Interior design has a reputation for being an expensive activity out of the reach of us mere mortals. Curtains, flooring, wallpaper, paint, lighting, furniture…it all adds up and that affordable budget starts to be stretched really thin.
Here are my top tips on spending your money wisely when re-decorating to get the most out of your money.
Planning Your Scheme
To get started you need to plan ahead. Think about the style you’re looking for and maybe put a Pinterest board together on all the things you love. Then, with your budget in mind, whittle it down to what you can realistically afford to get the look you’re craving.
Think about all the elements in the room that are difficult and expensive to change: this is where you want to put at least 60% of your budget – building work, kitchens, bathrooms and flooring. Cost out these items first, then gradually work through all the elements that get a lot of daily use. Investment pieces such as sofas, beds, tables and chairs, storage units aren’t items you’re going to want to change in a hurry, so around 25% of your budget can be spent here. Then move down to your final 15% – paint, wallpaper and those-oh-so-beautiful accessories. These are the areas that can be easily changed – from rugs to artwork, lamps to cushions.
Once it’s all costed out you will be able to see how realistic your budget really is.
Now comes the exciting bit …putting it all into action!
Start with the Basics
Tackle all the disruptive jobs first – pulling walls down, changing the kitchen or installing a new bathroom. Even replacing the fixtures and fittings can require removing some of the plaster, so tackle these first. The mess it can cause will need clearing away before any decorating can be done.
Wall décor and flooring takes the next priority. If you’re the type of person that wants to follow the next trend, it’s wise to keep these elements quite simple. Choose your favourite wallpaper as a feature wall so that if it’s off trend next year, it’s pretty easy to change. Alternatively if you love cosy and are going for quite a bold look like Hicks Blue from Little Greene or Stiffkey Blue from Farrow & Ball, paint all your walls the same colour. Then if you change your mind later, just grab a couple of tins of paint and set aside your weekend.
Keep your flooring quite neutral: a hardwearing oak floor, or wool carpet will see you good for years to come and well worth the investment, rather than an en-vogue pattern that will be passé within 12-18 months.
Bring in the Furniture
The next expenditure will be on the furniture. Invest in good quality pieces that will last. Also think about storage in everything that you choose: it will always come in handy, if not now, in the future.
A stylish and sturdy bed, a solid dining room table and chairs, and well made comfortable sofa with cushions that are less likely to sink from use. Go for hardwearing fabrics which will withstand the trials of normal life and consider spending a bit extra to add stain protection- it’ll save you the headache when the kids are running round with sticky fingers, or that glass of red wine gets spilled.
Let’s Add Personality
Once you have spent on everything attached to the house; paint, wallpaper, lighting, flooring, and on the essential pieces of furniture, it’s time to add all the little things that make a house a home. This is one of the easiest interior design aspects that can be done on a budget, so always best to leave until last when your money has been spent where it is most needed.
Accessories can change fashion often so little investment is needed. There will be times when you want statement pieces that give the ‘Wow’ factor, but it’s great to be able to buy affordable accessories too. Accessories can also be bought over time and changed fairly regularly. Start with bedding, cushions, lamps and rugs, then move onto throws, artwork and plants to really make it feel like a home. This is where you can play with texture, additional pops of colour and bring in your own individual personality to a room.
If you get it right first time, then you’ll only need to spend money on the accessories next time around!
Are you too busy, can’t make your mind up about what style would suit your room, or you need help to organise your ideas and your budget? Why not get in touch and let AMC Design assist you.