In this post: Feeling like you’ve been staring at the same four walls, with the same old same old décor for the last year? Money a little tighter than usual? You can get a new look in your home without spending a cent, just by following these 10 ways to decorate for free.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time at home in the last little while, staring at the same four walls and the same decor. But maybe, like mine, your budget is a little tight. Then I think you may just love these 10 ways to decorate for free using what you already have!
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10 Ways to Decorate For Free Using What You Already Have
01. Purge all the things you don’t love
The first way to decorate for free using what you already have is to purge all the things that you don’t love.
I know, technically, it’s not decorating, but it makes a huge difference when you stop holding on to things just because they’re filling a decor space in your home.
Get rid of them by donating them, selling them, whatever it is that you need to do with them, and just getting them out of your space.
02. Tidy up
The second way to decorate for free using what you already have is actually to tidy up. This is also, not another thing that’s technically decorating.
But no matter how beautiful your decor is if things are messy and all over willy-nilly, you are not going to love or be able to pay any attention to how beautiful the decor is.
So go through your spaces and return things to their homes.
- If there are water bottles everywhere, return them to where they belong, wash them, put them away in the kitchen.
- If your kid’s toys are in the living room and they’re not supposed to be or they’re just spread around and they’re not in their toy boxes, whatever, pick them up. Or even better, teach your kids how to do it themselves so that they learn how to do it.
- Fluff the pillows, fold the blankets, whatever it is that you need to do to tidy up your space.
03. Hush your spaces
The third way to decorate for free using what you already have is to hush or quiet your spaces.
By that, I mean take out all the unnecessary things in the space. Keep in the room only what you need for the room to function. So the main furniture pieces, the main lighting, things like that. Take everything else and put it in the guest room, a family room, whatever, a space that you’re not using.
And then just sit and enjoy your room or your space for a week or two and see how it is when it’s all quiet. See what you do and don’t love about the room. What do you feel it’s missing?
04. Rearrange the furniture
The fourth way to decorate for free using what you already have is to rearrange the furniture.
When we were both growing up, Dean’s mom and my mom each did home daycare. So they spent a lot of time at home and didn’t have the budget for actual redecorating or buying new things.
Because of this, we would often come home to our respective homes after school to find that our moms had rearranged the furniture in the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, our bedrooms. Whatever. They had rearranged the furniture to give the space a new look without spending any money.
Give rearranging the furniture a try and see if it doesn’t just give your eyes something new to look at.
Bonus Tip: Keep in mind the focal point of the room that you’re rearranging. Make sure that your furniture still suits the focal point and the purpose of the room after you rearrange it.
05. Paint or refinish something you already have
The fifth way to decorate for free using what you already have is to paint or refinish something.
This can be furniture or accents or accessories or decor where you like the shape or the silhouette of it, but not necessarily the color or the finish.
You don’t even need any fancy designer paints, you can just paint with latex paint.
06. Swap Furniture (and accessories)
The sixth way to decorate for free using what you already have is to swap furniture or decor from room to room.
In my course, Decorating Uncomplicated, I teach my students to ask themselves a few questions before they go and buy new decor. This also applies to decor that you want to keep in your home as well. The biggest of the three questions is: Can you use a decor piece in at least three spaces in your home?
By the time I ask my students this, they have chosen their decorating style and created their whole home color palette so they know how their home all flows together. So by choosing decor pieces that will work in three spaces, they can later then redecorate for free by moving things around into different rooms.
Examples of things that you can move from room to room are:
- area rugs
- decor accents
- end tables
- side tables
- accent chairs
Pretty much anything that you can fit from room to room you can mix and match those things to create a whole new look for free.
07. Bring some things in
Number seven in how to decorate for free using what you’ve already got is to bring some things back into the room that you took them out of.
After you’ve hashed or quieted a room, you want to see what you’ve missed. What:
- decor did you miss?
- lamp did you miss?
- area rug did you miss?
If you’ve missed any of them, bring them back in one at a time and then live with them for a couple of days to see how you like bringing them back into the space after you’ve rearranged or swapped things from room to room.
08. Gather decor into vignettes
The eighth way to decorate for free using what you already have is to display your decor in vignettes.
Vignettes are groupings of three, five, or seven things of varying heights. So tall, medium, and short, that you put together to draw your eye into them and then give your eye a pause in some spaces.
Designers never just sprinkle decor around your room, you’ll notice they gather things together and leave blank spaces as a pause or a rest for your eye, and then have collections or groupings of things together in vignettes to just draw your eye to those things.
You can create vignettes on:
- coffee tables
- end tables
- even shelves
- kitchen counters
Bonus Tip: If you find that you don’t have varying heights of things, say you have three candlesticks that are all the same height, you can vary their height by stacking books or a small decor box underneath one or two of those things to give you the varying height. Books make great decor pieces, especially hardcovers that you can take the dust jackets off of and then display using their pretty spines or even backward if the colors of the spines are too much for you.
09. Add some foraged sticks, greenery, and florals
The ninth way to decorate for free using what you already have is to forage in your yard or nearby natural area (with permission).
Bring in some sticks, stems, greenery, flowers, plants, clippings, whatever, and to display those in some sort of vessel, be it a vase or a crock or some other piece of pottery.
Foraged things from nature are organically shaped, usually, and were living at some point and so they bring movement and life into your space that just adds an extra designer touch or an extra designer layer to an otherwise normal space.
10. Print and frame free public domain art & Free printables from bloggers
Number ten is to use free printables from online as art.
I have a whole resource library for my email subscribers filled with printable art that I’ve created over the last 10 or 11 years, as do a lot of my blog friends.
There are also plenty of free public domain art sites where you can go and search for architectural drawings or nature prints or vintage landscapes or whatever it is that you’re looking for to use as art in your home, and then you can just print them at home using your home printer. Or spend a couple of dollars, a wee little bit, to have them printed at your local print shop.
Once you’ve printed your downloadable art, you can then use frames that you already have to display around your home. If you don’t happen to have any frames kicking around, you could always go to the thrift store and pick up some new frames for less than $10.