Tips for Redecorating a Tiny Space (on a Tiny Budget!)


I used to think that transforming a space required tons of cash, months of work, and a lot of patience. Turns out, you can do it in just a couple of days and about $2,000. And the results can be surprisingly dramatic - especially if you're redecorating a tiny space like ours. 

Read on for my tips and takeaways from our boat's $2K transformation! 


Shop Your Home First

Before we started selling and donating all our worldly belongings, I gathered up a few items that I wanted to bring along. Mostly picture frames, plants, pillows, and a couple of lamps. Regardless of whether you’re downsizing or going for a new design aesthetic, chances are, you probably already own a few pieces that’ll be perfect for your new space!

Ask an Expert (or a Friend with Good Taste)

One of my best friends (hi, Katie!) is a senior buyer at Pottery Barn. She also has a gorgeous home and excellent taste. So naturally, I asked her for help! She went above and beyond and created mood boards complete with suggested shopping lists for each room. It made shopping for new furniture and décor SO much easier! Someday, when she opens her own interior design business, I’ll be sure to share her website 😊

Embrace “Pin”spiration

If you don’t happen to have a design-savvy friend (or the funds to hire an expert), Pinterest is the next best thing. There are tons of boards dedicated to interior design and tiny living and I found them to be incredibly helpful in honing my style. (You can follow me here).

Do a Deep Clean

You should do this any time you move into a new space, right? I swear it made the boat feel at least ten years younger!

Work the Sales, Discounts, and Promo Codes

I installed the Honey extension on my browser to price compare and find coupon codes. I also signed up for newsletters to get new member promo codes and kept an eye out for sales on my favorite websites. This helped us to save hundreds of dollars!

Adopt the 90% for 70% Rule

I can't take credit for this philosophy - Brian thought it up all by himself 😊 His theory is that you can find a reasonable substitute for anything you want to buy, and most of the time, the alternative will make you 90% as happy for just 70% of the price. In other words, if you find a couch that you love, but it's out of your price range, you can probably find a similar version that you like a lot for at least 30% less. In the end, you'll be 90% as happy for just 70% of the price. Get it?

We applied this rule to every single item we purchased for the boat - unless it was already within budget. It saved us a ton of money and we're just as happy with how everything came together. 


The carpet on our boat was original (as in 17 years old) so we negotiated a new carpet installation and removal (about $3,500) into our offer. Not only did this save us a ton of money, it made the whole space feel bright and new again. It never hurts to ask! And don't be afraid to get creative - you can request discounts for new paint, landscaping, or repairs, too.


I love spending time in our tiny space - and not just because it's a boat (although, I do love that part). Investing time and money into making it our own was well worth it. Even better? We didn't have to break the bank. 

Want to shop our purchases or check out some before & after photos? Check them out here!

Jaclyn Westlake