Home Refresh on a Budget - Incorporating Old With 4 Strategic New Pieces

I’m just a girl, standing in front of some home décor, hoping it doesn’t say “live, laugh, love”. Every so often, I look at the paper mache’ deer head I have hanging over my bed and just like David after dentist, I ask “is this forever?” Things feel stagnant, mercury is in retrograde and I’ve got an itch for that new new.

Maybe you feel ready for a change of scenery at home too? Before you start pinning shiplap walls and velvet couches, pump the brakes! See what a little Botox job to your home can do rather than investing in a major face lift. Without spending a fortune, see below for the best ways to refresh your home on a budget, giving new life to the old and strategically incorporating newness.

Let’s start with what’s free:

Rethink your layout:

Remember when you were a kid and you reorganized your room? You called your parents in and they said “very nice” and you thought “HELL YEA IT IS NICE! NEW POSITION FOR MY BED, NEW ME!” Grab that unused notebook you bought from Target (from when you swore you’d start journaling) and start sketching out some alternate plans. Changing up your layout can give an entirely new feeling to your home. For help visualizing, you can try this site for layout help (it’s free and has useful room planning software to help.)

Rehome and Repurpose What You Already Have:

You once loved your decor pieces enough to bring them into your home, so give them a second chance at life in a different location. Some examples to get the creative juices flowing:

  • Switch your art and throw pillows throughout different rooms In my case, I’m moving the aforementioned deer head from my bedroom to my living room.;

  • Switch your dining room and bedroom rugs;

  • Switch the bedroom curtains to the guest room;

  • Move plants to a different window sill (don’t be a murderer, keep in mind the needed lighting conditions);

  • Take all your existing art and single frames and group them together for a gallery wall. You can go down the chaotic rabbit hell hole of Pinterest, or here is a link to a very helpful blog post on A Pair and A Spare DIY with some layout inspiration.

  • Repurpose the cute appetizer bowls or teacups from your kitchen to your vanity as a storage alternative;

  • Re-do your shelving displays: organize your books by color, swap out tchotchkes and candles, experiment with different groupings.

Strategically Integrate Newness:

Now that we’ve been very responsible and repurposed what we could, lets get to the fun part: choose a few new key pieces that’ll make the biggest impact.

1. New Shower Curtain

I am a maximalist in all other areas (more is more), but when it comes to bathrooms, I prefer an impersonal hotel-style vibe: sleek, white and modern. To adapt this aesthetic, you must practice some restraint - in store my eyes go straight to the hot pink flamingo prints or jungle green jaguars but it can look kitschy and cheap at home. Stick with lush quality fabrics in white (or at the very least - neutrals.) You needn’t allocate much of your budget here since there are so many amazing affordable option available..

6 best shower curtain picks, all under $40:

2. Throw Pillows and Throw Blankets:

Throw pillows and blankets are a fantastic way to add color and texture to a space with no commitment.

My dream is to have my home be a posh museum of my good taste where no one touches my throw pillows and blankets. This is unrealistic, so consider that you’ll be laying on and using these often. Invest in a few higher quality pieces so that these truly look and feel special. Here are my favorites:

6 gorgeous throw pillow and blanket picks:

3. Welcome Mat

A welcome mat is the first thing you see when you arrive and last thing on your way out the door. I like a welcome mat with quirk and personality. It’s a seemingly small touch that can make a big impact. Here are a few favorites:

6 best welcome mat picks, all under $100:

4. Plants

Plants provide a HUGE visual impact. They purify the air and have a calming effect on a space. Choosing simpler plants can make a room look cleaner and polished. I’ve had plenty of plant funerals and it just makes me feel bad, so set yourself up for success with low maintenance greenery for your particular room conditions.

Three plants that ANYONE can keep alive:

Aloe Vera

These succulents can grow for years in the same planter. It requires little water and bright sunlight, so use this for a window sill.

Snake Plant

known as Mother-in-law's tongue because of its long, sharp, pointed leaves and because it lasts so long. This needs low-light and very little watering, so a good choice for shady corners and shelves.


is almost impossible to kill. This can grow up to 10ft long and when pruning, put the cutting in water to create a new plant. These are tolerant to all types of light, but given that it will grow long - it would be great hung from the ceiling.

Some affordable options to house your new plant babies: