Popular in Budget Decor

Savvy Decor and Design Ideas Under $50

Achieve fresh style on a budget with these use-anywhere design ideas that are versatile and easy to do.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Garden Fresh

      Nothing wakes up a room like accessorizing with fresh greens or flowers. One of my favorite places to "shop" for live arrangements is in my own yard. Simple, large leaves, such as hosta and fern, create laid-back elegance.

      -- Lauren Liess, designer and blogger, purestylehome.blogspot.com

      Shop our fave decor finds under $50!
    • Frame Something Fun

      Art isn't limited to works on paper. Frame fun textiles for a unique take on wall decor. Here, a grain sack purchased on vacation adds a graphic punch to the dining room wall.

    • Splendid Stencils

      Use a stencil to add interest to a blank wall. A quatrefoil-inspired stencil transforms this living room wall into a focal point. Stencils can also be used to spruce up plain throw pillows, coffee tables, and other flat surfaces.

    • Custom Window Treatments for Less

      If affordable off-the-rack curtains are too short, lengthen them with a fabric remnant. Here's how -- no sewing required!

    • Simple Embellishment

      Transform plain-Jane chairs with a luxe-level embellishment: nailhead trim. 

      Go to the next slide to see how it's done.

    • DIY Nailhead Trim

      Adding nailhead trim is quick, and you only need a few supplies. Watch and learn the tricks to doing it right.

    • Corner Detail

      Use brass corners and flat brackets to dress up a plain coffee table. Look for them in the hardware aisle.

    • Lampshade Update

      Use embroidery floss to embellish a plain lampshade. To create this look, make long stitches for the vertical lines on the shade. Add V shapes in two colors and hash marks underneath.

    • Headboard Refresh

      Revive a tired headboard with a length of fabric. Simply cut the fabric to size, hem, and drape over the headboard for an extra pop of pattern and color in your bedroom decor.

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      Sparkle and Shine

      Add a little shimmer to an existing ensemble of pillows with a metallic accent pillow or two.

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      Pretty Work Space

      Whether your desk is in the living room or a home office, ban the banal! Even the most utilitarian desktop necessities should add to your space's glamour. Shop discount stores for colored juice glasses to use as pencil cups, contain small supplies such as a stapler and paper clips on a tray on top of a decorative box (turn it upside down), and go for the chicest stacking paper trays you can find.

      -- Elaine Griffin, interior designer and Better Homes and Gardens makeover maven, elainegriffin.com

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      That's a Wrap

      Embellish a plain glass vase with rope. Simply coil rope around the vase and secure it in place with glue.

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      Give It the Slip

      Don't spend money on an expensive new ottoman. Instead, give an old one new life with a simple slipcover. Most slipcovers are machine-washable, and they can be easily switched out as decorating tastes change. Topped with a wooden tray, this ottoman doubles as a coffee table.

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      Coffee Table Chic

      Here are my go-to items for styling a coffee table: a stack of two to four coffee table books, a decorative box (or a smaller pair of boxes, stacked), a decorative object such as a shell or Moroccan star, and a tray. Any three of the four look great (bigger tables can handle more stuff). Add a small bouquet of flowers for extra credit. Voila -- instant chic!

      -- Elaine Griffin

      Go to the next slide for our coffee table styling tricks.

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    • How to Style a Coffee Table
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      Coffee Table Styling 101

      Watch and see how easy it is to style a magazine-worthy coffee table.

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      Wow with Wallpaper

      Nothing adds dimension and pattern like wallpaper, but even one roll can be pricey. To cut costs, focus your project to the backs of bookshelves, and use high-quality gift wrap instead of wallpaper. The paper can be applied just like wallpaper, using wallpaper paste. (If you're noncommittal, double-stick tape or 3M hanging strips also work wonderfully.) At about $8 per roll, you won't feel guilty about the little spruce-up.

      -- Jenny Komenda, blogger, littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com

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      Go Bright

      Grab a quart of paint in a color you'd never dream of putting on your walls and paint just the back of a bookcase. The pop of color will do wonders for any room.

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      Cut to Size

      Have a dining table, but need a coffee table? Cut the legs down to the right height and your living room has a brand new piece of furniture.

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      Bench Update

      Soften a bench with a blanket and some belts and get a completely different piece of furniture. Fold the blanket so it is the width of the seat. Drape over the bench and cinch in place with belts. Place the belts wide enough apart so that nobody has to sit on a belt.

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      Statue Panache

      Plaster busts and animal figures add a classic feel, especially if painted in a high-gloss paint. (White is an obvious paint color, but it's also fun to try something unexpected, such as sage or black.)

      -- Marcus Hay, freelance style director, marcushay.com

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      Frame (Almost) Anything

      Virtually any small trinket or memento can become wall art. Simply remove the glass from a picture frame, mount the object on matte board, and hang up. 

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      Photo Gallery

      Convert photos you want to group on a wall to black and white or sepia tone. They'll look more artistic and cohesive.

      -- Erin Gates, interior and fashion stylist, elementsofstyleblog.com

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      Dazzling Dresser

      Staring at a dull dresser? Banish the boring with simple install overlays, which come in a variety of shapes and designs. Look for ones that can be painted so you can customize your look even more. 

      Shop our fave bedroom furniture finds!