how to decorate on a budget: Small changes with big impact
Follow along to see how I was able to use small changes with big impact to transform my home. The story of my decorating style is really a story about my couch. It’s not a fancy couch nor an especially remarkable couch (although it is rather comfy.) It’s not actually ABOUT the couch but how I DECORATE the couch. And how you can too. Let’s explore the possibilities together.
Small Changes With Big Impact: Here is My Story
About 12 years ago we bought an ivory slip-covered couch from Pottery Barn. I hadn’t really defined my decor style yet, so I decided to keep things simple (and safe) by choosing a neutral palette. This decision has served me well. Not only is neutral a good idea if you don’t know what direction your decorating style may go, it’s also a great idea if you like CHANGE, like me. It also can be a smart and practical choice for anyone wanting to make their furniture choices LAST. The other key factor determining my decorating decisions is that I have a very low budget, especially since my husband and I started our own business about 5 years ago. I can afford small changes, ie. new pillows or small accent pieces but new furniture is pretty much out of the question.
Flash forward to about a year and a half ago when I started my Instagram account. I was interested in updating my decor and sharing decor ideas but again, I had a a no-spending budget in place and was struggling to think of ways to bring new life to my old space. Here is my pictorial account of how I was able to satisfy my decor-loving appetite and still keep my hubby happy with our budget. You’ll see how I transformed my home by small changes with big impact.
One Room, One Year; 11 Months, 13 Looks
Post holiday, and I was just happy to be enjoying less clutter with the holiday decorations gone. Keeping things simple, I put away all the red. I was fine with allowing a few holiday theme pillows in neutral tones to remain. The Christmas orchid was a gift and was the perfect way to transition away from holiday colors.
Small Changes with Big Impact: January
Just when I thought we were done with red for the year, my son’s Amaryllis bloomed. Consequently, we made an exception, hence, small changes with big impact.
Spring comes very early in California so by February I was itching for a change. I finally got the new wall color up. I used Valspar Modern Gray which brightened everything up. Soft creams and whites were exactly the mood I was feeling. More small changes with big impact: I found new pillows from Target and refreshed this vase with faux spring buds.
Small Changes with Big Impact: March
With Easter just around the corner and flowers starting to bloom I was feeling festive. Therefore, I chose pink and blue to celebrate the season. All these small changes with big impact were decor items found at Target.
Next, after all that color I was pretty desperate to get back to my calming whites and neutrals. These fun geometric black and white patterned pillows and small decor items on the tray were my small changes with big impact for the month.
Small Changes with Big Impact: May
My favorite small changes with big impact? Fresh flowers. The other? PILLOWS. I couldn’t resist these new pillows from Target. The vases also play along with the color scheme. Flowers, pillows and a vase equal small changes with big impact yet again.
With so many gorgeous flowers out this time of year I couldn’t resist. I added another change mid-month: Lavender roses. When I found these of course I had to change up the decor to match. The whole scene took on a very romantic feel. I love how one small change can take my room (and my mood) in a whole new direction.
The arrival of new pillows from @sovintagechic was all the excuse I needed to change things up AGAIN. I reverted back to a neutral mood. Small pops of blue glass and the wooden tray/box give a vintage feel.
Don’t we all get feeling very patriotic in July? The Fourth of July was the perfect excuse to bring out my Pottery Barn red striped pillows and don some decorative flags. Neutral green boxwood helped balance the added color. Can you see once again how small changes with big impact are all you need?
Next, with temperatures soaring it felt nice to keep things light and crisp. So I chose pops of yellow which contrast nicely against black and white. A couple mini topiaries bring in more white and add distinctive green as well.
Small Changes with Big Impact: September
You can see I like getting a jump on the holidays, and with the first week back to school I was all over changing the mood for fall. It may still have been in the 90’s out, but inside I was in the mood for pumpkins. Small changes with big impact like this festive basket filled with faux greens and monochromatic pumpkins.
Finally, October arrived, and I swapped out whites for creams and neutrals. I added lots of texture. This ombre tassel throw really transformed the space. I also added some pops of orange, fresh golden mums and some darker accents like this galvanized tray. These were my small changes with big impact for a fresh fall look.
And how about one more for the road? I just made these changes because, well, do I even need to say it? I’m addicted to change. This update was completely FREE because I shopped my house and stole this coffee table from my little-used living room. Then I headed outside to gather these plum branches from the front yard.
For more budget decorating ideas, read HGTV’s article.
Small Changes with Big Impact: Recap
As you saw from these pictures, I transformed my home by making small changes with big impact. Nothing was big, nothing was pricey, and yet the room seems really different from month to month. These small changes can be easily summarized:
- flowers (real or faux)
- small decor items (usually on a tray)
- pillows (and throws)
It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Draw your inspiration from an item, a mood or a color and follow my easy examples. You’ll be loving your fresh new looks, and not breaking your budget. Also, be sure to read our blog post “Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas” for other money-saving decorating tips.