Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Home Decorating on a Budget

Before I got married I had big expectations for my future home.  I have always loved decorating, and rearranged my room monthly as a kid just for the thrill of switching things up.  So naturally, as soon as I got married I started filling my Pinterest boards with ideas of how I was going to decorate our little student apartment.

As soon as I got to Australia, reality hit.  Brandon and I moved here with a couple of suitcases each, and literally had nothing in the home decor department.  Even if I wanted to shop, I didn't know what stores to go to, not to mention the fact that medical school sucked every spare penny we had.  And all the pennies we didn't have.  So I got creative and came up with something that's comfortable, liveable, and somewhat stylish.

I've come up with a few tips along the way, so I thought I'd share some of them with you:

1) Pick a style.  Deciding on the overall look and feel of your home ahead of time can make decisions easier when you are putting it all together.  Does that lamp really go with what's going on in the rest of the house?  Or what fabric should you make your curtains out of?  I decided to go with something eclectic because I feel like I can make pretty much anything work.  Making an inspiration board with colours and textiles that you like can be helpful as well.
2) Second hand is your friend.  Aside from our mattress, every piece of furniture in our house is second hand.  Thrift stores, garage sales, and Gumtree (the Aussie version of Craigslist or Kijiji) are all great opportunities to find quality furniture at a low price.  We got our fridge, washing machine, bed frame, night stands, desk, dresser, couch, chairs, coffee table, and kitchen table all for under $1000!
3) Get your craft on.  I am a huge fan of throw pillows.  They just add that extra little bit of colour and excitement to a room, but I couldn't justify spending $40 on ONE throw pillow, so I whipped a few up myself.  If you can sew four straight lines, you can make a throw pillow.  And that dresser?  You should have seen it before the paint job.  A fresh coat can do wonders!
4) Consider vinyl wall stickers or removable wallpaper to liven up rentals.  I love a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but since we are in a rental I have had to come up with other ways to brighten up our room.  My sister-in-law gave me these vinyl wall stickers for Christmas and they were the perfect touch!  They come in all sorts of shapes and colors and can just be peeled off when you move!
5) Decorate with photos.  Its a great way, affordable way to personalize your space.  We printed 24x36  prints of our engagement photos for our wedding, so I brought a couple over and popped one in a frame in our living room.  The print was $15 and I found the frame at a dollar store for $10.  Its a great way to fill a large blank wall, and we get a ton of compliments on it!
 What tips do you have for keeping costs low when decorating your home?  I'd love to hear!


  1. What a fantastic job Amy! You should do my place! xo

  2. Good thing you wrote this post cause your house is 900% cuter than mine!

  3. I want that green dresser when you move back... I'm baggsing it right now! ~ Hope :)

  4. you've done a great job, amy! i absolutely love all the color :)