Frugal Decorating: Use What You Have

Frugal Decorating: Use What You Have

I love for my home to be pretty, feel cozy, and have a welcoming and lived-in feel. I care about how it looks and strive to make it beautiful. I don’t have a lot of money to do it though, so I find myself having to be creative. I can’t just drop hundreds of dollars on window treatments, new furniture, and decor.  Here are a few ideas from around my house to help make a house a home, make home feel personal and comfortable, vibrant and inviting without spending a lot of money.

Window Mistreatments

I learned this one from The Nester. I wasn’t a believer until I actually tried it and discovered it really was as easy as it sounded and didn’t just look pretty in her photos but was actually functional and pretty in real life. Shocker. Seriously, a lot of stuff I see in pictures I think that people make look and sound easy but they aren’t. This is.

See that? All I did was take napkins, fold them into triangles and hammered them into the wall with upholstery tacks. Instant pop of color!


Seriously, I hope you have flowers in your yard. If you don’t, you’re missing out. But, if you don’t, you can hop the fence and take some from your neighbor, just don’t tell them I sent you. Fresh cut flowers are a great way to not spend money and add decor and color to your home, a touch of the personal and natural. In the photo above of my lovely kitchen window are some canna lilies that my daughter and I got out of the yard. Free and fabulous!

Furniture Relocation and Makeovers

I bought this patio set at a garage sale for $20. I don’t mind the green, but I kind of have this love affair with the color red. So I did that. Got some spray paint and added some pop to the dull set and ensured their uniqueness all at once. I’m like that. I like seeing other people’s fresh ideas but them putting a twist on it to make it all my own. So no black or forest green paint was going over this – nope, for me it was all about the red.

And I love it!

In my dining room, I was lacking a buffet. I wanted a buffet. I didn’t like how everything looked and lacked flow without one. Plus, I needed storage. So, I dragged a dresser out of one of the bedrooms and hey, look at that! A buffet! I keep my table linens in it along with my candle collection. It adds balance to the room and makes good use of the space.

The most fun way to decorate for me is to move stuff around. Use things differently, switch things up. it costs nothing and it adds change without having to commit myself. I’m married. Isn’t that enough commitment for one lifetime? Don’t ask me to commit to my decorating.

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  1. I love this line:

    Seriously, I hope you have flowers in your yard. If you don’t, you’re missing out. But, if you don’t, you can hop the fence and take some from your neighbor, just don’t tell them I sent you

  2. I really love that window treatment and am going to try it. Also love red furniture, detail, and doors. I have a bench out front I’m planning on painting high gloss red. I’ll post pics when I do.

  3. I love finding ways to use stuff that I already have in new and creative ways. You have some great ideas here.

  4. Hey, I just did a post the other day on this very topic! Do you have any other frugal makeovers you’d like to share? If so, stop by and add your link to the mix. I love everything you’ve done!!


  5. Great ideas! Your home looks really loved and cozy!

  6. For all those people who spend thousands on home decorations, there’s nothing like flowers and photos!

  7. What a cute blog you have. Found you through the Blogher links since we are both about decorating. Love all your ideas & I’m all about saving money too.


  8. I am such a sucker for repurposing dressers, so I love the dresser as buffet. I have one that was my dad’s as a kid. It’s been a bedroom dresser, a guest room dresser, a TV stand and entertainment center, and now it sits behind the sofa, holding (and hiding) keys, CDs, books, purses, etc.

  9. Even the patio looks comfortable and cozy. I loved the way you used lighting to make the poor green set look dull and drab and the repurposed one pop and smile.

  10. Ooh such great ideas!!!

  11. Love the RED table set! Great pop of color!

  12. You are funny! I looooooooove your ideas!

  13. That red spraypaint was worth every penny!!!

    And, your mistreatments are fantabulous!!! LOVELY!

  14. I’m the same way about not wanting to spend big money on window treatment. I reused a duvet cover in place of curtains for one of my windows.

    The patio set is a fabulous makeover. I love it in red.

  15. I found this site via simple mom, via and just wanted to tell you I enjoy your blog.
    I love spray paint…I have lamps that have many, many layers of spray paint!
    Look forward to reading more of your inspirations!

  16. I luv that window “mistreatment”! So cute & simple, I’m gonna give it a try on my kitchen window. It’s a little bare right now with just a rattan roman shade. This should help to liven things up a bit.

  17. Thanks everyone for your sweet compliments on my humble little makeovers. it makes it fun knowing others can relate to the small things that make a home beautiful.

    I have more spray paint projects in mind so I’ll be sure to share those when complete.

  18. Great frugal ideas here.


  19. I loooooooove the new colour on the patio furniture! Wow!

  20. Hello,
    I am a new reader to your blog. I subscribed to your RSS feed and I look forward to your future posts (I will probably be diving through the archives in the next few days).
    You have a pretty cool blog. You should check out mine…its on the wealth tips of a struggling entrepreneur

  21. I love the napkin idea! It really does look great! We just bought our first home and are realizing that we don’t have much left in our budget for new things or decorating. This post is exactly what I needed to read! :-)

  22. I’m doing budget makeovers as well! I just dig out stuff I own and see what happens =) Glad to see that I’m not alone. It’s good for our economy as well as our environment. The red furniture looks great! Much more cheerful than the original green. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Great ideas! I am a penny pincher for years and love decorating with cheap and easy items!

  24. it is advisable to instal only cordless window treatments in homes where small children are present .

  25. this year our home decorating ideas would be more on eco friendly home decorations ‘*’

  26. Just painted my outdoor furniture red. I’m glad I found your blog and now I’m reassured that I did the right thing. Your red table looks fantastic.

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