10 Must-Know Tips to Decorating Your First Home on a Budget:

10 Must-Know Tips to Decorating Your First Home on a Budget:

Expert Advice

Thinking about the ever-growing list of items needed to furnish your first home may seem daunting but never fear, we have put together 10 tips to help!


1. Get Seriously Creative

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It’s time to forget any notion that you’re not a master crafter and get excited about DIY.  Art can be pricey so think about framing mementos that have meaning, whether that be concert tickets, postcards, pictures from your favourite magazine or a collage of photos.  Visit your local Charity Shop for pictures frames and remember to mix and match for the ultimate stylish look.


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It doesn’t have to stop at art, you can spray paint old jars in rose gold or copper as tealight holders or vases.  These decorative pieces look amazing in any space and you have the added bonus of knowing you made it yourself.


2. Ask Around


In the spirit of giving, there’s always someone who has upgraded a large furniture item and therefore needs to find a new home for the existing piece. 


Make sure to let family & friends know that you’re moving and particularly what type of items you’re looking to find.  Even if you start with an older model fridge or well-worn couch, these are perfect for getting you started.


3. Go Budget on the Staples


You don’t need 3,000 thread count sheets or crystal glassware in the beginning, so keep a look out for mid and end-of-year sales on items such as towels, bedlinen, dinnerware and glasses. 


You can start with the basics, which many department stores offer at low prices.  Just remember to take a list with you and not get carried away by enticing decorative items that you don’t need.


4. Now vs Later


Consider what is absolutely necessary in order to prioritise what items you need for the move versus in a few months or even one year’s time. 


For example, you don’t really need a dining table and chairs from day one, you can make it into an adventure, eating on cushions on the floor or on the couch. 



If you have visitors over, lay out some rugs and cushions and make it an indoor picnic.  Your guests will have a blast and not notice the lack of dining furniture.


5. Get Out the Paintbrush


The quickest way to add serious decorative impact is to freshen up the walls or even add a boldly coloured feature wall.  If the space is small or dark, go for a light colour on all walls and consider painting the ceiling in a matte white.  


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The transformation is impressive and it won’t break the bank.  You can also ask if there are any pre-mixed tins of paint on sale to further reduce cost. 


6. Get Online


There are some amazing bargains to be found online so become familiar with second hand or sale websites.  Look for people in your area who are selling bigger pieces online to save you needing to transport them. 


Searches for cheap or inexpensive items tend to reveal stores that have lower cost items.  The great thing about searching online is the ability to shop around and price compare so use it to your advantage.


7. Use Your Imagination


Rethink the purpose of everyday objects or where furniture can double in purpose.  Could a storage chest also be your coffee table?  Can an older ladder double as a set of shelves? 


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The sky is the limit so start looking at objects from different perspectives and see how creative you can get.


8. Smart Accessories


Even the simplest furniture pieces can have the wow-factor with the right accessories.  Choose bold decorative cushions, textured throws and accent lights to lift any space. 


These don’t need to break the bank either, visit weekend markets for one-off designs or even head to department stores for one or two statement pieces. 


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9. Focus on the Layout


It’s all in the details and layout is one of the most important to get right.  Consider flow through a room and how to arrange furniture in a way to maximise space.  A trick to adding the illusion of extra space is to hang a big mirror and arrange seating around it, or face it towards a window to reflect the outdoors.

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10. Going Green


One of the biggest interior trends is the inclusion of indoor plants but creating your own greenhouse can be costly so it’s time to try out your green thumb. 


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If you are convinced you don’t have one, look for low care plants and start with seeds.  You can transfer into bigger posts as they grow, or even ask friends to take cuttings from their plants.  Different heights of plants can give the appearance of having more greenery than you do.


So put your fear to one side, arm yourself with a pen & paper and list out your must-haves versus your nice-to-haves.  With enough cajoling, rope in family and friends to help and enjoy this exciting time!