Design Tips for the Resourceful Woman

Nov 27, 2020

4 ways to design any room like the pro’s without breaking the bank

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making your house a home. But designing a home that both reflects your personal style and claims space to relax, recharge and enjoy the company of your loved ones can easily run up quite a bill if you’re not careful. The good news is, it doesn’t have to.

If my experience as a widowed mother on a tight budget taught me anything, it’s that there is always a way if you’re willing to do the work! You don’t need to hire an expensive luxury designer to make your home look worthy of a magazine feature. Everything you need could be right at your fingertips. All you really need is a little inspiration and imagination to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Start With What You Have

It’s easy (and totally normal) to get bored with furniture and decor you’ve been living with for years. Design styles change over the years, we pick up new ideas and learn new techniques – especially in this digital age with an unlimited amount of inspiration right at our fingertips. It’s only natural that we might want to change our surroundings once in a while to reflect all that new information! Or perhaps you’re building your dream home and just need a fresh concept to match the new space. In any case, whether you’re refreshing or starting from scratch, make sure you don’t overlook what you already have! You may have some gems sitting right in front of you that just need a little polish.

Before you start buying new pieces, consider looking through what you already have and try your best to look at them with fresh eyes. Imagine them with fresh coats of paint or if you’re looking for a more rustic feel, consider roughing up some edges with sandpaper. Maybe it’s just a matter of rearranging the pieces you already have in a new way. It’s exciting to buy new furniture and decor, but it can be just as exciting to turn something that was destined for the yard sale pile into a treasure (especially if it saves you a hefty chunk of change!).

Go Treasure Hunting

Speaking of treasure, you know what they say about another man’s trash! Don’t pass up a stop at your local antique shops if you’re looking for something unique to add to your space that won’t tank your budget. Antiques are especially great for bringing that rustic feel to your home and make great conversation pieces.

When you’re looking through antique shops, the most important thing is to keep an open mind. If you go in with a specific picture in your head, you might pass by some really great pieces that could add character to your design. Everything you look at could have endless possibilities for your home if you’re willing to see them differently. Design is supposed to be FUN – don’t stress over finding the perfect piece. Find something special, get creative and make it perfect for YOU.

Support Local

I love giving back to the community, so I take every opportunity I can to support local businesses, especially when I’m designing a home. There are so many great mom and pop shops out there that feature local artisans and craftsmen.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Shopping locally can sometimes be a little more expensive than if you were to purchase from the bargain shops and big box stores – afterall, you’re paying for exquisite workmanship and artistry. But it just may not be possible to buy everything local if you’re on a tight budget. And that’s totally okay! Do what works best for your budget. Perhaps everything else in the room is a bargain buy, but try to save a little room in your budget for unique, local pieces. They’ll add character and originality to your design and will be a blessing to those in your community who need your support to keep their businesses running.

Do It Yourself

Who doesn’t love a good project? It’s now easier than ever to take on a creative project with sites like Pinterest and Youtube that can help you find creative ideas as well as walk you through the process. From unique color palettes, to furniture upcycle projects, to artwork – there’s something for everyone online that can help enhance your design.

A few projects you can likely do yourself without the help of a contractor include:

  • Do Your Own Painting – No need to hire a contractor to change your room color! A quick stop to the hardware store will provide you with everything you need to take on the task. Just remember to cover any furniture in the room while you’re painting!
  • Furniture Upcycle – If you found a great piece at the antique shop or something that’s been stashed in your attic for years, check out Pinterest for ideas on how to freshen it up. It could be something as simple as a new coat of paint. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you might consider turning the piece into something entirely new – like turning an old bureau into a vanity for your bathroom sink!
  • Use That Old Sewing Machine – If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you might consider sewing your own curtains or making pillow covers to match your new color palette. It’s easier than you’d think and there are plenty of tutorials online to help you along.

The most important thing to remember when you’re designing a space is to have FUN with it. Tap into your creativity and imagination to use unconventional items in a fresh way or convert something old into something exciting. Don’t get hung up on the idea that good design has to be expensive. You can make your space special without costing yourself a fortune.

Have a great budget-saving tip of your own? Share with our community in the comments below!

About the Author


Shelly’s mission is encouraging women to rise up in their strength and creating an inspiration for home living through her own past and her faith in God. She believes that God is always watching and making moves, even when we don’t realize it. It is our mission to bring hope to women, to encourage them to have perseverance and faith, to see it, believe it, and do it.