By Kathy Wilson

1. PAINT! I know you’ve heard it before, but it’s true, paint is the cheapest, fastest way to dramatically change a room in just hours!

2 .Use a theme…even if it’s just a favorite color scheme or one you found in a magazine, it’s a place to start and plan.

3. Rearrange…move things around until you find a pleasing arrangement that works for you, whether it’s your furniture or your bookshelves!

4. Use what you have! There are so many items around the home that can be repurposed…learn to look at things in creative ways and see if they might meet a decorating need.

5. Start Big! Tackle the larger areas of the room first, such as walls, windows, and floors. That will make the fastest impact on the room.

6. Disguise! If you can’t afford to replace, disguise! Cover a sofa, lay a rag rug over that stained carpet, or use fabric to screen an unpleasant view.

7. Find materials in creative places. Use fabric from sheets and quilts, use yard sales to locate furniture to be painted to match your décor, and visit your dollar shop on a regular basis for picture frames and candles.

8. Add personality! Inject yourself and your family in to your home with personal items…photos, vacation finds, or ball game tickets in a frame all bring interest and life to your rooms.

9. Look for inspiration. There is no shame is scouring books and magazines for the look you desire, then adapting their scheme to a budget decorator’s plan! Let the pictures inspire your creativity, and borrow ideas you love!

10. Start now! Today, make a plan, pick a paint color, sew a pillow. Your home won’t change if you don’t start something, so don’t put it off another minute, and little by little, the Budget Decorator in you will transform your house to a home!

About the Author

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. For thousands of free budget home decorating ideas, visit her at Don’t forget to sign up for her free newsletter!


  1. I like what you said about creating a theme... It's always a good idea to pick a "signature color" and use it in some way in every room of your home.


  2. @ Yelena

    I believe this is one of the easiest way to improve the look and feel of our homes. It also is a way of expressing our personalities.


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