1. Chloe says

    As someone who moves a lot, but is always on a bit of a tight budget, I can totally relate! It’s all about the details for me – if I can’t afford a lot then I’ll get a few accessory pieces that I love – like some nice cushions and a blanket instead of a new couch. Also, you can never go wrong with fresh flowers and photo frames filled with good memories :)

  2. AdeOla says

    I always go with the minimalist route when I am low on budget, but I chose “stop you in your tracl” items. A huge nice image for a blank wall. Colorful cushions to hype up a couch. And I never under estimate the value of a book shelve or a cabinet in the living room to display what I already have.

    Picture pictures always equate memories.
    Also try thrifts stores for inexpensive but outstanding pieces.

  3. AdeOla says

    One more thing to make decor stand out…empty wine bottles are perfect for showcase flowers…fake or real!

  4. Joelle says

    For me, it’s all about decorating intentionally. I obviously have a prioritized “want” list for my home (right now, my main goal is to find an entertainment center so I can move the dresser from my living room into our bedroom, and get rid of the hideous furniture I have in there), but if I see something I absolutely love, I’ll get it. I really only get things I love, which is much different than how I used to decorate: impatiently and spontaneously. So, I think that if you loved that shower curtain, go for it! You want your space to be full of things you love ;)

    Don’t know if that was the answer you were looking for, but it’s what I’ve learned. It’s made my apartment a much happier place!


  5. It’s always so tough to prioritize! I’ve delayed buying a bar cart for two years because I can’t find any I like under $500 + it’s a non-essential. I usually focus on living/working area (which is one in the same in our home, since our desks are in the living room) because I spend the bulk of my hours there. One of my goals moving forward is to get creative and start doing more DIY projects at home—while keeping under budget. (Sometimes DIY projects get really expensive.)

  6. I would focus on the living room, too, if I had a place to myself. Since I like having a roommate, I always make my bedroom my priority and then leave the common space to figure itself out with whatever’s left over, which is why I end up with super-Victorian couches and chairs to match my roommate’s ultra-modern everything else. Oh, the woe of being a perpetual college student. I guess I would start with a couch I couldn’t live without and buy everything else little-by-little to match it.

  7. Very tough – I have an interior design degree and I still struggle with this, mainly because I want it to look done. I say focus on the room you spend the most time in. If it’s the living room, buy the best sofa you can afford because it can be recovered over and over. If it’s the bedroom, you can save money by making a headboard out of something versus buying one.

    I think pulling together inspiration boards is really helpful. I did mine on Pinterest and started to see patterns emerge – and that was my jumping off point to sort of find items that fit that mold.

    But the biggest thing I must stress is just don’t buy things to fill the space. It can be frustrating, but better empty and filled with possibility than filled with regret. I fussed until we bought a proper dining table, which we only use three or so times a week now that we actually have it…sigh. I caved for something cheap versus what I wanted and I’ve plotted how to replace it since it got here. Don’t be me. Don’t do that!

  8. Eleanor says

    Oh, it is *so* hard to prioritize, especially when you have a budget and multiple rooms to design. I too say focus on one room at a time– otherwise, each room will end up having a few pieces you love, but no single space will be exactly as you want it.

    I tend to recommend that people start with their bedrooms (I think it’s important for rest, rejuvenation, romance and all that) when they’ve just moved to a new home, but the living room is a great place to start, too. I’d try to use the 80/20 rule in your case- spend most of your budget on the big pieces which anchor the room (a new sofa, chairs, media unit- even if you can only buy one of these right now!) but be sure to save some for the accessories and fun items which make it “you”.


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