How I Decorate Small Spaces (& Only Spend $10)

It’s no secret that I’ve been writing more this year, which means I’ve spent lots of time introspecting and cooping myself up in my cute writing corner in my room, and not lots of time decorating my home.

Last Friday though, I decided to get out of my head and stay out of my room and add some new life and beauty to my home, which I so love to do. I love taking spaces and re-invigorating them.

When I was a girl my parents would laugh at how many times I rearranged my room–I’d shut everyone out for hours, drag all the furniture in the hall, and then slowly add it back into my room, probably once a month.

Although I didn’t rearrange any furniture this time, I basically applied the same principle to the spots I wanted to redo.

how i decorate small spaces

Here’s what I did:

Scroll Pinterest for 10 Minutes Only

I’ve pinned ideas for decorating shelves for a few years, so I scrolled them and added a few more, but I intentionally stopped after 10 minutes, because we all know that searching pinterest can turn into hours of pinning without even realizing it. It helped get me in the mood and helped narrow my focus as I figured out what to do with my own stuff.

Shop for Instant Downloadable Prints

This is my favorite place to find prints and to download them instantly. I knew I wanted 2-3 new pretty quotes, and it cost me $5 each. So I spent all of $10 redecorating these spaces. That’s pretty good.

Turn on the Tunes

Turn on your adult jams, which for me was Coldplay and anything related to Coldplay. I’m usually forced to listen to Taylor Swift with the kids, so I jumped at the opportunity to listen to my own music.

Take Before Pictures (So You Can See the Change)

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I seriously have done nothing to my house since we pulled down the Christmas decorations over a month ago. I forgot to take before pictures of the book shelves in the front room, but you can kind of see them in the corner of this shot.

Quiet the Space

Here’s where I tapped into my inner Nester, and pulled everything down and moved it away. I needed to start with a clean slate. I failed to take pictures, but just imagine blank spaces and cleansing breaths, and you have the idea. (I didn’t remove the books from the book shelf in the front room. I took a few minutes to resort them a bit, but that wasn’t my focus for the day).

Shop Your House

Again, this is what Nester preaches, although I’ve always done this. I save all the pretty things and use mostly none of them, but they are still options I can choose from every time. Pull everything out that you remotely think looks pretty right now. I searched my attic, my closet, my china hutch, and my secret cabinet under the island, and laid it all out on the kitchen table. Over the years I’ve collected things here and there, mostly from thrift stores.

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Start Pulling Stuff and Arranging

This is the part that takes the most time, but basically I looked at my space and started putting things on it, removing it, moving it, rearranging it, cropping prints, finding frames, taking pictures of each set up, etc. It’s hard to finally see it, but when it works I just know it (although I usually go back a week or two later and tweek it a bit). I found myself color coordinating just a bit, and removing things that stood out too much, and checking for height of this or that.

These are just a few of the many arrangements I made.

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And I finally settled on this one:


Yes, I actually nailed some holes in the wall. Holes don’t bother me. Also, my sweet sister in law Jamey made the round shelf for me last Christmas, and I adore it.

The Final Product for the Other Spaces

I didn’t take many pictures of the process of the other spaces, but here is what they look like now.

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Ah, I love the completed space. Sometimes I wish my taste was more regal and grown-up, but it just isn’t. I like pretty things, and I like cheap prices. And I love the adventure of taking what you have already and making it look new and fresh.

Next up–redoing the built in desk area in my kitchen.

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  • Lory Peters

    Great changes! After Christmas, I always get the bug to rearrange! I think I got used to moving every year up until I got married and then I stayed put for 10 years and I didn’t know how to cope so I started rearranging furniture! 🙂 I’m always “tweaking”. And I usually prefer my tweak to how it was before. I did my bookshelves recently too.
    P.S. I really like the frame and lamp in the above pic!

    • Thanks Lory! (also, let’s get something on the calendar! Your bday is pretty much here!!!!)