Redecorating on a Budget, from $0 (as in FREE) to $100

Are you ready for a fresh new look but don’t have the funds saved up to completely redecorate your house?  You would end up in debtor’s prison if you bought everything you wanted, right?  So you can’t redecorate your whole home, but there are things you CAN do for not much money that will make a big impact! While I do have a few clients who are working on remodels and entire home redecorating projects (which is REALLY fun, but also REALLY costly), most of my clients are looking to simply refresh a few things, so I am going to share with you several ways you can redecorate on a budget.  We’re talking $0 to $100 range, EXTREMELY low-budget!

If you find that you are in this group that I like to call “Restyling on a Budget” I have some tricks up my sleeve to help update or restyle your home, with no dumpster diving involved!!

  • PAINT  

$50 for a good can of paint can give you an entirely new feel and look for your room!  Lighten, brighten, accent, or freshen by changing the color of your walls, or your trim, or your bookshelves, or even your front door.  Think color doesn’t affect mood?  Read here: Room Color and How it Affects Your Mood   by Fresh Home.

In general, today’s style leans more fresh and clean, rather than gloomy and earthy — even when incorporating wood and leather and coziness.  You can have a warm feel even with today’s “fresher” updated wall colors, as Joanna Gaines accomplished in the photo below:

From HGTV, a 1968 Fixer Upper


From Home by Hattan, a fireplace facelift for a dear client


If you are unsure about what color walls or what neutral would look good in your home to give you the look  you want and best complement what you already own, I can certainly help with that — it is one of my loves and I’ve had lots of training in color undertones and complementary color choices.

Whether you consult with me or not, for a can of paint and a day’s work, you will certainly change the look and feel of your home, without changing a stick of furniture — using the magic of paint!



Don’t underestimate the power of spray paint either! If you have an item you really don’t have the money to replace, but you know the metal finish is out of date, or the base color is wrong, or you are just plain tired of it … take it outside on a tarp or old sheet and give it a few coats of spray paint.

Hattan’s Helpful Hint:  Be sure and research how best to spray paint the item you are planning to spray paint.  Practice spraying evenly – there is an art to it, in my opinion – sand it, give it 2 to 3 coats of spray paint, give it time to dry, and seal it to make sure it doesn’t rub or flake off easily.

So if you have a light fixture you no longer love, but you really can’t afford something different?  Spray paint it!

This light fixture was once 1980’s brass. My client loves a beachy, vintage look … so she spray painted it antique white! Now she can live with it, and it cost her about $5!

Metal benches or metal legs on furniture, lamp bases, even wood furniture!  Spray paint it!  We used spray paint to change my son’s bunk bed from red to dark gray when he was ready to change his room from primary colors to blues and greens (and we lofted it).  Even though this paint job probably won’t last until he is out of the house and has a family of his own, it certainly will last a few years until he wants a different bed!!  And it cost less than $30 (3 cans of spray paint and a sealer)!

This bunk bed loft used to wear a barn red color, now it’s stony gray.

If you follow my blog, you will already know that you can spray paint your brass fireplace surround to instantly transform your fireplace!  Read more about this and learn other tricks to update your fireplace here.


This little updating trick is FREE.  It costs nothing. Nada. Zip.  Simply get rid of one or two pieces of décor or furniture.  You will be surprised how much bigger, brighter, and fresher your room looks by simply removing one extra chair, or the ficus tree in the corner, or the fake plant sitting on top of your entertainment center, or the sixteen thousand items in your built-in shelves. Other ideas of what to remove — remove the top cabinets of your dining room hutch, leaving the base as your console in your dining room.  Try displaying one large piece of art on your wall, where several small pieces were (or where your dining room hutch was), leaving some empty wall space.  These tricks will open up your room and help you love your space again.  How do I know?  Because almost EVERY time I’ve staged a home by removing (or transferring) a piece of furniture, the response is, “OH MY GOSH, that looks SO MUCH BETTER! I can’t believe it!”  Yes, seriously.  Downsize your furniture collection and/or décor collection.  You will feel so much better.


