If you’re looking to update your home, but you’re on a tight budget, one of the best things you can do is take on some DIY interior design projects yourself! It can seem intimidating at first, but with the right approach and some time, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run, while getting exactly what you want out of your home improvements. Here are some tips to make your DIY interior design project go as smoothly as possible.

Think of all your options

There are plenty of ways to get creative with your home without going crazy on bank accounts. Before you commit to buying a piece of furniture or getting started on an intricate painting project, think about all your options. A little creativity can go a long way in making your house feel like home. Why not invest in art, accessories and other one-of-kind pieces that have more character? If you do end up purchasing something, investigate places that offer low or even zero interest financing. It’s never too early to start planning your budget.

Use what you have around you

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, save money by reusing what you already have in your home. Painting furniture can go a long way—there are tons of cute, inexpensive pieces out there that just need some TLC and a fresh coat of paint. Check Pinterest or other online sources for decorating ideas; you’ll probably find plenty of inspiration.

Shop wisely

To pull off an affordable, do-it-yourself project, you need to be smart about shopping. Start by avoiding showroom items that come with a hefty price tag. Instead, shop your local thrift and antique stores or stop by flea markets and yard sales where bargains abound. In fact, budgeting for fleas is a way of life in many interior decorating circles; it’s widely accepted that at least one out of every 10 purchases should be from an auction house or flea market.

Stay motivated

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your vision or procrastinate on getting started. To make sure you stay motivated, work with a team of experts who’ll give you advice, provide professional insight and support, and help keep you accountable. For example, asking your accountant about deductions might seem obvious—but it’s also something most people forget to do. The same goes for talking to an interior designer about what furniture is best suited for various rooms in your home. Working with these professionals will ensure that you don’t miss any important details in your design plan so that when it comes time to start decorating, your project goes smoothly from start to finish—and without breaking the bank.

Get help if you need it

You’re obviously going to save money if you do it yourself, but there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to do it. If you decide that interior decoration is better left to professionals, be sure to plan and have money set aside so you can hire someone when you’re ready. The good news is there are tons of great resources out there—all free—for helping folks looking to embark on their own budget-friendly interior design project. The Interior Design Association of America has helpful advice, along with links to more than 20 videos from HGTV and DIY Network featuring tips from experts on how best to tackle projects like painting, furniture placement and other home decor ideas.

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