High design on a budget

Erica Cook is an interior designer and stylist who has appeared on Design Inc. on HGTV and in a number of home and style magazines. At a Calgary event, she shared a few tips on design and making your space meaningful without blowing your budget.

Ask yourself this…

When you redesigning your space, start with the most important room. Do you entertain often? Then focus on the living room. Alternatively, if quiet nights at home seem more like you then start with the bedroom.

Splurge first

If you find a pricey item that you simply must have in your home, consider how you can re-work the pieces you already have in that room around that new purchase. You might be surprised with the results.

Live in your space first

It’s always exciting to furnish a new place but we sometimes go overboard with purchases that are less than practical. If you can go a few months with the basics, you’ll soon realize what you can and can’t live without.

Be art smart

If you can’t afford a Picasso, then consider other things that will still look great on your wall. For instance, many avid cyclists install mounts to hang up their bicycles right inside their homes and condos. Just remember that art is in the eye of the beholder.

Dual purpose

It’s all about finding the ways to get the most use out of furniture. When you buy an end-table make sure it has drawers for storage. Or, re-use your coffee table books and make your own end tables. Company will think you’re a design genius.

Repurpose the past

It’s hard to part with sentimental things so why not incorporate them? Reinvent that wooden wine box that you brought home from wine country in France and use it for storage or shelving.

Fancy schmancy

Don’ t be afraid to make old things new again. A recent trend has involved people sourcing old army surplus cots and giving them a fresh look with decorative throw pillows. Be creative!

Return policies

Unbeknownst to many shoppers, when you make a return to certain design shops, you can be charged a restocking fee. Before you buy, make sure to confirm this policy with the sales staff.


Hanging mirrors can be one of the most expensive things about home decor. A leaning mirror will give you a similar effect at a fraction of the price.

For more clever tips on making your home fabulous, follow Erica on her blog Moth Design.

Photo from Design Maze


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