Another example of a studio apartment layout design

14 Ways To Make Your Home Cozy (On A Tight Budget!)

In Living small by Kate Holmes

There is no better feeling than coming home from a long day to a cozy home.  Being able to kick back surrounded by comfort is the true meaning “home sweet home’.

But, what can you do when you have champagne taste on a beer budget? 
Do you have expensive taste but don’t have the bank account to match?

Here is a secret that I learned when I was styling my house, you can make anything work no matter what budget you have. 

There are plenty of ways to stretch your dollar when trying to create a cozy home.  So, don’t throw away your dream board just yet!

Here are some hot tips to create a cozy home of your dreams – even when money is tight.

1) Bring The Outside In

When I think of cozy, I think of a home filled with plush fabrics and fuzzy pillows.  I also think about an indoor oasis that feels like an extension of the outdoor space.  Bringing nature into your home is a great way to make stuffy spaces feel open and truly brightens up any space. 

But, how can you bring some nature into your living space without cracking your bank account?


Here are some of the best ways to lighten up your home with a little bit of greenery:

2) Succulent Garden

If you’re anything like me, you were born without a green thumb.

While I may not be the best candidate for being a “plant parent” there is one thing I excel at.  Taking care of cute succulents is something that I can do with ease and trust me – so can you.

Succulents are not only great to look at, but they are also super easy to care for.

One of the best things about succulents is that there are so many ways to incorporate them into your home.  This helps to make them less of a chore and more of a conversational art piece for your cozy home.  My favorite way to use succulents is in a little garden.

A collection of succulents from all sizes and colors will bring some much-needed joy to your space.

You can even find cheap terrarium-style cases that will showcase all of your beautiful plants.

A single succulent plant will only run you around $3-5 a plant.  The price will be more if you choose to buy one that already comes potted.  But, there is an even cheaper way to get the same effect.  Check out local thrift stores for mason jars and short vases.

This will bring your total around to $6 for each plant.  Not too bad for someone with a limited budget and no green thumb!

3) Planted Palms

Another low-budget option for your soon-to-be-cozy home is planted palms.  Planted palms look like small palm trees that are potted in a large urn-style planter.

These large palm planters will run you around $25 per plant.

While this can add up quickly if you are getting multiple plants, it will be totally worth it.

This is especially true if you try to imagine the palm plant as more than just a plant.  Palm plants grow to be large and lush.  The bright green leaves do a great job of hiding things as well.

More than that, palm plants work well to help separate spaces. 

So, if you’re looking for an expensive and creative way to separate rooms, give plan plants a try!  You will love coming home to a cozy home full of lush greenery.

4) Herb Wall Garden

One of my favorite ways to use greenery as a way to bring some serious cozy to your home is to use herbs.  Fresh herbs are the perfect addition to any home.

This is because they have so many purposes.

They look great hanging, they taste awesome and they can bring the home a nice welcoming smell.

My favorite way to use herbs is to make them into art!  You can buy vases that hang on the walls like shelves for less than $5 a pot online.

Herbs are already very inexpensive plants.  You can get a collection of parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and cilantro for around $2 a pod.

You will feel so welcomed in your home when you are met daily with the fresh smell of herbs.


What’s Really Important

For me, a home is most cozy when I am surrounded by things that remind me of what is really important in life.

Best of all, this can be done at little cost to you!  At the end of the day, you want to be able to relax in a cozy home without having to break your budget.  So, what is the best way to use memories as a means of making your home cozier?

Here are some great tips to try for yourself:

5) The Family Wall

Something that I have done in every home I have lived in is created a “family wall”.  This is the best way for me to bring my family with me wherever I live.

So, what exactly is a family wall?
A family wall is a designated wall in your home that is completely dedicated to your family and their history.  Best of all, this helpful-tip costs very little money to pull off and will leave your friends stunned!

You will want to start by collecting pictures of your family.  Try to not only focus on the family that lives with you.  Get help from your family to collect shots of older families members.

I personally love to find candid shots that really showcase that person’s individual personality.

Once you have a collection of photos, the real fun can begin.  While you can buy frames new, I like to find gently used or antique frames.  This helps to keep the cost low while adding a little bit of whim to your space.

