Save vs. splurge

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A house doesn’t turn into a home overnight. Whether you rent or own, decorating can be one of the easiest and most fun ways to make your mark. However, if you’re not careful, a trip to grab a few accent pieces can quickly go south when you add up the cost of modelling your living space off the latest Insta trend. So, how do you decorate your castle without having your budget turn into a Nightmare on (West) Elm Street?

Salad bowls (full set)

Salvation Army (left): $9 vs. Think Kitchen (right): $83

Pop some tags and head to the thrift shop

Thrifting can be a fun—and cost effective—way to find unique pieces that will up your style game. Treat it like a treasure hunt and keep a running list of things to be on the lookout for when you’re out and about. When you find something you’ve had your eye on, the thrill of striking thrifting gold and saving money can’t be beat.

Marble cheese boards

Winners (left): $16 vs. Hudson’s Bay (right): $80

Look for bargains

In the vein of thrift shops, there are lots of places that sell discounted brand names for less. You might not be able to always get exactly what you’re looking for every time, but savvy bargain hunters know that with a little persistence you can often find some hidden gems.

Knit blankets

Homemade (left): $40 (for materials) vs. Home Sense (right): $99

Go the DIY route

Getting crafty can not only help your budget, but there’s nothing more satisfying than admiring—or curling up in—your own handiwork. Many crafty activities can double as hobbies and you don’t need to blow your budget buying supplies. You might even be able to tap into the knowledge and skill-sets of your own family to help you learn.