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    when my husband and I moved to kentucky, we moved from a small, one-bedroom apartment in new york to a house roughly three times the size. needless to say, we do not have enough furniture to fill a whole house - nor do we have the right furniture for our first 'adult' house. when we were living in new york, we knew that we probably wouldn't be there forever, and so we held off on investing in nice pieces.
    now that we've moved, we're working to put our house together properly - and are aiming to do it without spending a trillion dollars. I've picked up some good tips and tricks from friends, family, decorators, and the internet about decorating on a budget, several of which are rounded up below.

    1. know what you want before you start.
    before you begin spending money on decorating your home, have a solid idea of what you want each room to look like. this will help prevent you from wasting money on impulse purchases or little, unnecessary extras. like with anything in life, staying focused on your end vision will help you get there faster (while sticking to your budget).
    2. shop sales - and be patient.
    sale shopping should become your new best friend - though waiting for must-have items to go on sale does require a little patience, and a little risk. instead of snapping up décor items the instant you find (and fall in love with) them, put them back on the shelf and check back regularly, waiting for the prices to drop. there is, naturally, some risk involved with sale shopping - something you love might not be in stock long enough to make it to a store's sale - so shop wisely, but know that oftentimes your patience will pay off. literally.
    3. shop online.
    this tip is a very close relative of the sale shopping tip above. shop for home goods through online flash sale sites. yes, shopping online for furniture seems a little strange at first, but I've found some incredible deals through sites like wayfair, joss & main, and (my personal favorite) one king's lane. I rely heavily on customer reviews before buying anything, and to date, I haven't been disappointed with an online furniture purchase one.
    4. use your money wisely.
    even when you're on a budget, there are certain areas where investing makes sense. whether you have a budget of $500 or $500,000, you'll want to put a larger percentage of your money towards any area rugs that will live in high-traffic areas, as well as towards a classic and sturdy sofa. generally speaking, your sofa and high-traffic-area rugs will be the most heavily used items in your home, and you want to make sure they last you for the long haul.
    5. embrace the old - and make it new again.
    that old, dingy sofa mom and dad keep trying to unload on you? don't be so quick to turn it down. it might look dirty and outdated now - but that's nothing a little reupholstery can't fix. the cost of reupholstering a piece of furniture can vary widely depending on your location, the size and style of your furniture, and the fabric you choose - but there's no doubt about it that reupholstering an old piece of furniture is the best way to wind up with a high-quality and unique piece at a fraction of the cost of buying a brand new equivalent. plus, it's pretty fun to bring an old item back to life.
    6. small updates, big impact.
    whether you're making your mark on a new house or redecorating the home you've lived in for a decade, don't overlook the impact little tweaks can have on your living space. refresh the living room by buying some new throw pillows for the couch, or switch out your regular bedding for something more colorful and end up with a feels-like-new bedroom. on a slightly larger scale - but still in the realm of 'small updates' - transform a room by putting a new coat of paint on the walls. painting a room yourself can be done over the course of a weekend, and the cost of a couple cans of paint is pretty nominal (around $30 / $35 for a can of good-quality paint).
    7. shop off-season.
    just like with clothes and accessories, most home décor and home improvement retailers will slash prices significantly on seasonal items towards the end of each season. if you're in the market for an outdoor furniture set, for instance, don't plan on buying it in june. instead, make do without for one summer and start looking in early august instead, when stores are trying to get rid of their summer inventory.
    8. customize 'off the rack' items.
    you know how a piece of clothing looks so much better if you get it altered - even if the alterations are small? well, the same is true of 'off the rack' home décor items. for example, take an inexpensive throw pillow or pillow case to an upholsterer and have some luxe tassels or fringe added to it. you'll spend a little for the custom alterations, of course, but it'll still cost less than buying a fancier piece to begin with.
    how do you stay within your budget when decorating your home? leave a comment below to share!