Decorating on a Budget: A Guide for Beginners on Where to Shop and What to Buy
Somehow, the colour scheme for the post has ended up being very green. I don’t particular ever decorate with green, but hey, there ya go!
Anyway, I mentioned in this post (and then again in this post, because hell, why not?) that Ben and I are moving soon! Not only are we moving, but we’re consolidating (i.e. we’re moving in together.)
All the nerves about consolidating aside, this of course means lots of conversations are being had about the most important thing any person discusses when moving, such as finances, logistics and all that boring stuff, but also furnishings, décor, and all the fun stuff.
I have been given a bit of a free reign design wise, but we’re going to be on quite a tight budget as the move is happening a bit sooner than we’d both planned for. Thankfully, I have been gifted with a good eye for good deal, so we’re not too worried about that side of things (well, Ben isn’t. I’m stressing like noodle, quite frankly). We’ve already designed our ideal living room (using Word, because Photoshop is too fancy for my lil’ laptop) and we’re feeling pretty confident we can have a very stylish flat for a very affordable price tag.
After all, I know how to shop not just for shoes, but for décor .
Art and décor in general, whether it’s sculptures, prints, candles or canvases are essential in my mind to give a home life. As part of my living room design, I have included a gallery to be hung behind the sofa, a large feature mirror for behind the sofa, as well as several soft furnishings, all which Ben was surprisingly happy with.
What Ben doesn’t know though (insert maniacal laughter here) is that the shelving I have chosen is not for books or DVD’s, but for décor. It’s for candles, photo frames, art prints, that strange twisty sculpture I saw somewhere that I fell in love with and thought would tie the room together.
No matter what type of decoration it is, artwork and décor make a room look complete and considered, as well as creating conversational pieces, or simply giving you something nice to look at. Décor and home accessories are necessary in every room of your home (yes, even the bathroom!).
However, if you’re decorating on a budget and trying to save money, focus on the items such as lighting (table lamps, floor lamps, light shades), decorative mirrors, and wall art. These will all add a polished look to your home, and can be statement pieces you build your room around.
But Where Do I start?
Here’s a handy guide to decor which will help you get started. I’ve included some ideas below featuring some products you can find at Wayfair.
Mirrors are a great place to start when decorating any home – they’re not just for the bedroom or bathroom! Mirrors help add dimension, space and light to a room and are also handy for checking your makeup or hair on the way past! Mirrors can be small and sitting on a shelf, statement pieces that hang above a sofa or TV, or larger pieces that lean against walls. They’re a great way to get creative, can be experimented with easily, and completely change the atmosphere of any room they’re in.
Plants and flowers (real or faux) are also another incredibly affordable way to decorate your home, providing both colour, movement, fresh air and life. Indoor plants are typically low maintenance, however if you don’t feel like taking on the responsibility of watering living plants, or you have pets that may knock them over, artificial plants are a great alternative, and no one will ever know unless they get a bit too close!
Lighting can be quite pricey, but if you have a keen eye you can always buy these ones for a bargain. Whether it’s for ambient or accent lighting (PureWow has a fabulous guide on this), lighting isn’t just about… err… light, but are also statement pieces and full of personality. Coloured glass light shades are of the past, and big statement light shades that create texture and patterns are a brilliant addition to the home. Lamps can be big or small, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring – there are thousands of designs out there, and are a great way to show of your design savvy and personality. Candles are also a great, affordable way to create mood lighting, using candle holders and candelabras.
Cushions, rugs and blankets are used to add texture and colour to a room, as well as being incredibly practical by keeping you comfortable! Don’t buy these in matching fabrics – try in different textiles, such as fur rugs, velvet cushions, and knitted blankets to give a room a sense of hygge and warmth, rather than looking too “perfect” or sterile. However, when it comes to patterns, make sure you choose carefully. Patterned or Printed cushions are a lot of fun to mix and match, but it’s best to pair them with block coloured rugs and blankets.
Ok, so where should I buy this stuff?
There are dozens of places you can buy affordable pieces that will give your home life, and although some art is expensive, very expensive, you don’t need to have expensive pieces. As long as you choose carefully, as long as you make your decisions not based on whim but on a complete visual theme, your home will look like it’s worth a million bucks, even if you spent a minute fraction of that.
Here are just a few of the sites I visit to buy my more affordable pieces, though I am sure there’s countless more!
George (part of Asda) is absolutely full to the brim of cute, affordable home furnishings and accessories, and many of the smaller pieces around my current flat were bought from George. They’re constantly updating their stock with new pieces, and are surprising on trend – right now it’s full of coppers, rose golds and marbles.
It wasn’t until I was perusing H&M Online that I realised they sold homewares, and as you would expect from a company like H&M home accessories they sell are up to the minute style wise, and are affordable enough they can be replaced with the seasons, like the scarf or dress you’ll surely by whilst you’re there. My only issue with H&M though, is they don’t have click and collect, and ordering online can be quite painful if you need to change or update any of your account details.
There’s a mirror from Argos that I am currently coveting and is essential to the living room I have designed. Argos is brilliant not only for mirrors, but rugs, light shades, and all the things you didn’t realise you needed like jewel-ended curtain rods. Argos tends to be the first place I look for rugs and lightshades, actually, and my current living room owes these features to a spur of the moment redesign a few months ago (before we knew we were moving)
Other Places to Shop:
- Sasse & Belle
- Rose & Grey
- New Look
- Yes Style
- Home Essentials
- Bohemia Design
- Nook Shop
- Tesco Direct
Those are my tips, tricks, and ideas for decorating on a budget! Do you have any suggestions for places to buy affordable décor? Let me know in the comments!