Decorating on a budget doesn’t have to look cheap
JUST because you’re starting out doesn’t mean you can’t have a lovely decor. With a meagre budget and some handme-down furniture you can still live large in style and function. Our feature photo boasts an eclectic dining room that is stylish, trendy and dramatic. Even though the chairs don’t match each other and they don’t match the table doesn’t mean the set isn’t a great ensemble. There’s something quirky and youthful about this setting. It’s attractive, yet minimalistic. The inexpensive woven placemats warm up this modern decor. Because the placemats are a matching set, they bring a touch of uniformity to the eclectic table and chairs. Their wooden flavour relates well with the wooden chairs. Any large container filled with outdoor blooms can make a great centrepiece on the table and doesn’t cost a cent. An affordable sisal mat grounds the dining set and relates to the placemats, flooring and wooden chairs. If you’re working with odds and sods you can still have a great decor. Use what you have and make it purposely unique. Don’t try to be match everything and you’ll go a long way to having a distinctive space. Bring in some drama The oversized light fixture is the star of this room. IKEA has similar, affordable lamps that can work in place of the designer fixture in our photo. You can find swag lamps in many great styles at garage sales and thrift stores. The funkier the better. Just be sure the wiring is sound for safe usage. The Benjamin Moore wall behind the dining table is current yet neutral and blends beautifully with the warm wood tones in the room. Notice there isn’t any art on that wall behind the table. In this minimalist decor, none is needed. Another savings tip: less can be more. You don’t have to fill every space for a room to be stylish. (background wall: Willow Creek 1468, ben, eggshell. side walls: Wood Grain Brown 2109-30, ben, eggshell. ceiling: Palladian Blue HC-144, Waterborne ceiling paint, ultra-flat) Although this room is sparse, it still feels warm and inviting. This is due to the wood flooring and the wooden chairs. Wood accents bring in the outside and lend an earthy feel to any room. If you’re low on decorating funds and feel like your home is empty, just think of it as having breathing space. The home in our feature photo feels airy and open and was done so on purpose. Look at your own dilemma with a designer’s eye and you’ll soon see that you may have just the right amount of stuff after all. Use statement pieces to fill in that blank feeling. Don’t fret if your stuff doesn’t match. Go for the eclectic look and put your own twist on things via accessories and colour. I personally find a mismatched decor more interesting than one that’s matched to the hilt. Find a mix that’s right for you using what you have on hand. Different styles of lamps, funky furniture, unique finds at the thrift store or yard sale can make for a really exciting space. Don’t forget you can paint just about anything or cover stuff with fabric if needed. That dated gilt-framed mirror that your parents gave you might look smashing if the frame were painted in a fun colour, for example. Just today, my husband and I went shopping for a dressing mirror. We initially went to the local retail store, which didn’t have what we wanted. We then went to the local thrift store and found a really unique wall mirror for under $15. I’ve never seen one like it and that makes me happy about my purchase. Next time we’ll hit the thrift store first. Be proud of what you have and enjoy the decorating adventure. Change things as your budget allows and introduce new things to keep your decor current. New doesn’t mean expensive or new just new to you. Decorating should be an adventure of finds, refurbishes, the unexpected and your personal style. Enjoy the journey.
This eclectic dining room is stylish, trendy and dramatic. Even though the chairs don’t match each other and they don’t match
the table, this doesn’t mean the set isn’t a great ensemble.