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On A Tight Budget? Try These Designer-Approved Decor Hacks

February 6, 2018

Design has less to do with money and all to do with vision! This is why a truly talented designer can make a stylish home out of even a measly budget, thanks in part to secret tricks of the trade!

Here are four insider tips interior designer use to pull off a styled-up look - even on a tight budget.

1. Install Your Own Wallpaper

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Dot Works

Wallpaper finishes can exude an upscale, 'designer' look thanks to its stylish patterns, textures and colour options. But it's got a bad rep for being costly as well - and opting instead for paint which is generally cheaper.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Spazio Design

However, a chunk of that cost often lies in installation works. So, if you're looking for a bespoke look and fancy a challenge, cut costs by going the D-I-Y route! Not sure where to get started? There are many resources online that teach you how to apply and hang wallpaper - such as this.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Source: Hello Circus

A wide variety of wallpapers are available online, be it local or overseas. But one of our favourites? Hello Circus, an e-shop that stocks insta-worthy coverings worth admiring over.

Alternatively, save even more by buying inexpensive wallpaper or looking out for promotions; for instance, these 1000 x 53cm rolls of wallpaper from LAMEX are on discount at only 50RM!

2. Check Out Second-hand Furniture

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Hatch Interior Studio

Who says furniture has to be brand-new to look good! Second-hand, restored pieces give a space a hint of storied charm, and can often costs a fraction of what new pieces are priced in. In Malaysia, you can source for furniture from stores like Renewmart and Chai and Chai Trading.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

This vintage-looking Queen Anne wooden coffee table is a steal at just RM200. Source: Chai and Chai Trading

Once you’ve found the second-hand pieces you are looking for – you can add to its appearance and lifespan with simple and inexpensive DIY restorations. For scratches on wood furniture, try a coffee grinds remedy or to refinish, take a crack at DIY refinishing treatments.

3. Jazz Up with Local Handicraft Pieces

Designers know that a touch of art can subtly tie an interior style together and imbue it with a one-of-a-kind, distinctive look.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Xceptional Interiors

But unique pieces of art do not come cheap. What's the next best option? Local handicrafts! Often affordable and easily available in Malaysia, the richly patterned and earthy motifs commonly seen in local artwork make for the perfect companion piece in a contemporary, resort or industrial home.

For exquisite handicraft in Malaysia, do check out KitaKita and the Jadi Batek Gallery for choice finds.

4. Work with White!

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Meridian Interior Design

When in doubt, go white! A classic colour that never goes out of style, a white-washed space imbues a sense of airiness and (best part) is also inexpensive. For starters, it’s the cheapest colour of paint, the easiest hue for which to source furniture, drapes, and accents; and lastly, it sends forth an instant designer vibe.

The colour also complements a myriad of décor styles from Scandinavian to minimalist, modern to contemporary and everything in between.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Latitude Design

There are a couple of things to note with white themes though. First, consider the upkeep – it may not be as easy to maintain with kids and pets. Thus, do opt for washable pieces and off-whites where possible.

Design Tricks for Tight Budgets

Interior Designer: Dot Works

Secondly, white can appear cold and not homely enough. To remedy this, allow plenty of natural sunlight during the day and warm, incandescent lighting for night time. Also, pair it with natural materials like wood and wool to bring more warmth.

Whatever your budget, an interior professional can make it happen.

It's all about working to your requirements and making it come together in a stylish space. Request for a quote here, and we'll match you with the right interior firms, based on your budget and style. All recommendations will be covered under the Qanvast Guarantee, up to RM50,000*.

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