You don’t need to spend a lot of money to completely change the look and feel of your home. In fact, many of the most impacting changes in a room can be done for next to nothing. Color, texture, and placement of objects are cheap to implement, and may even be free if you reuse what you already have, rather than going shopping for new items.



The first step in spending as little as possible when decorating is to make use of what you already have. Side tables, chairs, and sofas can be given a new life by moving them to a new location, using them for a different purpose (night tables can become side tables, for example) or slightly altering them. A colorful throw on top of a couch can change style and design, but it can also hide imperfections if you can’t afford to buy a new one.


Color is one of the easiest, fastest ways to change the feel of a room. For those on a tight budget, painting the walls a rich, deep tone can completely change a room, even if not much more is done for it. For the most impact, choose a color completely different to the one that was previously in the room, and tries to stay away from whites and beiges, which people tend to associate with general rental spaces. In bedrooms and living rooms, you can also paint a single wall a different color than the other three to provide contrast and a focal point.



If you can’t afford real art, you can still decorate your walls using creative options. For example, many art and museum shops sell posters and prints representing famous works. All you need to do is buy an attractive frame that matches the style of the room. For smaller prints, old wall calendars can be a great option. They can usually be found on sale after the holidays or at dollar stores year-around.


Curtains and rugs are a budget-friendly way to change the look and feel of a room. For rooms like the living room, material and texture are as important as color. Thick velvety curtains, for example, can make a room feel more regal, while clear lace curtains can enhance the airy feel of a country-style room. For even more impact, match curtains to rugs.

Expert Insight

If you have your heart set on new pieces of furniture, there are lots of places online where you can get some for next to nothing. The best known may be Craigslist, which has a section on furniture. People who are moving sometimes give away all kinds of household items, most of which are in great condition. There are Craigslist sites for almost every major U.S. city.


  • Special Thanks to Ricardo Marquez for the lovely photo!