15 Ideas to Decorate Your Home for Free (or nearly free!)

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Creating a cozy home that is beautiful and welcoming doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Check out 15 of my favorite ways to decorate your home for free, or at least nearly free!  I use these ideas all the time and maybe you’ll enjoy them too!


Is anyone else guilty of looking into your closet and exclaiming, “I don’t have anything to wear!” or is it just me?  Sometimes I end up doing the same thing with our home too.  I love to decorate so it comes naturally to me to enjoy switching up our decor.  However, I don’t have a big line item in the budget for new decorations.  So what can we do when we want to refresh a space?  First, check out 15 of my favorite ways to decorate your home for free (or nearly free!).  I fall back on these ideas time and time again.

You probably won’t be shocked or mind blown by any of these ideas.  However, when I see how someone else is decorating their home for free, it inspires and reminds me of things I could try too.  I hope this post will give you some fresh inspiration to decorate your home for free, to give a tired space in your home a new look, or just to help you have fun with a new home decorating challenge!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love to shop and I truly enjoy buying things for our home.  However, I don’t love the clutter and I easily get frustrated by too many things to take care of.  Today’s post is a great way to help me remember how I can enjoy shopping right in my own home and being creative with what I already have.  Then, I can save up for those special “must-have” pieces that add timeless style and design to our home.

You may be surprised how when you decorate your home for free, you end up with extra dollars in your wallet to splurge on those special pieces or to carefully add decor accents that you can use over and over and over again for any season or time of the year.  These are “staple” decor pieces in my stash.  If you spend much time around Robyn’s French Nest, you’ll see a lot of my favorite decor pieces on repeat.  However, you might have to really look closely and pay attention because these staple decor pieces get moved all around our home and styled in a lot of different ways!

So, are you ready to do some decorating for free?!  Let’s get started!  

beautiful spring mantel styled with greenery in a large vintage basket

Thrifting With the Gals

First, though, let me introduce you to my friends in Thrifting With the Gals!  Each month, we have so much fun sharing home decor ideas with each other and with all of you.  From thrifting treasures to tips for antiquing to favorite DIY home projects and decor ideas, we love spending time here with you all!  This month, we are welcoming a new addition to Thrifting With the Gals!

Lora from Create and Ponder has so many great DIY ideas.  Of course, she loves vintage decor as much as the rest of us, and uses amazing repurposing skills to bring life back into the best thrifted treasures!  Make sure you’re following along with her.  Welcome, Lora, to Thrifting With the Gals!

Then, each month we have a guest host.  This month, we are excited to welcome back Joanna from Joanna Anastasia!  Joanna has such a gorgeous home decor style.  You’ll love her thrifted finds and how she mixes the old and new so perfectly.

Last but not least, we are springing into the new season (like what I did there?!?!) with our regular Thrifting With the Gals!  I love these friends so much and always find so much inspiration for my own home from each of them!

We are so excited that you are here and welcome you to follow along with our thrifting and home decorating fun!  Now, let’s get started with some FREE ways and affordable home decor ideas to refresh spaces around your own home!

gallery wall of vintage straw hats

15 Ideas to Decorate Your Home for Free (or nearly free!)

How can I decorate my house without spending money?

1. Decorate Your Home for Free by Decluttering

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Decluttering doesn’t seem like it might be as fun as thrifting and decorating.  However, even though it can be a lot of work, there is nothing that makes me love my own home again more than when I’ve given it a really thorough declutter.

How you feel about your home completely changes your perspective on how you think your home actually looks.  

Back to the clothes in the closet for a minute.  When I’ve given my closet a really great decluttering session, without fail I get inspiration for a new outfit or wearing something I haven’t worn in a while.  (Probably because I forgot I even had it in the first place!)

It is the same with our homes.  You can get a fresh perspective on home by dedicating time to the decluttering process.  Before running off to buy new things, or even second-hand decor at the thrift store, spend some time decluttering what you already have.  You may be really surprised about the decor you find that you forgot about or even how fresh your space feels just by clearing a few things out.  Giving a little love to what you already have can spark lots of great ideas and also help you make the best choices when you do want to purchase new items.

To get started, these tips may help:

  • Be patient and tackle one small space, cabinet, drawer, or closet at a time.
  • Sort decor into items to keep, toss, sell, or donate.
  • Take donations immediately to the car and remove bags of trash or tossed items quickly.
  • Deep clean the drawer, cabinet, shelf, etc.
  • Thoughtfully place “keep” items back.  If everything doesn’t fit, consider what else you could possibly get rid of.
  • Don’t rush to fill empty space.  It’s okay to let it breathe and patiently add the perfect pieces over time.
large wooden dough bowl used as a centerpiece

2. Decorate Your Home for Free with a Good, Deep Clean

While not terribly exciting to most of us, a good deep clean goes hand in hand with the decluttering process.  When your home is sparkling clean and left with only the great pieces of home accents that you truly love, you can gain a really fresh perspective on the overall style you want for your home decor.  You can decorate your home for free by just making it feel completely fresh with a really, really good deep clean!

