1 Train your eye: Know what great high-end design pieces look like so that you can have them in mind while hunting at discount or big box stores, flea markets or thrift shops. A word of caution : don’t try to copy these pieces, just try and get the sense behind them”
2 Be patient: Wait for floor sample sales (usually July and/or January) to get good deals and don’t feel like you have to race to finish your space. You want to find the right thing at the right price, not just anything at the right price. Also look for going out of business sales or art sales from schools this is a great way to discover new great pieces that are originals.
3 Paint a piece of furniture: glossy finish is the best, Splash it up with some bright colors if that’s your style but don’t be afraid to stick with black. This works on junk shop finds or new pieces with cheesy finishes.
4 Spend some money: There’s cheap and then there’s father-in-law cheap, re:decorating will cost some money but as long as you’re smart and spend it on things that will announce quality in the room you’ll be way ahead of the game. Decide what “splurge” means to you and do it!
5 Don’t Conform, be Original: Don’t get mass produced “art” just because everyone else is doing it. Instead, get creative with large collages made from wrapping paper, wallpaper scraps or maps. Paint a large canvas with leftover paints. Pop kids art into off-the-shelf frames with mattes. Hang a beautifully patterned fabric from wooden dowels. There are so many ways to find creative art pieces right in your junk room or basement.
6 Go big with accessories. Remember grandma’s house with her multiple coffee tables, and you still couldn’t find a place to put your cup down because she had so many little crystal figurines? Lots of small items make a place look cluttered and cheap, not too mention if you gather up the price tag for all those little figurines pretty sure you’d have a small fortune. Instead opt for over scale accessories like standing floor vases, plump floor cushions, pillar candles rather than tea-lights.
7 Use texture: Combine shiny, matte, soft and rough natural textures to add richness to a space. Sparkle always adds a dash of glamour. A word of Caution: When decorating with sparkles don’t put them in heavy traffic area’s as wind from walking by will always blow those little sparkles and create a headache to clean.
A great example of using texture on the wall is using a series of cans, once polished up and hung on the wall replacing with fresh flowers every few days keeps a splash of color on white wall.
8 Don’t skimp on the size of your area rug. Many nice rooms are ruined by the use of a postage-stamp sized rug. Can’t find one big enough and don’t want to spend the earth: go to a broadloom store and order a piece to be cut and bound (choose a sisal look-a-like in wool or synthetic fibre). If you don’t want to go to that length, find two (or more) rugs that compliment or contrast each other and have them sewn together to give a truly unique look to your room.
9 Don’t forget about Black and White. These shades really never go out of style and they tend to compliment/ contrast one color piece very well. When properly combined with a small amount of accent colour this can result in dramatic spaces that look like their total price tag was much higher than the actual cost.
10 Buy gutsy lamps. Lighting is often an after-thought when decorating on a budget but spindly, too-small lamps are a common faux-pas. Instead, layer your lighting (overhead, task, ambient), switch bulbs to halogen or natural daylight bulbs and buy lamps that have a sculptural appeal.