I’m sharing four ways you can get the look for less in home decorating.
You will learn how to:
- Find cheap decor and furniture.
- Repurpose pieces that are the wrong color.
- Place furniture.
- Decorate without going overboard.
Creating a beautiful home can be daunting.
I know this far too well.
When first starting out, I thought that decorating meant purchasing furniture and decor from high-end stores.
Like Pottery Barn, Dania, or Macy’s, to name a few.
Walking through furniture stores and flipping over the price tag to see $1,500 for a sofa or $900 for an end table made me choke.
I went home discouraged because how could I ever afford these luxuries?
It was unattainable.
My heart sank during those times.
I thought in those moments that I wouldn’t ever be able to afford a nice home.
But something happened to change how I decorate.
And I want to share with you what I did to get the look for less.
The #1 thing that changed was how I thought about home decorating.
It took some time, but I embraced that home isn’t a showroom.
I admire high-end homes decorated with the newest trends for the year.
And I can get engrossed in learning about the newest home designs and think there is something beautiful about the different aspects of style.
But reality sets in, and I’m faced with what I can accomplish within my means.
There is an entrepreneur inside me that tries to reimagine something to look like what I see in magazines.
It has helped me throughout the years to push past the roadblocks to achieve the same look for less.
And how do I do that?
- Find home decor treasures at second-hand stores.
- Do a DIY
First of all, this sounds intimidating.
At least, it did for me.
Buying used things at first sounded dirty.
When walking into Goodwill that’s all I could see was the junk.
And doing a DIY seemed like hard work.
And it is a lot of work, sometimes.
But what I have saved financially has been the payoff.
Taking time to paint a chair or make a wreath has given my home a unique look.
I’ve been able to keep within a color scheme that brought it all together to look like the homes I’ve admired that came straight out of the magazines.
And no one would be the wiser that my home is 80% used.
Because all of the pieces go together.
Every DIY and thrift store find has created a cozy and beautiful space for our family.
I no longer look down my nose at secondhand things.
Because I know this is the secret to getting the look for less.
And to turn my home into my dream home.
Here is a YouTube video where I share similar ways to get the look for less.
Now, I am sharing the steps I take from start to finish on how to decorate a room.
I always start the process with inspiration.
Before I venture out, I research what I want a room to look like.
Where I research:
- Pinterest – Search for a specific room to find inspirational photos.
- Library books – Check out decor books. This is my favorite because those pages have the most beautiful photos that will get you jumping to create the look.
- Window shop at your favorite store – Get ideas from antique stores, furniture stores like Pottery Barn, or decor stores. Then take those ideas and find them for less at a thrift store.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What is the style I want for this room? My home decor style is Victorian Farmhouse. So, this helps me to narrow down the look. What is your style?
- What colors do I want? Sometimes the changes in a room are seasonal. Like green and red for Christmas. Or browns, yellow, and orange for fall. Or pink and lavender for Spring and Summer, for example. If you can change a few things in the room, the better. Here is a blog post with ideas on what to change each season.
Once I have a vision of what I want a room to look like, I then start the process of recreating the look with my trusted resources.
There are four places I look to find my treasures.
The key to finding quality pieces is in the waiting.
Sometimes a listing on Craigslist or FB Marketplace can pop up immediately.
But other times, from my experience, it can take a month or two to find the most amazing treasures.
That makes waiting that much sweeter.
What do you look for when searching for furniture?
- You’re looking for a specific style. Like a Victorian sofa, for example. Or farmhouse chippy pieces, like a fireplace mantle.
- Check to see if it is in good condition.
- And whether it’s the right color, or can it be painted with chalk paint?
- But the most important part is what is the asking price? If a listing comes up that perks my interest, I will ask the seller for the bottom amount they would be willing to sell it for.
What do you look for when searching for home decor?
- Keep in mind the style you want to achieve and stick with that style. This will save you time and money. When I have waivered from my original plan, and it’s easy to do with all the cute things I come across, I’m faced with returning it or taking it to Goodwill. And this is a big tip I hope to help you avoid.
- Stay within the color scheme of the room. If you want to add pink accent pieces, for example, keep within that color scheme because this is the secret to creating a home that is magazine worthy.
- Be willing to leave the store empty-handed and wait for the right piece. This can be hard when you’ve taken time to go to the store, and nothing goes with your home style. But it’s liberating to walk out the door without anything because you just saved yourself heartache in the future of regret and a return.
The next step to take in decorating a room is doing a DIY.