This one is similar to the above trick, especially in that it is FREE.  The act of simply rearranging your furniture can be an answer to prayer.  If your room feels “wonky,” unbalanced, or doesn’t allow good flow, you probably just need to re-position your furniture. Sometimes this involves removing a piece of furniture as well, sometimes it’s just moving items around.  Finding your focal point of the room, creating harmony and balance and “fit”, and allowing flow are all pieces to consider when placing your furniture, art, and décor.  Don’t know how to arrange it to make it work AND look peaceful?  Please ask me for help!

Below is an example of re-positioning and removing to make a room feel better.  This client had recently moved into a MUCH smaller home.  She had lots of stuff.  I helped her figure out how best to use the space, furniture and art that she felt was necessary in the room, without costing a dime.  These photos are just snapshots — one I took when I went to her house shortly after she moved in, and the “after” photo she sent me via email — but you can see how we re-positioned and removed to make the room feel more peaceful and usable.

BEFORE — Walls painted but needed help positioning and arranging and making it home


AFTER (client snapped from cellphone, so real living here!!)



I believe the only new items bought were the simple drapes.  Everything else the homeowner had and loved and needed in the room.  Now her whole family, even the dog, can enjoy this happy, cozy family room!


Have some sentimental photos or pieces of art that you love, but they look dated?   Add instant style to your home by having these reframed!  I have a great framer I love to use, and she always knows the perfect frame and mat to use to make your art look great!


You can even pull out old snapshots taken from your family photo albums, have them matted and framed in similar fashion, and they become art that looks fresh, interesting, and makes you smile!

A little gallery wall I recently installed in a previously empty spot over the bed ….


And if your budget won’t allow reframing, consider painting your frames!



Nothing like an old raggedy window valance or heavy, drippy drapes to date a house.  Spruce up and let the light shine in!  Clean or replace your broken and dirty blinds, clean your windowsills, and then buy new window treatments! Lucky for us homeowners who must decorate on a budget, straight, floor-length, no-frills drapes are totally in style.  And Home Goods has rows and rows of them, in very on-trend colors and styles, for $30-$50 a pair!!!  To get the most impact from straight drapes, hang them high (at the ceiling or close to it) and just outside of the window, so that your window looks larger and allows more light in when open.

Pretty much all my window treatments have come from Home Goods or Target or other discount store, and none of them were more than $50 a pair — and many are name brand!  Awesome update and very much within my budget!

Need less light or more privacy?  Buy black-out drapes — even Target sells some nice ones right now (so does JC Penney, Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond, pretty much everywhere)!!  I also have several seamstresses and custom drape companies that can make most any window treatment you would like, such as Roman shades or valances, and with as much lining as you would like.  But for the most budget-friendly solution, try off-the-rack drapes that hang from above the window frame and flow all the way down to just skim the floor (like a long dress).

Style alert:  ornate, frilly, tasseled, busy, swoopy valances and window treatments are hard to pull off and still look in style.  The look in most magazines for the past 5 – 10 years has been straight, floor length drapes.

Simple, elegant drapes, photo from Homedit.

Roman shades are a good solution if drapes are not able to fit your space.  But the days of heavy, ornately busy valances and scarves are long gone.


Most people have lamps that look tired and time-stamped,or may be too small for their space, as they’ve either inherited them, or bought them when they got their first apartment … and they’ve had them forever.  The lamps work — in that they give out light when turned on.  But if you have a floor lamp that you bought at a discount store for $10 about 15 years ago, it may not be doing much for the style or feel of your room.  However, by simply updating your lamps and/or lampshades, you will give your room a facelift that will make your room appear 20 years younger!  Once again, a very reasonable place to buy lamps is Home Goods or Target or even online from Wayfair or Amazon.

Hattan’s Helpful Hint:  buy lamps in pairs whenever possible, to create feelings of symmetry and balance and cohesiveness in your room.

Pair of lamps from, approximately $100


These 7 tricks listed above are the most low-cost way to freshen up or change your space  — ranging in price from free to $100!!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will share 7 more budget-friendly decorating tricks, with a slightly larger budget.  I will highlight several options that range in price from $100 to $2000 (still way cheaper than a whole house re-do!).

Thanks for reading, and if you’d like my help in re-positioning or shopping, I am so very glad to do so!

Stay tuned!