Last month, Cityline expert Shai DeLuca joined us at our EQ3 Flagship store in Liberty Village for a special How-To Design Event. Shai’s a pro at designing for less, as seen on CityTV’s Cityline, where he regularly dishes out savvy decor ideas on Thursday’s Home Day. So it was only fitting that Shai revealed 10 of his best budget decorating tips at the How-To event, followed by a Q&A session, where Shai answered audience members’ design dilemmas live!
Cityline’s camera crew was there to film the whole thing. You can watch Cityline online for excerpts from the event (the show aired last week Thursday, July 4th), but we thought we’d recap Shai’s top tips for you here on the blog.
Shai’s Top 10 Tips for Budget Decorating
1. Train your eye. Know what great high-end design pieces look like so that you can have them in mind while hunting at discount or big box stores, flea markets or thrift shops.
2. Be patient. Wait for floor sample sales (usually July and/or January) to get good deals and don’t feel like you have to race to finish your space. You want to find the right thing at the right price, not just anything at the right price.
3. Paint a piece of furniture (or a few) glossy black. This works on junk shop finds or new pieces with cheesy finishes.
4. Spend some money. All “on-the-cheap” rooms just look cheap, not chic. Every room needs a few splurges – special pieces that announce their quality. Decide what “splurge” means to you and do it!
5. Just say no to boring mass produced “art”. Instead, get creative with large collages made from wrapping paper, wallpaper scraps or maps. Paint a large canvas with leftover paints. Stretch fabric over stretcher bars. Pop kids art into off-the-shelf frames with mattes. Hang a beautifully patterned fabric from wooden dowels. Something from Marimekko would work well here.
6. Go big with accessories. Many tiny items make a place look cluttered and cheap. Instead opt for large scale accessories like standing floor vases, plump floor cushions, or pillar candles rather than tea-lights.
7. Use texture. Combine shiny, matte, soft and rough natural textures to add richness to a space. Sparkle always adds a dash of glamour.
8. Don’t scrimp on the size of your area rug. Many nice rooms are ruined by the use of a postage-stamp sized rug. Can’t find one big enough and don’t want to spend the earth: go to a broadloom store and order a piece to be cut and bound (choose a sisal look-a-like in wool or synthetic fiber).
9. Decorate with black and white. Just like with fashion, these colors (or non-colors) never look tired and combined can result in dramatic spaces that look like their total price tag was much higher than the actual cost.
10. Buy gutsy lamps. Lighting is often an after-thought when decorating on a budget but spindly, too-small lamps are a common faux-pas. Instead, layer your lighting (overhead, task, ambient), switch bulbs to halogen or natural daylight bulbs, and buy lamps that have a sculptural appeal.
Which of Shai’s tips is your favourite? Leave a comment and let us know!