How to Decorate on a Budget

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*Disclaimer: I do not receive commission from the major chain stores mentioned in this piece.

The month of December has been incredibly busy and expensive. We’ve had doctor appointments, eye appointments, and car maintenance checks.  I’ve also wrapped up my work and facilitated a few craft making classes.  While money has come in this month, it’s also gone out. In the season of the holidays, this has made it a bit difficult to decorate.

Every December, I get into holiday decorating mode. The Christmas tree goes up, garland gets hung, and our family dining room changes season. This year, I had to make it work on a tight budget. Growing up, I watched my mother decorate our house for every season, but Christmas was when she went into overdrive. Our house was beautiful!  As I got older and ventured out on my own, I often asked her how she purchased everything and that’s when she taught me her shopping secrets. One of them was to mix the expensive with the inexpensive, and another was to reuse older items. This year, the advice worked so well.  Also, after years of marriage and racking up items, I was really able to reuse some things in my dining room.

The kitchen and dining room is often considered the heart of the home. Most modern houses have an open style kitchen, but mine does not. Our dining room is right beside our kitchen, but it’s the first room guests seem to notice when they walk in. It’s also the room that my family notices when they walk into the house. Therefore, I wanted to decorate it to get into the holiday spirit.

Aside from cleaning and putting items away, I focused on our table. With a few items, I was able to give it a holiday makeover that my family and I love.  Our dishes are from Walmart and I purchased those three years ago. Our table runner and placemats are from Dollar General the Dollar Tree.  The runner is new ($5) and I purchased the placemats two years ago ($1 each). The poinsettia was $5.99 from our local grocery store and the garland was a left over piece from our tree box (we have an artificial tree). Sitting everything our beautiful glass table (purchased in 2005) really brings the room together. Altogether, our house is ready for the holidays.

As you get ready for any holiday season, using beautiful and inexpensive items can make any room inviting. However, here are some tips to consider:

  • Look for items around the house that can be reused and moved to another room. Throw pillows, blankets, and ottomans rearranged can make any room look new.  Move them around the house.
  • For place settings, pull out the dishes that have rarely been used and let them take center stage.
  • Table runners, short rugs, mugs, and napkins can be purchased inexpensively.  There’s no need to spend a lot of money if you don’t have to (or currently can not).
  • Every now and then, purchase one expensive item or hold on to really well made pieces. The majority of the furniture in my home come from my grandparents, parents, and in-laws are we made 30+ years ago. These are heavy pieces of wood furniture and are incredibly well made. Repainting items such as these or adding some new knobs on them can make then look newer. Also allow them to serve as the expensive pieces (which, for many of us, will be true). That way, you can pair inexpensive pieces with them or inexpensive, well-made pieces. Consignment shops and restore shops are great places to find treasures for less money.

What are ways that you decorate on a budget?

Happy holidays!

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