How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Home Decor on a Budget

peel and stick tile on kitchen island

Tay Fusco Design

Maybe your home just isn't feeling like you, but you're not looking to spend a ton of cash on a more permanent upgrade like a renovation or major furniture splurge. The good news is that you actually don't have to pay much to add a little personality to your space. Interior designers share five of their favorite ways to add a little more zing to a space without blowing your budget.

1. Frame a Keepsake From Your Travels

While traveling, keep an eye out for affordable, or free, mementos that will bring you joy and remind you of your adventures every time you see them. "I just framed a pretty receipt from an amazing meal on my 30th birthday trip to the south of France," Alex Yeske, of Alex Yeske Interiors, says. "I love that it reminds me of a special trip and is something unique in our home." Other items of this nature that you could easily frame include tickets from sports games, photo booth photos, and postcards.

framed french receipt

Alex Yeske Interiors

2. Shop Secondhand for Unique Treasures

Designers agree that visiting the thrift store or flea market is an excellent way to score unique-looking items without spending much. Kevin Billings, of Dexter and Plaid, recommends finding pieces that make you feel positive from places like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. "You'll then create a collection of items that may be different styles, colors, and ages, but to you, they'll be a part of telling your story."

Secondhand stores can also be great places to source art. "Explore thrift stores for coffee table books with designs or photographs you love, and frame the prints from your favorite pages," Beth Martin, of Beth R. Martin, says. "With an entire book of pages, you can fill your walls with beautiful art without spending a fortune."

Note that you can also shop online, if you wish! "In addition to Facebook Marketplace, my favorite source for unique accessories and vintage art are Instagram sellers who curate amazing and often very affordable inventory," Ines Mazzotta, of Kelly Hopter Interiors, says. "They do the heavy lifting for you if you're not a fan of rummaging through vintage stores or estate sales."

No matter which route you go, you'll have scooped up some special finds that will be instant conversation starters as well. "One of the greatest things is to be able to talk about why you selected those pieces and let others in on your story," Billings adds.

3. Display Some Plants

Smaller plants don't cost much and you can even purchase them at the grocery store. "Add flowers and greenery to your space to create a biophilic environment," Brianna Untener, of Brianna Scott Interiors, advises. "Real or fake, florals and plants will instantly add life and dimension to the space. Plants help bring in an element of softness and a pop of color to brighten up any room."

Mariel Goodson, of Brass Hill Design, is also a fan of bringing life into a room through plants. "Pothos plants are amongst my favorites for easy, attractive, low-maintenance greenery," she says. "Ferns are fabulous, too, but require more constant watering—I love when they're spilling out of a wicker urn placed atop a tall pedestal."

plants in living room

Erin Williamson Design

4. Tackle the Ceiling

Decorated ceilings are all the rage in the design world. "Nothing transforms a space quite like swathing it in a new wallpaper or paint, but if the budget doesn’t allow for a full makeover, focus on the fifth wall: your ceiling," Goodson suggests. "Adding a pop of color or pattern to the ceiling does wonders for completing and enhancing the look of the entire room." Goodson is a fan of Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light, Benjamin Moore Saybrook Sage, and Benjamin Moore Proposal cut with 50 percent white when it comes to choosing a ceiling color.

Prefer wallpaper? "Small-scale prints or grasscloths are a great way to dip your toe into the effect," Goodson notes. "We also love using marbleized papers or antiqued mirror-effect papers."

5. Revamp Your Floors

Maybe your kitchen flooring doesn't remotely reflect your style but tackling a reno isn't within budget. Taylor Fusco, of Tay Fusco Design, weighs in with a solution. "Disguise with oversized rugs or even peel-and-stick tile." Fusco adds that she applied this approach to the kitchen island shown here. "One of our faves is Quadrostyle stickers—easy peel off and renter friendly!"

peel and stick tile on kitchen island

Tay Fusco Design