Pro Tip:  As you are deep cleaning, keep a running list of home improvements you want to do as well as home decorating ideas that come to mind.

Spending time decluttering and deep cleaning a room can really spark a lot of creative DIY home decor ideas for me and it may for you also!

beautiful vintage books stacked on a mantel with a small brass goose on top

3. Decorate for Free by Moving Furniture and/or Decor Around 

One of the best, cheap home decor ideas that can make the greatest impact is to play musical furniture!  Swapping out a side table in the living room for an end table in the bedroom or moving a bench from the bedroom to make a new coffee table in the living room can change the look of the entire room.  And it doesn’t cost a dime!  Before purchasing new furniture, take a good look at your existing furniture throughout your entire house.  You probably already love those pieces since you purchased them in the first place!  Why not love them a little longer in a new spot?!  Swapping around area rugs is another way to make a huge difference in the look of an entire room for free too!

I play musical decor ALL THE TIME in our home!  Moving around my decorative items allows me to mix and match accessories to create new vignettes for any room.

Pro Tip:  Invest in quality decorative items that you love.  Then, stick with a neutral color scheme for the larger or more expensive pieces.  

When you focus on creating collections of neutral pieces that are timeless, it is easier to swap around your decor to different rooms and make a variety of vignettes, centerpieces, and displays.  Then, you can buy cheap home decor ideas to add a pop of color and mix in with your neutral decor.

view of a fresh dining room with faux greenery and a beautiful white chippy apothecary

4. Decorate for Free by Painting an Existing Wall or Furniture

A new coat of paint is one of the most affordable options to make a huge difference in a room.  I’ll be honest and confess that I really don’t enjoy painting at all.  However, when I’m on a tight budget, I can make over an entire room by painting even one accent wall or piece of furniture.  We often have leftover paint, so adding a new coat of paint is another completely FREE option for decorating!

When you think of paint, don’t forget the small stuff!  As you take inventory of your existing decor, hang on to pieces that you love the shape, size, or texture.  An easy way to give these decorative items a new look is with a quick fresh coat of paint or even spray paint.

Some of the pieces that I paint the most are old picture frames to use as wall art in a gallery wall.  More than one old frame has received different colors of paint over the years!  It takes very little paint to make an old frame part of a pretty gallery wall.  Plus, it is easy and doesn’t take much of your time either!

mantel styled with greenery and beautiful golden frames with Audubon prints

5. Decorate Your Home for Cheap by Going Thrifting

While shopping at second-hand stores isn’t FREE, it is definitely a great option when you’re looking for cheap home decor ideas.  In our home, there are definitely more thrifted items than new decorative items.  However, when you carefully curate your thrift shop finds, you can create a gorgeous home that is thoughtfully decorated over time.  To me, that is the best style of all!

One of my favorite thrift shop finds of all time is this large mirror.  I watched the pair of mirrors at my local thrift store for months.  Finally, they marked them way down on clearance and I was over the moon to snag these gorgeous antiques.  I am not an overly patient person but in this case, patience really paid off!

large golden oval frame mirror hung on a white shiplap wall

Estate sales, a flea market, an antique store, or yard sales are all great options for thrifting affordable home decor ideas.  Over on THIS post, I shared 75 favorite thrifted home decor finds with ideas for how you can style them in your own home.  If you are looking for cheap home decor ideas, THIS is a post you’ll want to save for reference!

Since we are in the beginning of the spring season, you may also want to check out THIS blog post where I share 10 of my favorite thrift store finds that I’m using in my spring home decor.  I’ll share the list here but check out the blog post to see the thrifted items in my home!

10 Favorite Thrift Store Finds to Decorate for Spring

  1. Baskets
  2. Outdoor pots
  3. Ceramic bowls or pots for plants
  4. Terra cotta pots and saucers
  5. Bunny figures (paint if you don’t love the color!)
  6. Vintage art
  7. Pretty dishes
  8. Old books
  9. Basket paper plate holders
  10. Glass cloche

Pro Tip:  Always check out the throw pillows section at the thrift shop!

Even if you don’t like the color or fabric, you can get great pillow inserts to use with your pillow covers for your living room sofa or bed!  As long as the pillows don’t have an odor and are relatively clean, I take them home, wash them up, and save money on pillow inserts!

