Splurge or Save- How to Tackle Home Décor the REAL Way

Can I just declare that the weather in Atlanta has been crappy lately. The grey weather is most definitnatly affecting my mood and productivity and I am so ready for it to be OVER.


Anyways, I wanted to jump into a blog post that has been highly requested for a few months. Weekly, I respond to DM's from people asking for my insight on how to start a home refresh when you are short on cash. Where do I buy my shelving units? What is most cost effective way to make a major impact in a room without spending your life savings? How can I get a "Pinterest" look in my home when I have ZERO DIY skills? Here are my top 10 ways to tackle a room refresh the REAL way- plus items I think you should save on vs. items you should invest in.

1. SPLURGE & SAVE (kinda)- PAINT

Paint is my NUMBER 1 way to transform a room without spending a million dollars. Swapping out the paint color in a room can not only make a major impact in the overall way a room looks, but in how a room makes you feel when you are in it. Even if you are renting, paint can really make a room feel custom and new and it is an easy fix for when you want to move out. The reason paint can be considered a splurge and a save item is because purchasing GOOD QUALITY paint is crucial. Do not buy the cheapest brand of paint you see in the home improvement store. If you do, you will spend more time rolling and re-rolling your walls. Unless you desperately need an upper arm workout, I recommend spending a few extra dollars to get the top tier paint brand rather than the cheap stuff. Overall, this update is still cost effective and will make a major impact in your space.


Throw pillows are seriously addictive and a major way to give a space a facelift without spending major cash. When I am working with a client who has a small budget and cannot afford to purchase all new furniture, throw pillows are the number 1 way I accessorize a space on a dime. The amazing thing about throw pillows is they can make an old couch look new, a hand-me-down bed look chic, they are seriously the GOAT. I source most of my throw pillows from stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross and I have noticed that they typically are priced between $10-$20 bucks.

3.SPLURGE (kinda)- RUGS

The right size area rug will really give a giant facelift to a room. I have added beautiful rugs over stained carpet and BOOM it instantly looks like new. Many people think you cannot layer a rug over carpet and this is simply BS. I am a firm believer that almost every room needs an area rug and I love that they can be swapped out pretty inexpensively. Why I am calling rugs a splurge is because purchasing a quality rug will definitely feel a lot better than a super cheap rug. NOT ALWAYS, but there have been times I have went cheap on buying rugs only to have to replace them in less than 6 months due to shedding, folding, wrinkles etc. I purchase most of my rugs online from Amazon (gotta love Prime), but I have found some inexpensive, beautiful options at HomeGoods, Ross and even Target. A large 8X10 area rug will usually run between $175- $250 bucks.


I get instantly sad when I see people overspending on shelving. Wall shelving is an awesome way to display pictures, books and smaller items and can really make a space feel custom and unique. Instead of spending major money on fancy shelving units- MAKE YOUR OWN. You can stop by your local home improvement store and pick up wall brackets, wood planks and a great wood stain for under $30 dollars. Making wall shelving is super easy and one of my favorite DIY tricks I use all the time.


DO NOT OVERSPEND ON LIGHTING. There is no purpose in spending more than $50 on a lamp EVER. I'm sorry, but I am cheap and I like to switch out my lighting a lot. Lighting is a MAJOR way to update a room on a dime. Getting rid of those awful florescent lights will really make a room feel put together and refreshed so lighting is KEY. My favorite places to purchase lamps would be Ross (yes they usually have a great selection), Target (usually 20-50 bucks) and Burlington Coat Factory. If you are really low on cash, head over to Goodwill for a good DIY lamp project. I have a bunch of lamps I have purchased from Goodwill that just needed a coat of spray paint and a new lamp shade. By spending under $20 bucks I have been able to create a custom lamp that NOBODY else will have.


I am a serial mirror user! I have to stop myself from adding a mirror to every single room. If I do not know what to add to an large, empty wall- 9/10 I usually try to stick a mirror there. Mirrors are great because they can instantly make a room appear larger and more put together. While mirrors can be a splurge (large ones can run you over $100 dollars), I have found some great options at Ikea, Target and Marshalls.


I am very stuck up when it comes to my bed. My bed is my number 1 place I go to relax and recharge and I need my sheets and my pillows to feel good on my skin in order to feel 100% comfortable. IF you invest in GREAT quality sheets, you will most def. notice a major difference in the way you sleep. I only use white sheets and linen on my bed because I love the "hotel-like" vibe it gives. White sheets may seem intimidating, but they are GREAT. When washing, add bleach and white sheets instantly look brand new.


I am all about a good, framed art print. By going on Pinterest, you can find super cute art prints that you can easily frame to create a customized look for a gallery wall or a shelving unit. Search "pintables" on Pinterest to find free resources to print and style.


The wrong size curtains can make a room feel small, dark and dated. In the design world, we call it 'high and wide." Curtains should be hung about 3 inches higher than the window frame and about 3 inches longer than the window frame. When purchasing panels, make sure you are purchasing the right length and material for YOUR SPACE. I love implementing white panels for a crisp, clean look. Ikea and Target both have great options for wall treatments.


90% of my accents that are on my shelving units are thrifted. It is amazing what a can of spray paint and the right styling will do to the most unexpected piece. I have picked up ceramic animals, baskets, glassware and old books at the thrift store and made them all look super expensive. Personally, I think thrifting is super fun and like an adventure to find unique accents to fill a space. To save on major cash, give yourself a cash budget of $25 and see all of the fun things you can pick up from the thrift store.

There are my top 10 splurge and save items. I hope that this list gives you a bit of perspective on all of the fun things you can do with just a bit of imagination and a few dollars. Remember, your space should always be a true representation of your style, your life and the places you have been. Watching a space grow and mature in style is truly a journey and something that happens over time.

Happy shopping!


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