Designer Secrets to Keeping a Stylish Home

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Discover designer secrets for a stylish home on any budget. From free decor swaps to affordable DIY projects, make your space look chic without overspending.

stylish dining room with new trad decor including chippendale style table and chairs, neutral rug, pagoda chandelier and updated accessories.Pin

I’m guessing that the whole reason you’re here is because you’re a decorating enthusiast.

To take it a step further, I also believe you’re here because you’re always on the lookout for inspiration to keep a stylish home.

Did you know that there are actual secrets to doing that?

Consider this – interior designers have to be able to work within all types of budget constraints.

Some budgets are very generous, some a very limited and others have no budget at all for making new purchases.

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If anyone knows how to stretch a decorating dollar, it’s them.

Today, I’m here to spill the proverbial interior designer’s guts when it comes to how to keep a stylish home – no matter your budget.

Determine Your Decorating Style

If you don’t already know it, the very first step when you do any interior decorating should be to determine your own decorating style.

One of the biggest roadblocks that I come across when helping people decorate their homes is not understanding what their own decorating style is.

late summer accessories and throw pillow in a traditional style homePin

It may be one certain style or a combination of styles, but having that knowledge is important information to arm yourself with so that you can move forward.

When you have a clear sense of your preferences, you can more easily select furniture, colors, and decor so that you’ll be able to create a cohesive look from room to room.

Determining your decorating style also translates to personalizing your home. Your style is an expression of your personality and taste. You’ll be able to infuse your home with elements that resonate with you, and that’s always in style!

Keeping a Stylish Home for Free

Designers know that there really are ways that you can keep your home looking fresh and stylish that won’t cost you one red cent.

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Rearrange the furniture in your room. When we switched the location of the entertainment center and couch in our room, it instantly gave the room a fresh new vibe. I didn’t really realize how tired looking it had become.

Borrow decor from other rooms. There may very well be a pillow or rug that you have in your bedroom, for example, that would look fantastic in your living room.

TIP: Euro sham pillows aren’t just for beds. Did you know they make great throw pillows for a couch?

Here’s another idea related to borrowing decor – host a decor swap party with friends or family where you can exchange items like throw pillows, accessories, or artwork. You can also borrow decor items from friends to change up your space without spending money.

You don’t have to rearrange furniture for a stylish look. Shuffle the location of accessories and lamps. Mix and match what you already own for a whole new look.

Use leftover paint to create an accent wall or to paint a piece of furniture in a fresh color.

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Visit the outdoors for clippings of greenery or flowers to place in a vase.

Bring out accessories or dishes to display that you had been reserving just for special occasions.

Try moving artwork to a different location. It will look like a brand new piece!

Declutter. Sometimes less is more when it comes to decor. Decluttering your space can make it feel more open and airy, and it allows the remaining decor to stand out more.

Having a Stylish Home on a Budget

Explore thrift and consignment stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces for affordable decor pieces. You can find furniture, artwork, and decorative items at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

China cabinet in a home office filled with office type accessories - very on trend for 2024Pin

One of the most affordable ways to keep your home stylish is to switch out small items such as pillow covers, throw blankets, and small accessories.

Amazon offers a massive amount of beautiful pillow covers for under $20.

Grapic for throw pillowsPin

TIP: Go up one size for pillow cover inserts to make pillows look their best.

Change the wall color. Painting the walls in the room is one of the biggest, most affordable ways, to totally change the look of a room. All it will cost you is some time and elbow grease if you do it yourself.

Change one or more of the lamps in the room. Some of my favorite places to shop for affordable lamps are antique/consignment stores, HomeGoods, and Kirklands.

Add live or faux greenery in a pretty container. I keep a mix of both types of greenery all throughout my rooms.

mantel with abstract art above and blue and white vases filled with stems on each end for winter decorPin

Use those DIY muscles. I’m not a professional carpenter, but there have been several times when I’ve needed a certain size bench or table and saved several hundred dollars by tackling the job myself.

Speaking of DIY’ing – repurpose and recycle furniture pieces that you already own or look for a steal of a deal on something you can repurpose at a thrift shop.

Focus on key pieces. Invest in a few key decor pieces that make a statement, such as a bold area rug, statement lighting fixture, or accent chair. By focusing your budget on these items, you can elevate the overall look of your space without overspending.

blue and gold pagoda style chandelier and a vignette on a dining room sideboardPin

Play the high-low decorating game. Don’t be afraid to mix high-end decor pieces with more budget-friendly finds. This allows you to create a stylish look while staying within your budget.

If You Have More of a Budget

Upgrade a few key pieces in a room. Instead of completely redecorating your space, consider upgrading a few pieces that have the most impact. This could be a statement lighting fixture, a quality piece of artwork, or a stylish accent chair.

floral upholstered arm chair with green pillow in front of shelves and console table with summer decorationsPin

Invest in timeless pieces that will withstand the test of time. This will ensure that your decor remains stylish and relevant for years to come, reducing the need for frequent updates.

Update cabinet hardware. Give your kitchen or bathroom a mini makeover by replacing old cabinet knobs and drawer pulls with new ones. Choose stylish hardware in an updated style or finish to instantly refresh the look of your space.

Update a room with removable wallpaper. Add pattern and color to your walls without the commitment or expense of traditional wallpaper. Choose a stylish design that complements your decor style and easily peel it off when you’re ready for a change.

I recently used faux removable grasscloth wallpaper in my dining room and it completely transformed the entire room!

Update window treatments. Refresh your room with more currently designed curtains or blinds. If you’re a seamstress you can make your own. If not, there are many budget-friendly options in modern patterns or colors available online or in stores such as HomeGoods.

Pair of trending green velvet arm chairs in front of two windows in a home officePin

Upgrade or update lighting fixtures with more modern alternatives. Invest in statement pendant lights for your kitchen or dining area, or add sconces or floor lamps to brighten up dark corners and create ambiance.

For bathrooms, upgrade your bath and hand towels to larger and thicker options. Towels become thin from repeated use over time. Nothing can make a bathroom feel old more than towels that show a lot of wear.

Updating bathroom fixtures is another way to keep your bathrooms looking fresh and stylish.

In bedrooms, update bed linens. Invest in high-quality bedding and linens to elevate the style of your bedroom. Choose luxurious sheets, cozy duvet covers, and plush throw blankets in stylish colors and patterns to create a welcoming retreat.

King size bed with neutral bedding flanked by gray nightstands with white lampsPin

In conclusion, whether you’re working with zero budget or have some funds to spare, there are plenty of creative and affordable ways to make your space look and feel stylish.

With a bit of creativity, resourcefulness, and strategic planning, you can create a home that reflects your personal style and makes you feel proud to showcase to friends and family.

So, roll up your sleeves, unleash your creativity, and transform your home into a stylish haven that you’ll love coming back to every day.

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  1. I am new to your blog. Thanks so much for all your tips and links.

    1. Welcome! I hope you continue to find inspiring ideas and tips!