IS IT POSSIBLE TO Decorate With Little Or No Money?

YES!!!!! It’s all about using what you already have, finding some great finds for free, shopping from local sellers, discount stores or thrift shops. You can make your space look great and decorate with little or no money. We have pictures to prove it.

We took an empty apartment from nothing to something and it came out amazing.


My son was moving into his first apartment and he asked if I could decorate for him. Quickly I responded, “YES, ABSOLUTELY!!!” I was waiting for this day to come, but not sure it would since I raised really independent kids who wanted to do everything themselves.


I was so excited until he handed me his budget of $300.00 cash to make his entire space look great. How do we make $300.00 stretch that far for a one bedroom apartment, which included a living/dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom? I knew we would need a miracle at this point. But you know….. When There Is A Will, There Is A Way….. I was up for the challenge and my daughter jumped on board too.

4 Simple Tips How To Do It:



The first thing to think about is how much money do you have to spend on your project, if any? When you’re on a budget and trying to decorate with little or no money, every penny counts, so make a plan. Write it down so you don’t have to keep it to memory. (I LOVE JOURNALS, FIND ONE HERE)

Put notes in your phone, write it on paper, create a document you print out, whatever is your favorite means to remember things, just do it, and bring it with you when you go searching for the items for your project. Take notes while searching and shopping, as to what you have found and what you still need. Think about this to:

  • What do you already have to work with?
  • What do you actually need for your space?
  • What is your style?
  • What’s your color scheme?

Take pictures of what you already have and of what you find or buy to avoid over collecting or spending too much. It helps you stay organized in your thinking and you don’t end up with 2 of the same thing because you forgot you already had a similar item.



Start looking for free stuff thru local Aps in your neighborhood or city. In collecting free stuff you will find items that are in good shape but need to be washed or touched up with a little paint. As you search for free things have an open mind. If you see something you like, it looks okay, but needs a little love, go for it. You can create a cohesive theme thru your space with color. My son wanted random things for his apartment. I found random things but they really didn’t match color wise, so I painted them to match. You’ll be surprised at what you can get for free and how you can transform almost anything.

  • Garages Sales and Flea Markets are where you can really find things for dirt cheap and can even negotiate the price.
  • Thrifts Stores have a large variety of items that you can re purpose and re home, plus see some funny stuff you can’t believe people ever owned.
  • Discount Store prices amaze me. Sometimes they are the same price as buying from a thrift store, but brand new.
  • Shopping Local Sellers in your neighborhood, for nearly free prices, is also a way to shop dirt cheap.
  • SHOP AMAZON or other online stores for a great way to find lower cost new items. Let your fingers do the walking and delivering.
When shopping at a store, for dirt cheap stuff, try using more than one cart.

As you go down the aisles pick out everything you like or think will work for the project. After you fill the cart with potential items, sort thru it all using another cart, and figure out what will actually work within the space or what you can make look great.

You can use empty spaces on store shelves, make room on shelves, or the store floor, to place a few things to see if it will look good together and be okay dimension wise.


After you have collected everything for your space, meeting basic needs and reflecting your style and interests, it’s time to pull it all together with artful placement.

This is the best part! There is a sense of accomplishment when you decorate your own space. Many people say they really can’t decorate, but actually can with a little direction. If you need help with placement go to my post; and see how to artfully place your things. Placement is everything.

Wrapping It Up…..

This was one of my favorite projects ever. We had $300.00 to work with, we made a plan, executed it and had a blast at the same time. We ended up with ALL furniture FREE, except the bed and frame.

It was just enough stuff to fill the apartment, it didn’t look crowded, had the fun random elements, but also a touch of class. In all my years of decorating I’ve never used bowling pins in a kitchen or a chrome squirrel nut cracker in the living room. My son was really happy with the results and he couldn’t believe what we did with his $300.00. The look of surprise and the smile on his face was the icing on the cake.

Check out how his space came out!


Everything in this picture we found for free, except my son already had the lamps. We did purchase new accent pillow covers and candles.


With planning and artful placement you can pull together a fabulous room in no time.


Never thought I’d place bowling pins or comic pictures in a kitchen, but it was a perfect reflection of his fun personality. They filled empty space and drew the eye up and around the room for a visual experience. Yes, that’s a Spider Man can opener on the wall. Doesn’t everybody have one of those?


The only 3 pieces he started with in this picture were the TV, arrow on the wall and floor lamp. Everything else was a free find or a thrift store purchase. The chrome squirrel nut cracker, I learned to love that thing, pulled together the other chrome thru the room from the lamps and side tables, creating a cohesive feel.


This bed would have looked pretty lonely in this room if we had not found the shelves at a garage sale, the picture was free, and the decor from shopping dirt cheap. It looks pretty cozy now.


This free table looked great in this empty spot, along with a lamp he owned, and we found the other decor pieces at a discount store.

This project was a fun challenge.

It even surprised us as we pulled off making his apartment look great with little money. If we could do it, so can you, just go for it!

Our testimonies encourage others they can do it too! 

I would love to hear what you have found for free, re purposed or what miracle you performed decorating with little or no money.


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