Keeping up with the latest design trends can get expensive — but it doesn't have to be if you get frugal with your decor.
Without spending a lot of money, your apartment can look like it was decorated by a professional and featured in a design magazine.
Especially with the success of DIY sites like Pinterest, interest in cottage and vintage décor styles and penny-pinching due to the economy, more people are looking around their homes and flea markets for inspiration on how to improve their surroundings.
There are lots of frugal decor ideas out there — here are a few to get you started.
Stop by your local thrift store or antique shop and pick up a few of these basic frugal decor items.
Attractive art doesn't have to cost a fortune and you can turn something plain into something extraordinary by putting it into a fun frame. Here are a few things to consider displaying.
Greeting cards without words on the front are great for bathroom counters and side tables. They can stand on their own or you can put them in a small frame.
Calendars come in all shapes and sizes. The most common size is 12 x 12-inch, but there are plenty of others you can find. They also have a variety of photos — anything from landscapes to famous paintings to animals. Put them in frames and create a gallery wall!
Frame pieces of an old map. You can cut maps into whatever shape and size you want, so they can fit into any old frame you have lying around. Look at thrift stores, antique shops, old atlases or you can find some images online, print them, and crumple them up a bit to give them an authentic feel. You can decide which places you want to feature, like the places you've been or want to visit in the future.
If you can't find it at the store, use items around your house to create great frugal decor options.
If you can't find anything you like, paint canvases in varying sizes using bright colors or stencil on a design in black or white. You can create a single canvas piece or paint a bunch of them in different sizes to make a gallery wall.
If you've got fabric scraps that aren't big enough for any sewing projects, you can save them from going to waste by displaying them. Combine a few of pieces in mismatched patterns (but complementary colors) and throw them in a frame.
All of your decor doesn't need to make a statement — just a few accent pieces can make a statement on their own without going overboard. Here are a few affordable ideas for accent pieces you can add around your house.
Pick up some brightly-colored books from a flea market or thrift store and set them on end tables, mantles and shelves.
Get a few inexpensive throws and pillows to add to chairs, couches, benches and beds. You can even choose throws and pillows that match your books to bring out those bright colors.
Use an old bulletin board, and paint it or cover it in fabric or patterned paper to fit your style. Pin photos, postcards or drawings to the board.
Find creative ways to repurpose objects you already have or can find at a thrift store for cheap. This can usually be done with a little bit of paint, some glue and a pair of scissors.
You can give new life to the furniture you already own instead of buying new pieces. With a little bit of paint and some imagination, you can create something completely unique!
Change the look of an old dresser by painting it — try something fun like painting each drawer a gradient color from a paint chip card or painting or stenciling designs on them.
Turn a cheap bookcase into a showpiece by wallpapering the back of it in colors that complement the room. You can do a different pattern for each shelf or do all of them the same color.
Create a one-of-a-kind coffee table or end table with a vintage suitcase and four inexpensive table legs. Paint the legs the color of your choice and attach them to the corners of the suitcase.
Hide the clutter kept in glass-door cabinets with fabric. Use a staple gun to attach fabric squares to the back of each pane of glass. Choose colors to bring out the rest of the decor in the room.
If you've got mismatched wooden or metal chairs at your kitchen table, try painting them varying pastel hues. While they won't match completely, the colors will give them a cohesive, intentional look without you buying all new matching chairs.
Decorating doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it can be more fun to decorate on a budget as it allows you to get creative and truly customize your space. Happy decorating!