Senior Resources » 10 Thrifty Decorating Hacks for Retirees

20 Thrifty Decorating Hacks for Retirees

Decorating your home is an exciting, but often pricey, venture. However, it doesn’t have to be! There are countless ways you can redecorate your house without breaking the bank. Here are 20 thrifty decorating hacks to get you started!


1. Paint your walls a new color.

Maybe you’re tired of looking at the same old décor, but you can’t afford to renovate your entire house—or even one particular room. An easy way to spruce up your house without hitting your wallet where it hurts? Paint the walls a new color! Sure, it might not be the home makeover of your dreams, but it’s a relatively inexpensive way to change things up.

2. Go thrift shopping.

Yes, thrift shopping is a great way to score some secondhand clothes. But did you also know a lot of thrift stores carry furniture and other home décor? If you’re looking for a new painting or a vase, don’t rush to Amazon. Instead, check out your local thrift store or Goodwill. They might just have exactly what you’re looking for—at a fraction of the cost.


3. Mix and match throw pillows.

Throw pillows are a nice accessory to any room. And while they’re relatively affordable, there’s no need to rush out and get new ones, especially if you’re living on a fixed income. The solution? Mix and match the throw pillows that you already have! If there’s a throw pillow in your bedroom that might complement your living room couch, do a little pillow swap. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

4. Buy a new rug.

Rugs are the unsung heroes of our homes. Not only do they collect dirt and other debris, but they can really tie a room’s theme together, too! If you’re a little bored with your current décor, don’t throw out all your furniture just yet. Before you place anything in your Amazon cart, consider buying a new rug first. It may just give your room that much-needed refresh, without putting a strain on your wallet.

5. Upgrade your lamps.

Lighting often sets the tone for your house or a room. If your lightbulb is feeble and doesn’t emit much light, it can make your room seem cold and dim. The solution? Swap out your lightbulbs! Incandescent bulbs often give that warm, cozy glow that makes rooms so inviting. Of course, you can also switch out the lampshade or decorate it to make it feel like a brand-new piece, too!

6. Declutter.

Let’s face it: life is messy and accumulative. Birthdays and holidays add to the ever-expanding collection of stuff in our homes. Sometimes, we toss junk mail onto the counter, and there it stays, messy and untouched, for weeks on end. Our shoes form a mountain next to the front door. Decluttering our homes can make them feel brand-new. Reclaim your space by tossing the junk mail and putting away that mountain of shoes. Not only will you appreciate the aesthetic changes, but a clean home also benefits your mental and emotional health!


7. Scout your area for yard sales.

If the redecorating bug has bitten you but your budget is tight, you don’t have to shelf those decorating dreams. Instead, scout your area for yard sales. Many people get rid of old furniture and décor that may just look perfect in your home. Even if something isn’t in pristine condition, you can always make it your next DIY project and spruce it up. The possibilities are endless!

8. Buy some candles.

Candles are underrated. At least, in terms of how much character and life they can bring to a room! Not only do they fill our home with lovely aromas, but they can really make a space feel extra cozy and inviting! Plus, many candles nowadays come in decorative containers that’ll not only fit in with your décor but complement it perfectly!

Check out these aromatherapy candles we found!

9. Rearrange your furniture.

living room

When people say someone is set in their ways, that typically applies to their home, too. Maybe the furniture in your living room has been in the same configuration since the 80s. Or maybe the movers plunked it down when you moved into a new residence, and you saw no reason to change it. If either of those scenarios rings true in your life, there’s an easy decorating hack that’ll require zero money whatsoever. Rearrange the furniture you already own! This could be as simple as moving a couch to the opposite side of the room or hanging a picture somewhere else. Play around with your furniture and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results!

10. Decorate with houseplants.

If you have an outdoor garden, you know how much they beautify your lawn. The same principle applies to indoor spaces. Buy a few houseplants! It’s cheaper than purchasing new furniture, and it’s guaranteed to breathe new life into your home.


