Home is where the heart is! It's where we relax, kick back, and snuggle up. We could browse through beautiful pictures of home decor on Pinterest for hours on end (check out our pinboard here) but sometimes it's hard to make those images into a reality. We've put together a few of our favorite helpful tips on how to be your own interior decorator, on a real-life budget!
1. Shop smart.
Ikea is great for cost effective items (we love this area rug), but also think outside the box when it comes to larger furniture pieces. After all, you don't need to have the same dresser as all of your friends! If you do a little searching, you can still stick to your price range and find good quality items. We love World Market & HomeGoods. They both have plenty of stylish finds that are both well made & affordable.
2. Add A Rug.
Buy big! Don't make the mistake of buying an area rug that's too small. Know your room dimensions, and buy a larger rug that can fit in the space needed. Bigger rugs help to create the optical illusion of a bigger space!
The right lighting adds cozy ambiance. Add a soft glow with lamps placed strategically around a room, illuminating any dark corners or spaces. Choose a 3-way bulb for all lamps, so you have the option of brightness level. Use either all Soft White bulbs or all Reveal bulbs (which give off a more "blue" glow)-- but try to not combine the two. Keep the lightbulb color consistent throughout when possible, and the lighting will "blend" together to brighten up your space.
4. Fresh Paint.
Nothing changes a room quite like a new paint job. When choosing a paint swatch, look at it in natural lighting 3 different times: morning, afternoon, and night. Tape your swatch on the unpainted wall, and check on it throughout the day. You'll notice that different times of day will bring out different hues in a paint color. For example, Co-Founder Ali once had dark grey walls in her house. In the morning light, the grey had a blue undertone. In the afternoon, the glow from the sun brought out shades of purple and mauve. It was beautiful all day long! For more on paint, check out this article from Elle Decor on Color Picks From the Pros.
5. Get Artsy.
Artwork hanging on the walls is a great way to show your personality. Hanging up art can sometimes be forgotten or an afterthought... don't forget to dress up those walls! Find pieces that speak to you, and make you feel happy. When in doubt, choose something abstract & colorful, or a classic black and white photograph. Don't be afraid of larger pieces, and experiment with creating your own "gallery wall" of favorite works. We love Society6 for art prints, and Ikea is great for affordable frames! Ali also fell in love with these perfume bottle prints from Z'Gallerie for her gallery wall. Helpful hint for gallery walls: all of the pieces should line up at the same height straight across the bottom (or close to it) for a clean look. Check out this great "how to" on gallery walls from Z'Gallerie.
6. Go Green.
A simple houseplant or fresh flowers (even of the faux variety) can do wonders to warm up your space. Succulents are a chic and low maintenance option, that need only sunlight and very little water to stay healthy. If you're going faux, just make sure that whatever you pick looks as real as possible. If neon blue roses don't exist in real life, chances are the faux version isn't going to look too real either. Silk orchid plants with white flowers are a great choice, and usually look pretty close to the real deal!
Not a fan of your couch, but buying a new one isn't in the budget? Add accessories! Try out pillows and throw blankets in fun patterns and colors. Instead of the usual 4"x6" picture frame, try enlarging a favorite photo to an 8"x10" size with a big new frame. Think beyond the picture frame... coffee table books, sculptures, decorative boxes, and geodes all make for decorative pieces with personality.
8. Mirror On The Wall.
Small space? Simple solution... add mirrors! They create depth and the illusion of a larger area. HomeGoods is our favorite spot for finding pretty mirrors at a reasonable price.
9. Invest Wisely.
Think "long term relationship" with your big ticket furniture. If you're making a large purchase, choose something timeless. Pick a neutral color, a classic shape. We found some beds from Z'Gallerie that we just love (here & here) that are sophisticated, and that you'll enjoy for years to come.
10. Eclectic Feel.
Want something funky? Go cheap! Hunt for treasures with "good bones" at your local Goodwill or vintage market. Garage sales can have gems too. See beyond the color it's in now, and envision it as a whole new piece. Antique brass iron bed + turquoise spray paint= bohemian bedroom dreamland. Or, add white spray paint for a shabby chic paradise! The choice is yours.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for home decor? Share with us!