You’ve bought the townhouse, got the keys and are ready to start adding your personal touch. While buying a house is a significant investment and interior decorating can be expensive, there are ways to get a swoon-worthy space without spending a lot.

So, before you hit the shops with credit card in hand, read through our guide to interior decoration on a budget.

1. Gather inspiration

One of the most expensive mistakes you can make is buying something you end up hating. So, before you spend any money, gather inspiration and ideas to find out what you love.

Pinterest is an interior design dream with thousands of images available to scroll through, save, and even buy directly online. Type in a few search terms and start to get a feel for what you’re drawn to. As you narrow your ideas, you’ll identify consistent themes via images you like and ‘pin’.

Once you’ve gathered your inspiration, create a mood board. This is something interior designers do and it’s intended to capture the textures, colours and elements you want to bring into your home. Print out pictures, gather fabric samples and even get paint swatches from the hardware store. You can pop it into a folder or pin it to a corkboard to refer to as you start sourcing pieces.

Interior decoration on a budget

2. Source second hand

While you might want to take your Pinterest inspiration straight down to the local homemaker centre, stop right there. It can be tempting to buy everything new, but the best interior designers know where to spend money and where to save.

Second-hand marketplaces in Melbourne like Facebook and Gumtree offer a plethora of gently used pieces at drastically reduced prices. Yes, you might have to spend a little longer searching and put in some elbow grease to bring items back to life, but the savings can easily make it worthwhile.

3. Buy online

If you’re looking to buy new, consider shopping online. Often the same item is cheaper from an online-only store because they don’t have to pay for expensive real estate.

Just make yourself aware of their terms and conditions, and whether you can return pieces if they don’t look quite right in real life.

4. Look for unique pieces

While the mass-produced market offers savings of scale, your home can start to look a little cookie-cutter and lacking in personality if you only buy from major stores.

Instead, explore markets, Instagram and Etsy for local artists and makers creating on a small-scale. As well as finding something unique, the benefit of buying from emerging artists is their pieces are often more affordable. It’s a win-win.

While not as cheap as online marketplaces, boutique vintage stores are also a great place to find unique items, especially from specific eras. So if you love the mid-century vibe or have your sights set on a Formica kitchen table then vintage is the way to go.

Interior decoration on a budget

5. Invest where it matters

Particularly if you’re a first home buyer, you’re likely to have a mish-mash of furniture from IKEA, Kmart and hand-me-downs from past flatmates – after all, there’s no point buying a fancy sofa if you might not be able to fit it in your next house.

But now you have a home of your own, you can start to invest in those statement pieces that will lift your living space.

Think about the items that will make a difference to your space. Perhaps a luxurious leather lounge or a stylish bed. Now you know you don’t have to move in 12 months time, you can make the investment.

Finally, remember living in your own home means getting to style it to your taste. Your home becomes a reflection of you. So enjoy the process as much as the finished look.

View Bank Homes creates architecturally-designed homes with style across Melbourne’s north. With a focus on generous open-plan living areas and quality inclusions, our townhouses are ready for you to add your own finishing touch. Discover our latest development in Reservoir and be notified about new developments here.