I have been personally interested in home design for as long as I can remember and after college, I was excited about the next chapter of life my 'adult life' and wanted my living space to reflect that. However, at that time, I certainly didn't have the funds to put forth to purchase the styles I found at West Elm and Pottery Barn. Well, now that finances have since changed a bit, I still find myself keeping some of the budget friendly pieces I purchased back then, not only because I still think they are worthy, but when I look at them it reminds me of how far I have come. If you want to keep costs low when it comes to design, here are some ideas that will still keep you home in top design shape.
1. Think Outside the Ordinary
What I mean by this is don't assume you'll walk into Room & Board and the couch you've been eyeing is now 80% off. That is most likely not going to happen. To get the look and feel without breaking the bank, try flash sale sites like Wayfair or Joss & Main. I've also started looking at the home sections of my favorite fashion brands, like Zara Home, Urban Outfitters Home and H&M Home. I have found some serious gems from these online stores, everything from my bedroom sconces to living room rugs for less than your average home store.
2. Mix n' Match
I certainly think there are areas in home design where an investment is necessary and can bring to life the pieces that you budget for. A great example are my throw pillows, which I have various covers for to add seasonality into my design, certain ones for Spring/Summer, Fall and Holiday. I purchase the inserts from Pottery Barn which are slightly expensive and then find pillow covers that are value priced, but since they cover a plush, feather filled pillow, they feel just as luxurious as if I spent considerable dollars to purchase. This decor change is one of my favorites that can really refresh a room. Also, check out the pillow cover sales from the higher end brands after the season ends, as you can get them for up to 80% off.
3. DIY Hacks
For those of you who just groaned dreading the idea of 'doing it yourself', it can often really pay off. You certainly have to chose your battles and understand if it is worth the time and effort, but I have been able to produce some pretty fantastic pieces at a very low cost. A couple of my favorites include:
- Marble End Tables: At the time, the space between my king size bed and the wall was very minimal, but I still wanted to create a table space. To do this, I purchased a set of marble pastry boards and adhered a bracket with joint compound. This created a sleek and stylish end table that I then placed a carry-all basket under to hold books, chargers and blankets. Took me less than 30 minutes to make the side tables and costs came to under $41 a piece.
- Over the Bed Decor: In California, we run the risk of an earth quake hitting us in the middle of the night, which led me to design over the bed decor that made an impact, but was light enough to be safe if ever it were to fall off the wall. I ordered 3 - 24 X 36 poster prints from art.com where they ALWAYS have discount sales. Honestly, don't purchase full price ever - just check back until they have an offering, since it is frequent. Then using some modge podge, I glued them to a canvas. This made them look like chic paintings, and the whole cost was under $55. I can also cover the canvas with other prints using the same process whenever I want a new look.
- Local Thrift Stores: This isn't one specific project, but I have found my fair share of pieces at my local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Most of the finds from there are generally under 10 dollars and can be transformed with my favorite color spray paint and then voilà - a masterpiece. Look for items that are simple to update like picture frames, vases and lamps.
I hope one of these sparked your creativity to take a chance on a DIY design of your own. Up next for me, is a woven wall hanging. I found a really cozy piece at West Elm that has inspired me to drum up my own. Stay tuned :)