home ownership spending

When to Save or Splurge on Home Decor

Woman Laying in Bed

Is giving your home a makeover on your list of New Year’s resolutions?  I love a pretty home.  Looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest always makes me want to redecorate our apartment.  However that takes money, money which we don’t really have to spend.

BF and I have lived in our new apartment since last October and although it’s not yet looking exactly as I would like it to, it is definitely coming along.  I am by no means a master decorator, however thanks to the internet I’ve learned a few things about how to give your home a four star makeover on a two star budget.

Spend money on staples

Staples are the items that will always match with any color scheme because you buy them in a neutral color like dark brown or black, they are multipurpose items that can be moved into any room and they’re items you’ll probably have for many years to come.  This includes furniture items like desks, bookshelves, end tables and your bed.

Even if you upgrade a few years down the road staples, when properly cared for, can be moved and repurposed into a different room such as a study, the basement or guest room.

Save on colored decor

Giving your home a makeover doesn’t mean renovating or remodeling, it just means giving your living space a new look.  I’ve found that buying decor like throws and pillows in neutral colors such as white or grey can be a big money saver.

I add in a few decorative pillows in the color of choice, but I don’t buy all pillows in the pallet of the room.  That way when I give the room a makeover I only need to buy two or three new colored pillows instead of a whole set, it’s a big money saver.

Spend on your most used furniture

Don’t be afraid to spend money where you spend the most time.  We spent $1900 on our new bed (including frame and mattress) and $1500 on a new sectional sofa.  This is because we spend a lot of time sleeping in the bedroom (I love to nap) and watching TV in the living room.

It’s worth spending money on items you’ll enjoy for many days and nights.  You’ll want them to be comfortable otherwise it’s a total waste of money.

Save on lights and other fixtures

Decorative lamps are nice to look at but I think they’re a total waste of money.  The truth is lamps aren’t the type of decoration that necessarily means more expensive is higher quality.  I found a great lamp from the Nate Berkus collection at Target for $25, base and shade included.

The other great thing about lamps and lights is that you don’t need to change the entire thing every time you want to give your home a makeover.  If you buy a neutral base in wood, black, silver, white etc. you can change out the shade whenever needed.  Wal-Mart sells lamp shades as low as $10.  Whether your lamp is on a desk or a bedside table changing the shade can give your room a whole new look.

How often do you give your home a makeover?


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  • Putting in neutral colors as the base and then giving a room color through accents is a great approach that will save money in the long term. You can change the color and design of a room with new pillows, rugs, drapes, and accent pieces, which is a lot cheaper than an entire makeover.

  • That is so true Michael. That way you can change the decor more often without spending a fortune. Where do you get your design ideas?

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