Budget-friendly finds and ideas to update your home

I don’t know about you, but I just love budget-friendly finds, either while thrifting or visiting garage sales. It’s the thrill of the hunt and finding a treasure that you know exactly what to do with.


If you’re looking for budget-friendly finds or ideas, here are eight you can try.


ReStore finds

One of my favourite places to thrift is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Ottawa is lucky to have two stores — one on Belfast Road near Ottawa Train Yards and the other in Stittsville on Iber Road. (If you’re not familiar with the ReStore, they sell donated new and gently-used home furnishings, appliances and other renovation materials at a fraction of the original price. Proceeds go towards Habitat’s mission of affordable homeownership.)

You just never know what you will find there. Here are a couple of examples of dated pieces that were refreshed with a bit of elbow grease and some paint.

before and after painted cabinet


It truly is amazing how paint can give new life to a piece of furniture. Take the table below, for example, which was part of a ReStore display. Before, it was dated and blah. After, it’s fabulous and fresh.

before and after painted table

The ReStore carries so many different products, from exterior and interior doors to ceramics, artwork, paint and more.


Here are three amazing examples of lighting found there.

budget-friendly finds, ceiling light

Why pay the big bucks when you can shop at the ReStore at reduced prices while helping our community?


Repurpose that old window

Repurposing is another great way to save money while getting a unique piece. Here is an example from a client who had a vintage window and wanted to create a unique shadow box coffee table for their new sunroom. It looks amazing!

shadow box table

TV wires & boxes

It is amazing how creative you can be when you have a problem you want to solve. For many of us, hanging the TV over the fireplace means wires and boxes to deal with. Here is a fantastic idea that solves that problem.


Such a creative, simple, budget-friendly idea.

Peel & stick faux wood panels

The farmhouse look is still very popular and you can create that look very easily with peel & stick faux wood panels from the dollar store. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

As you can see, we updated two basic white IKEA units with the faux wood panels and they look amazing. Follow along to see the transformations.


This is an inexpensive, easy DIY project that really makes a difference.

Storage Ideas

I don’t know about you, but with all this time spent at home, I have been re-organizing my closets and shelves. There is just something about opening up a closet or pantry and having it all look organized that makes me feel good.

dollar store storage baskets


Storage options don’t have to cost a lot. I just love these bins that I found at the dollar store. They come in a variety of colours and are very sturdy. I actually found bins that were the same at another store, but they were a much higher price.

Change it up!

One of my favourite tips to share with clients is that they buy inexpensive cushions to change up their look each season. You’d be surprised at how just changing out a pillow or two can give new energy to your space.

budget-friendly finds pillows


I found these pillows at Giant Tiger and they typify a fresh new look for spring.

How to create a gallery wall

Many homeowners would love to have their own gallery wall but have no idea how to begin. To me, having family or travel photos arranged on a wall brings so much joy.

Here is an easy way to create your own gallery wall:


gallery wall step-by-step

Select the photos and frames you would like to hang. I like to arrange them on a bed or the floor so I know what the wall will look like.

gallery wall step-by-step


Trace out the frame sizes on brown paper and tape on the wall in the exact arrangement you would like.

gallery wall step-by-step

Hang the frames to their corresponding cutout on the wall. Then step back and enjoy your gallery wall!


As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot to get the look you want. I hope that these easy, DIY tips inspire you to make some updates in your home.

Happy spring!

About the Author

Sue Pitchforth

Sue Pitchforth of Decor Therapy Plus is an international award-winning designer, TV personality and professional speaker. Her approach to design is refreshing, emphasizing budget-friendly options that yield luxurious results. Believing “home” is an expression of your life and personality, Sue says people usually have a lot of what they need, they just don’t know it. She is passionate about creating spaces where homeowners surround themselves with things they love that reflect who they are. Based in the capital and recently appointed Ottawa ambassador for the Canadian Association of Property Stylists, she is an industry leader offering her unique staging and design from a distance virtual services.



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