If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I’m a big believer that you don’t need lots of money to create a gorgeous space… You just need a bit of style, lots of imagination and a clear vision of how to make the most of your budget!

As an interior designer, I’ve to face the “B” word most of the time and I ALWAYS HAVE to make it work, so I can meet my clients’ expectations, and then present them with a project they love!

So, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you guys, the process that goes inside my head every time I’m starting a project, and what I’ve learned so far, and hopefully, it will help you to achieve the decor of your dreams too!

Decorating on a low budget? Get my tips on how to make the most of your budget and achieve the decor you thought you couldn't afford!

1. SET YOUR BUDGET

How much can you afford? Be honest and clear here… Set how much you would like to spend (be realistic) and what is your absolute top budget (you have to be prepared for some unexpected expenses that might come up).

 

2. CREATE A LIST

Think about each room, and what items it needs to create the decor you have in mind.

Ok, so let’s say we are designing a bedroom from scratch…  And it will need:

  • New Flooring
  • Wall Finishes (Paint, Wallcoverings….)
  • 1 x Ceiling Light
  • 2 x Table Lamps
  • 1 x  Mattress
  • 1 x Bed
  • 2 x Bedside Tables
  • 1 x Large Wardrobe
  • 1 x Full-Length Mirror
  • 1 x Pair of Curtains
  • 1 x Rug
  • Bedlinen
  • Cushions
  • Wall Decor
  • Accessories
  • Contractors (Decorator + Electrician)

3. PRIORITISE

Now, let’s filter it down… From the list above what is really a priority? What does the room need to function? Let’s say it would be…

  • Flooring
  • Wall finishes
  • Lighting
  • Mattress
  • Bed
  • Curtains (for privacy and keeping the bedroom dark)
  • Curtain Pole and Brackets
  • Wardrobe
  • Bedlinen
  • Full-Length Mirror
  • Contractors (Decorator + Electrician)

4. INVEST AND GET CREATIVE

Ok, from the priority items above, we will now identify which ones we would need to invest on (paying a premium for quality), and which ones we can get more creative with… The aim here is to get a clear idea of how much money these priority items will take from the budget. For example, we would need to invest in the mattress, as a good quality mattress is essential! And we could get creative with the bed, making a gorgeous headboard (tutorial here) and buying a low-cost bed base. We could also get creative with the curtains for example, by buying a good quality ready made a pair and adding some trimmings for a personal touch instead of paying a premium price for a made to measure pair.

Investment Items:

  • Flooring
  • Mattress
  • Bedlinen
  • Contractors

Get creative items:

  • Wall Finishings
  • Lighting
  • Bed
  • Curtains
  • Curtain Pole and Brackets
  • Wardrobe
  • Full-Length Mirror

5. ESTIMATE

Now do your research and find out an estimate of how much you will spend on each item from both lists above, starting with the investment list. Write it down and you may be surprised that by getting creative with some items means that you will have enough money left to invest in other ones that you thought wouldn’t be able to. I always try to find a way to have enough money left so I can invest on wallpapers and soft furnishings as I believe they are the ones that really create the impact in most rooms!

After you’d done that and if there is enough money left,  you can budget for all the extras (The ones that were not included in the Priority list). If not, just do it whenever you can and you will soon get there!

6. KEEP TRACK

It’s essential that you keep a record of the expenses, as sometimes the estimated cost doesn’t match what you actually ended up paying for… and you will need to know how on track you are and where adjustments need to be made.

I have created a Budget Tracker Spreadsheet for you, but if you fancy doing it yourself… then just write down a list of all the items you will need and what are the estimated and actual costs.

If you are decorating more than one room, implement these steps for each room, and also consider starting with the rooms you will use more often, like your living room and your bedroom for example.

Also, don’t forget to have a good look around your home and see what you already own that can be used or repurposed. Visit flea markets, car boot sales, eBay, charity shops…  And always try thinking outside the box, finding creative ways to enhance your project. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, go on a Pinterest Safari and you will be amazed by all the brilliant ideas out there that can be implemented into your space!

Decorating on a low budget? Get my tips on how to make the most of your budget and achieve the decor you thought you couldn't afford!

I have adapted this post into a workbook and designed a budget tracker spreadsheet for you, so you can get clear on what you will need and keep track of the expenses.

Decorating on a low budget? Get my tips on how to make the most of your budget and achieve the decor you thought you couldn't afford!

Hope it was helpful to you? And if you get stuck, need some advice or just want to say hi, please just write a comment below and I will be thrilled to hear from you!  😉

Also, you can use the tag #designedbyablueberry to show me how you are getting on with your project! I would love to see it!

Love,

Ju xx