40 Cheap Decor Ideas to Improve Your Home for Under $100

You know what’s crazy? A box of cereal costs roughly the equivalent of an hour’s wage nowadays. What is that about?!

I don’t have to be the one to tell you that when funds get tight with groceries and utilities, the home decorating budget is usually the first thing to go.

I mean, the birth of DIY blogs directly correlates with the housing bubble burst of 2008. That’s not a coincidence. That’s just proof that when times get financially tough, homeowners find ways to achieve the homes of their dreams. It just might take a little more creativity than usual.

40 cheap home decor ideas that make a big difference

How to Keep Home Decorating Affordable

It seems like a good time for me to dive into my favorite ways to improve a home for under $100. Because even when finances get tight, it is especially important to lean into creating a peaceful environment at home.

Life is stressful! So you need a place that relieves your stress, right?!

breakfast nook with banquette and DIY faux marble dining table

Reselling

The first few years of this blog literally started because Robert and I were newlyweds barely scraping by to pay our bills. I had to refinish and sell thrifted furniture to help us make it paycheck to paycheck.

Related: How to Find the Best Deals and Sell on Facebook Marketplace

Repurposing

I looked at what we had and would brainstorm every way possible to reuse items in some new way.

I would move items to new rooms, find ways to reuse leftover paint or scrap wood, and I would scour Facebook Marketplace for free items to give them new life.

Focusing on Order

I would get so stressed out asking myself, “Are we going to make it?” My solution was usually to set a timer for 20 minutes to clean and tidy as much as possible in my path. I called it my “rage cleaning” sessions.

Related: How to Declutter Your Home Quickly with These Organizer Secrets

And do you know what happened? I fell in love with the process of making big changes in our home for as little money as possible!

Not only did the creative process help me with mental burnout, but the end result of a peaceful home helped me emotionally too. It doesn’t have to cost much to make that happen.

If you’ve been feeling stressed lately but you crave a peaceful haven for your family, the list in this blog post is for you.

I hope it helps you find peace and excitement and even more appreciation for the home you have.

painting a banquette bench olive green for a breakfast nook

1. Paint a piece of furniture 

Get the full beginner’s guide to painting furniture with all of my best recs. I swear it’s not as scary as you think it is. Walk around your house and see what furniture you already have that could benefit from a facelift.

Budget Tip: If you’re short on supplies, check with your neighbors to see if you can borrow them or if they’re willing to do a supply swap.

sherwin williams evergreen fog painted bedside table in a bedroom
refinishing a nightstand with a sander

2. Clean out your closet 

This printable closet clean-out flow chart makes it a lot easier to guide you in purging the clothes you really don’t need anymore. Sometimes it’s hard to get started, but this guide asks the ultimate questions you need to get you motivated.

Budget Tip: Resell your gently used clothing on Facebook or in nearby clothing consignment shops for a little extra pocket money.

closet clean out decluttering guide printable

3. Rearrange your furniture layout

It takes less than an hour and costs $0. And you can always move it back if you hate it. 😉

living room furniture layout at christmas
living room furniture layout with couch and chairs

4. Spray paint a light fixture to update the look

If the color doesn’t look great, you can always spray paint it again. Paint color is an easy fix.

Related: The Best Gold Spray Paints: Ranked

gold chandelier spray painted
spray painting a chandelier gold

5. Build window boxes to add curb appeal

Bonus: use any scrap wood you might have lying around already. Check Facebook Marketplace for wood palettes. Scrap fence boards work well too.

Tutorial: DIY Window Box from Repurposed Scrap Wood

window box built with scrap wood

6. Declutter & organize your kitchen cabinets 

Decluttering does wonders for improving mood and lessening anxiety, which is just a big bonus for making life run a little smoother in your kitchen every day.

Budget Tip: Make an inventory of what ingredients you already have that you might have forgotten about hidden in your pantry. See what meals you can make using what you already have. (A packet of Ramen noodles is easy to jazz up with a soft boiled egg and condiments you probably have in your fridge.)

organized spice cabinet in a kitchen

7. DIY some large wall art 

Find a pretty poster you like, use this method to mount art on scrap plywood with a skinny DIY frame, and you’re done. It’s way cheaper than buying wall decor from Target.

Related: 28 Creative DIY Wall Decor Ideas for Your Blank Walls

large wall art made with a poster and plywood

8. Paint a room 

A couple of gallons of paint can ring in at just under $100 and definitely can make the biggest impact.

Budget Tip: Visit the “oops” section of the paint aisle to see what colors they have that you can use at a deep discount (just make sure you’ll have enough to cover the entire room).

Related: How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior Like a Pro

bedroom painted black
gray painted bedroom

9. Change your shower curtain

That one piece of fabric can make a big statement in your bathroom. And it’ll only cost you about $20-30 to change.

