Budget Decorating With Style
Jessica Duncan is a young designer whose style might exceed her budget, but she wouldn’t let it. Upon graduating from The University of Georgia with an interior design degree, she faced her toughest assignment yet―decorating her first house.
If you can’t score a bargain on fabric, definitely find a pattern you love and use it. Get more usage out of smaller yardage by covering accent elements―such as pillows, lampshades, stools, side chairs, and the backs of cabinets―with it. (FYI: It takes about 1 yard of fabric to make one 18-inch pillow.)
For large pieces, such as a sofa, opt for a neutral slipcover. You’ll save your budget from reupholstery costs and give yourself more freedom to alter the look. This is always a good thing!
Other ideas: A dining table can make a great desk. Small dressers, which offer plenty of storage, can be end or bedside tables. Armoires are the most functional of all. Use one as a closet in the bedroom, an entertainment center in the family room, a bar or china cabinet in the dining room, and even a computer center in the office.
Don’t turn it down: You never know how you might be able to give new life to an old or passed-down piece. Jessica almost declined an unattractive, secondhand dining table. But after covering the structurally sound piece with a new, funky tablecloth, it pulls the whole dining room together.
Extra savings: The shade was discounted for a small tear in its lining, but when placed above eye level, no one can tell.
Reupholster and reuse: Embrace all of your inherited furniture. Older pieces can give your home character and timeless charm. Paint, fabric, and even wallpaper can go a long way to taking a dated piece and making it new again. Just be sure you’re not ruining the value of a nice antique by altering it.
Two heads are better than one: More people equals more ideas. While shopping, you might stumble across a great find but have no idea how to use it. A girlfriend might be able to offer a terrific suggestion.
Antiques warehouses, salerooms at interiors shops, and consignment stores are always Jessica’s first stops in Atlanta for bargains. Here are a few of her favorites.