7 Tips for Decorating Your First Home on a Budget

Bright bedroom with blush pink accent wall.

Rikki Snyder

Moving into a new home is an exciting time. Whether you've just bought your first house or are moving into your first apartment, one of the best parts is turning it into a home: adding all of those personal touches and really making it feel like your own.

But moving into your first place can also be expensive. The good news is that it doesn't have to be, and with a few tips and tricks, you can easily decorate your first place on a budget.

01 of 07

Save on Framed Prints

A stylish apartment living room

@houseofchais / Instagram

Artwork can be one of the most expensive parts of decorating. Instead of buying a bunch of already-framed prints or canvasses, try to repurpose things you already have. You can turn a square of pretty wrapping paper into art, frame a greeting card that you've always liked, or frame any other piece of paper that is meaningful to you.

There are also lots of places to buy and download artwork that you can either print at home, or print elsewhere, at a much more budget-friendly price than ready-framed prints. Printing your own art can save you hundreds of dollars.

02 of 07

Spruce Up the Bathroom

A stylish apartment bathroom

Design: Mindy Gayer Design Co.; Photographer: Vanessa Lentine

No budget for a complete bathroom renovation? Adding details like high quality towels, prints, a faux plant, a nice shower curtain, and colorful bath mat can do wonders to spruce up a bathroom, even in a rental. Consider coordinating all of your bathroom decor within the same theme or color palette to maintain a cohesive look.

03 of 07

Upcycle Older Furniture

A neutral bedroom

@leafandlolo / Instagram

Moving into a new home doesn't mean you need to spend money on brand new furniture. While you may want to invest in some new pieces (like a good sofa), look for older furniture that you can upcycle or refurbish. Head to the thrift store or look on websites like Facebook Marketplace, and you'll often be able to find items like dressers, coffee tables, and bookshelves that simply need a fresh coat of paint to look their best again.

04 of 07

Decorate With Plants

A dining room decorated with plants

@modernhousevibes / Instagram

When it comes to adding life and color to your new home, you can't beat plants. You'll be surprised by how much greenery can instantly add to your space. There also so many options when it comes to decorating with plants: you can group a bunch together, get big ones and small ones, put them on a windowsill, add them to a bookshelf, or even fill a non-working fireplace.

05 of 07

Paint an Accent Wall

Bright bedroom with blush pink accent wall.

Rikki Snyder

Paint can be expensive, but it can be an affordable and budget-friendly decorating option if you just paint a single wall in a room. A painted accent wall makes a great statement in a bedroom or living room, and if you're renting, it's much easier to cover up a single wall when you come to move again. And if you want something that's even more of a statement, try peel-and-stick wallpaper.

06 of 07

Make Use of Throw Pillows and Linens

Living room with replaced light fixture

Cathie Hong Interiors

Throw pillows are one of the quickest and easiest ways to add a lot of style to a room, whether it's the living room or the bedroom. If you don't love the look of your sofa but your budget doesn't allow you to buy a new one, a new set of throw pillows can instantly freshen it up.

Similarly, throw pillows, throw blankets, and bed linens can go a long way to making your bedroom feel cozy and comfortable, and are a great option for anyone on a budget. A new set of bed sheets in a bright hue can really jazz up your bedroom, and sometimes all it takes is a new cover on a throw cushion to make your bed look even more stylish.

07 of 07

Keep Larger Items Neutral

Rental living room with high-quality furniture

Reena Sotropa

If you do need to buy larger furniture items for your new home or apartment, keeping pieces like sofas, bed frames, armchairs, dining sets, and other larger-ticket items in more neutral colors can help you spend less in the future. Think of these pieces as investments: you don't want to choose something that you'll be sick of in a year or two, and a neutral base will make it much easier (and more budget-friendly) for you to swap out accents as your tastes change and evolve.