Thursday, February 11, 2010

Five On The Cheap Decorating Tips

I really look forward to the "On the Cheap" feature in the Home & Garden section of The New York Times.  I have no idea what this looks like in print, but online it is a great interactive tour of the experience between designer and client....client who is on a serious budget like most of us.  They are paired by The Times and really have no say in the design aesthetic a la the TLC show Trading Spaces.  But, instead of Hildi covering your walls with straw or vinyl records, the results are quite stunning, and the designers are always full of great tips for economical decorating.

My favorite...not by style, but by sheer number wallet-friendly ideas....has been the collaboration of John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of John Locke, Inc. on the Brooklyn bedroom of Judith and Robert HoSang.  A budget of $1500 goes fast when redoing a room (especially when furniture, lighting, and accessories needs to be purchased), so I say kudos to this team! 


Top 5 Take Aways from this design project:

1- Create architectural details with paint.  The room was basically a box, but by taping off a trim when painting, it looks like there is molding present.  I am definitely going to utilize this in my ongoing via procrastination kitchen/living room painting project.  Just see what a huge difference it makes below. 

2- Don't overlook Ebay and Craigslist when hunting for furniture.  You have the world, or city, at your fingertips, and if you are looking for something very specific (ie - Louis XV chair) you can hit a gold mine.  For instance, the couple bought the bed unfinished on Ebay for $285 and spray painted it black.  That is a steal.

3- Large rugs can be incredibly expensive, and kind of a bummer if it is going underneath a bed where the majority of it will be hidden.  Tape the underside of two (or four) 5x7 rugs to get the extra large dimension at a reasonable price.  The busier or more graphic the pattern, the better.  Urban Outfitters is a great place to find budget friendly rugs.

4- I love 'salon style' grouping of framed art and photos.  Reminiscent of art salons in Paris, this mish mash style places art in a puzzle-like bundle on the wall instead of in rows or lined up.   I think the room would have benefited from hanging the pictures by the chair instead of using the picture shelves.   It just would have looked more 'finished' don't you think?

5- Don't forget the windows!  This is the icing for any room, and I must say I am guilty of having an unadorned window in my bedroom.  Window treatments don't have to be girly, lacy, fussy, or long and fabricy.  Go with a roman or roller shade for a clean, but polished look.

Photos courtesy of New York Times (Ruby Washington & Donna Alberico)

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