50 Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas for Any Room

Sometimes, when our bank accounts aren’t so flush, the internal drive to redecorate screams a little louder. Why? We don’t know. It could be something to do with always wanting what you can’t have. It’s during these times that it’s important to seek out cheap and easy alternatives to huge interior design overhauls.

At A Fancy Home, we believe that it’s not too difficult, you simply need a creative outlook and a list of 50 decorating ideas. How about you supply the first bit and we’ll supply the second?

50 Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas:

  1. Repaint

Simple, easy, straightforward. Need we say more?

  1. Pull the Carpet Up

If you live in an older home it’s likely that underneath your tatty, old or stained carpet there are wonderful wooden floorboards. Why don’t you uncover those glorious boards? Sand them down, give them a lick of varnish and hey presto your whole room has changed.

  1. Buy a Rug

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Carpet or no carpet, a new rug will breathe life into a dull room. Ensure your new addition stands out but opting for bright or clashing colours, patterns and bulky textures. Before you head out, make sure to read our rug buying guide.

  1. Buy a Mirror

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An interior design staple, adding a mirror. Are you working with a small or cramped room? Perhaps it doesn’t have much natural light and smalls dull or dark. Mirrors not only amplify space but when correctly positioned can reflect light (from a window or artificial source) to brighten the room.

This guide to using mirrors in your home will help!


  1. Wiggle it About

Rooms begin to seem old and dull when we get used to seeing them. All those fine details and interior design choices that you made only a year ago only seem dud because they’re no longer titillating.

So, try out the cheapest of decorating ideas, simply rejigging your room. Move things around, update the feng shui, meddle with movement – you’ll be surprised how different the room feels!

  1. Upcycle Old Furniture

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Before rushing out to buy something new you should first re-evaluate what you already have. An old dresser will have a new lease of life with a lick of paint, likewise, a boring set of chairs simply need a little decoupage to be as good as new.

  1. Cover Up the Sofa

Sofas’ are big investments, so, replacing your current one could be an issue for your bank account. A cheap and easy alternative is to find blankets and throws that you do like and cover them up. It will make do and can be continuously changed until you find the money to replace the sofa altogether.

  1. Update the Bedding

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Out with the old and in with the new, nothing bad ever came from sprucing up the bedroom; and a quick way to do it is by replacing the bedding. Duvet sets are inexpensive and throw pillows are available in their droves –  meaning a new look could be instant.

  1. Boot Sale and Charity Shops

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If you’re trying to keep things cheap and thrifty then the best place to look for decorative items are boot sales and charity shops. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

You’re unlikely to find perfect gems in pristine condition but with a little creative thinking, you might stumble upon pieces that’ll make ideal DIY projects.

  1. DIY Boring Storage Items

Cheap and easy decorating ideas shouldn’t focus solely on buying new items but rather how to upgrade your current pieces.

You can start by banishing boring storage units. Paint, decoupage, cover in wrapping paper or stencil on a new design – whatever you do, make it feel new.

  1. Make the Most of Hidden Storage

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On the topic of storage – you should be making the most of it. A lot of rooms feel dull and dated simply because they’re cluttered with menial, daily-life objects. Make a point to clear these away after using them. Whether that’s into cupboards, under bed storage, pouffes with lifting lids or installing more shelving, do what you can to clear the clutter.

  1. Display Ornaments in Odd Numbers

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When it comes to decorating ideas, the interior design staples are the best places to start – they’ve become staples for a reason.

If you’re planning on hanging artwork or displaying matching ornaments always opt for clusters of odd numbers, they’re more visually appealing.

  1. Replace Lampshades

Such a small and subtle change that can completely change the room. Lampshades not only collect dust but due to their proximity to bulbs, often discolour too. Replacing a lampshade will seem like a whole new light for a fraction of the cost!

  1. Repurpose Old Fruit Boxes

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Whether you have your fruit delivered or you pilfer these from friends, family, markets or charity shops, they’ll either be free or certainly very cheap to get hold of. Sand down the boxes and cover them with varnish for a new aesthetic.

To further add to the look, try stencilling a design or wording, or painting them completely – white for a chic and Scandinavian feel.

Then, you could stack the boxes to create a makeshift bookshelf or mount them to a wall for quirky shelving.

