Decorating & Design - Budget

Decorating on a dime

By
Heather Camlot

Spruce up your digs with money-saving designer tips.

In the spring, it's lovely to get tulips, or a bunch of cut flowers from the supermarket. Use garden-cut flowers in the summer and take away throws and other accessories to make the room less crowded. In the fall, bring in leaves or hang a wreath, and in the winter add layers (cushions, throws, etc) and put in potted plants -- paper whites or narcissus add freshness to a space."
-- Brenda Porter, Brenda Porter Interior Design, Calgary

"Paint the room a dramatic colour -- a really warm dark brown, which is a very chic look. (Try Wainscot by Farrow & Ball). Buy a couple of nice pieces of furniture and spend the rest on a bottle of Champagne!"
-- Scott Yetman, Scott Yetman Design, Montreal

"Get rid of the clutter. Remove everything from the room. Place the articles that you really need (ie. seating, storage units, etc.), then add the accessories. Try to be a little more asymmetric in the room -- angle your furniture, don't balance the bookshelves on either side of your fireplace, put a large vase on one side and lots of books on the other to counterbalance. Use what you have and then buy that special accent piece you have had your eyes on."
-- Marian Hoffos, Holliday-Scott Interior Design Studio, Saskatoon

"Add fresh flowers -- all one kind, all one colour. And wash your windows! That will increase the amount of natural light in your space."
-- Jeanette Hlinka, Jeanette Hlinka Design, Toronto

"Take the time to see what's out there. I've been very lucky to find really old pieces at secondhand stores -- people don't know the value of them. Refinish them. Get a piece of marble, glass or granite cut down to size and put it on top of a dresser, for example. The piece you buy will become an original all over again."
-- Carol Thomas, Carriage Way Interiors, Lake Echo, NS

"Invest in some new accessories like pillows or a throw. They tend to give a new look without you having to spend a lot of money."
-- Connie Hayward, Hayward Interiors Plus, St. John's

"Use a large matte and a pre-made frame with a small piece of art or a picture you have found. It will look fantastic on a wall. Group such pieces for a big impact."
-- Rob Everitt, Everitt Design Associates, Winnipeg

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