Whether you are a resident or landlord, often the purchase of the property itself swallows most of your budget and leaves little to get it’s interior designing done. It is possible to not only get it furnished adequately on a tight budget but for it also to look great. Don’t believe us, take a look at these insider tips from our designers.
There are some things that are a false economy to skimp on, moreover they will remind you every time you walk into the room or use them. The bed in the master bedroom and the sofa in the living room should be statement pieces that are comfortable and stylish. It’s worth prioritising these in the budget as they are a long-term investment that are unlikely to change with furnishing trends.
Image description – Diamond range installed at a Buy-to-let property – Kensington High Street
Let there be light
Having a single main ceiling light in a room can feel stark and unwelcoming; a simple designer technique is to have several lower points of light that will feel soothing and cosy. Lamps can be bought inexpensively and having a few positioned around the room will make a huge difference to the mood. They can also be changed easily along with interior design trends and your own tastes.
Image description -Tailor made package installed at a Showflat – Pimlico
Having a variety of side tables helps to make the space feel well thought out and homely, it also helps you to ‘stage’ larger items of furniture such as the sofa, the bed or armchair. The surface area the side tables provide also gives you plenty of scope to position personal touches such as picture frames, ornaments and lamps. Try to avoid shelves though, until you have a clear plan for the space – they tend to be so useful that you stop seeing them as a focal point and a way to showcase pieces and they become a place to amass clutter. Furnishing packs are a great place to start as they have already been put together by an interior designer to achieve a high-end look and are competitively priced.
Image description – Diamond range installed at a Buy-to-let property – Goodmans Field
Clever with colour
It might be tempting to go wild with bold colours at first but it’s best to take your time and choose wisely. This is especially true if you are on a budget, you may love that cobalt blue or burnt sienna at first but after a while you’ll want to change it and you’ll have to find the time and budget to do so. Instead, go for neutrals on the walls until you get a feel for the space and its light. Any bold colours you like you can always use in splashes on the soft furnishings, these are also easy to change if you change your mind.
Image description – Tailor made package installed at client’s summer home – Goodmans Field
Cut a rug
Things we subconsciously notice as we enter a room are the window dressings and the flooring. Off-the-peg window dressings can look shabby and poor quality carpet always shows, so if you are trying to achieve a high end look on a budget, it may feel like an impasse. Interior designers may have bulging contact books for this but there are companies that will measure, make and hang window dressings to order at a reasonable price, for example all our window dressings are manufactured in house so we can offer quality at strictly controlled prices. Wool carpets can blow the budget but wool rugs won’t, so sand and varnish wooden floors (or lay wooden boards over concrete) and buy either one statement rug or smaller beautiful scatter rugs for the room.
Image description -Gold range installed at a Buy-to-let property – Battersea Power Station
The Devil’s in the detail
Soft furnishings have been mentioned a few times with good reason – they are a simple and inexpensive way to dress the space to give it the high-end look. They allow you to introduce and experiment with colour schemes until you are happy and confident with the effect. They also don’t cost a great deal to change if you aren’t happy with the effect. A neutral coloured sofa can be lifted with a beautiful woven blanket and scatter cushions in harmonious colours. Something that is also worth noting is that not all soft furnishings have to be temporary – for example treating yourself to luxurious, good quality bed linen or bath towels in neutral tones will serve you well and won’t have to be replaced, simply accented with stronger colours, as you decide your vision for the space.
Image description – Diamond range installed at a Showflat – Kew Bridge
Tempting as it may be as soon as you have bought a property, to rush to decorate the space and buy the furnishings you’ve added to your Pinterest. But it just isn’t practical and often isn’t affordable. Better to stick to neutrals with splashes of colour on soft furnishings until you’ve lived in the space and have a better plan for what you want to achieve. For a high end look without the price tag, try furnishing packages that have already had an interior designer’s touch and then mix and match smaller items to suit your style and budget. If you want further advice on how to make the space look great, then contact the team who will be happy to help.