5 Ways to Design on a Dime

July 3, 2014 Leave a comment
CORT furniture | Bangles & Bungalows

1. Take Generic Pieces from Drab to Fab

Think of a generic piece as a blank canvas and improve it without breaking the bank. Sew piping in a contrasting color to the edges of your pillows. Distress a plain dining table and mix and match the chairs. Affix modern golden handles to old cabinets for an instant update. Cover the lower legs of a wooden stool with neon paint for a dipped effect.

Tip: When considering how to elevate a generic item, make sure the new design shares a common feature (color, material, pattern or shape) with something else in the room so it ties in easily.

2. Build your own Headboard 

It’s simpler than you think and you will save a bundle in the process. I followed this easy tutorial from Design*Sponge to create my own headboard. Start with a rectangular piece of wood. Or you can trace a pattern to create your own shape and use a jigsaw to cut it. I asked someone at Home Depot to help me. You also need foam, batting, your fabric of choice, and a few tools. It’s a fun weekend project that you can brag about.

Tip: I had the wood cut the same day as I bought it. To improvise a pattern, we used the bottom of a trashcan at Home Depot to draw rounded edges for the headboard.

CORT furniture | Bangles & Bungalows

3. Invest in Key Pieces that Last a Lifetime 

Choose a couple larger items like a rug or couch that you want to invest in. Select well-constructed pieces with clean lines which will stay with you throughout any move and stand the test of time. By basing your décor on a couple of well-designed pieces, you can save money on the rest of the items, while still maintaining a high-end feel.

Tip: For small spaces, keep bigger pieces in the same color family as your walls and/or flooring to prevent them from overwhelming the room.

4. Scour the Flea Markets 

One woman’s trash is another’s treasure. Or perhaps, it may still look like trash to you when you see it at the flea market. The key is to find a piece with good bones. With the right structure, almost anything can be reupholstered, redesigned, or cleaned up and made like new. And who knows? When you put love into something, it may become your favorite piece in the house! These pieces add personality and can especially make a short-term rental feel more like a home for only pocket change. Check out this flea market directory to find one in your area.

Tip: Start a conversation with the seller and get them to warm up to you. Always dress down (leave expensive jewelry at home) so they focus on what you say and not what you are wearing. Chances are you’ll get a better price.


CORT furniture | Bangles & Bungalows

5. Furniture Rental 

Try a short-term furniture rental company like CORT furniture. CORT can furnish an entire apartment or home in two days. They offer discounts of up to 70% off retail. The rental lineup consists of traditional to more modern pieces and is constantly refreshed. This type of solution can come in handy in numerous situations such as: temporary relocation, student apartments and disasters. Students or flood relief victims could furnish a living room, dining room and bedroom for only $1400.

Tip: Looking to accessorize for less? Hit up the clearance section at furniture rental companies like CORT for deep discounts.


All images taken at CORT Furniture at 12409 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044.

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