10 Affordable Decor Pieces Interior Designers Swear By

published May 15, 2020
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A good budget furniture find can be a game-changer for your home. However, separating quality furnishings from the so-so ones can be tricky, to say the least. To help you find thrifty pieces that will work hard for you and still look super stylish, we asked 10 different interior designers for their go-to affordable decor items. Here’s what made their collective shopping list—and maybe should be on yours, too.

Credit: Angie Seckinger

1. An Acrylic Table 

If you’re in the market for a sleek, yet sturdy, coffee table, designer Marika Meyer says to look no further than the Peekaboo Acrylic Cocktail Table from CB2. “It’s a versatile piece with clean lines that works wonderfully in small spaces,” she says. “Did I mention it is also wipeable and child-friendly?”

Meyer has purchased this exact table for projects with and without big budgets because the scale is so forgiving. She has also personally used it in her own living room, and it’s stood the test of time there, too. “Even my two boys haven’t been able to break it,” she says.

Buy: Peekaboo Acrylic Cocktail Table, $279.00 $229.00 from CB2

Credit: Ken Hayden

2. Designer-Look Dining Chairs

Searching for a luxe chair that won’t cost you a small fortune? Designer Caroline Rafferty suggests the Velvet Elowen Chair from Anthropologie. “I love mixing high and low, and the velvet upholstery and brass legs make these chairs feel incredibly modern and luxurious while giving them a vintage vibe that is so versatile,” she says. “I used them in my parents’ dining room with a 1940s Maison Jansen dining table, and they complement each other so well.”

Buy: Velvet Elowen Chair, $398.00 $278.60 from Anthropologie

3. A Stylish Stool

The only thing better than a stylish stool is an affordable one that doubles as a side table. “I love the Tana Stool from Article because it’s extremely durable and multi-functional,” says designer Becky Shea. “I use it in bathrooms most often as extra surface space for fresh flowers or your everyday items like soap and shampoo/conditioner.” 

This particular stool is made out of teak so it’s also weather-resistant, which makes it great for both indoor and outdoor spaces. According to Shea, this piece also “weighs a ton, so you can feel the quality.”

Buy: Tana Stool, $279.00 from Article

4. A Cool Console

When it comes to long buffets and consoles, designer Haley Weidenbaum says most options are pretty pricey due to their size. Luckily, she discovered the Everett Foyer Table at World Market, which she says is both beautiful and affordable. “The finish on this piece provides the perfect touch of rustic farmhouse charm,” she says. “In my dining room, I like to dress it up with accessories for different events and holidays because it offers so much design versatility.”

Buy: Everett Foyer Table, $329.99 from World Market

5. An Accent Chair with Vintage Vibes

Nothing’s better than a solid vintage furniture find. Fortunately, designer Shelly Lynch-Sparks of Hyphen & Co. says Etsy has tons of cool mid-century style chairs that you can easily reupholster when you can’t make it to the flea market. “I purchased a similar chair at a flea market with my wife years ago, and the fabric was this wild 70s flannel,” she says. “I worked with Stitchroom to source leather and customize the reupholstered cushions. It’s become a favorite cozy spot for coffee in the morning.”

Buy: Mid-Century Lounge Chair, $400.00 from Etsy

6. Sleek Shelving

You can always count on IKEA for swanky storage solutions that won’t deplete your bank account. “I love the SVALNÄS shelving system from IKEA because you can use it so many different ways,” designer Justin DiPiero says. “You can use it as bookshelves for storage, with a desk in a study, or as a media unit in a living room.”

According to DiPiero, the bamboo wood works well with a lot of different decor styles, and the metal supports add a crisp design detail. Plus, this whole system is DIY-friendly.

Buy: SVALNÄS series, Starting at $15 from IKEA

Credit: Bo Dabi

7. A Better Bedside Table

Have very little space for a nightstand in your small bedroom? Designer Emma Beryl says the Urbansize Floating Bedside Table at Etsy is your answer, and pricing starts at under $150 per piece. “I really love that you get a little bit of hidden storage with these nightstands, as well as the two surfaces, without taking up a single inch of floor space,” she says. “These come in a few different colorways, which is great because you can create a tone-on-tone effect (by choosing a color similar to your walls), so that they ‘disappear’ to make the space feel a little bit larger and more serene.”

Buy: Urbansize Floating Bedside Table, Starting at $147.42 from Etsy

Credit: The Home Aesthetic

8. A Savvy Side Table

An attractive side table can elevate the entire ambience of your living room in seconds. Good news: Designer Amanda Lantz has found a piece that works in almost any setting—and costs less than $500. “We like to use the Georgia Round Side Table on either side of a sofa,” says Lantz. “The finish makes it look high-end, and it’s contemporary enough to use with a variety of styles.”

Buy: Georgia Round Side Table, $499.00 $424.15 from Ballard Designs

Credit: Zeke Ruelas

9. A Budget Bar Cart Alternative

A swanky bar cart can multitask in a space, and designer John McClain says the Butler Bar Cart Set from West Elm is as good as it gets. “This bar cart set has found its way into almost every project I complete, from luxury to budget,” he says. “Its timeless design, functionality, and available finishes make it the best all-around piece.”

Yes, you can use this set to corral glassware and bottles, but McClain has also used it as a side table, an entry table, and even a console table. The tray pops off for easy serving, and the stand is foldable, making it extra small space-friendly, too.

Buy: Butler Bar Cart Set, $168.00 $102.00, West Elm

Credit: Emily Sidoti

10. Affordable Accessories

When all else fails, designers Meghan Hackett-Cassidy and Erin Hackett of Hackett Interiors say you can dress up a space for cheap with a few chic ceramic vases from West Elm. “These ceramic vases are a favorite of ours because they have a neutral finish that can be integrated into any room,” Hackett says. “Just add some fresh stems and you’re good to go!”

Buy: White Ceramic Vases, Starting at $13.00 $10.40 from West Elm