Creating a cozy home on a thrifted budget is a rewarding and sustainable way to decorate your space. With a little creativity and some thrift store finds, you can create a warm and inviting space without breaking the bank.
A cozy home doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. With a little creativity and some thrift store finds, anyone can create a warm and inviting space without breaking the bank. In fact, thrifting is super trendy right now…even with interior designers. Thrifted, DIY, and secondhand items add character and charm to your home while also being budget-conscious.
Let me show you how I decorate my home on a thrifted budget with some smart shopping, DIY ideas, and tricks for creating cheap artwork So, grab your shopping bags, and let’s get started on creating a space that feels like home.
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How to Create a Warm and Inviting Space without Breaking the Bank
From making over thrifted lamps to painting your own unique artwork, I have so many budget-friendly decorating tips for you today!
We all want to create a warm and inviting space to come home to at the end of the day but let’s be honest, most of us don’t want to spend a boatload of cash to do it!
Thrift stores are one of my secret weapons for decorating my home. They offer a wide variety of items that can be repurposed and incorporated into any home decor style.
With a little bit of imagination, you can take an inexpensive thrifted item and transform it into a one-of-a-kind piece that adds personality and warmth to any room.
Also, start DIYing some of your home decor! You won’t believe how affordable it can be to get designer looks!
Decorating On A Thrifted Budget
When it comes to creating a cozy home on a thrifted budget, it’s important to understand what that really means. Essentially, a thrifted budget relies on secondhand items, rather than buying everything brand new. This can be a great way to save money and still create a comfortable and stylish living space.
One thing to keep in mind when working with a thrifted budget is that it requires a bit of patience and creativity! You may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for right away, sometimes it’s hit or miss when you are secondhand shopping!
Don’t forget flea markets and local antique shops in your area. Mixing vintage pieces with new home decor is a way to get that curated look that you see in magazines.
When shopping for secondhand items, it’s also important to keep an open mind and be willing to get a little creative. You may need to do some DIY projects to update or repurpose items, but this can be a fun and rewarding way to create a unique and personalized home.
I usually have a running list in my mind of what I am on the hunt for when I’m out thrifting. Recently, I was looking for a small table lamp that I could makeover because lamps have been expensive lately! It took a couple of months to find the perfect one but I was so psyched when I did…and I love how my upcycled lamp came out.
The Concept of a Cozy Home
Creating a cozy home is all about creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed and at ease. It’s a space where you can unwind after a long day, entertain guests, and spend quality time with loved ones. A cozy home doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can be achieved on a small budget with a little creativity and resourcefulness.
One of the key elements of a cozy home is a warm feel. This can be achieved through the use of soft textiles, such as blankets, pillows, and rugs. But they don’t have to cost a fortune to look expensive!
I’ve resourced so many affordable pillows, throws, and rugs for you:
Cozy Pillows & Throws
Affordable Area Rugs
Additionally, warm lighting, such as table lamps and floor lamps can help to create a warm and welcoming ambiance in a room rather than using the overhead lights.
One of my favorite tricks lately is using smart bulbs in my living room lamps, that way I can turn them on/off and also dim them from my phone.
If you are buying secondhand lamps most stores will have a lightbulb and plug for you to try it to make sure it works, take the time to do that as some stores have no return policies.
Looking for affordable floor lamps? Here is my list of Pottery Barn Knock-Off Floor Lamps (some look identical).
In my Amazon store I have 39 affordable lighting choices that I’ve sourced for you.
Another important aspect of a cozy home is organization. Clutter can make a space feel chaotic and stressful, so it’s important to keep things tidy and organized. Try using storage solutions like baskets, shelves, and cabinets. It’s also important to keep surfaces clear and free of clutter, as this can help to create a calm and relaxing environment…less is more!
My home is fairly small so I need to create storage to keep things looking organized and uncluttered. One trick to keep things tidy in the living room is to add 2 wicker baskets on the shelf of my coffee table. One holds an extra throw blanket and in the other one, I keep my magazines, books, and remotes.
Use a big basket like this to organize your throw blankets or kid’s toys in your living room.
Thrift stores and flea markets are great spots to find affordable baskets and bins for attractive storage options.
In addition to warmth and organization, a cozy home should also reflect your personal style and interests. Bring in your own vibe with your artwork, decorative objects, and furniture that you love.
