How to Decorate Your Home on a Budget

Whether you're moving into a new place or just want to revamp your look, decorating on a budget is a worthwhile challenge. Planning for big-ticket needs first, making strategic purchases and giving yourself extra funding for accents allows you to furnish a stylish home at prices you can afford.

From living rooms to master suites, a little research and consideration are all you need to find inexpensive furniture that works for your budget. We've put together some tips for affordable home decorating, so you can start designing your dream home.

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Determining Your Budget

The rule of thumb when deciding how much to spend on furniture and decor is to put necessities first. Practical items like seating, tables, lighting, beds and mattresses will take up the bulk of your budget, but don't forget to allocate funds for accent pieces like rugs and wall art, too.

Discover Ways to Save

Careful shopping and well-timed purchases save you money when furnishing your home. If your budget is a bit tight, consider the following tips:

  • Holiday Sales: Whenever possible, wait to make large purchases to get deals and discounts around major holidays.
  • Multi-Functional Pieces: Furniture that serves double duty is a lifesaver when you're decorating on a budget. For example, a cocktail ottoman gives you both a footrest and a surface for drinks and snacks. A loft bed with a built-in desk or dresser saves space as well as money for other items.
  • Thrift Store Finds: Reserve your money for big-ticket items like a high-quality sectional or bedroom set, and browse secondhand stores for smaller pieces like a coffee table or a vanity.
  • Collections: While it may seem practical in the short term, buying individual pieces costs both time and money in the long run. With a living room, dining or bedroom collection, you'll get a coordinated look for less.
  • Sort by Price: When you're trying to stick to a budget, it's best to refine your online searches by cost. You may be tempted to overspend if you fall in love with a bed frame or sectional that's above your limit.
  • Financing: If you do find a living room collection that's a perfect fit for your home, but not your finances, consider a low-interest payment plan. If you can comfortably fit the extra expense in with your other bills, financing your furniture over time is a good option.

Must-Have Living Room Essentials

The living room, with all the seating, tables and lighting it requires, can put a strain on your wallet when you're decorating. The key is finding budget-friendly furniture that balances value with durable materials as well as comfortable cushioning and upholstery.

Low-Priced Seating

Inexpensive living room furniture sets help you maximize style at minimal cost. Two- and five-piece living room sets under $1000 can include sofas and loveseats as well as chairs, lamps and table sets. Alternatively, an all-in-one approach with sectional sofas under $1500 offers options with chaise lounges, power reclining and seating for up to six people.

If you're furnishing an apartment or townhouse, you may have less space in your living room. If you need to conserve square footage, you still have plenty of chic seating options to fit your home and your budget:

  • Sofas under $500: Is a brand new couch all you need to switch up your look? Select a navy sofa to revamp a neutral living room, or pick up a cool sage green couch to bring earthy harmony to a dark wood coffee table and mocha brown chairs.
  • Sofas under $1000: If you have the means, couches at a slightly higher price point deliver more luxury features. Fine leather sofas, plush cushions and fashionable details deliver a designer vibe at a lower cost.
  • Recliners under $500: Save your square footage and opt for a pair of recliners alongside a loveseat or coffee table. Choose manual or power recliners, and seek out extras like USB ports and cup holders.

Cost-Effective Entertainment

Entertainment is often the focal point of a living room. TV consoles under $500 allow you to store movies, games and other media, add an electric fireplace to your layout or put decorative items on display, all while providing a surface to support your flatscreen.

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Dining Rooms for Less

Whether you gather with the family for every meal, host dinner parties on the weekend, or use your table as homework central for the kids, there are plenty of dining choices to suit your life and budget. If it's just you and a partner, perhaps a bistro set for two is all you need. To save money, opt for inexpensive dining room furniture that works with your routine and entertaining style.

Make room for your family and guests with dining room sets under $500. Glass top tables offer easy cleaning, while models with built-in shelves make tidying up a breeze. Look for upholstered chairs or an accent bench for cozy, comfortable seating. Love the table you have? Revamp your layout with the simple addition of dining room barstools under $200.

Budget Bedrooms

Bedrooms should be a quiet, private retreat from the stresses of the day. Getting all the furniture you want when you're decorating on a budget can be challenging. Be on the lookout for inexpensive bedroom furniture that emphasizes comfort, quality and personal style.

The Master Bedroom

Create a luxurious vibe in your master suite by purchasing furniture collections for a bigger discount. Bedroom sets under $1000 have all the necessities like nightstands, dressers, mirrors and headboards for a curated look.

If you need a specific type of frame to support a new mattress, or you need a bed that coordinates with your current bedroom furnishings, start your search with beds under $500. Consider the simplicity of a modern platform bed in minimalist spaces or try a panel bed with drawers if you need extra storage.

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Kids and Teens

A child's bedroom should reflect their personalities. Take the time to shop around and find deals on bedding and furnishings in their favorite colors and patterns. Kids' tastes change as they mature, so select furniture in hues and designs that can stand the test of time. The following are a few ideas for outfitting a kid's bedroom on a budget:

  • Buying kids bedroom sets under $1000 expands your furniture options with additional pieces. Search collections for children of all ages with dressers, mirrors and nightstands as well as nursery sets.
  • Kids beds under $500 include toddler, twin- and full-sized options for low-cost, high-quality support for growing children.
  • Looking to furnish a shared bedroom or make a guest room more welcoming? Kids and teens bunk beds under $1000 include affordable options with convenient features like futons, desks and lofted frames.

More Mattress for the Money

Begin your research by looking for mattress sets under $1000. Brand names like Beautyrest, Sealy and Serta often offer deals and discounts on twin, full, queen and king-sized mattresses. Look for sales on kids mattresses under $500, so the whole family can get the quality rest they need.

Essential Accents

Once you've found all of your furniture favorites, consider the other necessities for your space. Good lighting is crucial. Chic floor lamps, table lamps, sconces and chandeliers keep rooms well lit and help you set the mood.

Once all these items are in place, complement your color palette with inexpensive home decor like throw pillows and rugs. A piece of wall art makes a terrific focal point above your new sofa, too.

Budget Decorating Made Easy

Focusing on inexpensive yet quality furniture makes decorating on a budget easier. Prioritize the fundamentals, pay attention to sales, seek out multipurpose pieces, search by price range and consider financing if needed. With some strategic furniture and accent buys, you'll get a fabulous new look without breaking the bank.