Ask A Minnesota Expert: Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

When unlimited funds are not at your disposal, decorating your home can pose a difficult task. However, learning to shop on a budget and where to find reasonably priced decor can make all the difference in your quest for a fabulous home. Whether you want to work with a theme, aim for a particular color scheme, include practicality or go feng shui, there is always something that fits your budget. Minnesota decorator Amy Reed shares some of the best ways to spruce up your home for less.

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a recent graduate of the design program at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently working as an intern for a private design firm within the Midwest. Her goal is to focus on design for businesses, including offices and retail space. Amy shares some of her favorite tips for shopping on a budget.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Shop Online

"With all of the local stores dedicated to home decor and interior design, it's difficult to shop around for the best bargain. Checking out popular stores online before visiting them in person will help you choose items within your budget and may provide the added convenience of shipping them or having them ready to pick up at the store. My favorite retail sites to cruise for bargains include Target, Pier One Imports, Pottery Barn, Joss and Main and Ikea."

Go Green

"Sometimes the best way to spruce up the home is with some green. Plants make perfect decorations and can fill up that space in the corner that you don't know what to do with. House plants have been proven to improve mood and air circulation within the home. In Minnesota, indoor greenery can be an oasis during the long winters as well. Choose a pot that matches the decor or a flowering plant that brings color to a room. With the wide range of choices for types and sizes of plants, the possibilities are endless. Choose a hanging plant in the kitchen, a spider plant for the den or a cactus for the mantle to bring out an entire new look for a room."

Have a Strategy

"The best way to save money and fill your home at the same time is through careful planning. Decide on a budget and how you want to fill a particular room. Spend more money on the rooms that you will spend the most time in – maybe the living room or the kitchen. Also, sometimes it works to find one fabulous piece that may be a bit pricey but becomes the centerpiece of the area. Other decor in the room can be budgeted with a specific plan."

Related: Tips For Adding Local Flair To Your Home From A Minnesota Designer

Light It Up (Or Down)

"Never underestimate the power of lighting. Lower wattage bulbs can enhance the room's uniqueness and offer an easy way to change the look of your home. Choose soft lighting for the living room, dining room and bedroom spaces. These areas signify comfort and relaxation that is enhanced by soft light. Higher wattage bulbs and bright lights are best for the kitchen and bathrooms. Bright lights complement rooms that are tiled. Don't forget about natural lighting! Keeping the blinds open and the shades drawn during the day enhances the beauty of any room."

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Fix It Before You Decide To Toss It

"Not everything needs to be hauled out to the curb when it is broken or starting to look worn. Couches can be easily refreshed with new upholstery or a strategically placed afghan. Consider fixing a broken lamp or end table rather than starting over with a new one. A lot of how-to books offer suggestions on quick fixes for pieces of furniture or even broken appliances. Local handymen also advertise their services online to help your older pieces look like new again."

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on