10 Cheap Ways To Make Your House Look Classy As Hell

I once turned a plastic Crystal Light container into a quick vase by wrapping pink construction paper around the label.
Publish date:
December 18, 2012
home, decorating

Every time I move, the adventure of decorating begins! Through thrifting and a dollar store obsession, I’ve come to find small, easy ways to perk up a home without spending bank. Here are a few favorite tips for sprucing up the joint. Ignore (or be inspired) by my seasonal dollar store decorations.

Tip 1. Keep Fresh Flowers Around

Nothing brightens a room more than colorful, fresh flowers. I keep some as a small centerpiece in the living room and near the makeup area in my room. Seeing them every morning makes my day just a little bit happier, especially in the grey, gloomy months of winter.

“Who can afford fancy schmancy flowers?” you’re thinking. My suggestion: go for the carnations. They usually run $5 or less.

Tip 2. Use a Refurbished Vase

All the Nutella I ate finally paid off! I sometimes see glass jars sold for up to $15 at flea markets and vintage boutiques, but all it takes is a bit of food-eatin’ to get your new vase. Wash the jar under warm water and the sticky label should come right off.

Side Note: You’ll also look super hip and rustic chic if you use those extra jars as cups at your next party. Don’t have any glass jars at the moment? I once turned a plastic Crystal Light container into a quick vase by wrapping pink construction paper around the label. Keep it minimalist or glue on some awesome gems. It’s up to you!

Tip 3. Create a Wall of Roses

When I feel extra fancy and spring for roses, I make sure and save each bouquet by hanging them upside down on my wall with a rubber band and a pushpin. It looks pretty and, over time, is an easy way to decorate an empty wall.

Tip 4. Create the Perfect Ambiance

My next tip isn't for everyone, but I’m going to come right out and say it. I think Christmas lights are classy all year round! Whether surrounding my photos or the wall of roses above, I love how the white lights gives a glowy, fairy-like ambience to my otherwise dark, windowless living room. Nothing wrong with keeping a bit of whimsy around post Christmas-time.

Along with lights, you can usually find an assortment of candles for $3 or less at any Dollar General or 99-Cent Store. Candles used to make me irrationally nervous, but I’ve grown to love the romantic quality they bring to a room.

Tip 5. Get Creative With Your Wall Art

If you’re a thrifter like myself, you know that there’s always a pile of frames at the thrift store. Maybe you also have a pile of awesome print fabric or vintage dresses in need mending. Pick your favorite fabric and frame it up! I had this awesome bed cover with hot pink S&M illustrations, but it was too small for my bed.

You could also keep an eye out for illustrated children’s books, which always make great art as well. I like to keep framed photos of my favorite children's book, "Madeline," hanging near my room.

Tip 6. Pushpins are Your Friend

Over time, I’ve collected a fair amount of accessories, but I hate not knowing what I have. A simple solution? Hang your favorite items on the wall using everyday pushpins. It’s both decorative and useful for finding things. I keep my favorite hairbands all in one place and my jewelry next to the mirror. You can hang just about anything to create more of showcase. It always makes me happy knowing what I have and wear to find it.

Top 7. Create a Party in Your Room

In terms of year-round decoration, I’m big fan of garlands, especially DIY such as these suggestions from A Beautiful Mess. I keep meaning to get crafty and frame my room in an array of garlands, but in a decorating pinch, colorful tinsel (yes, via the dollar store) totally does the trick!

I used a stick-on hook from Home Depot and created a tinsel frame to hang my favorite vintage dress. The color’s a bit cheesy, but the tinsel shine makes it feel like a party in my room all year round!

Tip 8. Vintage Luggage Can Be Used For More Than Traveling

In my thrifting adventures, I sometimes come across an assortment of vintage luggage. My favorite find of the year has to be this round hatbox that inspired me to use the luggage as my official record-holder. I like things organized but aesthetically pleasing, so it was the perfect container for my small collection of records.

Old-school luggage can also be a cheap way to keep things organized. My craft supplied are safely stored under my bed in a floral tapestry suitcase. I might be travel ready someday, but for now it keeps me from buying more plastic bins.

Tip 9. Show Off Those Shoes

I'm more into purses than shoes, but I can appreciate a pretty heel and the concept of shoes as art. If you own a few sparkly or unique pairs, why not show them off in an empty corner of your room or under your mirror where just looking at them can make you happy?

Tip 10. Be Inspired

Don’t forget to keep it real with photos of family and friends or an inspiration collage of all the things you love. Whether you follow these tips or create some of your own, there are no rules and your home should be a place that always feels inspired!