3 Tips for Decorating On A Budget When You’re Just Starting Out

Happy Wednesday y’all! Today my friend Amber, who blogs at Healthy, Wealthy & DIYs, is going to share a few tips on decorating. Just a reminder, for anyone interested in learning more about budgeting and taking control of your finances,  I’m teaching a class tonight at 9 EST with the Influence Network. Registration is open until 6pm EST. Take it away, Amber! 

Not so long ago, I used to be a personal finance blogger, but over at my new blog, I talk about transforming my new house from boring cookie-cutter to a place my husband and I are proud to call home!  I also take regular detours into health, lifestyle, money, marriage, being a dog mom, and more!

Today I thought I’d talk about a subject I’ve learned a LOT about over the past year, decorating a new place on a budget.  It can seem very daunting (and expensive!) at first, but there are some things you can do to make the transition a little more fun and budget-friendly.  Here we go!

#1: Embrace the mis-tint paint section.

We all know that paint is one of the least expensive ways to change a room.  But at $30-50 per gallon, it’s still a project that’s not in many people’s budget.

Enter the mis-tint section.  It’s basically the island of misfit paint colors.  Whenever the paint mixing machine screws up or if someone orders paint and never picks it up or doesn’t like it, it ends up in the mis-tint section at seriously marked down prices.

mistint paint

Since buying our house, I’ve found two gallons of paint in colors I loved for $5-6 each instead of the regular price of $35!  Most recently, I also scored a quart of black paint for marked down to $2.50.  I’d been planning a project with black paint so it worked out perfectly for just a fraction of the cost.

#2: Make like Macklemore and learn to love the thrift shop.

I confess I was never much a thrifter before owning a home, but since getting into thrifting, I’ve found some awesome items. The key is to be patient and expect to walk away empty-handed more times than not.

My best find so far has been two like-new silver candlesticks — originally from Pottery Barn with the labels still on the bottom!  They are really heavy and in great shape, too – even better.  If you’re a cheapo like me, you’ll be surprised just how expensive new candlesticks can be, so I was excited when I scored these!

pottery barn candle sticks

#3: Don’t buy full-price frames.

I’ve needed a ton of frames since buying our house, specifically for a gallery wall I created among other projects.  At first, I bought them new, but then I figured out there were much better and cheaper sources for frames!

Some of my favorite ways to find cheap frames are at thrift stores (again!).  I found many, many BRAND-NEW frames in thrift stores.  Of course, always check the clearance racks at Target and HomeGoods for good deals.  Don’t forget to shop around you house for un-used frames!  If it’s not the color you want, spray painting frames and mats is a cheap and easy update.

gallery wall

There ya have it – my top 3 tips for decorating your place on a budget.  I hope you enjoy!  Thanks again to Ginna for letting me guest post!

Amber blogs at Healthy, Wealthy & DIYs.  When she’s not decorating or shopping at thrifts stores, she twittering, Instagraming, or hanging out with her pup and husband.

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  • These a re great tips, Ginna! We love the oops paint section at Home Depot. I think we’ve only paid full price for one or two gallons and have painted at least 5 rooms :) Thrifting frames for a gallery wall is on my to do list!

  • I’m totally with you on cheap frames! I bought some $7 ones at TJMaxx, which turned out to be expensive, but they’re nice for display on the mantel :) I then found < $2 4×6 frames and $3.50 8×10 frames on sale at Target and bought as many as I could carry home on the bus!

    Printing photos though was a bit expensive for 8x10s -the cheapest I could find was $4/print. Way cheaper than buying paintings though and now I have photos of my travels throughout the apartment!

    As for paint though, I've only painted one room. I colour matched with a pillow case – I took it in and their computer grabbed that colour, which was so cool!! Plus, it looks amazing!

  • I know exactly what you mean! I hate paying full-price, especially on decorating our house, since it’s not really “necessary”, just more for fun and a hobby! :)
    -Amber

  • I’ve always wanted to color-match something but haven’t yet. We really need to color-match our exterior colors, so I’ll have to try that soon! What a great deal on those frames!
    -Amber

  • Isn’t the oops section the best?? I always go there first at Lowe’s or Home Depot. :) It’s great because a lot of the oops paint is just gray due to an error in the computer, which is perfect because I love painting with gray!
    -Amber