10 Budget Decorating Ideas

Low-cost designer tricks to cop for your space

Updated on June 13, 2017 8:06 am

Samantha Echavez

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1. Create contrast. "The fastest way to get a high-end look on a small budget is to mix many different materials in the same visual moment," says Betsy Helmuth, author of Big Design, Small Budget. For example: refrain from putting a wood lamp on top of a wood nightstand—use glass, metal, or ceramic instead.


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2. Add a soulful touch to your space by mixing personal with generic accessories. "If every item on your bookcase has personal significance (i.e., your grandmother’s candy dish, clay pots made by your kids, or a trophy from your office trivia night), your room will look like a curiosity shop or a diary come-to-life rather than an inviting, approachable space. On the other hand, avoid buying all your accents retail. Resembling a home staged for sale or a hotel, these items have no backstory or personal connection, leaving your space devoid of soul," says Helmuth.


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3. Frame things other than expensive art. Other than framing family photos, you can also hang your children's art or even your favourite fabric.

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4. Revive the look of a side table by adding attention-grabbing accessories like a standout photo frame or a stunning vase.


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5. Say goodbye to nondescript walls. "[Acknowledge] the power of paint. Too many people are trapped inside white or beige walls. Nothing transforms a room more than paint. It’s cheap and easy," says Marni Jameson, author of The House Always Wins: Create the Home You Love Without Busting Your Budget.


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6. Mix up shapes. "Don’t make all the pieces in one room the same basic shape. If all the pieces are squares or rectangles, said interior designer Gary Gibson, of Los Angeles, throw in an oval," says Jameson.


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7. Repurpose furniture. A dining chair you no longer use can function as a side table or nightstand. This adds a touch of whimsy to your room.


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7. Incorporate texture into your space. "Go out and get a velvet pillow, a cashmere throw blanket, or some linen drapes. You need one or two things that are fun to touch," says Belmuth.

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8. Switch up the cushions on the sofa to update the look of the living room.


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9. Curate your home accessories. "Add, remove, and rearrange accessories until the room feels right," says Jameson.


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10. Remember the key word: Variation. "Look at each object for its color, texture, height, and shape. You want a mix. The most important factors are proportion, color, and contrast," says Jameson. Pair shiny pieces with dull, hard with soft, straight with curved. Put a brightly coloured vase with an oval wood platter, or place a stack of hardbound books beside a floral arrangement.


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Share with us photos of your budget-friendly space. Email us at hello@cromly.com.

Cover photo courtesy of Car Moebel

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