Frames of all different colors, sizes, and materials will bring depth and warmth to your home.

Best of all, you will be able to spend each cozy night surrounded by family, no matter how far away they are!

6) Shadow Boxes

Have you ever made a memory box?  You know, those shoeboxes full of memories from one specific event.  Special events deserve much more than to be sitting in a shoebox in the back of your closet.

So, how can you showcase special events in your life that will also help make your home feel cozier?

Give shadow boxes a try!

Open up your memory boxes and take stock of the things in front of you.  Next, you will want to purchase some shadow boxes.  Shadow boxes will run for around $10 from craft stores so stock up!  Now comes the best part, putting your shadow boxes together.

Shadow boxes are large picture frames that have a few inches of depth so you can place bulky items in for display.

You will want to arrange the items on the board backing and secure with hot glue before completing the box.  There are so many beautiful variations of shadow boxes.

I’ve seen beautiful wedding boxes filled with flowers and lace.  I have shadow boxes for each of my children with their footprints and the clothes they were wearing when they left the hospital.  Shadow boxes hang just like traditional frames on the wall.

What a beautiful way to showcase a special time in your life!


7) Textiles, Textiles, and Textiles!

Nothing says cozy to me more than a giant plush blanket on a cold night.  There is truly something special about wrapping yourself up in a large blanket of warmth.  However, blankets are not the only way to bring some cozy warmth to a seemingly lackluster home.

This is done by using a mixture of textiles and textures.

Here are some of the best ways to use fabric in your home to help it radiate coziness:

8) Big Chunky Blankets

There is nothing I love more than the feeling of being buried in a large chunky blanket.  This comically large blankets may look like something out of a sci-fi movie, but trust me – they are amazing!

These blankets are often made using a technique called “arm knitting”.

Artists use large woven yarn and their arms to create large “chain-style” blankets that you can sink into.  Throw blankets are such an essential part of making a home feel cozy.

But, why settle for just plain throw blankets?

You can find these styles of blankets at craft fairs and local shops and are the best addition to any cozy home.

Looking for the same type of style but don’t want to pay artisan prices?  You should become an artist!  These type of blankets are fairly simple to make.  You too can become a pro by just watching a few videos on arm knitting.  You can even buy large yarm in bulk online for a pretty decent price.

The only thing better than losing yourself in a big chunky blanket is knowing that you made it yourself!

9) Plush Rugs and Sheer Curtains

One easy mistake to make when decorating a house is overusing the same style of fabric.  However, when you are on a budget, you don’t always have many options when it comes to fabrics.

One thing I would encourage you to do is to try to at least try not to get the same material of rug and curtain.

If you have hardwood floors in your home, a simple throw rug can really bring some warmth to your home.  However,  a plush rug would be even better!

Shag rugs have caught a bad reputation for being dates.  But, there are making a comeback in a major way.  One thing to keep in mind is the color.

I love a blush-colored shag rug.  Pastels and creams really open up space!

Looking to take it one step further?  Pair your plush rug with some sheer curtains.  You want to avoid putting heavy fabrics with heavy fabrics.  So, if you are using a plush shag style rug, opt for a lighter, more sheer curtain.  You can find sheer curtains at any store.  However, the best way to get the same effect on a budget is to make your own!

Curtains are the easiest thing to cut and sew.  You can easily find discounted sheer fabric at craft stores and transform them into your own special-made curtains.

Your visitors will love the laid-back cozy feeling of your home and will love the care that you put into making your own stuff!

10) Throw Pillows Are Great

I love throw pillows.  Some may even say I’m obsessed.  You can’t turn a corner in my home without seeing a throw pillow.  And, why not!

Throw pillows are a great way to help a room feel welcoming and the more the better.  However, if I am no controlled, I will blow a whole budget on throw pillows.

So, what is an option for throw billows when on a budget?  You can easily find throw pillows that will keep your wallet in check.  Stores rotate home merchandise depending on the season.  What was in last season is more than likely on sale this season.  This is where patience comes in handy.

Wait until the right moment to buy those pillows.

Try to focus on pillows that have different textures.  Use a variety of fluffy to solid pillows to add some depth to your home.  Can’t find the right style you need for your home?

