I started my career designing a house on HGTV for a whopping $30,000 for the ENTIRE house including the kitchen. It was intense. I dove into dumpsters and flexed some serious DIY. Fast forward almost 10 years and it’s not difficult for me to spend $30,000 on a single room!

But good design doesn’t always have to cost a ton of money- and leveraging my many years of working with clients of all income levels and for a few notable tv shows where budgets are usually fairly lean- I share with you some resourceful ways to decorate your room on a budget with success!

1. Use paint

Paint is one of the easiest ways to achieve drama without a huge expense. For a really dramatic transformation, consider painting a room a really dark hue. My master bedroom is one of my favourite rooms in my house due to the cozy nature created by the dark navy blue that wraps every wall. It’s great for your budget as the drama created by the hue means you can be a bit more simple and demure with art. For $100 – $150 plus some sweat equity you can create some serious drama in a weekend. 

2. Use white 

I realize this is polar opposite to what you just read above. But do you ever notice how many beautiful home images on Instagram or magazines use a lot of white? It’s a really simple approach to make a sophisticated room. White is really easy to layer, and white is a simple staple colour to purchase at retailers of all price levels. I find when you keep a monochromatic colour palette the space can feel serene, textured and more expensive than it actually is.

3. Use Craigslist

I recently created an apartment space for an article for the Toronto Star where we sourced everything through the online sales platform Craigslist. While it takes some leg work (like contacting sellers and arranging transportation), it is a really great way to find beautiful items, from reputable brands, at a significantly reduced prices. 

4. Build slowly with a plan

Rome was not built in a day and neither does your living room have to be. You can do it in stages, and save for pieces you love. But do it with a plan- prioritizing buying some key quality pieces and fill in the gaps as your energy and finances allow you.

5. Make sure one item in the room is really special to you

Regardless of your budget- make sure there is something in the room that is really special to you. This might mean it is a sofa you have been eyeing forever, or a lamp that you tore out of a magazine years ago and have not been able to stop thinking about. Make sure there is something that you will love and think of fondly every time you see it.

What are your strategies for decorating on a budget (that don’t involve dumpster diving!)? I would love to know in the comments below. And if you liked this, you might like my top 10 decorating faux pas. Download that by leaving me your email in the box below and I will send it over 🙂