Decorating on a Budget: Why Accessories Really Matter
This post is sponsored by RewardStyle & Etsy.
So this past weekend while we were on our little road trip, I was doing one of my favorites things during our drive: I was listening to podcasts! Do you guys listen to podcasts? I’ve just discovered them about six months ago and I’m pretty much hooked. Especially for things like long car rides or even while I’m cleaning the house. They’re AWESOME. Anyway, I was listening to one of my favorites and the hosts were talking with Genevieve Gorder, that home decor expert from HGTV. She was talking about some common decorating dilemmas and she mentioned the importance of filling your home with the right accessories. She went on to say that accessories are often regarded as “fluff”, but they’re actually one of the most powerful elements in any room. Isn’t that so true? And the more I thought about what she said the more I realized accessories, and the things we often think of as “extras”, are very budget-friendly in comparison to big home renovations. Yet we often overlook how important they are in our homes. So today I have three reasons why accessories really matter when you’re on a budget, and I’ll show you one of my favorites ways to accessorize my home.
1. Accessories set the tone for your style.
If you don’t have a lot of money in your budget to make big or dramatic changes in your home, adding the right accessories will definitely give you the most impact for the least cost. Plus they are responsible for determining the overall vibe and feel of any space. If you’re more on the modern side you’ll reach for items with metallics or glass decor. But if you’re more into the farmhouse look, or if you’re transitioning to that look, you’ll go with things like vintage books. Without those key accessories, the room has no personality.
2. They distract from things that aren’t perfect.
Accessories have the incredible power to distract from things that aren’t perfect. And here’s how: say you have an old piece of furniture that you hate, but you can’t afford to replace right now. Covering it with a beautiful throw blanket and a pile of gorgeous pillows is going to dramatically change the look of that piece and distract from the fact that it’s maybe not perfect. Or say your dining room table is outdated or maybe doesn’t suit your style anymore, you could easily cover it with a new tablecloth and beautiful centerpiece. Not only will you instantly have a different feel to your dining room, but you hardly spent any money!
3. Accessories make all the difference when you’re renting or in a home you don’t love.
Ok, this one is HUGE for me and it’s not something I fully realized until about two years ago. If you’ve been around for a while now you probably know that before moving into this home we lived in two foreclosures. Yep, two. The first one was a big challenge for me. Not only was it our very first home, but I just didn’t love it by any stretch of the imagination. The rooms were tiny, we had almost no money to do any big renovations, and I just felt kind of stuck. And I didn’t put much effort into decorating because I knew it wasn’t our “forever home”. Looking back now I wish I hadn’t been so focused on the fact that we didn’t have money to do the big things and instead focused my attention on doing the small things well–like accessories. So if you’re renting or in a home that you’ don’t love but can’t change, focus your attention on doing the little things right and fill your home with accessories that speak to who you are and the home you want to create.
Ok, now I want to show you one of my favorites ways to accessorize my home: throw pillows! I’ve talked a lot about my obsession with throw pillows in the past, so it’s probably not much of a surprise to hear that I think they’re the number one way you can accessorize your home on a budget. Not only are they budget-friendly and super easy, but they truly do set the tone for your style. It’s not hard to see that bright and flashy throw pillows make an entirely different statement than soft and neutral pillows.
You all know how much I love Etsy–it’s my go-to place for farmhouse style decor these days, especially when it comes to finding throw pillows. I just recently stumbled on the most adorable shop, With Lavender and Grace, which is full of beautiful grain sack pillows. These pillows have a natural, vintage vibe and they’re covered in little patches that add texture and rugged charm. So stinkin’ cute and unique. And best of all, they’re hand painted. HAND PAINTED, people. How amazing is that?!
I know they don’t seem like much, but accessories are the icing on the cake when it comes to styling your home. I mean, without the icing what good is the cake, right? You gotta have it. And it’s especially important when you’re working on a budget, in a home you might not love, or when you’re transitioning to a new decor style. There are soooooo many ways you can add personality and charm with the right “extras” and it won’t break the bank. Throw pillows are of course my favorite, but some other examples of accessories with big impact would include things like lamps, rugs, accent pieces, and blankets.
Well that’s all for me today guys. Hopefully today’s post got you looking at accessories in a whole new way. A chocolate icing or maybe even a buttercream kinda of way.
Here are a few of my favorite pillows from With Lavender and Grace:
I love these pillows -she has so many …….making it hard to only choose a few. One saying is just cuter than the next , I think I may be obsessed with this shop.
Sarah> Marilyn Soto
Doesn’t she have a great selection?? I am so in love with these and the quality is really amazing too–plus I can’t get over the fact that she hand paints each one. So glad you like them too Marilyn! 🙂
Hi there! Where did you get your drapery, please?? 🙂
you always have the best tips! would you consider writing a post on your favorite etsy shops? there are so many that it can be overwhelming! thanks ever so much and cheers to one of my fav farmhouse chicks!