Thrift stores and flea markets are great places to find unique and interesting pieces that can add character and charm to your home.
Everything that you see on my entryway table was bought secondhand! The vase was a $5 flea market find that I made over and the candelabra was from Goodwill and I gave it a coat of brass spray paint. The oil painting was a couple of dollars at a yard sale.
For more ideas see my 15 thrift store decor ideas for easily found items to get a list to follow.
My own style is a mix between vintage and modern cottage. So I love to mix old and new things when I am decorating and I always like to mix in natural and botanical touches to every space. Like here for the holidays.
Planning Your Decorating Budget
When it comes to creating a cozy home on a thrifted budget, planning is essential. Without a clear idea of what you can afford and what you need to purchase, it can be easy to overspend and end up with a cluttered home that doesn’t feel comfortable or inviting!
The first step in planning your budget is to take a close look at your finances. Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on home decor and furnishings and decide what part of your home you want to decorate without putting a strain on your budget. You don’t have to decorate every single space in your home at once!
I also try to keep the bulk of my decor season-less meaning that it will work year-round in the room. An example is to find one vase you love that is fairly neutral and just change out the stems from season to season. It’s even better to upcycle a thrift store vase!
This Pottery Barn-inspired vase started as a thrift store find a couple of years back. I have it out somewhere in my home all the time because it works year-round and looks great no matter what I fill it with. Fresh, dried, or artificial stems all look great in it!
Once you have a clear idea of your budget, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to purchase. Consider the size and layout of your home, where you spend the most time, and then prioritize that area.
This is where secondhand shopping comes in key! To make the most of your budget you have to hit the thrift stores, garage sales, and vintage shops in your area.
Don’t forget the online places like Facebook Marketplace and online yard sales! Scroll Facebook Marketplace for bigger items like living room furniture, dining tables, and chairs. You might be amazed at what you find! I recently put my dining table on Marketplace and didn’t even have it moved into the garage before I had an offer on it!
Finding the Right Thrift Stores
Not all thrift stores are created equal, and some may have better quality items or more affordable prices than others. Here are some key factors to consider when searching for the perfect thrift store.
One important factor to consider when looking for thrift stores is location. It’s important to find stores that are easily accessible and in areas where you frequently spend time. This will make it easier to stop by and browse for items when you have some free time.
Additionally, consider searching for thrift stores in different neighborhoods or towns to increase your chances of finding unique and interesting items.
In my area of New Hampshire, I know that my local Savers is usually a gold mine for me whereas the Goodwill a couple of towns away is almost always a miss for me!
I’m telling you from personal experience that the thrift stores in the more affluent towns near me usually have higher-quality merchandise. The same goes for yard sales…cruise the more upscale communities.
Quality of Items
Another important factor to consider is the quality of items available at the thrift store. While it’s possible to find great deals on gently used items, it’s important to inspect items carefully before purchasing them. Look for items that are in good condition, and take time to give everything the once over before putting it in your carriage.
I’m also the weirdo sniffing things…I check for that old musty smell on baskets, fabric, or wooden pieces.
Don’t be discouraged by a rickety leg on a table, check to see if it’s a loose screw that you can tighten up in a quick minute.
Finally, pricing is a key factor to consider when searching for thrift stores. While it’s important to find affordable items, it’s also important to avoid stores that overprice their items. Know your prices! Lately, I have been seeing dollar store merch in my thrift store marked for $3-4!!
Look for stores that run sale days or clearance events too. Also, I suggest joining the store’s loyalty program or email list to receive notifications about upcoming sales and discounts. I’m always getting extra discount codes from the Savers emails I signed up for.
One of my best tips for when you are in the thrift store and want to see if something is valuable is to pull out your phone and use the Google Lens feature on your Google app. It will pull up similar items. This is also great to use if you have no idea what something is or to check the markings on the bottom of china or pottery.
You can find out all of my thrift store tips for beginners here to find out more!
Discount Shopping Tips
If you have been a reader of my website for a while then you already know that I love the look of Pottery Barn! I have come up with shopping strategies to recreate the looks. It does involve a lot of clicking around the web though! Seriously, just spending a little time to shop around can save you big bucks on decorating.
One of my secrets for finding knockoff looks for Pottery Barn merch. is to do a Google lens search of the stock photo of that item. It will pull up a list of similar-looking items…and sometimes they are the same thing at a fraction of the price!! (See my PB lookalike floor lamp post!).
