When I first started designing our home, I wanted it to look refreshing, gorgeous and original… but it also had to be budget friendly (without looking cheap).
So what I needed, was to find creative ways to achieve what I had in mind, without spending a fortune!
And surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! Yay!!!
The first thing I did was mapping out my budget.
It helped me to get a clear vision of which items I should invest on and which ones I could get creative with. You can read more about it here.
Then the fun part started… And I was ready to start designing and sourcing!
I’ve listed below 10 of my favourite ideas + the resources I’ve used to create our home’s decor without spending a fortune.
Hope you enjoy it!
1. Don’t be afraid of learning new skills
We are capable of doing so much more than we think we can… Seriously!!!
Since I’ve started decorating our home, I’ve learned so many new skills that I never thought I would be able to!
Wallpapering, upholstering, drilling, painting, sewing… and I learned it all from Pinterest and YouTube!
There are great free tutorials out there and we should take advantage of it!
Contractors’ fees can take a big chunk of the budget, and by doing it yourself, you will save a lot of money! (Just keep in mind that sometimes there’s no way around it, like hiring an electrician for example).
2. Shop Smart
Just because you are on a low budget, it doesn’t mean that you can’t buy high-end items… you can still get them at the sales or on websites like eBay for example!
Sign up to your favourite shops’ newsletters, and you will be the first to know when a sale is on, so you can get your hands on the products you love, for the best prices!
Having said that… I do still invest in some items, especially fabrics and wallpapers, but I always check it on eBay first, as people sell remnants there. Quite a few times I’ve bought 1 or 2 metres of fabric (or whatever they had available) from Ebay and then ordered the rest I needed from the shop! It saved me some money and I still got what I wanted!
My two absolute favourite shops to treat our home are:
Designers Guild (for fabrics, wallpapers, bed linen, accessories)
Anthropologie (for dinnerware and accessories)
For our little Jasmin’s bedroom, I fell in love with this gorgeous fabric from Designers Guild… Luckily I found a big piece on eBay and it was the perfect length for the headboard! It saved me £50! Then I ordered the remaining fabric I needed for the curtains direct from DG. Happy days!(Image: ajcreative.style from Alexandra Joseph Photography)
Also, you can find great items in low-cost shops…
Here are my favourite ones:
TK Maxx (For unique accessories and dinnerware)
Home Sense (For bed linen, dinnerware, lighting, Eastern furniture and unique accessories)
Argos (great for rugs)
Urban Outfitters (for rugs too)
Wayfair (for everything!)
eBay (for vintage treasures, furniture and rugs)
Zara Home (for accessories, lighting, dinnerware, and bed linen)
H&M Home (for textiles, accessories, rugs, dinnerware and kids rooms)
IKEA (for some furniture pieces, plants, textiles and accessories)
My gorgeous chevron rug from Argos!!! And I only paid £8 for it… What a find!!!
3. Add a personal touch to the lighting!
Adding little personal touches to the lighting can make wonders to your space, and it also transforms a plain, inexpensive piece into something quite special.
I love covering candle shades with gorgeous designer’s fabrics and then adding them to chandeliers and wall sconces, but I’ve also added just trimmings to readily made shades and it looks great too!
Here is one of the tutorials I followed when I first started covering lampshades.
(Image: ajcreative.style from Alexandra Joseph Photography)
4. Make your own curtains and cushions.
Making your own curtains and cushions, not just saves you money, but it also gives you the chance to create something unique and add some character to your space!
I love mixing and playing with fabrics for my cushions and curtains, it makes them fun and one of a kind!
I have put together a Pinterest board with some great curtain ideas, and if you are not in the mood to make one yourself, you can buy a plain one, like the Lenda curtains from IKEA, for example, and then add your own stamp to it, with trimmings, dye or a patterned strip of fabric for example. You can see the board here!
5. Never overlook a good piece of furniture
Most of the furniture in our house were sad little pieces, before putting my hands on them!
So, when you are out shopping, especially vintage or antique pieces, take a step back and try to see it with different eyes, imagining what it would look like if it was painted in a different colour or upholstered in a gorgeous fabric!
It’s so easy and relaxing to paint a piece of furniture, and it really is a great opportunity to create something unique to you and your home! Plus, you can get a solid, good quality piece, for much less than you would pay for something new with perhaps less character!
You can find my furniture painting tutorial here.
You wouldn’t believe how this buffet looked before! It was dark and sad… Now it’s the perfect, joyful addition to our dining room! (Image: ajcreative.style from Alexandra Joseph Photography)
6. Go treasure hunting in car boot sales, flea markets and charity shops
This is one of my favourite past times… It’s just so much fun! And you will most certainly come back home with something very unique!
Just don’t forget to make a shopping list of everything you are looking for, as it’s quite easy to get distracted there! But also go with an open heart as you are most likely to find something very special calling your name!
I found this beautiful hand embroidered picture in a car boot sale! Isn’t it just lovely?! (Image: ajcreative.style from Alexandra Joseph Photography)
7. Add some terracotta flower pots
Plants bring so much life into a home, and they really don’t need anything fancy to be put in!
I love terracotta pots, with their rich, warm colour and texture… it looks great against the green and it’s just the perfect combo to add some rustic touch to any space! Plus they are SO affordable!
8. Grab some free furniture
It’s amazing the amount of great free furniture that is available out there!
Since discovering the Trash Notting app from Frecycle, I’ve been given so many gorgeous pieces!
It’s definitely worth checking it out!!!
This vintage gents wardrobe was one of the free pieces I got from Frecycle. It was in great shape and all it needed was a good clean and some oil! Just perfect for our little Zak’s bedroom!
9. Make your own wall art
Have you heard of Canva? It’s a great site where anyone can create beautiful graphics!
I’ve designed quite a few wall art printables there! It’s SO much fun and is also a great chance to create something very special to your home! Plus… it’s free!!!!
These are two of the wall art printables I’ve made myself! And if you like them, I’m giving them to you as a gift! Just click here!
10. Make your own headboard
I ADORE upholstered headboards! They can add a high-end vibe and also be the focal point of the bedroom!
And, they are super easy and affordable to make, I love them so much that I’ve already made two!
If you would like to give it a go, here is my tutorial!
I hope you found these tips useful and you are now feeling inspired, to not allow your budget determinate how your home should look!
And if you need any help or just want to say hi, just leave a comment below… I would love to hear from you!