11. Upcycle!

If you’ve never heard of upcycling, then allow me to introduce you to an absolutely revolutionary concept. According to, upcycling is the act of taking something that’s considered waste and repurposing it. If you want to change up your decor without forking over a small fortune, upcycling might be the answer. You can take old glass bottles and turn them into flower vases. Repurpose books into shelves. Turn teacups into candles. The possibilities are endless! To get some upcycling ideas, check out THIS article here on Senior Resource.

12. Give old items a fresh coat of paint.

As we’ve established, paint can really bring new life to an old piece. Better yet, you can paint more than walls! You can also give old items a fresh coat of paint. If there’s an old, dusty desk that’s been taking up space in your office for years, drag it outside and paint it a fun new color. Or you could always spruce it up with a fresh coat of the same color. Whatever you decide, we’re sure some paint will really do the trick. So, don’t run out to IKEA and buy a whole new set of furniture. Instead, go to Lowe’s to pick up some paint and give pre-owned pieces a little makeover.

13. Incorporate vintage books into your décor.

Books are portals to other worlds, times, and places. However, they can also serve another purpose—beautifying your home! You can find vintage books just about anywhere—yard sales, thrift shops, antique stores, and even estate sales. Purchase stacks and place them in strategic areas throughout your home. Not only will they add a little splash of color and character to each room, but you can also read them, too!

14. DIY!

If you’re creative or crafty in any way, you’ll want to stick around for this tip. Rather than going out and buying new pieces, why not put your creative talents to use? Create some new pieces! For example, with a little ingenuity, you can reupholster a chair and make it look like a brand-new piece. Or you can create a holiday wreath for your front door. With only a bit of imagination and some artistic skills, you can DIY some great decorations without breaking the bank.

15. Use spray paint.

Spray paint is a cheap, easy way to transform items you already own into masterpieces! For example, you can spray paint an old picture frame and make it look just like new. Meanwhile, if you have metal tables or chairs on your patio, you can spray paint them, as well! Make sure you give the metal pieces a good rubdown with sandpaper before you paint them. You want to make sure you can work with a smooth surface!

16. Take advantage of blankets, curtains, and tablecloths.

If you can’t afford a new item of furniture and your old furniture is in bad shape, there’s an easy way to hide the imperfections. You can throw a fancy tablecloth over a chipped table and make it look more inviting. Hang up curtains to give a room a little more appeal or cover a stubborn stain that you simply can’t get out with a nice blanket. You can even hang more paintings to hide marks on your wall!

17. Try out a décor swap.

If you’re on a fixed income and simply can’t buy any new pieces, you’re not out of luck. Instead, organize a décor swap. It’s exactly what the name implies—a way to swap décor with friends, neighbors, or loved ones. Ask a friend with similar taste if they’d be willing to trade pieces. Or you could host a décor swap party. Not only will you be able to get rid of old pieces you no longer like, but you’ll acquire new items that will surely add some much-needed character to your living space without spending so much as a dime!

18. Simplify.


Sometimes, the answer to reinventing your home isn’t to acquire more stuff—it’s to get rid of the things you already have. Instead of redecorating completely, try to simplify. Get rid of some furniture. Take down a painting or two. Really evaluate how many rugs you actually need. There’s another upside to simplifying—you can sell the pieces you get rid of and make some money. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

19. Hang more mirrors.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s got the best décor of them all? You can with this simple thrifty tip— more mirrors! You can score mirrors at yard sales or thrift stores. Wipe the mirror down, paint the frame, and you’ll have a beautiful addition to any room! We’re confident that more mirrors may have your visitors declaring your home to be the fairest of them all.

20. Use vintage postcards and stationery to dress up a space.

Sadly, writing letters and sending postcards is something of a lost art. However, you can still make good use of stationery and postcards, even if you no longer send much snail mail. Turn those things into wall art! You can hang them anywhere in your room. They’re a simple way to complement just about any living space. Additionally, they’re cheap! For example, you can purchase this box of 100 postcards on Amazon for just $22.95. Those are one hundred potential art pieces for your home—at a fraction of the cost you’d pay for actual paintings! Now, how’s that for a thrifty tip?

*-Price at time of publishing.

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Originally published November 09, 2023

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