Stylish and budget are two words that rarely go together, at least not well, but when it comes to upgrading your home it is possible to inject some elegance without remortgaging. The secret is knowing which elements to focus on, and as ever, the details are what count.
Be particular about colors
If you’re looking to create a homey ambiance that whispers timeless style, elegance, and an overarching sense of good taste, you need to choose your color schemes very carefully. Look for neutral shades that have been lifted directly from nature, such as creams and grays and you won’t go far wrong – you can draw some inspiration from Elle Decor‘s style suggestions. Then it’s time to think about your choice of accessories and linens. You’ll need to consider how best to arrange your home accessories. Once you’ve done that, have a look online – retailers such as VidaXL let you filter your searches according to color and price.
That way, you can find what you need, within your budget, rather than bemoaning a throw you’ve stumbled upon which is way beyond your current spending prowess but ticks most of your boxes.
Keeping your wall colors neutral will always create a more expensive and stylish look, rather than plumping for fashion shades that inevitably go out of style in a few short months.
Think about your windows
It might sound odd, but the curtains and blinds you choose can have a seriously negative impact on otherwise stylish home. That’s not to say that you can’t buy off-the-peg options, but that you need to be selective about the materials you choose.
Anything see-through that shouldn’t be will not create the vibe you are striving for and will simply look cheap. While a chic gauze drape can look incredible in the right home, recreating the look with budget netting never works well, so you have to know when and where to compromise. Plain curtains with a lining add a certain stylishness to a room, as long as you invest in the perfect length and encourage them to drape, rather than hang too far above your floor. Similarly, simple real-wood blinds are far more stylish than imitation wood, plastic, or fabric roller options.
Double-down on your moldings
To completely change the look of your home while adding expensive touches that don’t cost a fortune, moldings are a tried-and-true option. Gone are the days when you’d need to hire a professional to design, trim and fit your room accents, as now, every hardware store has a variety of different ready-to-fix styles that are simply glued in place and painted over. When finished, you’d never know that they were inexpensive wood, plastic, or even polystyrene in some cases.
When added to ceilings and walls, moldings give the look of a classic heritage home, but without the expensive upkeep. Choose carefully and they can even make your ceilings look higher.
Pillows still work well
There have been rumblings about keeping homes on the minimal side to capture a stylish aesthetic. And while this will also help with budget concerns, there is still a place for a well-positioned and suitably plump throw pillow or two.
Casually scattered on an already sumptuous couch, a few extra cushions add a feeling of luxurious comfort and inject some easy style. Choose color-coordinated options for an understated take on home decor, or seize the moment and try some contrasting hues for a bolder and easily interchangeable look.
Lavish your hardware with attention
Doorknobs, light switches, and drawer handles might all seem like inconsequential home necessities, but the ones you choose have a huge impact on your overall interior design scheme. Select styles that are more interesting and made from better-quality materials, and not only will they add a certain something to your home, they will also last a lifetime, making them a sound investment.
Ceramic doorknobs and drawer pulls are a great choice, being relatively inexpensive and available in a myriad of colors, patterns, and shapes, but there are thousands of options to choose from. Blown glass, forged metal, and even reclaimed styles are all popular and give you an easy way to dress an otherwise neutral space, without going overboard. For the extra thrifty among you, try flea markets and antique shops for unique finds.
Take out the carpet
If you want to style on a budget, you need to be willing to put in a little work, so how about getting rid of your carpets in favor of renovating your wood floors? The cost of hiring floor sanders and buying varnish is negligible compared to the immediate injection of character, style, and beauty that real wood flooring adds to home – and the best part of all is that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Every mark in your timber is heritage, and if you need to replace a few planks, you can stain them to work with the original wood. The most forgiving material to work with, you could have a totally transformed room in just one weekend if you unearth your wooden floors and say goodbye to outdated looks like shag carpet.
Forget the flatpack
Cheap furniture can solve problems fast, but when it comes to your couches, it’s not a good idea. Sure, simple storage shelves don’t have to cost a lot to still look great, but when it comes to the main pieces of furniture, it’s better to choose something sturdy and built to last. You can do this on a budget as well.
Thrift stores, antique sellers, and even estate sales are all great places to pick up bargain items, with hardwood frames and traditional construction methods at their cores. With things like couches, try to look past upholstery you’re not keen on, as this can be changed out for less than the cost of a new sofa and you can choose a new fabric that elevates the wider styling of your home. Custom furniture never cost so little or had such a big impact.
Finally, a tip that might not be popular but is exceptionally effective: keep your home spotlessly clean. A clean, uncluttered home will always look more stylish and upmarket than a messy one with seemingly little regard for hygiene.
The easiest way to tackle home cleaning is to break it up into manageable chunks, with a rota. Windows should be kept gleaming to let restorative sunlight bounce around your interior spaces. And dusting, though annoying, keeps your surfaces and accessories free of grime.
Hoovering is something to consider a couple of times a week, especially in high-traffic areas, and don’t forget to keep your kitchen surfaces clear and your bathroom fresh. You could have the most beautiful home in existence, but if it isn’t maintained, it will lose its sparkle quickly, so keep this in mind when trying to improve your own – especially when you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
A few simple and inexpensive tweaks, plus a rigorous cleaning schedule will have your home looking more stylish than you ever hoped, while keeping your savings account healthy, too.