How to design your new space
I often see articles about creating a budget friendly home, but it's hard to know where to start. Here are a few things I recommend:
- Divide your plan into three phases: essentials, accessories and finishing touches. I would recommend designing a room over time and getting the pieces you need and want, rather then picking up a cheap version of something that is going to break or isn't what you want. Also, I caution against getting a stand in piece while you search for what you want because that stand in piece will be there for ten years.
- Invest in the essentials. I recommend spending $1000-2000 on a couch. I bought my couch over ten years ago and it is still going strong.
- For media consoles look at vintage buffets or vintage media pieces. They will be made of real wood and they will generally be less expensive.
- Side chairs are another good place to poke around looking for something vintage if you have the DIY chops to reupholster or paint it. If not, then buy something new.
- Once you have your furniture in place it is time to move on to accessories (rugs, lamps and pillows). My favorite part.
- It's hard sometimes to get the right size vintage rug, but if you find something you like and it is too small, you can always lay it over a larger jute or sisal rug (which are much less expensive then bigger rugs). If you are buying a new rug, then I recommend looking for something that has over 50% natural fibers, preferably wool. Wool rugs cost a little bit more, but they wear beautifully.
- Buy a few special accent pieces that are handmade or from your local neighborhood shops. This will give your home a distinct flavor. Then fill in the rest with big box store buys.
- Finally moving on to finishing touches. I'll admit it has taken me years to get to this place. For me the finishing touches are things like hand-woven pillows or wall hangings, art, art pottery, coffee table books and plants! Although I may re-class plants as essentials.
Invest in your core pieces and then turn to vintage stores or craigslist to fill in the rest. I can't tell you how many awesome pieces I've found on craigslist. My biggest piece of advice is to take time and buy what you love. As long as you have a place for people to hang out with you, then you are on your way to creating your home.
If you need any help, I'm here for you.
I also wrote a post a few years ago about how to set up a kitchen.