  1. Repaint Doors

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Whether it’s your front door or the ones on your kitchen cabinets, doors discolour the quickest; (from natural elements or grubby hands over time). You won’t realise how much the colour has dulled until you refresh the paint.

  1. Replace the Curtains

Ideally with a different style; if you currently have curtains then swap them out for shutters or roller blinds. This simple detail will have a big impact on any room.

  1. Focus on the Ceiling

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Another place that’s under overlooked is the ceiling. If you’re not keen on the idea of a feature wall, then you should consider the ceiling. A feature ceiling is a big interior design trend for 2018 and gives a unique design to a room.

  1. Make a Runner or Table Cover

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Replacing a dining table isn’t something we can do too often, but one way we can spruce it up is by either buying or making covers and runners. A homemade, patchwork table runner will create a very cute shabby chic aesthetic, while more classy and luxurious options are still economic choices – like these ones from John Lewis.

  1. Time for a New Mat?

Want to improve the exterior of your home in an instant? Replace your doormat with an immediate upgrade.

  1. Layer the Lighting

Layered lighting is an interior designer’s best weapon and worst kept secret. You can achieve this by having multiple light sources in the same room that emit different amounts of light in different places. It will immediately create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

  1. Check the Shower Curtain

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Shower curtains get mouldy quickly due to their warm and moist environment so regularly checking these is essential for keeping a bathroom looking fresh and new. Most shower curtains can be easily washed in a normal washing machine, but failing that, new ones aren’t expensive. Check out these shower curtains from Habitat.

  1. DIY Artwork

If you’re looking to fill the walls without draining the bank, then creating your own artwork is a great option. If you’re not artistically inclined then a good alternative is to print your favourite pieces on glossy paper or have your pictures/prints/quotes professionally printed in A3, A2 and A1 sizes, and buy budget frames. Viola – professional looking prints with a minor cost.

  1. Throw Out the Tea Towels

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When did you last wash your tea towels, no, honestly? Disgustingly it’s common for tea towels to harbour more bacteria than toilets. It’s a good idea for both your physical and mental health AND general kitchen aesthetic to replace (or burn) those bad boys.

  1. Upcycle the Table Tops

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A new coffee table may be out of the budget, but an afternoon spent upcycling isn’t. Decoupage your favourite prints, quotes and images; collage your best photo or go for a shabby chic bottle top/rusty penny collection. Seal it all down with epoxy resin.

  1. Wash the Walls

This may sound silly but walls collect dust and dirt just like other surfaces, so not only will they discolour, but could start to grow mould and smell. A good way to keep your walls in good condition (and the room looking fresh) is by rubbing with down with warm soapy water.

  1. Display What You Love

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The best thing about decorating a home is to showcase personality, so rather than pay for expensive artwork that doesn’t necessarily reflect you, showcase your passion instead. Love music? Put your vinyl’s in brackets and hang them from the walls. Film buff? Get movie posters of your favourite films. Love reading? Have your favourite books on display and let them do the talking.

  1. Think Outside of the Frame

If you want to avoid hanging frames, there are plenty of alternatives.

Mount your images on larger coloured or black card to create a border, then blue-tac the whole item to the wall. Or, blue-tac your images directly to the wall and use alternative framing materials: twigs, feathers, patterned tape, coloured pipe cleaners – you could use wooden spoons for all we care!

  1. Repurpose Jars and Cans

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Why throw out perfectly good containers? Rip the stickers off and thoroughly wash them out, then use them as vases, pen or make-up brush holders or buy some wax flakes and make them into candles. Possibilities = endless.

  1. Add an Accent Colour

One of the most effective decorating ideas for achieving a distinctive interior design feel is to implement an accent colour. Choose a noticeable colour and buy a couple of throw pillows, a blanket and a couple of décor items in the same shade, and suddenly you have an interior design theme without the hassle or mess of redecorating.

  1. Use Furniture Laterally

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Most people want their house to be noticeable and memorable, and one way to achieve is by using furniture laterally. Suitcase as a coffee table? Sure. Wooden chair for a bedside table? Go on then. A ladder for a shelving unit? Okay!