Budget Tip: If you have a tablecloth or window curtain you like, repurpose it as a shower curtain instead. Or keep an eye out in the linen section of thrift stores.

black and white bathroom decor
girls bathroom with pink shower curtain

10. Swap rugs from another room

Play musical rugs! (Okay, music is optional but you have to admit, that’s fun.) Swap your living room and dining room rug. Or swap your master bedroom rug with your guest bedroom rug. You might love it!

This rug that used to be in our living room is now in our home office.

Related: 25 Best Places to Buy Rugs Affordably Online

home office decorated with earthy decor
loloi olive and charcoal rug in a living room

11. Swap out a light fixture

I see inexpensive light fixtures and chandeliers at the Habitat for Humanity Restore all the time! Some of my favorite light fixtures around our home were ones I found for a steal on Facebook Marketplace.

If you find one you love but the color isn’t right, spray paint can fix that right up.

Related: Best Boob Light Replacement Fixtures for All Budgets

chandelier installation

12. Change your bathroom mirror

Take down the big builder grade jalopy. (You know you want to.) I found a vintage mirror for our powder room on Facebook Marketplace for way less than I could have paid new.

Related: Affordable Vintage Bathroom Mirrors + How to Upgrade a Builder Grade Mirror

vintage bathroom mirror with sandberg wallpaper and burgundy painted beadboard

13. Shop your house and rotate decor items from room to room

The perk of sticking to timeless, neutral decor with lots of great textures is it can be mixed and matched pretty much anywhere.

Related: Classic Interior Design Trends That Never Go Out of Style

gallery wall on stairs in an entryway

14. Add a Mural or Wallpaper Focal Wall or

You can get wallpaper that is removable peel-and-stick so you don’t have to commit long-term. I used wallpaper in the wall behind my daughter’s bed only inside of the molding to make a big impact without a major cost.

chinoiserie wallpaper in a nursery

15. Change your window curtains

Curtain panels are magical because they draw the eye upward to make rooms feel larger and ceilings taller. Be sure to hang them “high and wide”.

If you want to jazz up curtains you already have, sew some curtain ribbon trim on the edge as a little grandmillennial embellishment.

Related: Best Luxury for Less Amazon Curtains & Window Shades

off center window behind bed with curtains

16. Refresh your grout

I had my doubts about this grout pen, but it does a great job! I used it on our discolored bathroom tile grout several years ago, but I’ve been planning to use it again because I was so impressed.

Tutorial: Painted Tile Grout Refresh

grout pen on tile grout
white tile grout with grout pen in a bathroom

17. Organize your linen closet 

See what baskets you already have not being used to their full potential that you can repurpose for linen storage.

Related: Bathroom Linen Closet Organization Ideas That Totally Work

organized linen closet in a bathroom

18. Utilize free printable art on the public domain 

There are all kinds of free downloadable art files ripe for the picking on public domain archives! I’ve framed so many free art files around our home (using thrifted or dollar store frames of course) to fill up our walls.

Budget Tip: You can start an Etsy shop or Shopify site selling printable art using free images on public domain archives! If you’re tech-savvy, it’s a great side gig to make a little extra money.

Related: The Secret to Find Free Printable Wall Art Online

gallery wall made with free art in public domain archives

19. Re-organize your bathroom 

Even if it isn’t “pretty”, you’ll feel better and the day-to-day function of your bathroom will improve.

Budget Tip: Keep an eye out for lidded jars at thrift stores and repurpose them as elevated bathroom storage. It’s amazing how much nicer cotton balls and Q-tips look in a jar rather than their store packaging.

Related: Simple Spa Bathroom Ideas to Create Luxury for Less at Home

bathroom shelves organized with jars

20. Paint your interior doors 

It’s amazing how elevated a room can feel just by changing the doors from standard white to a pop of color.

Related: How to Paint Doors and Best Ways to Make Them Durable

doors painted gray with Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

21. Paint your shower, tub, tile, sink, or bathroom countertop  

Word of caution: This project is fumey. But MAN it’s worth it! And it holds up beautifully!

We painted the beige shower, rub, sink, and countertop in our bathroom several years ago before we could afford to renovate it. I was absolutely amazed how well it held up!

Related: DIY Painted Bathroom Sink, Countertop, Shower and Tub

shower and tub painted white
shower and tub before paint
sink and countertop painted white
sink and countertop before paint in a bathroom

22. Organize your laundry room

The prettier you make a laundry room look, the more you’re motivated to keep it that way.

Budget Tip: If you don’t have any cabinets or storage space, utilize pegboard for laundry room wall storage instead.

pegboard organizer in a laundry room

23. Lime wash your fireplace 

I was so intimidated to limewash our brick fireplace, but it turned out to be so much fun! It’s the perfect afternoon project.

Tutorial: DIY Lime Washed Brick Fireplace – Easy Tutorial

limewashed brick fireplace
limewashed brick fireplace in a living room

24. Paint your bathroom vanity 

I use this faux weathered wood look using paint on basically everything.

