Ask an ex­pert:

Top tips for dec­o­rat­ing on a bud­get

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - COVER STORY - More: fo­cu­son­fur­ni­

Q I want my lounge­room to look amaz­ing but I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Can you A give me some tips? It might seem ex­pen­sive to put to­gether a lounge­room, but the truth is lounges don’t cost as much as they used to. “Whether you’re try­ing to do it on a bud­get or not, you can pick up a lounge for un­der $500,” says Fo­cus On Fur­ni­ture mar­ket­ing man­ager Sa­man­tha Clarke (pic­tured).

“You can go for a much more affordable lounge and then you can get fab­ric pro­tec­tion on top of that. You’re get­ting that war­ranty and peace of mind that the fab­ric’s go­ing to last without hav­ing to spend a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money to have the top-end fab­ric.”

For those who are bud­get-con­scious, Sa­man­tha ad­vises avoid­ing leather, which can cost more.

She says the lounge is the most im­por­tant piece in a lounge room and se­lect­ing the right colour can add longevity.

“If you keep your lounge and the big in­vest­ment pieces quite neu­tral, it means you can bring the colour and style in with the ac­ces­sories,” she says.

“You can mix your ac­ces­sories up ev­ery year or cou­ple of years and you’re not hav­ing to re­pur­chase the big-ticket items.”

Sa­man­tha also says pieces worth keep­ing for longer in­clude a beau­ti­ful rug and light­ing, but art­works don’t have to be ex­pen­sive.

“There are a lot of affordable art­work op­tions, you cer­tainly do not need to go out and buy a de­signer piece,” she says. “I think the right light­ing choice and the right art­work can make a room.”

Sa­man­tha ad­vises against spend­ing a lot on ac­ces­sories such as cush­ions to achieve a great look.

“We’ve got a huge range of them at Fo­cus On Fur­ni­ture,” she says. “We set up the ranges in the colours, based on trends, so you don’t have to think about it.”

For the fi­nal touches, she says re­tail­ers like Kmart have a great range of bowls, dishes and vases.

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