This is a simple but an effective beginners guide to interior design and decorating on a budget that will get your creative juices flowing while putting you on track for creating a home of your dreams.
Interior Design and Decorating on a Budget: A Beginners Guide
Confused about where to start with your home re-do projects? Worry no more. With all of the possibilities for creating a home you’ll love, it’s no wonder that folks get confused with where to start on their one decorating projects.
I’ve put together this simple beginners guide to interior design and decorating on a budget to help you get started on the right track for all of your home interior projects.
You’ll learn from my mistakes and learn some super savvy tips that will get you the best results you want in no time at all–and all on a budget:
1. Identify Your Decorating Style
There are way too many choices out there that’ll make your head spin. So do yourself a favor and focus on honing your decorating style with Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Style Quiz. This tool is a great way to not only define what style(s) you love but also allow you to lay aside those ideas that totally go against the grain.
Discover the secret to finding your style with this handy resource with Emily Henderson’s: Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves
2. Tap into Local Sources for Ideas on Interior Decorating
There are plenty of ways even beginner interior design wannabes can tap into local decorating and design resources. Try these on for size:
• Take a decorating or design class at a community college or your local recreation center. Oftentimes, you won’t have to be in a formal program to attend.
• Talk to final-year interior design students or even their instructors for ideas. They might even take your room on as their final capstone project.
• Stop by a brick and mortar department store like Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel and speak to one of their design professionals on staff. These businesses offer personal assistance and will be more than happy to direct you toward the right accessories for your space.
Learn what inspires top interior designers in this one-of-a-kind book, written by Nate Berkus: The Things that Matter
3. Create a Portfolio
To help you keep everything in one place, create a portfolio. It doesn’t have to be elaborate but having things in one place, makes the design process so much easier. Think of it as your “dream book,” and add your favorite photos and drawings of lamps, end tables, furniture and drapes that you believe will best highlight your room.
Remember nothing is off limits.
And, when you are ready to go shopping, take your portfolio with you, so that you can refer to it again and again.
Some great places to gather inspiration:
- design books
- interior design/decorating magazines
- websites (like WisconsinHomemaker.com‘s own DIY Decor Ideas and Tips)
- product catalogues
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4. Make a Plan
Great interior design or decorating deserves a great plan. I have seen interior design professionals use grid paper, computer programs and even use painter’s tape to “map” out a room. Why do they do this?
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The reason most folks fail at home decorating is because great design requires a bit of planning and most people want to have it done now.
But think about this: It would be a shame to purchase an expensive couch only to have to return it the next day because it is too large for the space. That is why measuring or mapping out your room(s) is so important.
Not only will you get a better idea of how much space you have to work with but you will also be able to make a more informed decision on size and location of your treasured purchased pieces.
Planning also keeps you on budget. With a thorough understanding of what your project will entail, you are more apt to identify any extravagant wants and replace those with low-cost alternatives.
5. Color Your Room Pretty with Help from the Experts
Experts will tell you that painting is one of the least expensive decorating and design options available to all sorts of budgets. Plus, you’ll be able to experience instant drama with just a few strokes of a paint brush.
But, poorly implemented color can cost you bucks if you don’t think out your color palette.
Solution? Here’s a quick video tutorial on choosing the best paint colors for your home.
6. Do an Interior “Dry Shop”
If you want to really get some great inspiration, go to your nearest design center and just look around, or as I call it: dry shop. As you move around the store check out the furniture placement and see how the staff has arranged the accessories like lamps, photos, and tables.
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Note the color choices and whether there is wood, metal, or plastic (man-made) materials as part of the whole design scheme.
Make copious notes and grab a few photos–mobile phones are great, aren’t they?
This way you can take back what you’ve observed and add this all to your portfolio of ideas.
7. Think Outside of the Box
Decorating on a budget takes some thinking outside of the box. Think about swapping ideas or even a couch, curio cabinet, or other must-have item with a friend or family member to try out in your home before you really put out the bucks to buy for yourself.
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Or maybe recycle items from another room to the one you want to re-do.
If you are super handy and can make it yourself, why not upcycle a forgotten piece of furniture into something shabby chic.
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The idea here is not to limit yourself with constraints but oftentimes things you think are just for one room in your some–say the kitchen–can add a “wow” factor to another room with little or no cost to you.
Author’s Note: This guide is just a starting point toward realizing the home of your dreams. I hope you gleaned some much needed insight toward beginning your own home projects.
Remember, there are no hard fast rules to interior design and decorating on a budget but with a bit of foresight and planning, you’ll find the end product will be a beautiful reflection of all your hard work and sweat equity. ~DLM