In the current financial environment most of us need to think twice before spending hard earned money. So much more when it comes to interior decorating. But with a little imagination even a small budget can add instant style to any decor.
Start by determining how much your budget actually is. Make a list of what it is you wish to change. Decide what you would be able to do yourself and what not. The biggest budget killer is hiring someone to do something you could have done yourself. Make it fun, ask you friend or family to come and help paint a room and spoil them with a nice light lunch to say thank you.
It is amazing what a quick coat of paint can do to make a home look fresh and inviting. Paint is inexpensive and easy to do yourself. By keeping your walls, furniture and area rugs neutral, it will be easier and less expensive to switch to a new colour scheme just by replacing your scatter cushions and small accessories. Gray and beige tones are a safe bet. Or go with the lightest and most subdued version of any colour.
Do you long for wallpaper but cannot afford this, paint stripes on a wall or use a stencil to create a faux wallpaper look. Combine mat paint with textured or metallic paints for an interesting finish.
You do not have to buy new furniture to reinvent your interior. Reuse what you already have; consider how it can be repurposed. A few layers of paint, or a distressed paint technique can do wonders to an old piece of furniture. Have a sofa reupholstered or create a makeshift slipcover.
Go secondhand – visit second hand stores, garage sales and auctions. Select solid, well-built pieces of furniture that can be spruced up with new upholstery or a lick of paint. Look for interesting items that can serve as décor or be remade into something “new”.
Shop “on-sale” or for items that are less than perfect and therefore marked down. You might just find a bargain or two, so keep your eyes open and try and keep track of what is going on in stores. I have bought items on sale that I have been eyeing for a while but was not prepared to spend the original cost on.
Avoid a “matchy-matchy” look. Rather mix and match and create your own look and feel. Not only does an entire set for furniture tend to be more expensive than putting together an original and imaginative look. For instance, rather opt for a sofa (e.g. leather) and select armchairs in complementary fabrics. A beautiful wooden table need not have matching chairs. Or go one step further and gather a set of “mismatched” chairs around the table. Do not be afraid to play around. And if your budget does not allow you to buy everything at once, buy one (e.g. sofa or table) and wait until you have saved up again to buy the rest. If you do it in a hurry just for the sake of having it, you will most probably end up not being totally satisfied with the end result.
Remember, nothing stretches a budget better than your imagination.