Interior design is an expensive proposition. Or is it?
If you are still contemplating getting your home interior done but are worried that it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg to do it, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to. You CAN make your home look great while being on a tight budget!
Mix and match styles
While there is no denying that a home interior based on themes is more orderly and has more harmony, buying items around a theme or colour is going to add to your bills. Instead, try a mix-and-match interior that cleverly marries various styles. You can play with patterns and elements that seemingly have nothing in common to create a cohesive look. The secret to making this style work is to have a common thread running through the room that ties it together—it could be the colour palette that is repeating, as in the charming room below.
Garage sales are your new best friend
The next time you see a pamphlet that says “Everything must go!” from a neighbour who is moving out of town, do make a visit. Most items that are being sold may be in good condition, and if you can pick up some pieces of furniture that can be given a quick coat of polish to make them look like new, then go for it! Used electronic items or furniture that is chipped or creaky is obviously a no-no. Stained or worn out upholstery can be completely refurbished to look like new at a fraction of the cost, but look out for chipped or broken legs that may not take repairs well.
Use multipurpose furniture
Your living-dining area may be crying out for a partition wall to add some definition to the spaces. Try adding a bookshelf cum storage unit as a room divider. It will work to delineate spaces as well as giving you the privacy you need. Add a few interesting artefacts in between your books and you have a partition wall that is a conversation starter!
Expanding on the same multipurpose theme, items of furniture like this reading corner combine storage as well as seating and help you save space and money in an elegant way.
Make a visit to your mom’s attic
Family hand-me-downs work pretty well in most cases. Spray paint vintage chairs to give them a new look, and add slipcovers to an antique chaise lounge. If you are furnishing your new home on a shoestring budget, you can always find a way to make it work for now. You can always replace it later when your wallet is more padded!
Tap into your hidden talent!
Never tried your hand at art? Don’t worry, there’s always a first time! Get your canvas ready, pick up your paintbrush and let your imagination run free. If you end up in a disaster, just try again till you get something that pleases you. Paint-by-numbers kits are a foolproof way to make a start. You may just discover the hidden artist in you, and you will surely have fun while you are at it!
Look for purchases on instalments
Many interior design companies or furniture shops offer items on interest-free instalments. So once you have a clear understanding of how much you can afford, choose the furniture that you really like, keeping in mind your long-term interior plan. Sign up for monthly instalments that don’t pinch your pocket.
Create your own curtains!
Curtain material is expensive, to say the least, and tailoring costs can really burn a hole in your pocket. Look for wholesale material that is cheap but hard-wearing. Simple, plain, cotton material that can be bought in bulk is a good option. Look for fabric that is thick enough to not require a backing (which will add to your cost). Add a contrasting hem and simple loops which you could stitch yourself. That’s all, you can have elegant curtains that do the job perfectly well!
Cushion covers can also be designed with simple elegance and stitched by a regular tailor in the pattern that you want. Just a simple piping in a contrast colour can give your homemade cushions the professional touch.
A word of caution! Never try to cut corners by compromising on the core materials for any fixed cabinetry, like the ones in your kitchen. Skimping on the materials and trying cheaper alternatives here will result in chipping, warping or other forms of damage, and repairs which will be costly and time-consuming.
If you cannot afford fitted wardrobes at the onset, do buy cabinets that can be replaced when your budget permits. Do not, however, compromise on the materials and finishes for wall-fitted wardrobes. In the long run, wear and tear on cheap materials is not worth the cost you might save while buying it.
Any loose furniture that will be yours for the long haul, your dining table and cots for example, should also be of the best material that you can buy.
Spend your money wisely, but do cut corners where it is fine to do so. We hope that you now have a fair idea where you can splurge and where you can save!