When you thumb through interior design magazines for inspiration, you may find yourself getting discouraged instead of inspired. Recreating magazine-worthy style on a shoestring budget may seem impossible. Julie Mott, an IKEA design blogger, knows firsthand that a beautifully designed home is within your reach at every price point. Here, she shares her five top tips on stretching your decorating dollars.
Many of us buy furniture and intend to keep it until it's no longer usable. But sometimes, people need to get rid of furniture that still has a lot of life left in it. Perhaps they might be moving in with a romantic partner, leaving town for a job, or helping an elderly relative downsize. Getting familiar with your local secondhand scene can help you to grab great deals on like-new furniture.
Every community is a little different when it comes to secondhand shopping hotspots. Some locales feature flea markets and antique malls, which offer centralized shopping locations. If your area doesn't have much in the way of secondhand storefronts, you can still look online for deals through sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Flex Your DIY Skills
Sometimes, you get fortunate and find secondhand furniture that's flawless. But a lot of the time, secondhand items have seen better days. If you invest some time to study the basics of furniture restoration, you can turn someone's trash into an item you'll treasure.
Used or flawed furniture is often deeply discounted or even free. Fixing these pieces up with some simple refinishing, repainting, and reupholstering techniques will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
Use Luxury Items Sparingly
If you have your heart set on a luxe look, but things are way out of your budget, you can figure out how to bring your vision to life on a smaller scale. Instead of putting up elegant chinoiserie wallpaper throughout the living room, pick a feature wall and then paint the remaining walls in complementary colors. Being willing to compromise in some ways will allow you to indulge in others.
Don't Get Attached To the Latest Trends
Many design trends begin specifically because they're so accessible. But as more and more people discover a style, demand can outstrip supply. A few decades ago, farmhouse decor was very niche. Now that it's so widespread, authentic rustic furniture costs a pretty penny. If you're not attached to a specific trend, you can often find better deals.
Visit Value-Driven Stores
While shopping secondhand is excellent for the environment and your budget, there are some items you won't be able to find that way. Luckily, several furniture and decor stores put out well-made products at accessible prices. Stores like Target and Home Goods fall into this category, too, but IKEA is the undeniable standout.
There's an old saying that says that "necessity is the mother of invention." It simply means that when you need something, you'll find the resources to make it happen one way or another. Our homes should fill us with pride, but style often includes a hefty price tag. Don't be discouraged, though, if your budget is lean. With a little help from Julie Mott, an IKEA advocate and interior design blogger, you can still curate a stunning space even on a budget.
About Julie Mott
Julie Mott is an interior design blogger who is passionate about IKEA products. She graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in social studies but decided to pursue a career that allowed her to be a full-time mom to her 3-year-old son. She believes that every house can be turned into a welcoming home with a charming and pleasant atmosphere using affordable brands.