Decorating Your First Room on a Budget

Are you starting from almost nothing with almost no budget, yet wanting a cool space for your first home? Maybe you have been given a few pieces like a rug which is not very hip or a weathered bit of furniture which is getting somewhat threadbare? You appreciate the gesture but wish you could have chosen something more to your taste. You’re so excited to put your first living room together and want it to look good in spite of your limited budget. What to do?

Can you make your furniture and accessories look good even if they are not your first choice? You bet you can, as long as you focus on the functionality and use your imagination to change the aesthetic. The rug will provide comfort and define your space, and unless you have it dyed it cannot be changed, so start with that for your design palette. Your threadbare couch is an eyesore and does not match the rug, but it’s a great size for your space and you need the seating, Try adding a fresh white slip cover and lots of toss cushions in the colors from the rug. A new look for the old pieces. Beautiful!

Now you’ll want a comfy chair or two for your friends to feel they can plop down and stay awhile. Stick with the colors you already have in the rug and cushions. Scout out sales, yard sales, markets, and on line used items for bargains. If you make this a labour of love, you will love your room.

Add in tables and lamps, and things you love such as books, flowers, artwork, and family pictures. You did it! Some day you may let the old rug go or use it in a less importatnt room; for now enjoy its quirkiness and the the fact that you creatively made it work.

Co-written with Gina Jollimore, recent design graduate and owner of Original Interiors

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