Robyn setting up a spring vintage booth at Rehab Vintage Market

6. Decorate for Free by Cutting Greenery From Your Yard

The best thing to bring a fresh, organic look to your home decor is to cut greenery, branches, or flowers from your yard!  The best part is that you can completely decorate your home for free with beautiful, fresh decor!  This is one of my favorite ways to decorate year round.

Remember how I said it is a great idea to invest in home decor that you really love?  One thing I’ve invested in is a collection of vintage vessels that I can move around to many parts of our home.  By cutting branches or greenery from my yard, I can decorate these vessels completely for free!

Over on THIS blog post, I shared about 5 of my favorite free things to bring inside to decorate our home for the fall season.

Then, over on THIS blog post, I show you how to take inexpensive grocery store flowers and arrange them with a high-end look.  Bringing in some fresh flowers can elevate your space but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!

Pro Tip:  Use fresh greenery from your yard and mix with faux flowers to make the flowers look even more realistic!  THESE are my favorite faux flowers!

fresh greenery branches in a large basket on a white mantel

7. Decorate for Cheap by Selling Decor to Buy New Decor

How can I get my house decorated for free?

I do this all the time!  Since I love to decorate, I am always moving things around and I love hunting for new “old” treasures.  One way I support my vintage shopping habit is to sell things I have used for awhile and want to swap out!

Facebook Marketplace and yard sales are great ways to declutter and make some extra cash to enjoy shopping for new treasures! Especially when you carefully shop and get great deals, it can be a great way to refresh your home without spending a lot of money out of pocket.

wooden eggs in a white mortar and pestle underneath a glass cloche

8. Decorate for Free by Finding an Inspiration Picture

…then shop your home to see how you can create the look!

One of my favorite ways to decorate my home for free is to browse Pinterest, Instagram, or blogs and save pictures that inspire me.  If I really love the style, chances are that I have some similar decorative items or pieces in the same color scheme.  So, I shop my home and see what pieces I can pull together from my own decor stash based on my inspiration picture.

Pro Tip:  Remember, when you decorate your home for free you aren’t going to necessarily match the inspiration picture exactly.  Instead, focus on creating a space that invokes the same feeling as the room in your inspiration picture!

small terracotta pots all inside a large terracotta bowl

9. Frame Book pages or Free Printables from Online to Decorate for Free

Some of my favorite spring decor, specifically, is from my thrifted Birds of America book.  I also have a similar vintage book that I got at a flea market that is full of beautiful floral prints.

To create vintage wall decor, I first carefully cut the pages from the book.  Next, I insert the page into an old frame, which is of course, another thrift store find!

Since the pages all have the same overall style, it is a great way to create a gallery wall or accent wall with vintage art.  Plus, the book cost less than $20 and I have art that can be easily stored and used over and over again.  In fact, I usually go through and pick out different pages with a varied color scheme to go with whatever accent colors I am using for the particular season.

Pro Tip:  Hunt for beautiful picture books at thrift stores.  Often, you can get vintage ones so that is perfect if you also love a vintage decor style.  

Over on THIS blog post, I shared a quick and easy DIY home decor idea that is perfect for hanging book pages and posters.  It only cost me about $10 and I can use it with many different pieces of art!

There are also a lot of great options online for free printables.  These can be great for cheap home decor ideas too!

I also love THESE vintage style prints that are already curated for you.  They look like real paintings and are just gorgeous.  I have a few different sets, all for under $17, which is a great deal for an entire gallery wall of art!

salvage piece used as a hanger for vintage records
Audubon book pages framed in wide gold vintage frames
botanical prints in wide vintage gold frames

10. Decorate for Cheap by Using Thrifted Fabric or Sheets for Curtains, Pillow Covers, Seat Cushions, etc.

A piece of fabric that you love can go a long way in making over a room!  Check the thrift shop fabric section, which includes fabric, sheets, blankets, etc.  For example, you can stretch an old curtain a long way by cutting it up to cover seat cushions!  The curtains in my bedroom are actually antique sheets.  Since I don’t sew, I took them to a local seamstress to cut and hem into the perfect curtains for my bedroom.

You can turn a piece of fabric into pretty pillow covers or cover old seat cushions.  Another way I’ve used pieces of fabric or even thin throw blankets is to turn them into tablecloths or, if it’s a smaller piece of fabric, use it as a table runner.

Pro Tip:  Don’t miss the textile section at the thrift store!!!

beautiful spring living room with spring throw pillows and a straw hat gallery wall

11. Mix and Match Decor to Make New Vignettes and Free Decor

How can I decorate my house with simple things?

