Feb 2, 2016

How To Update & Design On A Budget

We all love beautiful spaces. It's easy to find items to buy, but that's not always the best option. Here are my how to's for updating and designing on a budget! 

1. 'Shop' your home.
It's smart to start with things you already own. My Design in A Day program is geared specifically for people who want a major change without buying anything. You can completely change the style and flavor of a room by rearranging furniture and mixing things up from space to space. You do not have to spend money to create new energy.  Rearranging furniture is an easy favorite first step; consider taking a table, chest or console from the living room to the bedroom, and vice versa. Then, rehang your artwork and switch accessories (even lamps) from room to room. When you lay out a room it needs to be practical first and then beautiful.  Remember that you have to walk in and around the space so don't place tables and chairs in pathways. The best rooms are layered after setting up a pleasing furniture arrangement; add back and edit accessories, lighting, and pillows. 

2. Play with existing accessories. 
To re-design on a budget, I took the lamps from my dressers and placed them on a console behind the sofa in my living room. I brought the living room fixtures to the bedroom. What an incredibly nice change. Your update can be as simple as changing the lampshade. I went from a typical "A" shape shade to a square and it looks dynamite. Another budget savvy design option: move mirrors and artwork. Mirrors catch light from windows and lamps. Try taking the one from over your mantle and put it in the entry.  Hanging a mirror behind dresser or console and adding a lamp in front will give you fabulous lighting.  I'm a big fan of relocating artwork. Sometimes I'll create a vignette of similarly colored or styled pieces instead of having them spread around the house. You can create a wonderful focal point that way. Try switching a piece from the living room to the hallway or the dining room to the bedroom. Remember that you can lean artwork on furniture and mantles instead hanging. It will change and refresh the flavor of a room quickly. It's easy to bring pillows from the bedroom to living room and vice versa. The color and style change can be dynamite. If not, check out the $20 pillows at places like Marshals and Home Goods.  I frequently regroup accessories and change them from room to room. It's great to use classic blue and white pieces in the bedroom and not just the living room.



3. Edit. Always.  
Whether you have an expensive collectible or a fabulous find from a discount store, each and every accessory should have meaning in your space. There is no need to fill every surface either. 'Negative' space gives you the feeling of openness in any room. Look at every piece in your home and ask if it's contributing to the style you want. Consider regrouping. Take all of the same type of item and create a beautiful display. I often use trays to Corel items and create a wonderful vignette. 


4. Add texture
Whether you love baskets to add texture – getting the bonus of storage – or a fabulous rafffia area rug, you can create interest and warmth by adding items with texture. I frequently add woven pillows to a smooth leather sofa to make it comfortable and interesting. Layer a fabulous throw to your favorite chair or couch. Don't hesitate to hang a beautiful textured fabric on the wall. A budget update can also include a fabulous jute rug from an import store or even IKEA. 


5. Add green 
There is nothing like a plant to make a room complete. While there are many easy care options - including snake plant, devils ivy, and Jade - consider beautiful fake alternatives. Succulents are easy to grow and do not require much care and there are some stunning fakes that look real. Believe it or not, orchids are easy care. They don't need water more than once a month and they're architectural and beautiful. I have a planter with real orchids in my bathroom and hardly water it because it loves the moisture. Fresh flowers are easy and fabulous, and it doesn't matter what the vase is. You can use a casual glass or stunning crystal vase and get a beautiful effect.