If you still don’t want to take the risk, there are plenty of inexpensive and safe ways to redecorate your older mobile home to make it look fresh, modern, and attractive.
How to decorate an old mobile home inexpensively
Declutter and rearrange
People are still surprised at what a big difference decluttering and rearranging can make to their spaces. In fact, it’s almost always the first thing you should do before any remodel, renovation, or decorating project. Getting rid of everything you don’t need will already make the space feel roomier, less stuffy, and give you some free DIY materials to work with. Use this opportunity to also have a look at what you have to work with.
Paint it over
As obvious as it seems, painting your rooms is still something you should always consider. It’s amazing what a new coat of paint can do to freshen up the place. There are also plenty of techniques you can use to save money such as only painting accent walls, painting stencils or strips, going for watered-down paint effects, etc. Choosing one-coat paints or paints that don’t require a primer can also save you some cash.
Drape it over
This is one of those sneaky, yet effective tricks often employed by tight-budgeted DIY aficionados. Drapes can be used to create a bit of texture in the room, hide some damage, add a dash of color, and create some interesting effects. Some even use it to create the illusion of windows where there actually are none.
Wall trim and chair rail
While it doesn’t offer much except for an interesting visual accent on its own, using wall trim, wall strips, or chair rails can open up some other unique opportunities. Use them as separates to switch up the colors of your walls or to create a board and batten-like design. At under $10 a foot, it’s definitely budget-friendly.
DIY your own stencil wallpaper
Google search “DIY stencil wallpaper” and you will find hundreds of results and how-to guides. You can very easily create your own stencils by finding some patterns or designs online, or creating your own, printing and cutting out the shapes, and then painting your walls. Not only is it budget-friendly because you use much less paint, but you can also create some very interesting effects. However, use it sparingly and only where appropriate. You can have a lot of fun with this in kids’ rooms and by making them take part.
Showcase collectibles or plants with display shelves
You’d be surprised at how many everyday household items can cut it as display items if properly done. You can use your silverware or glassware, for example, and neatly arrange them on open-ended shelves between cabinets in your kitchen. The same goes for anything else from collectible artwork to your husband’s Lego creations. We’re not judging. You can even easily make some of your own open shelves.
Replace the bells and whistles
Here, we’re mostly referring to things like faucets, light fixtures, and cabinet handles. While they may seem small, the can play a huge role in tying a room together and giving it an eclectic feel. For example, use these pipe-like faucets in your bathroom to give it a rustic atmosphere or modernize your kitchen cabinet with these knobs.
Spruce up your kitchen cabinets
One of the items that will take up the most space and play the biggest role in your kitchen is your cabinets. In fact, we’ve created an entire article on remodeling kitchen cabinets that you can view for tips. You can paint them, replace the doors, stain them, or just replace the handles like we mentioned above. More creative solutions involve installing hidden lights or going for smart cabinet designs.
Keep it light and breezy
Another thing would-be home decorators often ignore is the huge impact of lighting. One of the most common reasons people want to decorate a room is because they feel it’s too dark and stuffy. Just throw open the curtains and switch on all the lights and you’ll see what a big difference it makes. So, start off with better or more lighting, lighter curtains or even blinds, and then try to use lighter furniture or paint.
Use dividers or artwork to separate rooms
Do you desperately wish for a small office space or art corner? Don’t want to knock down walls or mess with your home’s layout? Luckily, there is no shortage of options that you can use to separate your rooms. There are a huge variety of attractive and creative partition screens. You could also use cabinets or bookshelves, or even artwork or drapes to separate rooms or create “spaces.” Additionally, you can use plants like bamboo to create the effect.
Ideas to Revamp Sedate Run-of-the-Mill Walls
Manufactured homes tend to be built along certain common design and aesthetic principles. For instance, the gaps between the wall panels in mobile homes are usually filled with vertical strips of molding. If your house is located in a mobile home park, then it is likely that every house looks the same from the outside. If you want your house to stand out from the crowd and exude the same inviting look as a stick-built house, then paint the walls in a richly-textured paint in dark tones to hide the strips. If you are willing to put in a little more effort, remove the strips from the walls, fill the gap with a joint compound, and then apply a fresh coat of paint.
Ideas to Brighten Dark and Dank Kitchens and Bathrooms
This is a common cause of angst amongst mobile homeowners. Mobile homes tend to be small in size and the bathrooms and kitchens in them are generally smaller than those found in stick-built houses. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to create an illusion of space nor is it prohibitively costly. You can replace the wooden doors of the upper cabinets with glass and have the room painted in a bright cheery color. Monochromatic rooms tend to look larger than they actually are. So you can have the walls in your bathroom, the shower curtains, and the fixtures in a coordinating color to create an illusion of space.
You can even hire an interior decorator to help you enhance your mobile home’s interior. The exterior could be similar to many other mobile homes but the interior can be completely different. If you want to hire a carpenter to add more shelves or to redo your kitchen drawers and cabinets, you can do that as well.
Ideas for Windows that Open into Other People’s Homes and Backyards
Homes located in mobile home parks are usually placed close by and often homeowners find their windows opening into their neighbor’s homes or backyards. Keeping the windows closed is not the ideal solution. But you can maintain privacy by using blinds that will allow in air and sunlight. You can also use fancy window treatments but make sure that they do not overwhelm a small space. You do not want people seeing in, certainly if you have made your mobile home’s interior standout.
While the above-mentioned ideas address some common décor problems in mobile homes, you should also try and keep your home as clutter-free as possible. Go creative with your furniture—sofas and tables with storage spaces underneath, beds that can be stashed away when not in use, study tables that can double up as dining tables, and using screens in place of walls so that you can easily merge spaces. The constraints of living in a mobile home simply fade away when you think outside-the-box.
