloths for a pretty springtime touch.
55 Decorative molding made of Styrofoam is a cheap and easy to install alternative to crown molding.
56 Hang rugs, tapestries and small blankets or scarves on a wall if you need to cover a large, empty space. Not only will it look lovely but it will act as additional soundproofing in your home.
57 Create a new duvet cover by sewing two broadsheets together.
58 Group framed children’s paintings, drawings and craft projects with photos to create a wall display.
59 Blackboards and bulletin boards are useful helpers in kids' rooms, entryways and in the kitchen.
60 Decorate according your interests. If you like music, frame some sheet music or hang album covers on the walls as art.
61 Fresh-cut flowers are a lovely way to brighten up a space. Phalaenopsis orchids and calla lilies can last up to two weeks if you keep them out of direct sun and replace the water every couple of days. Or, once spring arrives, cut fresh stems from your garden every few days.
62 A woven vintage basket or big bowl filled with seasonal vegetables or fresh cut garden greenery makes a cheap and chic centerpiece for the dining table.
63 Organize your kitchen drawers and cupboards and display items that are used frequently. Pack away items that are rarely used.
64 Decorate a window ledge in the kitchen with small potted herb plants.
65 Give plants a bigger presence in your home by filling large cachepots and vases with packing peanuts or bubble wrap and placing small plants on top.
66 Add a dash of no-commitment colour to a neutral-toned room with a vibrant potted plant or fresh flowers like a fantastic fuchsia orchid.
67 Give bathrooms a breath of fresh air with the addition of humidity-loving plants like bamboo stalks.
68 For a nature-inspired look, fill in floor gaps with grouted beach rocks or pebbles. This works especially well in doorway thresholds.
69 Use nature to help decorate. Fill a clear mason jar with fall leaves or display beautiful branches and sticks in a large vase.
70 Look to the sea for inspiration. A giant clam or oyster shell makes a wonderful small decorative bowl for candy, potpourri, soap or jewelry.
71 Use fruit to add colour when decorating. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges arranged in a bowl or platter can instantly brighten up a table or countertop.
72 In the kitchen, add colour and eye-catching detail by displaying jars of preserves in a row.
73 If you don’t have a green thumb but still want a little nature in your home, decorate with succulents, which are easy to maintain.
74 Oversized cushions in bright colours are a great option for extra seating.
75 Knitted throws are a wonderfully warm accent in a family room or on the end of a bed.
76 Trays can provide conveniently movable tabletop displays.
77 Keep big ticket items like a bedframe, sofa or dining table simple. Pick something with a clean design that will work with almost any style.
78 Perk up your bathroom decor with beautiful pieces like a heavy cut-glass tumbler as a toothbrush holder or a pretty Victorian-inspired tea saucer as a soap dish.
79 Use table and floor lamps to create a soft glow instead of harsh overhead lights.
80 Don’t shy away from big pieces of art. One large, central piece can make a small space feel more spacious.
81 Update your bedroom decor by buying new bed sheets and pillow cases.
82 Instead of buying a new armchair or sofa invest in (or make your own) slip cover. It's easier and cheaper than reupholstering and provides a wonderful blank canvas to decorate around.
83 For an instant update to cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom, change the door knobs and pulls.
84 The Internet is a hotbed for deals on furniture and accessories. Sites like craigslist, Kijiji and eBay are all excellent places to hunt for a bargain.
85 New lampshades are cheaper than buying a whole new light fixture and can have the same impact on a room's decor.
86 Install mirrors opposite windows or doorways in dark, narrow spaces like hallways to create the illusion of space.
87 Cut standard tiles and arrange them into a unique pattern or finish for a customized backsplash or foyer.
88 Being on a budget doesn’t mean your home decor has to look cheap. Mix and match lower-end items with high-end sale pieces, vintage accessories and flea market finds.
89 Make or buy a new shower curtain to create a fresh new feel in the bathroom.
90 Display a stack of folded towels in the bathroom. Learn how to fold a towel for display.
91 Flea markets, secondhand shops and garage sales are great places to search for interesting furniture and accent pieces on the cheap.
92 When decorating on the cheap, shop for pieces with a critical eye. Don't buy something just because the price is right. Make sure you need and love it as well.
93 Floor sample sales and once-a-year warehouse clearances are great places to find heavily discounted designer pieces. Go to your favourite designer furniture stores and sign-up for their mailing list to get updates about sales.
94 Changing window treatments can take a room from dark and dusty to light and airy.
95 New throw pillows and cushions add a dash of colour to a room and can update a tired sofa or chair.
96 A new bedskirt can do a lot to improve the decor of a bedroom.
97 Small country auctions that antiques dealers stay away from, are a sure place to find bargains.
98 Update your kitchen by adding pretty seat cushions to kitchen table chairs.
99 Buy pieces that can be used in more than one way-a side table that works as a desk or seating that offers storage.
For more tips, tricks and ideas on affordable decor, check out our guide to decorating on a budget.