3 easy DIY decor projects that will make your small space the envy of your neighbors.

If a smaller, low-maintenance home sounds like heaven, you’ll love these DIY downsize decor projects. Low and no budget ideas for Empty Nest Moms.

Try these decor projects for easy, low-cost design in a small space.
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“Greed is good!” So rang the siren-call of my generation. Our moms filled our Farah-coiffed heads with limitless possibilities and the perfume commercials told us we could have it all.

Years after chasing my “Material Girl” dreams, my husband and I were ready to cash in our McMansion, 3 car garage, and silver-plated serving set for a simpler life.

Check out the other posts in this Downsize and Organize series:

In the end, maintaining and repairing our home and property had sucked the life out of our weekends and the cash from our wallets. We were ready for a dramatic switch. Although we were prepared to part with our stuff, we weren’t willing to sacrifice style and comfort.

Downsize Decor Projects

After selling our home, we settled into a much-smaller rental property. The first few months were consumed with making the most of our edited space. Once everything had a place, my energies turned toward some downsize decor projects that would up our style.

These three tried and true decor DIYs are simple and economical without sacrificing a high-end look. Try one or more of them and let me know your favorite!

Drapery Wall

Something about shelling out half my decorating budget for curtain rods got me riled up. I just couldn’t pry the bills from my wallet for something no one would even notice.

This downsize decor project transforms a small living space.

One of our favorite features of the new place was a wall of beautiful, floor to ceiling windows. Although the windows came with pull down shades, we needed curtains to make the room look finished and soften the light on sunny days.

This DIY came to the rescue, and I’ve since repeated it in other rooms. All you will need is:

  • PVC pipe measured to the width of your window (with about 3 inches on either side)
  • Twin sheets from Walmart ($4.99/each)
  • Sconces for the ends and middle, if your rod is long (I found mine at Lowe’s), along with the hardware to hang them
  • Spray paint in the color you desire
Curtains for this wall of windows would have costed a fortune.
Simply feed the sheet through the the PVC pipe for a low budget window treatment.
PVC and sheet

Once you’ve cut your PVC pipe to fit (they do it for free at Lowe’s), spray paint the pipe and sconces to match. Mount the sconces on the wall. Cut a hole on either end (width-wise) of the sheet seam and thread your pipe through the tunnel created in the end of the sheet.

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No one will believe how little you spent on this downsize decor project. (And I promise not to tell…)

Large Mirror Art

Multi pane mirrors are all the rage for lux decor, but get ready to shell out big bucks unless you’re onto this little trick. Not only will mirrors reflect light and objects around you, brightening a small space, they also trick the eye into making your tiny room appear larger.

Placing a mirror across from a window is the best way to reflect light and make the room feel larger. 


All you’ll need is:

Dollar Tree mirrors are an inexpensive way to make a big statement in a small space.
A grouping of inexpensive mirrors makes a big statement in a small space.

I recommend you start at the top, making sure your highest mirrors are completely level. Then, simply line them up as you go down the wall. This project is so versatile, you can change the width and length to fit any space.

When all was said and done, this project cost me about $18, versus over $200 for the designer brand.

Chalk Paint Furniture

Solid wood furniture is as elusive as an 8 track tape these days. We live, my friends, in an IKEA world. If you’re anything like me, you’ve collected or inherited some sturdy but damaged and mismatched pieces over time.

With my simple chalk paint recipe, you can give them a fresh, new look for just a few bucks. Here it is:

First, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with the water, making sure to break up clumps. Next add paste to quart of paint and mix thoroughly with paint stirrer or plastic spoon. Keep covered or mixture will thicken.

This outdated corner shelf makes a great DIY chalkpaint project.
A little chalk paint transformed this corner shelf.

This sad end table got a cost-effective redo with some chalk paint.
Chalkpaint old furniture for a budget friendly downsize decor project.
No need to pay big bucks to have an incredible downsize decor project.
A few coats of chalk paint transformed this resale store chair.

If you’re “so over” spending hard earned cash for objects that gather dust, try these downsize decor projects. You’ll have cash left over to visit your kids in a sunny location, and gather memories instead of stuff.