One of my favorite ways to decorate our home without spending any money is to mix and match the decorative items I already have.  For example, a tray on a coffee table that holds a vase and candlesticks could move to the kitchen island to be the base for a coffee bar.  The candlesticks could go to a side table in the living room and the vase may go on the nightstand in my bedroom.

When decorating vignettes, the main thing to keep in mind is that usually the rule of decorating in 3’s, or the decor triangle you may hear interior designers talk about, is very helpful.  I do this by combining 3 items of different heights.

However, these items should connect to one another or to other decor in the room by color, pattern, texture, material, or style.  Often, I will have a set of 2 items (different heights) combined with one contrasting item.  However, you may have items that are completely different and still work perfectly together.

On my coffee table, I used a glass cloche with an architectural salvage base, one of my favorite planter pots, and a resin, concrete-looking bunny.  The 3 different heights and repetition of wood, gray, and white make this vignette work together.  It also connects with the side table in the living room where I have a cloche and greenery.

Over on THIS blog post,  you can get a lot more detail and specific ideas about using the decor triangle to create vignettes for your home.

To decorate for free, try mixing and matching the items you already own.  It may help them feel fresh and new all over again!!!

wide angle of a beautiful spring living room with spring prints and gorgeous throw pillows

 12. Decorate for Free with Food You’re Already Buying Anyway

A great place to save money on home decor is in the produce section of the grocery store!  Using fresh items that I plan to buy anyway is a fun way to add decor to my kitchen island or the table in the dining room.

If you have a pretty wooden dough bowl, vintage ironstone bowl, or even a beautiful basket, you can use it for fresh decor!

For my family, the only problem is that the grapes always disappear too fast!  But hey, it’s a great way to keep healthy snacks out in the open for all of us!

fresh red grapes in an ironstone dish on a kitchen island

13. Group Items Together to Create a Focal Point of Free Home Decor

Another way to decorate with items you already have is to group collections together.  Do you have a favorite collection that is spaced out through your home?  That is a great way to decorate also!

However, if you want to switch things up, group collections together on a pretty shelf.

For the spring season, I brought in several of my mortar and pestle collection and grouped them together on the apothecary cabinet shelves in the dining room.  Together, they make a visual impact and are also a fun conversation starter!

mortar and pestle collection arranged in a vintage cubby

14.  Decorate Cheaply by Adding Old Books to Your Decor

If you need a really cheap way to decorate, hit up the book section at your local thrift store.  I like to look for hardback book covers that go with the overall color scheme of whatever room I am decorating in.  Or, sometimes I even deconstruct an unwanted book to give it a great vintage look for my decorating.

Remember the different heights for decorating vignettes?  Books are a super easy way to give varied height to decorative items!

Over on THIS blog post, I share over 27 ways to decorate with old thrifted books.  

And yes, I use so many different books in my decorating that I have an entire shelf in my decor closet just for books that are currently not being used!  However, there are very few in there that weren’t super cheap at a thrift store or flea market!

vintage books arranged on a white mantel

15. Decorate for Free by Adding Layers of Decor

How can I make my room cozy without spending money?

Home should be our favorite place to be, right?  Whether it is expensive or thrifted or dotted with splurge items or filled with gifted hand-me-downs, a home can be cozy and thoughtful for you and your family members.  The key to creating a cozy, welcoming space is to add layers to your decor.

In the festive season of fall or Christmas, it is easy to add layers of extra knit throw blankets.  However, when the warmer months roll around, you can still create a cool and cozy feeling in your home by adding light layers.  THIS blanket is my very favorite for adding texture, earth tones, and a soft, light layer that is perfect for year round use.  The good news is that it’s a very reasonable price and if you watch my daily deals, you can probably snag it on sale too!

Here are a few more really easy and cheap ways to add layers in your decor:

tall aluminum watering can with fresh greenery

What ways do you decorate for free, or nearly free, around your home?  

I’d love to hear in the comments!  These are just some simple things I jotted down as I walked around my own home, making some small changes here and there for the new season.

There are so many ways to create a beautiful home without even cracking open your wallet.  As much as I love to shop, it also makes me feel great to use what I have in a new and creative way!  I hope you find some inspiration in this blog post to do the same thing!

Check out these amazing posts for thrifted home decor!

Don’t forget to check out what the other ladies are sharing today for Thrifting With the Gals!  You can find each of of them linked below.

Kristin holding a unique vintage basket
wooden frames holding beautiful artwork
adorable nautical colored boys bedroom
different pieces of large salvage leaned up against a barn wall
shelves with different cups and mugs arranged in a kitchen
side angle of a large woven basket with fresh branches of greenery
terracotta pots with plants in some of them in a large terracotta bowl

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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