Home Décor Envy

Home decor envy

This past weekend I came down with a bad case of home décor envy. The hubby and I stopped by our friends’ house for drinks Friday night and, well, I felt like I had walked into one of those homes on Pinterest. You know the one I’m talking about- the home that gets repinned over and over because it’s just so darn nice to look at. The kind that makes you say, “I’m definitely going to remember this when I’m decorating my home someday.”

While the style of our friends’ home was a little more modern than our taste, this couple certainly knew what they were doing when it came to decorating. They had walls painted in fun accent colors, furniture that looked too nice to sit on, and this incredible mirror leaning against their dining room wall that I am still dreaming about.

Needless to say, my apartment paled in comparison and suddenly my living room seemed so stinkin’ dull. To be fair, though, apartment decorating is nothing like home decorating—I can’t paint my walls fun accent colors, and I can only put so many holes in the wall. But, still, something had to be done.

I am frugal by nature. I wander around stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware drooling, but joke with my husband that even if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to pay full price for anything. That being said, I did manage to give my sad little living room a budget-friendly makeover that, while not quite Pinterest worthy, I’m pretty happy with.

Here are my tips for getting a home-décor facelift on a tight budget:

#1: Wander Slowly and Buy in Pieces

My hubby appeased my décor envy and went to the mall with me the following day. Our first stop: Pottery Barn. I usually don’t buy anything there, but I like to walk through to get ideas. I wander around slowly and keep an eye out for hard-to-find clearance items.

This trip, I found the bargain to end all bargains—a beautiful yellow and white pinstripe pillow cover that I NEEDED on my couch, and, get this: it was only $7! (I’ll wait a second for you react) Something at Pottery Barn with a single-digit price tag?! You betcha! It was in a basket on a shelf that I would have overlooked if I’d been in a hurry.

I proudly marched up to the register with my steal of a pillow cover, asked how much the pillow inserts were, and laughed when the cashier told me. “No, thanks, I’ll find one somewhere else,” I said, and that’s exactly what I did. I found the perfect-sized pillow insert at Hobby Lobby for only $9.99 plus 30% off. Does it really matter that the pillow inside the cover isn’t Pottery Barn? No one sees it anyway!

#2: Always Look For a Coupon

If I know I’m going to be shopping, I search online for coupons before I go. For instance, SteinMart has a coupon search option on their website. Type in your zip code and if your local store has a coupon deal, it will pop up for you to print. Stein Mart must have known I was looking to decorate on the cheap because this weekend they had a coupon for an extra 50% off redline clearance items. Amazing! And guess what I found? A super cute cream-colored pillow with a number 6 on it (which just so happens to be our anniversary date! Precious, I know). The price? Only $7 after coupon. Cha-ching!

I added a textured cream throw to my cart, checked out, and marched home to put it all together.

#3: Use What You Already Have

This is something I learned from my mother (and a few designers on HGTV). Sometimes you already own that perfect piece of décor; it’s just in the wrong room. I raided my guest room and bookcase to come up with a new coffee table arrangement and I filled the hole in the guest room shelf with a framed picture.

The final result is a cozy living room that didn’t break the bank and successfully squelched my décor envy. (For the time being, anyway.)


interior design
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  • Reply October 16, 2012


    This is great advice, especially for us apartment dwellers. We are definitely more limited, but these tips are very helpful!

  • Reply November 20, 2012


    Decorating is really exciting especially if you already have an idea on what kind of design did you want to make your home looks attractive.

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