10 Interior Design Tips for Every Budget

Bethany White August 5, 2022 | 6 min read
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If current rates have you staying put, that doesn’t mean your decor has to stay the same, too. There are plenty of great ways to use interior decorating to refresh your space while reaching your savings goals. So many great ways, we couldn’t fit them all into this blog. To get you started, here are our top 10 interior design tips for a home that’s easy on the eyes and your bank account.

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Interior Design Tips

  1. Reorganize and rearrange
  2. Declutter
  3. Repaint your trim
  4. Replace fixtures
  5. Thrift accent pieces
  6. Add a pop of color to smaller furniture with paint or wallpaper
  7. Support local/independent artists
  8. Don’t forget the frame
  9. Splurge on one item that makes a big difference
  10. Be patient

1. Reorganize and rearrange

Before you consider purchasing new furniture and decor, take inventory of what you already have. Whether it’s adjusting the angle of your couch, moving those throw pillows to the bedroom, or rearranging your gallery wall, a new look doesn’t have to mean new stuff.

2. Declutter

Interior decorating isn’t just about adding new pieces—what you take out can have just as much impact. And, if you’re moving on from pieces that are still in good condition, you could actually resell them and make money off your redecorating plans rather than lose it. Pro-Tip: Not sure where to start? Ask yourself WWMKD: What would Marie Kondo do?

3. Repaint your trim

Painting is one of the cheapest ways to update your home’s look, but repainting entire rooms can be a lot of work. If you like work, more power to you! Otherwise, simply repainting the trim in your home can make a big difference for a small amount of money and effort.

4. Replace fixtures

When it comes to interior design tips on a budget, it’s all about the little things. In this case, swapping out knobs and handles on your cabinetry and furniture is a quick way to add character to your space and tie your rooms together. Unlike more work-intensive projects, this interior design tip is quick, mess-free, and easy to do yourself.

5. Thrift accent pieces

Thrifting can be hit or miss, but by sticking to smaller accents like lamps and side tables, there’s a good chance you’ll find quality pieces that fit your budget. Especially if you’re aiming for a more eclectic look over modern minimalist trends, thrifted furniture can bring a space together in a way that’s truly unique. Not to mention, it’s good for the environment and most vintage stores are independently owned and operated.

Pro-Tip: Nail your vintage purchase with this handy list of furniture thrifting considerations.

6. Add a pop of color

From repainting your bedside table to wallpapering the interior of your bookcase, a little color can turn a standard piece of furniture into a statement. Don’t be afraid to try out multiple patterns and palettes. If you change your mind later, you can always repaint again. And in this case, fortune really does favor the bold—it’s often easier to find bolder colors on sale since they’re generally not as popular as neutrals.

7. Support local/independent artists

Real talk: Fine art pieces are out of the average person’s budget. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for recreations and reprints. Seek out local (or independent, “local” is a relative term in the digital age) artists for unique pieces at reasonable prices. Just don’t try to haggle them to even lower prices. Remember that you’re paying them for the years spent learning their craft, the materials, the hours spent creating it, and the originality—not just the piece itself.

8. Don’t forget the frame

Unframed movie posters might be a coming-of-age decor right of passage, but you’re an adult now. That means you need to frame. Your. Art. The right frame can elevate a photo or art print you already have, create dimension on your walls, and bring texture to your interior. From simple custom frames to vintage scores, there are endless affordable options to express your style.

Splurge on one item that makes a big difference

Sometimes, it pays to pay more. If you’re thinking of replacing focal items like your couch or bed, you’ll save more in the long run by buying quality pieces that stand the test of time. It’s ultimately up to you to decide what’s worth splurging on based on how you use it. If you work from home, you may want to spend more on a great desk and comfortable chair. For families with kids and pets, a durable couch might be the priority. And if you’re a vampire who never sleeps, we understand if you’d rather invest less in your bed.

Pro-Tip: If you’re not sure how to prioritize what’s worth the splurge, check out this breakdown of essentials.

10. Be patient

All those home renovation shows make one big, complete transformation seem like the way to go when you decide to refresh your decor. Realistically, though, decorating your home is an ongoing process. Don’t spend money on pieces you don’t love just for the sake of filling a space. Take your time, buy as your budget allows, and don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel like you (are we still talking about interior decorating?).

Any other interior design tips to consider?

The most important interior design tip we can give you might seem counterproductive to this whole blog you just read, but here it is: Trust your own taste over any interior decorating advice you might receive. Tips and tricks are a great place to find inspiration, but it’s ultimately your home, your budget, and your call. And if redecorating gets you thinking about larger-scale renovations, we’ve got a loan for that.

Thrift, paint, repeat. Try these easy interior design tips to give your home a fresh look without compromising your financial goals.

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About the Author
When Bethany was a kid, her mom took her to the zoo, museums, and more fun spots—then made her write essays about them. Now, Bethany deploys those skills as a copywriter at Cardinal Financial and has to admit: she owes her mom one. When Bethany’s not dreaming up fresh takes on mortgage lending, you can find her running, spoiling her cat, and refusing to improve as a chef.