Interior designers are masters at solving decorating dilemmas, coming up with solutions that address aesthetics and function all within a specified budget. Decorist, an online interior design service, offers virtual creative direction at a fraction of what a traditional designer typically charges, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious consumers who don’t mind taking care of installation.
When we caught wind that Decorist was joining forces with ATGstores.com and Porch to pull off a virtually designed house in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, we were anxious to see the results. Even bigger than the seemingly lofty hurdle of designing an entire home virtually, was the two-week time frame in which it was all executed. With Decorist’s top Seattle-based, nationally recognized designers on the job, we jumped at the chance to ask them about their go-to tips for adding major style at minimal expense.
1. Save With Seagrass Rugs
Large rugs can help anchor a room while also adding texture and warmth, but big rugs often mean a big investment. Designer Brian Paquette relies on inexpensive seagrass rugs to provide a beautiful foundation that’s neutral enough to work with almost any decorating style. To take it a step further, follow Brian’s lead by adding a smaller rug on top for an eclectic, layered look. Check out discount retailers like Overstock.com and HomeGoods to find great deals on seagrass rugs.
2. Cleverly Camouflage Eyesores
Most of us have had to deal with an unsightly but unavoidable home evil like exposed pipes, ductwork, or an ugly, nonworking fireplace, but coming up with an affordable resolution can feel daunting. When the designers at Massucco Warner Miller were faced with the dilemma of making a distracting HVAC unit less noticeable, they turned to grasscloth wallpaper. By covering the wall and the unit in the same wallpaper and snapping the panel back into place, you hardly notice the unit. The team recommends trying this with an accent wall or even a screen to keep costs at a minimum.
3. Get Creative With Art
Finding affordable, original art can sometimes be a challenge, but the designers at Pulp Design Studios came up with a creative solution for this home office. To replicate the look, choose inexpensive prints of classic portraits like this Mona Lisa option and paint the portion just below the eyes with black paint. The result adds a cool, avant-garde feel that’s guaranteed to be a conversation starter.
4. Add Instant Cool With Quirky Accessories
Need to make a big statement on a smaller budget? The designers at Lindhesse Design recommend looking for bold, funky objects like this oversize resin hand that demands to be noticed.
5. Update Cabinets With a Coat of Dramatic Paint
Instead of replacing all of the kitchen cabinetry, Ashley Redmond, Decorist’s head of design, modernized them at little cost with a coat of black paint. The dark color served as a neutral palette, allowing for the furniture and accessories to really shine.
6. Wallpaper an Accent Wall
Wallpapering an entire bedroom can get pricey, which is why Decorist designer Katja O’Brien recommends designating it to the wall behind the headboard to create the most impact. Introducing pattern and color to a single wall also reinforces the bed as the focal point.