Make your own!

Pillows are another sewing project that takes very little skill.  With a little bit of fluff and some time, you can make pillows out of whatever fabric you want.

Want to stretch your budget one step further?  Try making pillows out of “found” items.  You can find vintage fabrics for a steal at thrift stores or even use fabric that you have like old curtains and clothing that no longer has a purpose.

This is a free design hack that also is extra nice on the environment too!


11) Open, Bright and Cozy

When we think of cozy, we tend to think of cold nights with a warm fireplace going and a cup of cocoa.  But, you can totally make a home feel cozy even in the dead heat of summer!

This can be done by making the home feel larger than it is.  This is also a great tip for those who don’t have as much room in their home as they wanted.

Making a home feel open and bright will help to make people feel welcomed.  The best part about this trick is that it is about making small changed to an already existing design scheme.

Here are some of the best, and low-cost ways, to help your house open up to make it feel cozier:

12) Mirrors

(See more about this cool mirror idea here)

Have you ever walked into a small space and were surprised by how open it feels?

Next time you do, look around you!  Chances are you will see several mirrors being used in place of artwork.  This is because mirrors give the illusion of a large open area.  Using little ways to trick the brain into thinking a home is lusher than it is is the trick that you are looking for.

Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune on mirrors.

There are plenty of ways to do the mirror illusion trick while living on a strict budget.  First, you can purchase a “college” style floor-length mirrors.  Big boxed stores sell cheaper items that are geared at dorm-living students.  Instead of installing them vertically, tip them to the side.

This will give the illusion of a wider room with more space.  No one will even know that you used a cheap mirror for this effect!

One thing I love to do is to repurpose older mirrors to give new life.  Thrift store mirrors can be spruced up with a little bit of cleaning and paint.  This will give you unique pieces that no one else has!  Make sure that you place to mirrors on opposite walls.

This allows the light to bounce around making the home feel more open and airy.

Here are some of the best ideas we have come by where people use mirrors in small spaces!

13) Cozy Is In The Air

My biggest pet peeve is walking into my home to smell what was cooking the night before. Most people find that it is harder to relax and unwind when there is an odd smell in the home.  A cheap solution to controlling the air in a small space for a low cost is to invest in some great scents.

At most times, I have a candle or two lit in my house.  This brings warmth and cozy scents to an otherwise bland space.  But, not all candles are created equal.

If you have been candle shopping recently you may have noticed that the price of these jars of goodness has spiked in price.

One tip I can give you is to always buy your candles from the sale section.  You can even find a great selection of never-been-used candles at thrift stores!  Just keep in mind that you are more than likely purchasing candles from previous seasons.

This has never bothered me, however.  I will take a crisp fall scent at any time of the year.

14) Lighting Is Everything

All of the work you do to make your home cozy on a budget will mean nothing if you don’t have the right type of lighting to go with it.  Nothing transforms a home better than good lighting.  But, how do you know the difference?  First thing you want to do is remember the overall theme of your home.

More importantly, the color theme of your home.

If your home is filled with cool-toned decorations, use cool-toned lights with blue undertones.  Warm-toned homes should try to go with light warm-toned lighting.

Changing lightbulbs is an inexpensive fix for any home that will completely change how your home looks and feels.

Want to take it one step further?  Invest in smart lightbulbs!  These bulbs connect with your wifi to that you can adjust them right from your phone.  You can change the tone and even the dim the lights by using a pairing app on your phone.

While smart light bulbs are not as cheap as traditional bulbs they last 10x’s longer.

This will actually save you money in the long run and elevate your home from a place to sleep to a place to completely unwind.


Wrapping It Up!

I truly believe that you don’t need a tony of money to have some serious style.  This is especially true when it comes to the decoration of your home.

There is no reason why you should have to go bankrupt just to have a cozy home to crash at when times are stressful.

Everyone deserves to have a place that they are truly proud to call one no matter what their financial situation may be like.

With these special tips, you can soon have a home that you will be proud to have people visit.  However, it is also important to remember that coziness is also a state of mind.  While everything around you might not be perfectly how you want, your outlook can help see what’s not there.

So, relax and enjoy your hard work in a home that is warm and cozy -you’ve earned it!  Take care.