When buying new home decor, Amazon is my go-to for affordable throw pillow covers & throw blankets. Perfect for creating a cozy space! Target, Walmart, HomeGoods, & Hobby Lobby are good spots to find affordable new decor too.
Shop My Amazon
For Affordable Home Finds
DIY Home Decorating Projects
When it comes to decorating on a budget, DIY home decor projects can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your space. Here are a few ideas for DIY decorating ideas and projects that can be done with thrifted items.
Repurposing Secondhand Items
One of the easiest ways to save money on home decor is to repurpose items that you already have or find at a thrift store. Here are a few ideas that I have done:
On this thrift store haul, I found so many things that I have used this Fall to decorate around the house. Like this very dated-looking artificial flower arrangement. But I took a second to see that the base was made of cement and looked like something from an expensive catalog!
I removed all of the old flowers and added a simple creeping succulent to it. This will work year-round and it only cost me $5.
When I spotted this painted vase I wasn’t vibing with the leaf design but the shape is similar to Pottery Barn vessels. With a little bit of black spray paint and hand-painted hash marks, I made this sharp-looking vase.
Until recently I think people had the idea that thrifting meant things looked shabby, I’m so glad the thrifting/secondhand movement began to take hold!
This entire display on my console cabinet is secondhand finds! Except for the gourds that I grew and the felt acorn garland that I DIY’d
One thing that you can usually find when you are secondhand shopping is silver pieces. Old silver serving dishes and ice buckets can be repurposed to use for artificial flower arrangements. The vintage silver brings a little character to this simple lily of the valley arrangement.
Creating Your Own Abstract Art
Another way to save money on home decor is to create your own artwork. Here is how I saved $$$ and made a big piece of art for my living room wall.
This is going to be a moody seascape...very abstract!! For this project, I used a blank 24 x 36 inch canvas and 4 paint colors.
Start at the bottom with the darkest color and work your way up the canvas. I made a wave motion with my paintbrush across the canvas to spread the paint.
Then I used a clean paintbrush to continue with the next color.
After I had 2 colors painted on the canvas I blended where the 2 colors met to soften up the look so there wasn’t a distinct line.
To give the abstract art a bit of dimension I tapped on some white paint where the dark colors met on the bottom of the canvas, then dabbed a little of the dark gray in with the pink and white at the top of the canvas pretending it was clouds. In my mind, I just kept imagining a stormy day at the beach for my inspiration.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, after all, it is abstract! The last step I did was to tip the tips of my wide paintbrush in the white paint, dab most of it off on a paper towel, and then make an X motion with my hand to make light highlights over the entire canvas.
If you are making a big piece of wall art like this, sometimes it helps to hang it and stand back to look at it. That’s what I did and I realized I needed that extra step with the white paint to give it more texture and dimension.
Here is another abstract canvas I painted a while back.
Printable Art To Frame
What’s one thing you notice when you see a photo of a room that looks “put together”? There is usually a backdrop of wall art or art displayed on the shelves or tables. Art pulls a space together, but fear not we are not going to spend a zillion dollars to make our home look like a catalog!!
My large living room gallery wall was a DIY project this year. It’s made such an impact in the space and I had all of the art printed for around $80, a very budget-friendly project.
What most people don’t realize is that any art that is over 100 years old and in a public museum becomes open source and part of the public domain. This means you can download the images for free from the museum collections! Does it take a little time, yes! But guess what, I’ve been curating a collection that you can download and use to fill your frames.
This is exclusively for email subscribers, click the button below to subscribe and get instant access to the library including my new Fall printable collection.
curated printable art library
exclusively for email subscribers
These DIY projects can be a fun and affordable way to decorate your home. With a bit of creativity and some thrifted items, you can create a cozy and personalized space.
Wrapping It Up
Creating a cozy home on a thrifted budget is not only achievable but also fun and rewarding! With some creativity, patience, and careful planning, anyone can transform their living spaces into a warm and inviting sanctuary without breaking the bank.
By following the tips and tricks I shared with you today on how to shop smart, repurpose old items, and DIY you will be able to start saving money and curating a home that you love!
Remember that creating a cozy home is not just about the decor, but also about the atmosphere and ambiance. Adding soft lighting, comfortable seating, and fun personal touches can go a long way in creating a warm and inviting space that feels like home.