Design on a budget

If you’ve got the ambition and interest in making your space your own, then there’s plenty of cheaper alternatives to the expensive schemes you’ve been pinning. Just be prepared to put in a bit of hard-work or time in making sure you use your funds wisely.

Invest in longevity rather than fashionable pieces that you’ll soon be having second thoughts about. Spend money on adaptable items that can be easily be spruced up from time to time, with new cushions and accessories. Look how different this Karlstad sofa can look in different settings.

There’s also some great websites that’ll help you bring life to your ikea classics. Have a look at Bemz if you’re wanting to re-cover.

Make the most of what you already have. Incorporate it into a new scheme, whether this involves upholstery, repainting, a new use or trying it in a new position. I recently tried my hand at upcycling a plain, unpainted wooden table. I didn’t get round to taking a ‘before’ picture, but here’s my ‘after’:


I found the tissue paper from Paperchase and used some pink gloss paint I already had, so all in all a pretty cheap makeover.

Take notice of the details. Good design isn’t about flamboyant ‘in your face’ pieces, it’s about small moments that make your ideas work. This could be spatially when thinking about the layout or visually improving even the most forgotten spaces. How about reorganising your pictures to make a picture wall?


Art doesn’t have to be expensive. These are a few I’ve collected whilst travelling and a couple are just hilarious games of consequences I’ve had with my friends that I’ve framed to keep as a momento.

Another detail I love is painted door edges. A great way to bring something a little unexpected to your space and could be done with minimal time and expense.

Lastly, take your time. Design is an on going process that needs to be adaptable as your needs and lifestyle changes. Don’t try and buy everything at once as you’ll end up with some impulse purchases. If you’re starting from scratch, work out what you need immediately and add other things as you go, once you’ve established what is missing.


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