Other DIY projects:
Here are a few particularly cheap, easy, and attractive projects you’ll love:
- Make your own furniture from scrap: The material often used is old tomato crates. They’re used to make anything from seating furniture to shelves. You can dig around for similar examples online. For example, make these DIY furniture items using 2×4’s.
- Lights in a jar: You might have seen examples of these in some hipster restaurants or cafes near you before. Finished that jar of jam? Don’t throw it away! Stick some Christmas lights inside and display it on your coffee table, shelf, or any part of your mobile home!
- Bottle displays: Old glass bottles can be extremely versatile. Color them and display them in front of windows. Or use them to keep flowers or other plants fresh for longer.
- Custom lampshades: This is another great one for the kids. You can remove the shades from your lamps and redo them with your own designs. Play with colors and shadows if you wanna get creative. Remember to use safe materials!
- Photo table: You can use just about any table you have or buy a similarly-sized glass pane. Then place photos underneath. You could do the same with your kids’ art or other paper-thin decors.
- Ladder towel rack: There are hundreds of ways in which you can repurpose an old ladder. But one timeless one is to paint or stain it and use it as a towel rack.
Where to find cheap materials or decorations
Make it yourself!
We know you, fellow mobile home dwellers, you aren’t afraid of a little DIY! One of the top ways in which you can save money when sourcing items for your redecorating project are to simply make them yourself. We provide a bunch of examples above of how you can use commonly thrown away or old items from your own home. You can find an endless number of other examples by browsing for inspiration online.
Go to an estate sale/auction
Estate sales and interior auctions are great ways to get sometimes interesting or eclectic furniture at throwaway prices. You can also search for bank repossession auctions for even greater scores. Yes, it will take up a lot of time and the results can vary considerably. But, it’s worth a look.
Keep your eye open for local garage sales
Garage sales are another great way to bag eclectic and interesting interior decorations, furniture, and other items at bargain prices. They can be a little harder to find. So you should always be ready to jump on an opportunity if you see it. Facebook groups, Craigslist, and local newspaper ads could be goldmines to find these occasions.
Create sales alerts
Many online stores let you create sales alerts on certain products to notify you when there are discounts or giveaways. If you’re planning on looking around a bit more at garage sales or auctions, you might as well go and create these lists at your favorite interior stores and hope for the best.
Go for unfinished furniture
If you have any local carpenters or family-run furniture shops you can try and enquire whether they have some unfinished furniture around. Not only could you probably get some of these for cheaper, but it also gives you the opportunity of finishing them off yourself. With your choice of paint or varnish. Shall we say, “killing two birds with one stone”?
Tips for decorating on a budget
Go through your home
Before you start – take a moment, clear your head, and walk through your home or the rooms you want to decorate one last time. Take stock of what you have and make mental notes of anything important you notice or think of. Clearing your head and looking at the “problem” one last time before your head gets filled with ideas can be a great help.
Come up with a plan
Depending on how extensive your redecoration is, it might classify more as a remodel or renovation. If this is the case, you’ll need to do some extensive planning. However, even for a much more superficial decorating project, it’s worth sketching out potential layouts, making lists of things you need or ideas to try out, and creating a rough schedule to keep you on track.
Look for inspiration online
We can never say this enough: Google, Bing, or whatever search engine you use, is your friend. People love sharing their interior design ideas, tips, and projects online. The Internet is an absolute treasure trove of guides and inspiration. If you think of something cool to do, you should be able to find examples of it online as well as the steps on how to actually do it. One of the first steps to finding out how to decorate an old mobile home is a simple search!
Put some time aside for shopping
If you want to score a few good deals and have almost everything ready to tackle your project, don’t be hasty. Put some time ahead to do your shopping and sourcing. Unless you are in a rush, you can afford to put a few weeks or months aside to find sales, wait for price alerts, look for garage sales or auctions, etc. You might be surprised at what you find and how it can change your perspective on the project.
Don’t be scared to try things
If you’ve followed our advice and looked for inspiration and design tips online, then you have probably realized that most people, in general, just tried something new that happened to work. And they are now sharing it with the world.
You could do exactly the same.
The great thing about following these tips and guidelines is that it won’t cost you a bunch of time and money if you change your mind. It’s supposed to be exciting and fun! And who knows? You can create something totally unique for your home.
Going for a minimal lifestyle is all the rage right now, and if you look at all the benefits, it’s no wonder! A minimalist lifestyle has been shown to have many benefits such as increased clarity and focus, lower anxiety levels, a greater sense of satisfaction and organization, etc… Moreover, it also has many physical benefits like helping you keep your house tidy, saving you time, and helping you save in the long run!
Don’t be afraid to ask a friend
It’s easy for us to get stuck in our own thought process. So, if you feel like you are hitting a creative block, ask some of your close friends or family over to give you a fresh breeze of opinions. It’s one thing looking for inspiration online but another altogether to get someone to actually look at your space, tell them what you plan to do, and hear out their thoughts. However, be prepared to stand your ground when it comes to things you really want.
Don’t rush it
This is very important. If you take on too much at once, it will not only clutter your mind, and therefore your judgment, but the whole task will become tedious. You’ll also likely fall into the trap of continuous scope creep and soon feel like you aren’t getting anything done.
If you’ve taken your time and done the planning part properly, you’ll likely be able to identify smaller projects or areas of the renovation that you can tackle one at a time. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun and exciting, not like slaying a growing dragon.
Luxury doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!
By just combining a few of the tips and tricks we have included in this article, you know how to decorate an old mobile home, or part of your old mobile home, without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for something a little more season, we’ve prepared a great article on decorating your mobile home for fall which is just around the corner.