How I source budget-friendly alternatives to pricey decor pieces I love for a lower cost room makeover. This is the exact process I use to create a high end look without breaking the bank.
Last week I shared the design plan from Modsy for my bedroom remodel project, and since then I have been shopping my little heart out to turn those digital designs into reality. But what I didn’t tell you was how much that Modsy design plan totaled out to cost. I hinted that it was expensive, but now I want to tell you how expensive it would be to mimic the whole design. You ready?
If I had bought all the items the designer put in my shopping list, I would have spent $10,434. Now that may be more or less than you’d like to spend on your own bedroom makeover, but for me, that was way out of my budget. But I’ve been a scrappy decorator for basically my whole life, even as a kid, so I didn’t let that number get me down. I used these smart methods to find alternatives and cut that price into one fourth of the original cost.
Create A Mood Board
The first thing I did was create a mood board using the pieces the designer recommended. I left it pretty much the same as the original, except I added my existing blue chairs instead of the chairs she sourced because I knew I was keeping them and I wanted to reference them while shopping. I made my mood board using Canva and saved it as an Instagram Story sized photo. The reason for that sizing was so it would fill my phone screen.
I saved the mood board photo to my phone and favorited it for easy finding. When I went out to “finding-style” stores like HomeGoods and At Home, I could take a quick glance at my phone anytime I found something similar to the products from the design. This helped me compare the dupe to the original, and kept me on track and focused. Don’t look at the patio stuff Lela, stick to the list!
Looking for some after photos? We finished the bedroom, and this post gives you the full tour.
Google Reverse Image Search
For the most part, I just searched online for whatever product I wanted to find an alternative, but every once in a while I got stuck and couldn’t come up with anything. For example, the CB2 canopy bed (which I actually planned on buying until I read the terrible reviews) was easy to find an alternative for. I just Googled “black metal canopy bed” and found a few that were similar to the CB2. I read the reviews, sourced the cheapest website that had it in stock, and bada-bam, bed ordered for a third of the price.
But when my searches weren’t pulling up a similar comp, I used the Google Reverse Image Search. There are a few different ways you can do this (I break them down in this post), and you can learn how if you don’t know with a quick web search. Basically what happens is you search by an image instead of words and Google shows you similar images related to the original. It’s a great way to see products that look a lot alike your original that are available from other retailers and price points.
Alter What You Have
Decorative throw pillows can cost between 35 and 75 dollars a piece, and if you’re outfitting a bed or living room, you might need a bunch of pillows. That can kill your budget! But I bet you have a bunch of pillows around the house already that you aren’t using. Old pillows that don’t suit your style anymore, other pillows that are stuffed in a closet, and even some that just sit in a basket “for looks”.
I saved myself $350 by buying pillow covers for my existing pillows. Amazon has tons of pillow covers that are around $15 for a pack of two! And that saves me from stashing all my old pillows and adding clutter to my storage spaces.
The same method goes for your existing furniture. You can change the whole look of a piece of furniture by painting, swapping the legs, or even just changing the hardware on it. And you can update light fixtures with a $5 can of metallic spray paint. A headboard can be recovered with clearance fabric from JoAnne’s and a staple gun. And stealing decor pieces from other rooms makes them feel new again.
What I Bought For My Bedroom Remodel
Ok, here’s what you came to see- what I actually bought for my bedroom and how much I spent. The redesigned mood board below is the actual products I either bought or already owned. And I’ll link to each product below in case you fall in love with something as much as I did and want to snag it for yourself. As of right now, I have purchased everything I need for the room except the wall sconces because the ones I want are out of stock until June. I’ll live with table lamps until they’re available.
I skipped a dresser altogether because we keep all our clothes in the closet. A dresser just isn’t really needed. We have a lot of wall art already, too, so at this time I’m not buying any of that. I may change up some pieces later, but for now, I’m just using things I already have. So here’s everything I bought over the last two weeks:
- Black Metal Queen Bed $216
- Three Drawer Console Table $142
- Wood And Metal Bookshelf $109
- Two Mangowood Nightstands (from HomeGoods for $80 each, but the ones linked are the exact same)
- Two Flush Mount Light Fixtures $120
- 7×10 Area Rug $124 on sale
- Blue Gray Velvet Pillow Covers $11 for two
- Taupe Velvet Pillow Covers $13 for two
- Euro Pillows $40 for two (from HomeGoods, similar linked)
- Three Large Baskets $38
- Gold Tabletop Geometric Terrarium $13
- Acrylic Floating Shelves $20
In total, I spent $1006.00, not counting tax or delivery fees. The sconces will be $200, so by estimation, we probably spent about $1500 after taxes and shipping are accounted for. Considering the Modsy design plan totaled out to be over $10k, I think we did pretty damn good. Go here for Part 3, the full reveal of the room, and see why I was so excited to get this D.O.N.E!
Update: Curious about brands and prices from Modsy’s competitor, Havenly? I ordered design packages from both services to help redesign my office, and here’s how both experiences compare.