Five Budget-Friendly Decorating Tips From An Instagram It-Girl

A Serene White Bedroom
This serene bedroom is a great example of how everyday items really pop against a backdrop of crisp, white paint. Photo Cred: Ashley Carpenter of Joyfully Growing Blog

This world we live in is so chaotic. We go about our days in a flurry, from one task to the next, rarely stopping to smell the roses.

But when I’m at home, I want to enjoy the respite of my family and my surroundings. I want to step inside and wash the world away, in an environment that’s calm, serene, and well-appointed.

So goes my decorating mantra: My home is my sanctuary, and it should be somewhere that I and my family feel peaceful, comfortable, and inspired.

But in order to get my house to a place where I feel it’s serene and harmonious, I look for inspiration elsewhere. Somewhere I can take in someone else’s style and figure out how to weave pieces of it into my own home.

Lately, that place is Instagram.

This week, I’m introducing you to my friend Ashley Carpenter, an Instagram It-Girl I just adore, who’s sharing some simple and budget-friendly decorating tips on how we can turn our homes into our sanctuaries.

How I Met Ashley, and Her Intriguing Story

Ashley Carpenter of Joyfully Growing Blog
Ashley Carpenter, of Joyfully Growing Blog

Sometimes in life – like between the hours of 8 and 10pm – you open Instagram and just…start…scrolling… In my case, I’m often looking for fashion, beauty, or decorating inspiration.

And sometimes you just randomly come upon an account that takes your breath away.

You want to take the time to look at every picture. You want to read the person’s bio. You want to see if she has a website or a blog, and you just want to find out more about her story. (Now repeat after me: I am not a stalker.) lol!

I was immediately drawn to Ashley’s Instagram account the moment I saw it. Her feed is filled with hues of white, accents of wood, pops of greenery and nature, and her insanely adorable puppy.

Ashley and her husband recently moved across the country, and now reside in the mountains of Montana. She’s documenting her real life fixer upper on her Instagram, and her newly-launched website, Joyfully Growing Blog. And I can’t get enough!

There is something at once desirable and yet very authentic in Ashley’s decorating style. You’re automatically drawn to it as a place that feels like home. Her style is comfy. It’s lived in. It’s clean and airy and cozy all at the same time.

She loves mixing Mid-Century with Classic Farmhouse touches. But as Ashley says, “My personal preference will always be some version of rustic and bright whites – those are my favorite looks!

Her home is a place you’d want to drop by for dinner or a bottle of wine by the fireplace. I think some of you might even want to move right in.

But just how does she make her house so homey? And how can we weave harmonious style into our own homes, for our own families, without breaking the bank?

Ashley’s Tips For Making Your Home Your Sanctuary

At LUXYMOM, I feel very strongly that luxury comes in many forms, and it’s more of a mindset than any monetary value. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to feel like you’re adding some luxury into your life. Ashley seems to have similar values, and I’m sharing five of her budget-friendly decorating tips below:

1. Be Generous With The White Paint:

“I have been in the process of pretty much painting all of our interior walls white. I like the blank back-drop it creates to showcase my decor and make it stand out.”

2. Mix It Up:

“Mixing bright whites and neutrals with warm woods and greenery is one of my favorite ways to make a space cozy without feeling too perfect. I like a space to be pretty but also look like someone actually lives there!”

3. Find Beauty In Classic Pieces:

“Don’t splurge on anything you don’t absolutely love! I have learned that lesson in the past when I thought there was an item I absolutely needed, only to grow tired of it after a month or so. Decor preferences are always changing, but trying to find items that are classic or less trendy that will stand the test of time are always a good choice.”

4. Get Thrifty:

“I make weekly stops at our local thrift stores and check Craigslist almost daily to get good deals on others’ unwanted items. Similarly, I am constantly selling items on Craigslist that I no longer use, to give myself extra spending money for decor items.”

5. Shop Clearance Sales:

“I ALWAYS browse the clearance racks anytime I am at any of my favorite stores like Target, Kohl’s, or World Market. I almost always find something to go home with me, and I love getting it for a discounted price.”

A Cozy Fireplace
Ashley’s fireplace is one you want to cozy right up in front of, with a coffee, a soft blanket, and your favorite read.
Cozy Fireplace Mantle Details
A close-up view of her fireplace mantle shows just how she achieved such striking beauty with simple objects.
Greenery To Accent a Room's Decor
Unique greenery can really make a room pop with color, shapes, and texture.
A bedroom is decorated with textural elements.
Texture is one of my favorite design elements. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know this already. Just look at how Ashley brilliantly played with texture in every element of this well-appointed bedroom.
Crisp White Bedroom Decor
This airy, white bedroom decor is accented with Ashley’s signature rustic, mid-century, and farmhouse flair.

A HUGE thank you to Ashley for sharing her home and her decorating tips! I hope you’ll follow along with her on her website and Instagram, listed below.

Joyfully Growing Blog


(Please note, all photos in this article are property of Ashley Carpenter and Joyfully Growing Blog, so please do not use or distribute them without her express permission.)


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25 thoughts on “Five Budget-Friendly Decorating Tips From An Instagram It-Girl

  1. I’m so glad you love this, and thanks for stopping by! Sometimes it’s nice to get some ideas that don’t break the bank. Moving is stressful and expensive already! Good luck on your move! 🙂

  2. I will definitely have to bookmark this for when we move later this summer! Decorating can be expensive but these are great tips.

    @trendyinindy ||

  3. I am currently in the process of number 1! We just repainted our dining room from a dark shade of red to off white this weekend and its feels so much brighter and more open. These are great tips!

  4. Great tips and great post! What a great style she has and how she combines different pieces that perfectly pair with each other. Definitely someone to follow. 🙂

  5. Aw, thank you, Ashley! I’m so happy that you like the article, and so excited that we’ve connected as well! 🙂

  6. I completely agree, Abby! Her style is impeccable, the advice is spot-on, and I can really relate. I’m so glad you like this! – Libby 🙂

  7. Thank YOU so much for allowing me to share my thoughts with your lovely readers! I love your writing style, it really showcases your beautiful personality. I have loved getting to connect with you on IG and now here through our blogs! You are welcome over to enjoy that glass of wine in front of the fireplace anytime 😉 Keep it up girl!


  8. Love this post! Ashley’s decorating style is amazing. I love what she said about white walls and finding beauty in classic pieces- just a great piece of advice!!


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