5 Hacks For Furnishing Your Home On A Budget, According To An Expert

When it comes to home decorating, most of my fellow 20-somethings stick to cheap (and often cheap-looking) place-holder furniture, with the logic that anything we'd really want would be too expensive. Home decorating on a budget sounds good in theory, but in practice most of us have found that it's hard to achieve in reality. Especially after shelling out money for necessities like rent and utilities, while also getting to actually enjoy the occasional meal and drinks out with friends.

But is it really impossible? As in one of those things you read about in magazines that just doesn't hold up in real life? In order to find out for sure, I reached out to creative consultant and blogger Amy Anderson via e-mail to pick her brain about ways to decorate without breaking the bank.

I found that Anderson's best tips generally weren't anything shocking and often just came down to common sense, yet at the same time they weren't methods that I, nor any of my friends, had actually ever tried or really thought about.

If you're itching to revamp your space, or are getting ready to move and are tired of your super cheap-looking, post-college aesthetic, here are Anderson's top recommendations.

1. Go For Used Items

"My biggest piece of advice is always that everything doesn't have to be brand new," Anderson says. "Take advantage of Craigslist, local list serves in your neighborhood and garage sales. You'd be surprised how many gently used or practically brand new pieces people are wanting to get rid of at a deep discount." She also says don't be afraid to try to bargain!

2. Take Your Time

"Patience is also great to keep in mind. It takes time to find the right pieces at the right price," Anderson says, also noting to, "Think of the overall decorating process as a marathon - not a sprint." This is super helpful to keep in mind if you're one of those people (like myself) who can be more obsessed with getting things done and over with than actually getting them done the best way possible. Remind yourself that you can live without a couch or a coffee table for a few weeks — because you might just find a gem that you'll have for years.

3. Get Creative With Your Search

Anderson says that when people think of decorating on a budget, they often assume they'll have to stick with Ikea or boring options. "Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Ikea fan over here! But you don't have to limit yourself just because you're on a budget," Anderson stresses. "Get creative with your searches. You can even shop budget home selections directly online with H&M, TJ Maxx and Fishs Eddy. Always check their sale sections too!"

4. Paint

"Paint!" says Anderson. "An accent wall can yield some big power in a space and paint is pretty cheap." I can actually personally attest to this one. When my roommates and I moved into our all-white apartment, we felt like things seemed cold and sterile. A few cans of paint and about 30 dollars later we had what felt like a completely new and revitalized space.

5. Be Open Minded About The "Perfect" Space

When talking about paint colors, Anderson says, "I always check the markdown bins at my local hardware store where they've discarded whole buckets of paint because the color was slightly off, etcetera, from what the original customer wanted. Their loss is your gain!" To me, this is such a great point because it entails being flexible with your "dream" space. Maybe the exact thing you want is out of your price range, but if you keep an open mind and are creative in your search, you can still vastly improve the look and feel of your home. And you might even end up liking it more than the original vision you had in mind.

It turns out decorating on a budget is absolutely possible. You just have to be patient and open-minded about your expectations. Now excuse me, I have some serious Craigslist browsing to do.

Images: Pexels (6)