Wouldn't it be nice if there were some kind of grant that would allow people with exceptional taste to decorate their spaces however they please? It's a nice idea, but we live in the real world, where more often than not extraordinary taste is paired with a less than extraordinary budget. But that doesn't mean you can't have the home of your dreams — you just have to get smart. Here are five sneaky solutions that will have your home looking like a million bucks — without you having to spend, well, a million bucks.
Design Problem: Upholstered furniture is super, super expensive, and none of the couch offerings at IKEA is striking your fancy.
Smart Solution: It will definitely take a little more legwork, but if you're searching for a beautiful sofa on a budget, vintage furniture is the best way to go. Find a couch you like on Craigslist or in a thrift store, and then get it re-upholstered in a fabric of your choice. Professional upholstery also isn't cheap (you can get an idea of the price here), but once all is said and done you'll have a unique, high-quality piece, in a fabric of your choice, for about the same price as a generic-looking, mid-range sofa.
Design Problem: You've finally found some dining chairs that you really love. The price, however, is less lovely.
Smart Solution: Who says everything has to match? Buy a pair of the chairs you really love, to anchor the ends of the table, and fill in the middle with more budget-friendly pieces.
Design Problem: You have a whole wall that you want to fill, but oversized artwork is out of your budget.
Smart Solution: Instead of a single piece, creating a grouping (like the one above) of same-sized frames. Extra-pretty calendars are great for this — use 'em for a year, and then hang them on the wall.
Design Problem: You have things in unusual sizes that you want to frame, but custom framing costs an arm and a leg.
Smart Solution: Go to a craft store and get a custom mat cut. Make sure the outer dimensions of the mat are a standard size, and then buy a frame off the shelf.
Design Problem: You find a rug you love, but you can't possibly afford to buy the size that's actually big enough for your room.
Smart Solution: Get an inexpensive sisal rug in the size that you need, and then buy a smaller size of the rug you like and layer it on top. You'll save money AND add a little bit of interest and texture to your room.