When my fiance and I moved into our first home together, I couldn't wait to put on my interior designer hat and turn this empty, two-story house into our cozy abode. Then I saw the price tags on home decor and was all, "Decorating is expensive, wahhh," and my aspirations of achieving an Instagram-worthy home dwindled into a pile of nothingness. I started researching home decor hacks for women on a budget and realized you don't have to have a Kardashian-sized budget to live in a beautiful home. We've been here almost a year now; and while I've still got a decent amount of work to do, I can confirm that our dwellings are far cozier than they used to be — and I didn't go broke getting there. If these walls could talk, they'd say, "Who taught her to clip coupons like that?"
While it would probably be oh-so-spectacular to walk into Pier 1 or Bed Bath & Beyond with your personal assistant and start pointing at all the things you want, let's be real: most of us are on a more modest budget than that. If you want a home that's somewhere in between your college dorm room and Buckingham Palace, here are a few tricks to get there.
1. Make Washi Tape Picture Frames
When we moved in, I had a hefty collection of pictures, all of which I wanted to frame and hang. Then I saw how much picture frames costs. There's a more affordable solution: washi tape! Affix your pictures to the wall and frame them with decorative washi tape for a finished (and cost-effective) look.
2. Decorate With Paint Swatches
Do something with all those paint swatches you snagged at Home Depot. Ditch the paint all together and line your walls with the swatches themselves. I don't use the word "breathtaking" very often; but if I did, now would be the time. The outcome is breathtaking.
3. Use Old Necklaces For Curtain Tiebacks
This might be one of my favorites. Got an old, chunky necklace laying around that you don't wear? Maybe one with big, colorful jewels? Instead of more traditional cord or ribboning for your curtain tiebacks, secure it with a necklace!
4. Add Colorful Ribbons To An Otherwise Hideous Fan
I used to refuse to keep these fans in the house because I hate the way they look. Then I remembered that I live in Las Vegas and it's around 400 degrees in the summer. If a fan is a must-have, prettify it by attaching colorful ribbons that will blow in the breeze.
5. Paint A Layer Of Glitter Inside A Lampshade
Is this not majestic? Paint a layer of glitter inside your lampshade for an amazing lighting effect. Look at it glisten!
6. Use A Ladder For A Shoe Rack
Unless all of your shoes are gorgeous, clean, and match each other, there is no way to organize them in a way that's aesthetically appealing, aside from throwing them in the closet and slamming the door shut. But this comes pretty close. It helps keep your floor clean, too!
7. Illuminate With String Lights
It doesn't have to be the holidays for you to whip out the Christmas lights. Doesn't this add the most dreamy touch? Harsh fluorescents are no fun, especially when you're winding down at night. Adding string lights to your curtains or bed canopy not only provides the perfect amount of lighting, but it looks simply stunning.
8. Poke Holes And Let It Shine
Here's another sweet lighting effect you've got to try. Do it with different kinds of window covers and even lampshades! Grab a pin, knife, or other sharp tool and poke holes in the material in a creative pattern or design.
9. Get Creative With Furniture
If newly bought furniture is totally out of your price range, start to think out of the box. Instead of an expensive coffee table or end table, go thrifting for old drums, hat boxes, stacks of books, trunks, or suitcases. They not only get the job done but add a unique touch to the room, too!
10. More Lampshade Ideas
Have a case of wanderlust? An alternative to the glitter idea mentioned earlier is to layer over the inside of your lampshade with a map. It's the perfect idea for the frequent traveler and is a wonderful way to incorporate your jetsetter memories into your home.
11. Ditch Store-Bought Fillers
The fancy rocks, jewels, and other kind of vase fillers you can purchase from the store are certainly beautiful, but they're also pricey. Instead, go for something like coffee beans. You'll get more bang for your buck, they have countless uses, and — holy cow — imagine how amazing your home will smell.
12. Let There Be Light
B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T. And you don't even have to invest in exterior lighting!
13. More Washi Tape Madness
Washi tape goes with everything. Besides using it for picture frames, you can apply it to furniture, walls, and any other surface to take it from drab to fab.
14. Hollowed Books
Is an unsightly router, Wifi box, or other device driving you bonkers? Remove the guts of a book and boom — instant disguise.