How to decorate on the cheap

If you’re a millennial renter like me, decorating your space can be both tricky and expensive. Who wants to spend time and money painting your place when you’ll just have to put it back before you go? Here are some tips and tricks for pulling a room together without breaking the bank.

Lean in to the scavenger vibe.

Odds are you probably don’t have a matching furniture set in your home. And that’s totally cool. My place is made up of a mix of pieces from Ikea, Canadian Tire, and the generosity of friends and family. The trick is to embrace what you’ve got. Don’t pick out ultramodern accents if your furniture is more shabby chic. Besides, a fun throw rug covers up all manner of sins.

In the same vein… check out thrift stores!

Thrift, vintage, and antique stores are great places to find interesting, one-of-a-kind pieces. There is always so much cool stuff shoved into every corner of these shops- you’re bound to find something great for your wall or coffee table. Torontonians might be familiar with places like Ransack the Universe, who hold an Instagram auction every Thursday- a great way to find something amazing for cheap!

Reusable wallpaper!


Some funky reusable wallpaper completely revamped my Canadian Tire bookcase. 

Love decorating but not commitment? Reusable wallpaper is about to become your best friend. It can be stuck on walls easily and doesn’t ruin the paint when you pull it off! Wall decals are another great trick that use the same kind of technology.

Spruce up stuff you already own.

Giving old furniture a facelift is a tried and true way of updating your home look. It’s also a great way of disguising mass-produced items and making them look unique. Replacing standard Ikea knobs with something a little more fun, painting or staining furniture, or, if you’re craftier than I am, reupholstering your chairs, can all make something old look new again. I even decorated the trim on my boring, white kitchen cabinets with some gold washi tape, and it looks great!

 Accent the crap out of your place.

Some people think that your accents have to match to cover the fact that your furniture doesn’t. Totally not the case. With a little experimenting, discordant patterns and materials can totally share the same space. In some cases, this sort of mismatching is all the rage. Pillows of all textures, shapes, and sizes make a couch or daybed look incredibly welcoming.

Show off your legs.

This is particularly important in small spaces. Exposed furniture legs give the illusion of a bigger and more open space, so when looking for couches and armchairs, try and find ones that show off their supports, rather than resting on the floor or covering the legs with fabric skirting.

Move on up.

Make use of that weird space above your cabinets and throw some books or vases up there. Drawing the eye upwards tricks people into thinking a space is bigger than it is. It also has the added bonus of uncluttering your limited shelving space so you can put more useful things on there.

Using decorative mirrors also makes rooms look bigger – reflecting your space back to you tricks your brain into thinking the room is larger. Decorating tricks for the win!

Do whatever you want!

This last tip is the most important. The tips above can be great, but if they’re not your vibe, then screw ‘em! If your place looks like you and makes you feel comfortable and happy, then you have you succeeded in decorating your home!

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