A beautiful space can be assembled on almost any budget. The keys to loving your new space are: to find inspiration and have an image in your head and in images of what your end goal is to keep you from straying too far, identifying what you need to keep your space practical, sticking to a preset budget to prevent overspending, finding a central piece you really love, using DIY projects to stretch your budget, and making the space your own with decor and personal memories.
The first step in designing and decorating your new space is finding inspiration. Now that you’ve started hunting for ideas, make a mental note to look at the homes of your friends to see what you like as far as style and practicality. Perhaps you liked their washable rug, coat hanger, or light fixture using recycled materials. Maybe the smell of a beautifully scented candle caught your attention. Maybe you notice how their window dressings brighten and soften the space. These little details can be hard to think of when designing your space so start accumulating the ideas that strike you as really fabulous. Magazines like Dwell, Better Homes & Gardens, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, HGTV, and so many others can be useful resources for finding inspiration. Pinterest can also be a great resource for finding your style, looking into limitless options specific items or projects, and finding DIY tips and tricks.
Identifying what you need from your space
Is your space small or large, bright or dark, or lacking in much needed storage? Consider the needs of your space. If you have a busy home full of messy kids, consider adding storage and using stain resistant fabrics. If you live somewhere that gets very cold and requires lots of winter gear, purchase a coat rack or hang lots of hooks by the door along with a bench to put on your snow boots. If you frequently host large indoor gatherings, make sure to include plenty of seating in your plan. If you are a fan of family game night, get a large ottoman to put down your game board. Your home should serve your needs, make sure you plan to furnish your home in a way that will suit your needs as well as your style.
Setting a budget
Before you start assembling your space and suddenly realize you’ve spent your entire budget on a single piece on an impulse buy, set your budget. While magazines and TV shows have images of incredible and over the top spaces, we can’t all afford to spend $100,000 on our perfect magazine-ready living room. The images for inspiration are to help you design a space that aligns with your style, not to exactly copy. That being said, you can still design a beautiful space on almost any budget by prioritizing the important pieces and impactful improvements, finding ways to stretch your dollar, and getting your hands dirty with some DIY projects.
Finding a central piece
Did every page you ripped out of a magazine to save for later have an accent wall, a huge bookshelf, a zebra pattern rug, or a beautiful emerald green couch? If there’s a piece or pattern that your heart is set on, go for it! Spend just a little more here and design your space around this central statement item, pattern, or color.
If you’re unsure of what this item may be, consider hunting for a couch first. As the largest and most frequently used item in the center of your living space, your couch inevitably makes a statement and sets the tone of the space whether it’s neon yellow or a cool beige. Consider a modular sofa, which can be configured in any shape or size to fit your space perfectly. Also, see our article on the 5 Factors You Should Consider Most When Choosing Furniture for Your Home.
DIY projects, making it your own
Nothing helps you make your dollar stretch quite like a good DIY project. Plus, you can feel the added sense of pride and accomplishment of having put your heart and soul into your home and making it feel uniquely you. Paint, storage solutions, lots of cozy fabrics, and some elbow grease can go a long way to making your space feel comfortable, regardless of your budget. Check out Country Living for several budget-friendly DIY project ideas.
Now it’s time to make the space your own. Add art, sentimental objects, heirlooms, family photos, souvenirs, reminders of your travels, books you’ve enjoyed, a space for your kids to play, or anything else that will make your space feel homey and comfortable for you, your family, and your guests.
Best of luck in creating your new space! Leave a comment below with ideas and suggestions for your fellow Design Scene enthusiasts.