When your aesthetic tastes lean toward avant-garde styles, decorating on a budget can be a challenge. While traditionalists may score great deals at garage sales and thrift stores and can just spruce up their new finds with a little paint, modernists can’t always find what they need that way.
If there are no flea market finds that work with the modern home decor you desire, there’s no need to despair. With a few helpful hints, you’ll find the right items to outfit your home with a neat and modern flair.
Step 1 – Declutter the Clutter
First, before tackling the actual decor, bite the bullet and declutter the room. No room will have a clean, modern look if it’s burdened with eye-clutter. Try the popular Konmari method and rid yourself of anything that isn’t completely essential or dearly loved. Don’t start buying containers to organize yet—that will come later—just use what you have for now.
Paint Where It’s Needed
The next step should be paint. Walls take up a lot of “eye-drawing real estate,” and a little paint in a fresh color will give your room a whole new look. Choose whatever color suits your taste, but remember that a lighter color will make the room feel more light, airy, and open.
Time to Shop for Furniture
Once you’ve repainted the walls, trim, and ceiling, it’s time to move on to furniture. Some people love IKEA some people, not so much. For me, it depends on the room. My home office? Yes, I’ll probably have some IKEA in it. My living room? Probably not. But in any case, IKEA is worth a visit either in person or online to get some ideas. While for some, IKEA has a reputation for being “cheap” (as in not high quality), IKEA furniture is versatile, inexpensive, and surprisingly sturdy for the price. IKEA also caters to a European crowd, so their stuff tends to be extremely modern in styling, while also offering many compact storage and decor solutions.
While you’re at IKEA—or shopping their online store—you may want to check out their area rugs. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, consider Wayfair.com or Overstock.com. They often have reasonably-priced accent items, such as vases, lamps and area rugs.
Declutter Part 2 – Storage Options
When it comes to your storage solutions, you’re most likely to find the best deals at IKEA. They are known for their ultra-low-priced storage items, and many of them come in attractive, decorative designs. For bulk storage that is going to be largely hidden away (in the attic or elsewhere) a “big box” store like Target or Walmart is your best bet. They have very affordable plastic tubs that protect your belongings for a long time and keep out destructive critters like bugs and moths.
Accents, Knick-Knack and Other Design Additions
For decorative items—mirrors, vases, lamps, throw pillows, etc.—there are many stores that offer discounted decor. T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross all offer brand name overstock items at a very reasonable price. Don’t forget about Cost Plus World Market if you want contemporary styling with a global flair.
Less Is More
As you assemble your ensemble of gorgeous new furniture and accent items, remember one rule: don’t go overboard! It’s easy to lose yourself in the fun of decorating, but you could end up busting your budget or overcrowding your room. Don’t feel like you need to fill the room all at once. Open space is your friend when it comes to decorating.
Grow Into Your New Decor – Patience Pays
Instead, after you’ve acquired all the basics like furniture, lamps, etc., try adding only a couple of decor pieces at a time, then living with them for a little while. Keeping the space open and clear is a crucial part of the breezy, comfortable atmosphere you get in a modern styled room. So remember that rule and you’re sure to end up with the clean modern home decor you dreamed of, at a budget-friendly price!