Skip to content


How To Decorate Your Home With A Tiny Budget

When some people imagine the role of an interior designer, it's often a vision of huge homes and limitless budgets. The reality of the life of an interior designer is so very different. Projects are much more humble and budget is often super tight.

I honestly believe we all have the ability to have beautiful homes. There are so many ways you can learn how to decorate your home on a budget and create a stylish and inviting sanctuary for your family and friends, even if your pinching pennies and budget is super tight!

The very first step regardless of where and how you live, is to clean, tidy and declutter! It's such a critical part of the creative process and will help you visualise what you have to work with more easily. If you need a helping hand, click here to get our Ultimate #ClearTheCrap checklist and guide to a clutter free home + mind.

Today, I wanted to give you some ideas for how to decorate on a budget when pennies are super tight or even if you just want to live a little more sustainably. And below I'll give you my secret weapon thats saved me tens of thousands of pounds! 

Get Arty.....

how to decorate on a budget

Image Credit: I am Fy!

If you're looking for an instant update for a room, take a look at your artwork. You can easily transform a room with some new pieces. Prints and posters are super accessible and affordable, one of our favourites places to shop is Fy! (new users get 15% off too)

And if you're feeling creative, or simply can't find exactly what you're looking for, dig out those brushes and create your own fully co-ordinated artwork. One of our members Sarah did just that, we think she did an amazing job and bringing her whole room together in the palette she wanted.

how to decorate on a budget

Trim Up....

how to decorate on a budget

Image Credit: Kelly Hoppen

Upgrading curtains turn the natural light in a living space or bedroom into a focal point, adding that needed touch of character and interest. The best part is that giving your curtains a touch of pizzazz doesn't have to be difficult or costly.

If budget is tight you can update your curtains with trimmings, either vertical or horizontal. Adding a new leading edge is an easy way to upgrade your room scheme or even save a pair of faded or damaged curtains.

If you can't stretch to custom price tags, an easy and instant price busting update is to customise a pair of readymade curtains by adding a trim along the bottom, creating your ideal length and adding your own personality and perfecting your colour combinations in an instant.

Hit The Auctions....

Do you know what happens to the things you return to the likes of John Lewis,,, et al? They're sent to the auctions houses. In this age of online selling there is a huge underground network of retail returns.

Big online businesses like this with huge distribution facilities don't have the manpower (or inclination) to check, repackage and resell your returns. They save them up and periodically ship them straight to the sales where you can normally pick them up for 50% off the normal RRP if they're in A1 condition.

My absolute favourite place to spend a few hours a week is at John Pye's Auctions in Marchington. This is THE place for homewares (and if you're anywhere near south wales their auction house in Port Talbot is pretty good too).

how-to-decorate-on-a-budget (2)-2

Now there is a word of caution here, they also send the items that are damaged and aren't quite perfect, so I would ALWAYS visit the viewings before you bid. But if you have a super tight budget and are willing to put in a little elbow grease (or investment), you can grab yourself some serious bargains with some of the under par items. Kerching!

Now between us girls, I've saved an insane amount of money buying from auctions, for other peoples homes and my own.

  • The Libra Company dining chairs in my kitchen above retailed at £225 each, I paid £85 per chair saving over 60%.
  • The RV Astley light fitting above my dining table retailed at £2500, I managed to buy this for £220 saving over 90%!
  • I've carpeted two whole rooms for FREE in luxury velvet carpet when I sold the offcuts I didn't need for more than I paid for the carpet!
  • I've bought (and sold) sofas for huge discounts (and profits). I've bought over £10k worth of lighting for less that £1.5k. Console tables, bedside cabinets, rugs, fabric.... the list is endless.

If you've a savvy shopper and prepared to look through the auction catalogues released every Friday/Saturday, you can bag yourself some serious bargains.

And it isn't just restricted to homewares, you'll find everything and anything you might ever possibly need, from electrical appliances (the best auction site is Nottingham), to designer clothing, business liquidations and beyond. Once you find the auctions you'll never look back, but be prepared to get sucked in the auction hole, it's incredibly addictive.

Just remember to factor in 22% buyers premium on all items, and check if your item has VAT, you'll normally pay an additional 42% on the final bid price. If you're unsure of what to bid, you can look at past auctions for what you can expect, in my experience you'll pay around 50% of the RRP generally.

Below are a few of the items available in this weeks Marchington auction. A similar navy velvet orson sofa sold last week for £161 final bid + 22% BP + 20% VAT = £235.70. Not a bad price for a £949 sofa, 75% off!

Happy hunting!

how to decorate on a budget
how to decorate on a budget 6
how to decorate on a budget
how to decorate on a budget

Vinyl Baby.....

how to decorate on a budget

Image Credit: B&Q

how to decorate on a budget
how to decorate on a budget

If the ideal of vinyl flooring has you reliving nightmares, you need to take a fresh look at it. Vinyl flooring has come a long way and there are now some gorgeous cost effective designs that are comfortable underfoot.

The GoodHome Poprock range and B&Q has some super budget friendly tile designs that are easy to lay yourself (if reviews are anything to go by). With a tile thickness of 2mm it isn't going to last a lifetime, but at £11 per m2 you can jazz up a small space for less than lunch.

Paint It Bold or soft.....

how to decorate on a budget

Image Credit: Farrow & Ball

Painting your home is of course one of the most cost effective updates you can do. However, if you want to create an elegant home on a budget, then you should carefully select your paint choices.

You either want to go bold and dramatic OR soft and understated, muted hues with less saturation are always more refined. Going for one of these two options will add some instant elegance to your home. Go all, or go nothing for an effortless refined feel that will feel anything but budget!

how to decorate on a budget


Get your FREE 'Design My Home' Starter Kit

The HomeEnvy Members Club