I need to do that Daisy! Someone else asked as well actually. Maybe a good Friday Favorites post idea?! (And I totally agree, it gets overwhelming with all the different Etsy shops out there!)
I just want to tell you that I look forward to seeing your post everyday on my email!
It gives me great ideas for my home that we are trying to make are own. We just purchased this house in August of 2016 and we are doing a little bit at a time.
Thank you for doing this.
Sarah> Shelly Sines
Aw Shelly, thank you so much for sharing that with me. I really appreciate it and I’m so glad you enjoy my posts! 🙂
Best part of assessories for me is they move with me, they can be moved around my home for new look, and removed for a season…and for some, a fresh coat of paint whether a sweet color, neutral, or rusty look gives them a facelift! Matting and/or frames can be painted too for a springtime lift or warmer winter feel…that wood plaque that’s outdated and tired…paint it and sand and give it new life…I love assessories and rotate them. Sweet post, I love that HOME sign on simple planks of wood…so cute!! your home truly reflects your style…it brightens my day to see it…love the wall color. So refreshing!
Those are some really great tips Faith! And I agree, I love how accessories can be rotated with the seasons and changed out when needed. Easy peasy for sure! Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂
I also love to listen to Podcasts! May I ask which one you mentioned where Genevieve Gorder was featured? I love her too!
It was on Young House Love, one of my favorites! I think it was an older episode. I downloaded several for our drive last weekend.
Great post as ever Sarah and so right. We had two rentals before this house (which I hope will be our forever home) and although the first one was nice, I did not like the second one. But with my bits and pieces, my throws and pillows, and a few new and inexpensive accessories, we managed to make it homely with very little extra cost.
It’s amazing how those bits and pieces add up to make such a big difference. I’m glad you realized that with your second rental. I wish I had tried more with our first home, but lesson learned I guess. Thanks for dropping by Helen!
Hi Sarah, great post today. Ditto what everyone else is saying here. I have been looking for pillows forever, either not crazy about them or absolutely in love with them but way out of budget. This shop is like an answer to my prayers, yes I do pray about pillows (don’t judge me). Beautiful and so affordable. Please write a post on your favorite etsy shops. Have a blessed day.
haha you are awesome Angela! I pray about pillows too, obviously! 🙂 Glad you liked the post, I promise you’ll LOVE the pillows when you get them.
You find the cutest items…I love these pillows and they are so affordable. I ordered the tea towels you shared a little while ago for my mom in law for Mothers Day. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Heather! So glad you ordered some of those tea towels, I am giving one to my mom for mother’s day this weekend and I can wait!
I love that pillow can’t believe she hand paints them either! Love your post and you always brighten my day when I see your e-mail too! Always come to you for farmhouse style!
Sarah> Rondell Konat
Right?! I can’t believe she paints them either. I seriously LOVE her pillows.
Hi. Where are those beautiful drapes from? Need those!!
Hi Laura! Those are just drop cloth curtains. Easy and cheap! You can get more info about them in my review https://sarahjoyblog.com/drop-cloth-curtain-review/
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[…] to the overall style of your home, I actually have a whole post about why accessories matter here, but it’s the foundation pieces that truly set the tone of your overall style. […]
Beautiful home and great advice. Do you recall where you got those curtains from?
Hi Lauren, I actually made those. They’re just DIY drop cloth curatins–check out the post here: https://sarahjoyblog.com/drop-cloth-curtain-review/
I love the style! Accessories are easily used in a small apartment, too. I live in a one bedroom apartment with my dog bff, Chloe. 😉 I am careful about what I choose because otherwise my “I love antiques” tendencies will cause major storage issues. And I have too many books, too. Lol! Chloe is also a collector. She has a lot of dog toys!
If not for a trunk and two handmade wood end table cubes with tops, I think I wouldn’t be able to store seasonal decor.
The plan for a house down the road is to NOT buy more decor accessories, but to get a full size sofa, too, and store the breakable antique dishes and teacups in a nice hutch and buffet, and display selectively. I am close to becoming engaged, and my boyfriend and I are talking about getting engaged, getting married, and then buying a house.
Your home always hits the right note; nothing ever looks “busy” or “theme-y.” 🙂 Always beautiful and such a joy to see. I imagine your home is very warm and hospitable if we were friends and knew each other in person. 🙂 It always looks charming and cozy.
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Hello! I found you through Pinterest because I had saved a pillow apparently purchased from your shop!! The script on the pillow said “Plant a garden and believe in the future”! I can’t find it in your shop now and wondered if you still have it available?! It’s lovely and I would love to perhaps purchase one!
Thank you!! Lucy Beliveau
Sarah> Lucy Beliveau
Hi Lucy!! That pillow was probably from With Lavender and Grace actually. Here’s the link to her website: https://shopwlg.com
Hi. I love your HOME plaque. I’ve been trying to find one to put over my TV. Did you make the sign? If so, where did you get the letters?
I love your decor and the pillows