How to Create Designer Interiors on a Budget

By Nick Elam of Zillow

Decorating interiors doesn’t require expensive pieces or complete room makeovers. Transition a room’s interior to current design trends by adding or tweaking elements in a room. Choosing specific room elements to change is a budget-friendly strategy that refreshes ambiance and reflects professionally-designed interiors.

Review these strategies to achieve designer looks at inexpensive prices.

Play with Lighting


Source: Paradise Restored Landscaping via Zillow Digs

Lighting is one of the easiest, most inexpensive features to change in a room’s interior. Light fixtures are easily switched with desired lighting styles due to the already-installed electrical junction box. Replace ordinary lamps, chandeliers and ceiling fans with one-of-a kind pieces found at flea markets and second-hand stores. Accent lighting such as lamps and table lanterns create a depth that designers achieve. Upgrading lighting freshens up rooms and highlights the existing décor in a new way.

Add Molding and Millwork

SS. Crown Molding

Source: Zillow

Adding or repainting crown and base molding changes rooms into more opulent, lively spaces. Rooms lacking crown molding, baseboards and window casings tend to look bare. The wider the molding, the more luxurious the room feels. But, keep in mind that smaller rooms with lower ceilings can feel cramped with thick boarders. Retouching or adding molding and millwork costs much less than a complete renovation. Prioritize molding in a room before spending excessive money on decorations.

Focus on Details

SS. Details

Source: Stage 7 Design via Zillow Digs

One or two small-scale adjustments in a room’s décor alters its character. Change the pillows, cushions and throw blankets in a room to adjust the way furniture frames the room. Add a splash of each accent color throughout the room, rather than a single accent. Place a 22-inch insert into a 20-inch pillow cover to achieve the plush design for few dollars. Add or change the drapes in a room to incorporate patterns and texture in a space. Cover the floor with a rug to vary the focal point of a room. Large or small rugs make a dramatic difference in the completed look of the room. Modifying décor details is a simple, inexpensive tactic that goes a long way when trying to alter the feel of a room.

Refresh Paint


Source: Four Seasons Realty via Zillow Digs

Repainting creates the most obvious change in a room’s ambiance. Paint cabinets, walls and molding to completely refresh a space on a low budget. Adding an accent color transforms interior décor, too. For example, painting interior doors black adds a luxurious designer feel to a room. Use paint to play with color around a room before moving to expensive redesign and remodeling efforts.

Anchor Furniture


Source: Urrutia Design via Zillow Digs

Adding a single decorative piece can anchor a room in a dramatically new way. For example, spending money on the right coffee table can add bold flair to a room. The current furniture will sit with the table differently, completely shifting ambiance. Start shopping secondhand stores, consignment shops and estate sales for quality pieces that stand out and attract the eye. Avoid buying complete sets of furniture; it’s expensive and hard to change up décor and design later on.

Use the above tips to transform an ordinary or outdated room into a stylish space that looks professionally designed at low cost.

Whether revamping interiors or shopping for new properties on a budget, these five tips are foolproof design solutions. Want to be stylish neighbors with Sarah? Shop for available homes to buy or rent in Kansas City on Zillow, and let the designing begin. Visit Zillow Digs for more design inspiration.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email to connect and work together.

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