Let’s be honest, we all wish we could walk into Pottery Barn and buy one of every item that they used to put together that perfectly cozy, adorable living room set-up. However, most of us cannot afford to spend $80 on a throw pillow – even if you swear that tiny little pillow will transform your entire apartment. I’ve been in the same boat. I’m absolutely guilty of cutting my grocery bill to afford decorative candles and throw blankets. I have some great news, though – you don’t have to pass up those Kashi bars to have the apartment of your dreams. Keep reading for my money-saving tips to create your dream home on a budget.
Tip # 1: Shop around
I had my heart set on a silver tray that I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog, but could not justify dropping $100 on it. After some strategic googling, I stumbled upon a viable substitute on a restaurant warehouse website. The tray in the cozy little picture of my living room below was under $20 and looks strikingly similar to the one that cost 5 times as much.
Tip #2: DIY
I’m a firm believer in “the more pillows, the better.” Unfortunately, throw pillows can put quite a dent in that paycheck of yours. While some of my pillows were purchased on sale or at an outlet, others were handmade by yours truly. Pillows are one of the easiest DIY projects, in my opinion. Simply purchase a pillow form from your local craft store, pick out your desired fabric, and fire up your sewing machine. You can obviously sew it by hand, but it will take a bit longer. With all of the fabric options available, you can have pillows for days and still afford to spend your paycheck on life necessities – like candles and throw blankets.
Tip #3: Repurpose
I’m a big fan of repurposing objects for decorative purposes. The glass canister that the candle is sitting in below is actually a vase meant for flowers. In case you were wondering, the silver candle stands next to my repurposed vase were a couple of dollars each from Ikea.
Tip #4: Shop the sales
I can’t stress this enough – don’t pay full price for something if you don’t have to. Let’s take my coffee table for example. I fell in love with the rustic mango wood and steel lining, but did not want to hand World Market $400 of my hard earned money. Rather, I called the store and asked about the kinds of discounts they offer. Not only did the employee inform me of their World Market Explorer program, which offers substantial discounts from time to time, but he also informed me of the furniture sale that was approaching.
Tip #5: It doesn’t hurt to ask
The cute geometric area rug in the photo was granted a 20% off discount at Target. Why, you ask? I noticed a small stain on the rug. It was nothing that would deter me from purchasing the rug, but obviously I’d rather purchase a rug stain-free. I kindly asked the Target employee if they offer discounts for damaged items. I pointed out the stain, and the employee said they’d be happy to offer a discount. Target also has a wonderful app called Cartwheel that is constantly offering discounts on home goods.
Bonus Tip: Add flowers
In my opinion, nothing brightens up a room like a vase of flowers. If you’re like me and weren’t born with a green thumb, your flowers will likely only look picture perfect for a week or so. My favorite place to buy flowers without diving too far into my grocery budget is Trader Joe’s. They offer numerous flower arrangements for under $10 – with some even under $5. The ones below are sitting in a repurposed mason jar glass because my vase was busy being used as a candle holder.
Where I purchased everything:
Couch: Value City Furniture
Coffee Table: World Market
Silver Serving Tray: Food Service Warehouse
Silver Candle holders: Ikea
Area Rug: Target
Wooden Serving Tray: Hobby Lobby
Vintage Edition Grey Pillowcase: H&M Home
No. 7 Clock Pillow: Saks off 5th Outlet
White Fuzzy Throw Blanket: Gilt.com
Grey Throw Blanket: Kohls
Little Black Coasters: Von Maur
Check out Home Decorating on a Budget: Volume Two here!
Do you have any tips for decorating on a budget? Share them in the comments!