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Home Design: Where to Splurge on a Small Budget

By mdblog - February 27, 2015
Ah, the feeling you get when your first walk into your new home. Excitement. Stress. Terror? That  plunge from elation to anxiety is what most of us feel when we walk into our new empty space, feeling so excited to create an environment that is true to ourselves, only to realize that this process will cost us a pretty  penny. The question is: Does it have to? Furnishing your home to your own taste and aesthetics can be done well, and yes, it can be done on a budget. A small budget. How? Easy...splurge on fabrics and be frugal on everything else.  In other words, home design that is true to design  and  quality can be achieved, if it's done right. The difference between home decor that is trendy and elegant has little to do with a high price tag, and more to do with carefully selected decor staples that are highlighted and utilized. Here's an example: Fabrics.

Quality fabrics should always be a priority in home decor, even on a budget...

Pillow 2 Pillow 1 Splurging on trendy, fabric-based decor will be worth it in the long run. I suggest allocating at least $1500-$2500 to living room couches, pillows and curtains. The reason?  Because other elements such as picture frames, side tables, and the like are more neutral accents, while fabrics draw more attention. And are more often used to draw the most attention in the room. Splurging on a nice couch and curtains will command a higher sense of luxury than any side table will. These fixtures "make" a living room more comfortable,  and should be not underrepresented when it comes to setting a budget.

Shopping on a budget? Then shop on Craiglist...

IMG_0505 IMG_0504 One of the bonuses of shopping on Craiglist is the fact that a lot of older furniture are made in better quality, and they're cheaper. Take this coffee table pictures above. This art-deco inspired glass coffee table is made with brass and wooden legs.   The cost? $35. These four stools? They weigh a ton. And they allow the person sitting on the chair to sqwivel 360 degrees, as well as providing the ability to raise  the seat up or down. Most chairs you'll find in stores won't give these options unless you want to spend an arm and a leg. The cost? $200 for all four.

  The most cost-effective advice of all? Recycle old or antique furniture...

IMG_0507 IMG_0508 The cheapest (and probably the best) way to furnish your home on a budget is to recycle old and used furniture and accents. Old persian rugs will never lose their unique draw, as its old world construction technique is virtually impossible to replicate. The simple solution is to ask friends and family members who may or may not store heirlooms in the attic. Look around and see what's out there. If that option is unrealistic, try taking a used coffee table, for instance, and give it a nice facelift by repainting it. The recent trend nowadays is to purchase thick, opaque color paint and apply it on wooden furniture. This coffee table shown above is the perfect example of old-meets-contemporary Southern Chic. Simply sand off the area you'd like to paint (in this case, it was the legs of the table), and get started!

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Jim DeRentis
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