Secrets of Southern Design – Rooms on a Budget
Many people will think that they cannot use an interior designer AND design on a budget at the same time. This is simply not true! The very first thing I do when I am brought into a design project is sit down with my client and talk through their ideas, vision and most importantly, budget! While it is always fun to work with a “the skies the limit” attitude, some of my most rewarding rooms have been done while being conscious of wallets. It is in these projects, sometimes, that we find creative ways to reuse furniture or pull in family antiques. You would be surprised what a fresh coat of paint or a reupholstered chair or sofa can do!
Take this room that I recently did a complete makeover on for example. At first glance – you might think we had to search high and low for some of these pieces and immediately dismiss it as above your means.
Armoire – This was a piece that we had in our warehouse that had minor damage, so we fixed it up and was literally a “steal.” It was a yucky oak color and I did not know if there would ever be a use for it… but, I had a vision. “Let’s paint it!” Let’s paint it emerald green (the 2013 Pantone Color of the year!). So, we did! We added the gold accents and it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture I have worked with all year. Definitely one I will always remember. We were actually able to use their old armoire as well and and cleverly turned it into a bar (not pictured).
Orange Chest – The little orange chest that you see pictured above was an accent piece that we painted, and I think it came out fabulous!
Chandeliers – Again, we painted them! Yes, this is getting really creative, but when you are working with someone that knows what they are doing (an experienced designer, painter, etc), then they have the ability, the skills and the tools to turn your vision into reality. If not, believe me, we will be the first to tell you – and then offer suggestions and other options. And, if you are as crazy about chandeliers as me, here is a post I wrote about them a few months ago.
Sofa – With the money we saved on the armoire and the sofa, we were able to put the funds into this ultra-comfy sofa. The intention of this room is for a family of five to lounge and watch TV, so the key components of this room that will be getting the most wear and tear needed to be durable and long lasting.
As a Southern designer I am very conscious of budget and sometimes look to our heritage to save on dollars. I might first ask a client are there heirlooms or an old piece that Aunt Betty left to you? Most of the time, they have the piece but they don’t always love it but do feel obligated to use it. This is when I know I will have the ability to breathe new life into it perhaps with a coat of paint or some other method.