3 Frugal Decorating Ideas and 3 Home Decorating Blogs to Follow

I don’t like to spend a lot of money decorating. I have a hard time buying a painting for $400, when that’s my grocery shopping budget for the month. At the same time, I want my house to look nice. So what is a frugal woman to do? I’m no decorating expert, but I’ve learned a few things over the years. You don’t have to have a lot of money to spruce up your home. There are a few quick and inexpensive fixes you can make to your decor to give it the homey feel you’re going for.

3 Frugal Decorating Ideas

Use Photographs for Frugal Wall Decorations

I love using photographs to decorate my walls! I generally looks for codes for free or cheap prints from Shutterfly, Snapfish, Winkflash, or anywhere else I can find a great deal. I pick up some inexpensive frames at the thrift store or Walmart, and then I set about decorating my wall.

To make sure your photoscape looks great on the wall, lay all your pictures out on a piece of butcher paper, and move them around until you get a collage that you like. Then trace all the pictures. Hang the butcher paper on the wall, and use that as a template for hanging your photos.

For the best effect, I like to use a combination of professional photos and snapshots. Get creative!

Use Paint to Spice Up a Wall on the Cheap

Sometimes a splash of color is all it takes to update a room. If your rooms are painted neutral colors, perhaps you could add one accent wall. Pick a bold color. Something that makes a statement. And then paint one wall that color.

Add a couple of throw pillows in that color, and you’ve completely changed the look of your room.

Use Vintage Items to Make a Room Look Homey

There are two ways to go about doing this. The first is to use items that have been passed down from generation to generation. These items are free! And though they may look dated, the afghan that your grandmother knitted back in the ’60s will add history to your room. I display the unity candle used at our wedding on the bookshelf in our bedroom. It’s a very plain candle, but it brings back special memories.

Another thing you can do is use Craigslist, thrift stores, and flea markets to find unique decorating pieces for your home. The things you buy may not be perfectly matched or brand new, but they will give your home an eclectic look at little cost to you.

3 Frugal Home Decorating Blogs

However you decide to decorate your home, it’s always great to be on the lookout for inspiration. I love to read blogs on home decor! Here are my faves:

Do you have any frugal home decorating tips? I’d love to hear them!

Photo by Travis Isaacs.


By , on Feb 24, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Frugal is my middle name!!! I no exactly where your coming from.
    I’m a mother of 4, so things can get a bit tight. But I still like to make my home look homely and inviting.
    I love garage sales, fairs and second hand stores, some one else’s trash is my treasure :)
    Love your blog, you have some great ideas. Have bookmarked you for future reading.

  2. Old picture frames painted the same colour can make a great gallery walls in apartments. You can even use magazine articles in the frames as long as they are quality ones. Cooking recipes work especially well in the kitchen or dining room. Very nice post.

  3. In my room I have a lot of decorations. But one thing that calling the attention of my visitors was my creative photos.

    In decorating, no need to spend a lot of money, no need to buy expensive frames, paintings or any expensive decorations. It needs your creativity, love, inspiration and the eagerness to make it beautiful.

  4. Elizabeth:

    I totally agree about using photos – they are unique, intimate and so much more interesting than using art you found at a retail chain!

    For great tips on frugal decorating, check out Frugal Design Girl’s blog (www.frugaldesigngirl.com). I’ve found that she shares a lot of great decorating ideas and sources!

  5. Jeannie:

    Thanks for the ideas. Frugal suggestion…..buy pictures in frames at yard sales. Any kind. I like the big and small, with lots of detail.
    Then spray paint them all the same color. Mat them with the same cardboard they came with, or cut your own…use duct tape to secure. I use fabric or wall paper to cover the backs and put in my own pictures. Looks great.

  6. Thank you for including me in your links!!!

    I love the family photos as art. With all the photo editing tools these days, there are so many fancy things you can do to a simple snapshot!!

  7. Just visited the CLEARANCE section of Home Goods – a bargain home place to begin with – & got a small rug for the kitchen for $3 – My hubby got our fake Oriental rugs at an el cheapo store downtown! And our arm chairs are both from thrift shops (in almost new condition). You can also check out ofc. supply stores both new & used furniture…We got another chair on sale from an office supply store…I have also collected good solid wood vintage furniture…and even lamps! Did you know that Ikea has a clearance section? We got some of our shelving there…and another wool rug…And a rattan shelving unit came from an estate sale…Our computer desk/hutch was $30 from the Salvation Army – a floor sample? It was $30 & is Scandinavian beech veneer…My picture collection comes from thrift shops in Ventura, where there are a lot of retirees & artists…Also got a framed 19thC colored lithograph of a sailing ship at a Salvation Army on sale for $15!! We have several oil paintings, also all from thrift shops. So you see, we shop wherever/whenever we see a really GOOD Deal! (Oh, & the sheer drapes came from a discount linen place – & the shower curtain, too…)There are even sometimes things to be found on the street – I found a 50’s dinette table with chrome legs next door & called up a friend to come over & get it…Just can’t pick up upholstered pieces anymore – because there is a resurgence of bedbugs, ugh! [Oh, and we re-did my old apartment ourselves – because in L.A. they don’t re-paint apts. regularly & I had lived there for YEARS. Tore up the carpet & up down tiles, and new linoleum in the kitchen, too…] You CAN do it. Just keep your eye out and be patient. Great things come from the most unlikely places.

