Every now and then, people feel the need for refreshing their homes. No matter if we are talking about a complete redecoration of the interior or a mere perking up of a certain area inside the house, some might find themselves intimidated by the budget required for such interventions. There is, somehow, this myth that interior design is expensive -in some cases it is. However, one has to bear in mind an essential aspect of interior design: it is all about the atmosphere.

Even when on a budget, interior design can be made affordable if one only takes into consideration a few tips. Below there are 10 such tips and tricks for making the most out of any interior space with no need to go bankrupt.

1. Adopt a Decision 

Interior design is, first and foremost, a decision-making process whose results should be coherent and harmonious, after all. Therefore, in order to obtain this and to maximize the use of the already limited financial resources available, one has to clearly state the end goal first. Start by taking your time in doing some thorough research before taking any action. As the saying goes: “measure twice, cut once.”

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The Interior Design Reference + Specification Book ©www.descuss.com

2. See It as a Long-term Commitment 

Most of the time, interior design interventions have well-established deadlines which generally implies hiring skilled workers to carry out the job for you. Needless to say, this is not a budget-friendly option. For sure this may save you a lot of trouble, but at what price? To avoid such expenses, one has to see it as a long-term commitment in which things are changed gradually so that both money and energy are distributed on a longer timeframe.

3. Value the Strong Points of the Interior 

Interiors are not just mere spaces disconnected from their surrounding realities. They all have a broader context that defines them and which may eventually add value to it. One important aspect is to identify those strong points and maximize their impact. 

Be it a bow-window facing the backyard, or a small balcony with an overview of the cityscape, a tree outside whose cast shadow inside resembles an intricate play of light, a wide living room opening towards the exterior and many others could be valued and integrated with the overall design. Actually, the design itself should be their subordinate. After all, it is inexpensive to benefit from what is already there. 

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Etham South Project, Wolveridge Architects ©Derek Swalwell

4. Eliminate Excesses

One says “less is more” (Mies van der Rohe) while someone else says “less is a bore” (Robert Venturi). Well, it is hard to argue with both of them so let’s just set it to “excess is bad in every way” (Oleg Cassini, American fashion designer). Using a lot of elements makes it harder to manage the overall image of the interior and may result in a complete mess, more commonly known as “kitsch”. Try confining yourself to those few components that best serve your function. In the end, it is about using the space, rather than filling it up.

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The Soldati house ©www.freshpalace.com

5. Reuse & Repurpose 

Old objects represent one valuable asset for when belt-tightening. Reusing and repurposing existing elements (whose only ‘fault’ is they are old-fashioned) may save unanticipated expenses. Sustainability refers to such approaches as well, even when talking about interior design. Old objects can be renewed and reused in quite stylish, authentic, and innovative ways.

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Vertical garden from repurposed drawers ©www.therestorewarehouse.com

6. Reorganize 

Major changes require an investment no matter how big or small, and there may be times when the budget does not allow any acquisition. In such scenarios, the best way of doing such changes to freshen up the atmosphere inside is to use what you already have but reorganize it. Make some changes in the way things are oriented or try relocating some of the pieces so that in the end, you have a new look, even if the only things used were those already there.

7. Use ‘Smart’ Furniture 

Furniture can get expensive, and when adding things up, it may get quite discouraging. Even so, some pieces of furniture can be multi-purposed. From tables to beds, nightstands, and many more, those objects may help to reduce the overall costs (by paying less and getting more) while also providing a dynamic interior space. For instance, a large storage unit can turn into a guest bed or a desk in just a matter of seconds, changing completely the perception of the interior space.

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Multi-purpose furniture ©www.homedit.com

8. Go DIY

Some interventions have to be operated by skilled people, yet some can be done all by the users themselves. Doing it yourself invests the space with emotion, care, and attention, all while keeping costs as down as possible. The results can be spectacular, unique, and, more importantly: personal. Painting an entire wall with a pattern one enjoys or creating some custom furniture with some left-over materials are only a few such examples of small things that turn one interior space into a valuable design.

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DIY geometric wall painting ©www.33decor.com

9. Win-win 

Interior design is also about the quality of the objects used, but this does not mean they have to be expensive or signed by famous personalities. Not every living person affords to pay for a Dali or a Barcelona chair. But it may be an idea to try to get in touch with local emerging artists fighting to get their recognition. For sure prices will be significantly lower, while the results may turn into real museum pieces over time.

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Ernest brothers, by Neil Tomkin and Digby Webster ©www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

10. Create Atmosphere 

As stated in the introduction: interior design all about the atmosphere inside. This atmosphere may have nothing to do with money, but with what it says about the owners and how it makes them feel inside. Atmosphere refers to all the senses and the way they help one perceive the interior space, not in quantitative terms but qualitative ones.

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Icelandic designer Halfdan Pedersen’s house ©www.keenonwalls.com

References

  1. https://www.decoraid.com/blog/budget-friendly-interior-decorating-ideas/
  2. https://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/g685/budget-decorating-makeover-0109/?slide=45
  3. https://www.mymove.com/home-inspiration/decoration-design-ideas/ways-to-make-your-home-look-elegant-on-a-budget/
  4. https://www.mydomaine.com/cheap-decorating-ideas
  5. https://www.decorilla.com/online-decorating/15-affordable-interior-design-tips-for-stunning-style-on-a-budget/
  6. https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/best-budget-decorating-blogs/
Author

Ștefan is a resourceful and professional young architect. Thirsty for innovation and knowledge, he is always willing to share his passions with the ones around. He finds himself intrigued by the tinniest of wonders and considers words just another material to build up with endless, brand-new possibilities.

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