It may come as a shock, but some people pay up to $150 an hour for an interior designer. For families on a budget, that figure is out of the question.
Fortunately, the DIY approach to home improvement has caught on in recent years. People are now deciding to tackle jobs on their own instead of paying inflated prices for professional services.
The great thing about taking on design projects yourself is that you maintain total control. You’re able to express your creative side and transform your space exactly the way you like.
However, trying to pull off interior design on a budget can get out of control if you don’t have some techniques in mind. You may need to do a little homework first.
To help you out, we’re going over 10 tips for giving your home a makeover on the cheap.
1. Have a Game Plan
Lack of preparation is an easy and fast way to go over your budget. Before making any purchases, you need to figure out exactly what you’re going for.
You probably have an idea of what aesthetic you want, but it helps to pinpoint it. Look at interior design websites and magazines to fine-tune your vision. You can then start pricing items and materials you’ll need for the job.
It may help to break down your projects one at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. Working in phases helps keep your finances manageable and allows you to save up a little between each project.
2. Second-Hand Stores
Doing interior design on a budget means you’ll need to avoid high-end brands. The best way to do this and also get unique, stylish furniture and accessories is to visit second-hand stores.
Look at local thrift stores, antique shops and even estate sales for low-cost, used items. Just because it’s used doesn’t mean it’s low quality.
Keep an eye out for furniture with sturdy construction. Remember, you can reupholster an old chair or couch and turn it into a great looking piece.
A good tactic is to find a second-hand store you like and ask when they usually get new items in.
3. Paint is Your Friend
Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a completely new feel. After you decide what furniture or accessories you’re adding to a room, choose a complementary color for the walls.
Take your time and go over some color palettes. Narrow your options down two or three of your favorite colors and get samples from your local home improvement store. Then, paint a small area with each color.
Paint color changes as it dries, so give it few days before choosing a winner.
4. Go Minimal
The minimalist aesthetic has been in style for some time, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. This is perfect when performing interior design on a budget.
Going minimal means cutting back on accessories and creating an open, clean environment. It also means focusing on neutral colors and natural fabrics and materials.
Instead of many pieces of furniture in a room, choose only a few items to decorate a space and accentuate them with good lighting.
5. Get Creative with Your Decor
Decor refers to items used to add style instead of serving a specific function. This is an area where you can really express your creative side.
If you like taking pictures, try framing your own photography. Or, a custom painting by you or a local artist is a great addition to a room.
Look for used rugs at second-hand stores to add a classic feel to your living area or study. You can also find interesting items like globes or vintage bottles to adorn shelves and end tables.
6. Keep Your Eyes Open for Sales
You can’t pull off interior design on a budget if you’re not constantly looking out for sales. After you find your favorites showrooms, ask when their next sale is. You may have to wait a little longer, but you’ll save money in the long-run.
You should also look for discontinued models of specific furniture. These can sometimes go for as much as half off.
Antique reproductions look authentic and go for much less. English Georgian American has a great selection, so check it out!
7. Buy Naked Furniture
A great way to save on furniture is buying pieces that haven’t been stained or varnished. Then, finish them yourself and get the exact look you’re going for.
When doing this, you’ll want to make sure and know what type of wood you’re dealing with. Certain woods take stains better than others, so ask the seller before buying.
You’ll also want to educate yourself on the finishing process. This means sanding and applying a stain or paint evenly. Do a little research and become an expert yourself.
8. Treat Your Windows
Another great design element that totally changes the look and feel of a room is window treatments. And there are actually inexpensive yet high-quality options.
Try to avoid buying curtains from an interior design store. Instead, look at fabric stores and choose quality materials, then have them cut. This saves you money and doesn’t look like you skimped on something cheap.
9. Transform What You Already Have
The best approach to interior design on a budget is making good use of what’s already there. This is where you really have to think outside the box.
An old chair that looks like it’s heading for the trash may just need a new finish. Slipcovers give new life to a worn out couch. Apply your cross-stitch talents to your drab throw pillows.
10. Mix it Up
Buying complete matching furniture sets is expensive. Instead, mix up your approach and create a compelling aesthetic using different styles. This gives your space an eclectic look and doesn’t break the bank.
You can also perform DIY updates like reupholstering chairs and applying paint to create a more uniform style with preexisting furniture.
Interior Design on a Budget: Wrapping Up
When making interior design renovations yourself, your biggest asset is your imagination. Don’t think of a strict budget as a limitation. Think of it as a way to get innovative.
Remember, always start with a plan. Then, pick and choose which of these interior design tips work best for your home.
If you’re renovating your home and are looking for more great DIY ideas, check out our blog today.