Tutorial: Weathered Gray Wood Look Vanity Makeover

weathered wood bathroom vanity with DIY paint

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25. DIY Pressed “Tin” Backsplash 

No power tools required! If you have a tile backsplash you hate but no funds to replace it, cover it with faux pressed tin paneling or beadboard for an inexpensive, easy fix.

Tutorial: DIY Pressed Tin Kitchen Backsplash

pressed tin kitchen backsplash to cover tile

26. DIY Faux Brick Backsplash

We installed faux brick paneling over our boring builder grade backsplash years ago too.

Related: DIY Whitewashed Faux Brick Backsplash

faux brick backsplash to cover tile

27. Paint your upholstery 

Yep! You can paint upholstery. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this project, but it does work! If you have an upholstered bench or headboard that you can’t recover with fabric, paint can fix it right up.

Tutorial: Beginner’s Guide to Painting Upholstery

painted upholstered headboard
upholstered headboard before paint

28. Add board and batten to a plain, boring space 

I especially love it in dark hallways to brighten it up and add character.

Tutorial: Cheapest and Easiest DIY Board and Batten Guide

board and batten in a nursery

Here is what this nursery look like before:

nursery before

29. Beef up your crown molding 

This little trick is so simple and quick to do if you already have skinny crown molding or baseboards.

Tutorial: How to Quickly Beef Up Crown Molding and Baseboards

crown molding painted white
crown molding with extra trim

30. Repurpose tea towels into cafe curtains 

This project is so easy and cheap! I love the charm these DIY cafe curtains added to our kitchen window.

Tutorial: How to Make Easy No Sew DIY Cafe Curtains

cafe curtains using kitchen towels

31. Clean up your wood furniture

If you have wood furniture that needs a little love, this method makes it look good as new! The best part is this doesn’t require any messy furniture stripping.

Budget Tip: Keep an eye out for wood furniture on Facebook Marketplace or at thrift stores that you can clean up and resell.

Tutorial: How to Clean Wood Furniture to Make It Look New

cleaned wood furniture
wood furniture before

32. Make a wreath for your front door 

A DIY wreath is the perfect way to reuse any faux greenery you already have in your stash.

Tutorial: DIY Blush and Sage Wreath

diy wreath for spring and summer

33. Trim out your windows with chunky molding 

We ended up trimming all of our windows using this method at our old house. It completely transformed the rooms! And the best part was it required no tricky angled miter cuts.

Tutorial: DIY Window Trim Molding – Easy How To Without Miter Cuts

diy window molding with no miter cuts

34. Make an industrial shower door

This project takes a day or two, but the results are worth it. I loved how this DIY shower door facelift turned out in our old house!

Tutorial: DIY Industrial Factory Window Shower Door

DIY industrial shower door
plain builder grade shower before

35. Add fringe to your sofa

If you’re a fan of grandmillennial style, adding fringe is so easy and inexpensive to change up the look.

Tutorial: How to Add DIY Fringe Trim to Sofas and Chairs

diy grandmillennial style sofa with fringe
home office sofa

36. Deep clean your house 

This whole house deep cleaning checklist is a big help.

whole house deep cleaning checklist

37. Add potted plants to your porch

Adding plants is the cheapest curb appeal ever. I love getting planter pots at Walmart for around $10-20 each.

Budget Tip: Try to multiply your greenery for free by learning how to propogate plants.

colonial house front porch decor

38. Clean and polish your floors 

If you’re like me, chances are it’s been a long time since your hardwood floors had a deep cleaning and polishing. But it really does make the entire room look so much better.

hardwood floor cleaning and polishing

39. Hang mosquito net curtains in outdoor spaces 

These add such an airy quality to a porch and also help keep the bugs out. They’re only $5 per pair at IKEA!

Tutorial: DIY Outdoor Curtains and Screened Porch for Under $100

mosquito net curtains on a porch

40. Declutter & redecorate your kitchen countertops

Always with the #1 rule: Kitchen countertop decor needs to be pretty and functional.

Tutorial: Simplified Decorating: How to Decorate Kitchen Countertops

kitchen countertop decor

Do you have any other cheap decorating ideas under $100 that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments so we can keep this post going as a helpful resource!

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9 Comments

  1. I highly recommend this post to my friends and family.We’ve got more time in the world now with all these quarantine and “stay at your home” thing. You probably discover a lot of things to be fixed in your house and this post just nailed at least half of the things we are doing now. Especially refreshing the grout. You DO NOT want molds to be the source of sickness in your family.

  2. Wow this is an awesome post to help anyone who is feeling stuck. Such great tips, tutorials and advice!! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Lauren,
    In the process of doing many of these at this very moment in time.
    Great additional inspiration ideas!
    Thank you for always inspiring!
    Pat