All the interior design, for a fraction of the cost

on 21 April 2022

With April marking National Decorating Month, there is no better time to grab your paintbrushes, embrace the latest shades of colour and let your creativity flow! As specialists in affordable housing, we are aware that our buyers are keen to put their own personalities into their new homes, without spending a fortune. There are many easy and simple ways to do this without reaching for the toolbox – if you’re looking for transformation inspiration without breaking the bank, keep reading for our top design and decoration tips.

Planning for a budget

As tempting as it can be to go on a spending spree for your new home, this is an almost guaranteed way to go overboard with the amount you spend! Here are our tips for setting a realistic budget that will work for you and your interior design projects.

  • Assess what you already have. If you already have a lovely dining table, is it really worth buying another one? You can still make a big difference to a space without needing to buy new furniture, by rearranging what you have and adding new pops of colour or decoration. Before you buy anything, it is important to work out what you already have that you want to keep so that you can work these into your design ideas. Alternatively, if you find anything that you no longer want to keep, but isn’t damaged or broken, consider selling it to provide extra funding for your project.
  • Set a realistic budget. Think about what you want to achieve and investigate the average cost of the items that you will need to buy. Make sure you consider the cost of smaller items like cushions and lamp shades as these can quickly add up. When you have an idea of what you are expecting everything to cost, add on an extra 10 percent for any unexpected costs. Does this figure look manageable at the moment? If not consider saving up for a little longer before you start, or dividing your project up into smaller sections and tackling one room or area at a time.
  • Colour scheme. Picking your colour scheme first is helpful for finding items that will work well together to create a cohesive space. Colour choice is really important as this will shape the mood of the room. When deciding your colour scheme, choose your primary colour first, then consider adding pops of one or two other colours to create depth and texture for a more dynamic look and feel.
  • Mood board. Grab yourself a big sheet of card and make a collage of images and fabric samples that showcases your vision. This will help you to understand how different items can work together to create a style that is unique to you. Don’t worry about finding specific items that are within budget at this stage, just use this as an opportunity to get creative and explore the potential of your space. If you get stuck on where to start with your mood board, check out Pinterest for plenty of design inspiration.

Get Creative

Once you have planned as much as you can, it is time to bring your vision to life! Here are some tips for getting the most out of your space.

  • Reuse and upcycle. Not only is this more sustainable, but reusing items is cheaper than buying new pieces. Whether you spot pre-loved items online or in charity shops that you could incorporate into your design, or you fancy re-energising some of your old pieces and giving upcycling a go, get creative and see what you can achieve. If you are new to upcycling and want some tips of where to begin, there are plenty of online tutorials and guides to help get your creative juices flowing.
  • Functional decorations. If you are trying to stick to a budget, it is a good idea to buy functional decorations that not only look great in a space but also save the need to buy multiple items. Mirrors, wine racks and storage boxes can make a statement in a room, whilst also being practical.

Finishing Touches

  • Add a touch of artwork. Buying professional artwork to display in your home can be expensive! If you think that your wall is missing that extra something, why not make your own artwork? You don’t need to spend hours painting a masterpiece to make your own artwork. Consider stretching a piece of fabric over a canvas and stapling it in place for a simple look or frame some postcards or images from an old calendar to make a gallery display.
  • Plant perfection. Houseplants have several benefits including reducing stress, improving air quality and increasing productivity. To enjoy the benefits that these plants offer, make sure to add a few into your space. Whether you want an assortment of mini succulents or a tall Bird of Paradise plant, there is plenty of ways that you can incorporate these splashes of greenery into your home.

If you want some inspiration to get you started, our Heathbourne Village show home was created by Carrie Edwards, Design Director for Claude Hooper Interior Design Consultancy to demonstrate a luxurious design that could be replicated by aspirational first-time buyers. Alternatively, if decorating isn’t your thing, this spacious Shared Ownership home is available, with buyers able to keep the furniture, curtains, pictures, and mirrors on display!