  1. Mix and Match Furniture

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Buying a new set of dining room chairs is an expensive ordeal and will create a very orchestrated look. Why not pick up different chairs from vintage and charity shops to create your own mix match set?

  1. Paint Something White

White paint is the holy grail of redecoration. We could have made a list of decoration ideas solely comprised of objects to paint white… but that would have been boring.

White is clean, fresh and crisp; it’ll make your old bedside table almost completely unrecognisable.

  1. Create A Statement Wall

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There are lots of ways to make a wall standout without using paint. Cover it with photos, prints or posters of varying sizes; display your collection of serving trays; hang your plate collection; cover it in tickets – really whatever takes your fancy.

  1. Paint Half of the Wall

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A big interior design trend is to paint half of the wall; we’re big fans. It’s not too overpowering and is a little different to the norm.

  1. Use a Patterned Paint Roller

Want a feature wall but don’t want to buy expensive wallpaper? A patterned paint roller is just the ticket! Like this one from Etsy.

  1. Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

What we mean is install the “wow-factor” in any room with stick-on tube lights.

  1. Filament Lightbulbs

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While we’re talking about lights have you considered accent lightbulbs? These are relatively new on the interior design scene but become popular with the industrial and vintage design themes. These guys look great, cost nothing and don’t even require a lampshade – perfect!

  1. Bring the Outdoors In

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It’s one of the decorating ideas that continues to crop up and for good reason. Plants naturally calm us down and create a sense of well-being. If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t fret, you can easily grab fake foliage that requires zero TLC.

  1. Upgrade the Side Table

Out of sight out, of mind, as the old saying goes. Side tables are often neglected in preference to replacing larger items less often. However, if you’re strapped for cash then replacing a smaller item like the side table is a much better decision which will still have a big impact on the surroundings.

  1. Clear it Out

Sometimes people want to redecorate when really all they need is a good clear out, declutter and clean.

  1. Arrange Books by Colour

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One of the simplest decorations ideas is to arrange your books (and other ornaments) by colour, it’s a small feature that has a big impact.

  1. Buy Some Washi Tape

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STICK IT ON EVERYTHING. Frame pictures and table tops or wrap it around chair legs. Create feature walls, feature doors or quirky lampshades; this little weapon could work wonders in any room.

  1. Wooden Plank Feature Wall

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Hark back to vintage design, everyone wants an exposed brick wall, but no one wants to pay for it. Exposed wooden beams are just as attractive but just as hard to achieve. What if I told you that you could? This American start-up has created a design that allows wooden planks to be easily fixed and removed from any surface, enabling you to create the exposed beam wall of your Pinterest dream.

  1. Paint Curtain Rods

Simple, but effective.

  1. Leave Room for Seasonal Decorations

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A simple way to keep your rooms looking fresh and new (and avoid constantly buying new décor) is to leave space for seasonal decorations.

Do you need to take the dog out? Or perhaps the kids would love to walk to a nearby park? While you’re out to pick up some twigs, daffodils, pine cones, blossom and leaves to make a seasonal centrepiece or reef. It’s fun, festive and free!

  1. Replace Dining Chairs with Benches

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If you want to shake up your dining room experience but don’t have the cash to splash? Try replacing one side (or all) your chairs with homemade benches? This one only takes 15 minutes to make!

Then, to make it comfortable and homely, either cover with cushions, a fur rug or quilt.

  1. Update Fixtures

The finishing fixtures make a huge difference to the overall look of a room, by simply replacing the door handles, taps or plugs you’ll give the space an instant facelift.

  1. Move Curtains Up

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Sounds odd right? By moving the curtains up you’ll raise the roof! Okay, not literally, but this little trick makes the ceiling seem higher and helps to create a luxe feel.

  1. Use Coloured Bulbs

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We bet you’d never thought of changing the colour of your light bulb, huh? A colour change, perhaps a pink or green, will give your room an Instagram wash. Of course, you can do this on a couple of lamps rather than the overhead for a subtler effect.

  1. Move Your Decorations Around

Over-saturation of decorative items leads to desensitisation. So, try boxing up all of your décor and replacing a piece at a time in a new location in your home, it’ll be like seeing it again for the first time. The easiest of decorating ideas, which costs absolutely nothing at all (other than time).