  8. Oh- we were so excited about all these ideas and ruching to put on the post about the candlestick curtain rods…we wanted to say thank you so much for the honor of being included! You have great ideas, and inspire us!!
    kari & kijsa

  9. Couldn’t agree with you more on using photographs to decorate. I love a home filled with photography!

  10. Dawn:

    I like the idea of using butcher paper to layout the photo design. Very clever – thanks for the tip!!

  11. We love to decorate with our own photos and original artwork (we are fortunate to have some talent in the house).

    Also, it is amazing what some fresh paint and some polish can do . . .

    Frugal decorating is possible!

    Nice post.

  12. Here in CA Garage Sales, Flea Markets and Swaps are plentiful. We also have a store called Big Lots that I can really good deals on things to decorate my home with.
    Artful Blessings,

  13. Marci:

    Garage sales for frames – paint to match/contrast.

    Paint from garage sales is sometimes free – other times just a dollar or 2.
    Mismatched and returned paints from a paint store are also a bargain if you can find the color you want…or take the $2 can and ask them to add tint to it for an additional dollar and there you have a nice new color very cheaply.

    Let’s not forget sewing. New slip covers for pillows for accents, or new curtains or cafe curtains. Or frame a gorgeous piece of material. Find the fabric at garage and rummage sales as fabrics or as clothing and use it. My accent pillows on my couch are a black with a vibrant wildflower print on them and cost me under 10 cents to recover the 3 pillows – as the fabric was a woman’s dress purchased with other clothing at a $1 bag sale at the end of the day!

  14. AngelSong:

    My Dad gave us an old entertainment center someone was going to throw away. I cleaned it up thoroughly and put it in the living room to display our family mementos. The bottom of it has doors on each side, so I put our video/dvd collection in there. Handy, attractive and zero cost.

  15. Kristen:

    I love stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. They have a lot of really nice home decorating items for a lot cheaper than you find in most stores. Sometimes it’s hit or miss, depending on how often your store gets shipments, but I’ve found some beautiful wall art, lamps, picture frames, etc.

  16. Jean:

    I have all kinds of family things on my walls – photos, my great-grandfather’s citizen papers, my Dad’s violin (haven’t a clue how to play the thing but it is very, very precious to me), postcards family members have sent over the years, etc.

    For flat surfaces, I like to group things together – my Mom’s thimble and some small colored stones on an old piece of lace, paperweights people have given me over the years, small frames with loved one’s faces. Anything personal tells people who this house belongs to and I love that.

    Thanks, Lynnae – thinking about this stuff was a nice break in my morning!

  17. jill:

    The most expensive part of decorating with photographs is the framing. Sure, you can find cheap frames, but they look like – well, cheap frames. My husband taught me to make simple frames from scrap wood. It’s amazing what the tail end of one of his carpentry projects can look like once it is stained and varnished, and paired with a nice mat (which can be purchased in bulk online for pennies). It doesn’t take fancy tools, special skills or expensive materials to get a handmade product that looks like a professional framer handled your photos, especially if you end up with an unusual-sized frame. (I also love that I’m recycling scrap parts of my house.)

  18. Always looking to save money for travelers. Went with a post about free things to do in Vegas this time around.

  19. What we’re going to do is take leftover paint from our walls and make our own art. Buy a $20 canvas (or you can make your own even cheaper) and paint something a la Mark Rothko. Very easy, and very cheap!

  20. These are GREAT tips ! I have been wanting to paint one wall in my main space upstairs red. I now need to find a red I really like. I need to get on with putting up a lot more photographs. I loved seeing your wall. And I TOTALLY understand your shock of the cost of paint.

    Blessings in Him<

  21. I’m working on redecorating my son’s room and have had the hardest time finding affordable artwork so I finally decided to use my own photos. I think I like it better this way. We are doing a farm theme and I used photos taken at my in laws farm. I look forward to seeing the final product once the room is completed.

  22. thanks for including me in the list of bloggers! love your tips and I agree, I’d rather see my boys faces in frame anyhow than some fancy expensive “art”!

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