We’ve spent many a year doing our best to make our house a home on a tight budget. Over that time, I’ve gotten a bit creative making our space unique and into something that we love! Here are my tips for designing your space when you’re broke;
KEEP WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY
First off, it’s always best to declutter. Before you get bored and skip to the next step, listen! Decluttering will bring new life to the space right away! Go ahead and take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book, and get rid of anything in the space that doesn’t bring you joy! In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie suggests picking up each object one by one, and if the item sparks joy in your gut, keep it! If not, donate or sell it.
She recommends doing this to your entire house, but for the sake of just redecorating one room, let’s keep it simple. When we redesigned our living room, we took literally everything out and placed it on the floor. Then I went through and held each item, and just listened to my gut reaction. If it sparked joy in me, I put it in the “keep” pile. If not, I set it aside. Now, keep in mind, if you absolutely love something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be used in that space, say the living room. It might be something that is better suited elsewhere in your house.
So after I figured out what I loved, I set to donating or selling the rest. This left us with so much less “stuff” in general and with a little bit of money to put into the designing budget!
IDENTIFY THE FUNCTION
After the declutter, really figure out how you want the space to function. Decide what activity the space will be used for most. For example; If it is going to be used for entertaining, you’re going to want ample seating room and space between furniture to walk. If it’s going to be used for reading or lounging, you will likely want some sort of natural light. Honestly take a look at how you want the space to function and then get to the task of re-arranging/removing the furniture and large pieces you already have in the space. There are many resources available online that will help you decide on the best layout for your space.
In our living room, we took an honest look at how it was functioning already, with our many family gatherings that we host, and realized that we had more furniture than we needed. We ended up taking an ottoman and the two bookshelves flanking our TV out. It gave more space for people to walk while still leaving adequate seating.
SHOP YOUR HOME
Next it’s the fun part. Go shopping in the rest of your home! This is where you can get creative. Hang baskets on the walls to make a fun art piece, and also add function.
Find old glass containers (This one is actually a chocolate milk jug ) and put faux greens in. Make sure to put in a bit of real water to make them look fresh.
Make your own free art! Frame Maps of places you love or just places that look cool (even tearing these out of road maps would work). Print off quotes that you love online and frame them. Canva is a good place to create your art for this type of thing. Go outside and find big leaves or greens that you love and press and frame them.
OPT FOR LASTING FINISHES
Lastly, use whatever budget you do have toward purchases that will stand the test of time. Resist the urge to spend the money you earned from decluttering, toward trendy items that will go out of season in a year. Now, trends aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but be sure you’re not buying something simply because it’s trendy but because you ACTUALLY love it.
In the end, putting your money toward a beautiful fresh coat of paint, installing trim, window treatments, or light fixtures, will bring a bigger change and withstand the test of time.