Decorating on a tight budget doesn’t always seem like fun, but it does force you to be creative, think outside the box, and most of all, stay organized. It can also lead to solutions that you never would have thought of had you been given the chance to really spend. The first step to decorating on a budget is to figure out what your budget really is, and you have to be realistic for this to really work. If you aim too low, you are more likely going to blow your budget because you’ll start to justify spending a little extra here and little extra there. If you dedicate a decent amount of time to figure out this magical number, you’ll have less temptation to go outside of it. You will also discover that pure excitement when you save a lot more than you were anticipating in one area which then opens of bit more of the budget for another area.
Once you have conquered the first step, it’s time to come up with a game plan. This step begins with an overall scope of your project. Are you updating your master bedroom, gutting your kitchen, or doing an overhaul of the entire house. The easiest approach is to come up with a general look and feel that you want for the space. Flip through magazines and design blogs, and save all of the images that you are drawn towards. Two of my favorite resources are decorpad.com and pinterest.com. Once you have a collection of inspirational images put together, single out your favorite elements in each picture for ideas in your own space.
From this point, you are ready to really get things rolling. You should make a list of all of the pieces you want for each space including paint, window treatments, rugs, art, and accessories. A lot of the budget can get eaten up by these smaller items, so it’s good to be as detailed as possible in your plan of attack. As a general rule (my general rule), you can usually save more on the big pieces without sacrificing much style and then dress it up with nice accessories. You should get a pretty good idea of what your are spending where before you actually make the purchases. This way, if you fall in love with a sofa that is out of the budget, you still have the opportunity to make up for it with your coffee table or chairs, etc.
While this is all a basic overview of working with your own budget, it’s definitely not the only way to approach the process. Take this general outline and make it work for you and your project!