Sometimes, I will reimagine what I have or find something at a thrift store that has the bones I want but isn’t the right color.
What do I do? I paint it!
Here is a tutorial on how to paint furniture here.
And a tutorial on how to paint a shelf and mirror here.
Plus, a super easy DIY painting frames in this tutorial is here.
This is an easy way to get the look you want for less.
The pieces intertwine with each other when painted the same color.
The secret is out!
This is how you can create a magazine-ready home.
It’s through color.
When you paint pieces the same color or all the accents are the same color, this gives a room a purposeful look like in the magazines.
Now you know the secret, too.
Another DIY worth making is a wreath.
Once you’ve gathered all your thrift finds and finished your DIYs, there is another step to take when designing a room.
It’s to figure out furniture placement.
You’re probably thinking, what do DIYs, thrift store finds, and furniture placement all have in common?
It fits because furniture placement can give you a high-end look for less.
I have done a lot of research, and while my home is not a manor or a mansion, I’ve taken notes on furniture placement that has helped to get a similar look.
And this is what I’ve learned.
- Place chairs and sofas in a circle for easy conversations.
What I love about how the historic manors placed their furniture was in small conversational areas.
Here is another photo where this is seen.
The room in the photo above may be a large space, but it is intimate, with the two chairs placed side by side for a nice little chatting area.
There’s a table with just four chairs.
Then sofas circle some ferns, which is another area for two people to have a conversation.
This is all in the same room.
The idea is to create small areas within the room to allow for mingling during a party or gathering.
While it’s unrealistic to live in a mansion or manor, we can take the idea and implement them in our homes.
I’m sharing my fireside room while it is in transition.
My camera distorted the wide view a bit, but I wanted to show the entire room.
I’m in the middle of redesigning this room and quickly threw together some decor so we could celebrate Father’s Day this last weekend.
We had my dad and mom over for Sunday dinner. It was fun!
But I wanted to show you how I took the idea of creating conversational areas in this room.
Here is another photo with the view of the antique sofa and blue velvet chair.
This created a small area for having conversations, and I love how the furniture works in this space.
Now that you have your furniture placed, it’s time for the next phase of designing your room.
It’s time to decorate.
Get those DIYs and thrift store finds, and let’s create a beautiful space!
Here are some tips for decorating.
The biggest tip is not to overdo it.
Believe me. It is so easy to do!
Here are some ideas on what areas to decorate in your space.
- Table/end tables
- Fireplace mantle
- Top of armoirs or cabinets
Stick to decorating these areas only.
I know! It was a hard one to grasp.
But the secret to having a home look pristine and beautiful is by having minimal decor.
Placing them only in these areas brings peace and calmness.
Clutter is stressful, and this is the key to less stress.
And that is why homes in magazines look incredible.
The decor is kept to a minimum.
Here is another trick I want to share.
Let the pieces you collect be the showstoppers.
When choosing ironstone, for example, have them carry the style.
Or one or two pieces of furniture in the right color and style.
This is what makes a room dazzle.
Nothing else is needed.
These pieces play a part in home decorating.
They are subtle yet powerful in creating a room that has that something that no one can put their finger on.
All of these things I’ve shared so far add up to creating a beautiful room.
Now, let me share another secret in home decorating.
Here is a video touring our living room.
While it is tempting to put a bunch of things together, there is a good rule to go by when decorating that really works.
Decorate in odd numbers. One, three, or five.
I will show you an example.
Here is the top of my armoire, where I put together a large vignette.
In the center, I put a chippy terrarium with an antique blue flow teapot inside, which counts as one piece.
Then I placed a teacup and saucer set on both sides, which are the third pieces.
This works because I use the flow blue dishes as the focal point.
The terrarium and flowers are not included in the three.
But the overall look is breathtaking!
Here are some more examples of decorating in odd numbers.
On top of this dresser, I decorated it in fives.
Picking a center focal point.
Like the black frame in the left photo, for example.
And the bouquet of pink flowers in the right photo.
I put two things on either side.
Somehow this works.
It is one of those decor secrets you can use throughout your home.
Another subtle trick of the eye that no one can figure out.
Now you know.
With all of these tools, you can now complete your room with style.
Confidently pulling from resources to get the look for less but still getting a beautiful home that is straight from a magazine.
While I don’t have a showroom, a manor, or a mansion, I can finally say I have a home that I am proud of.
And you can, too.
For more home decor ideas and inspirations, go here.
Thanks for coming by Victorian Lane Farms.