Furnishing Your Home on Different Budgets With Trend Designs
Moving into your first home is such an exciting milestone, and once you’re in, you want to have that Pinterest-perfect home straight away. But suddenly you realise there’s a lot of space to fill and a lot of decorating to do. So, when it comes to making your new house feel like home, budgeting is key.
We spoke to Abbey Emmerson, founder of Trend Designs, who has worked in the design industry for over 20 years, about the best ways of furnishing your first home on different budgets.
Which rooms would you recommend on focusing first with a small budget?
A: I would always focus on either a bedroom or a lounge, as these are your key spaces to relax in at the end of a busy day. If these rooms are finished, at least you have them to retreat to, and they can be done on a relatively low budget.
Some new furniture, a statement mirror, slide lamps, artwork and decorative accessories can all make a real difference. So can a lick of paint, a new light fitting or even a rug (if carpet isn’t in the budget just yet). You may also be able to upcycle some existing furniture by doing small things like painting them, or changing handles for example. If you do need any new furniture, do your research and maybe just focus on the key pieces until you have more in the budget.
You just listed a few, but what kind of room updates make the most impact on a small budget?
A: Definitely a fresh coat of paint, a feature wall of wallpaper or paint in a statement colour. Then updating the soft furnishings or adding some new artwork, which you can do yourself if you’re feeling creative.
These small changes will make a big impact on the space for a relatively small budget. Be brave with your feature wall - this is a great way to introduce a colour into your design which can then be further introduced into cushions, artwork or a throw. Lighting will also make a difference to a space. Lighting has come such a long way over the years, and there are some interesting pieces out there on the high street as well as online.
For things like paint, would you recommend the premium brands or getting a colour mixed?
A: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the premium brands, although some of these are definitely worth looking at for colour inspiration and quality. You could then use this inspiration to get the colours mixed, as this is a great way to achieve the colours you want at a better cost. But it’s worth bearing in mind that the premium brands may be on sale or offer, so it’s always worth shopping around and doing your research.
How long does it take to update a room?
A: This would depend on a number of factors, for example, the size of the space and which room you are updating. Always plan, compare, decide and organise. I always say: ‘’To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail’’.
If it’s just a simple job, such as a quick freshen up of a bedroom or a lounge with a lick of paint, new furniture and accessories, I would allow 1-2 weeks. You also need to factor in delivery times of items and be realistic, especially if you have several trades organised. You don’t want to have delays and people hanging around waiting for things to turn up.
It would also be interesting to hear your opinion on upcycling and recycling as well as using unusual items to update decors.
A: I love being able to include recycled and upcycled items into any interior, whether it’s an eclectic mix of upcycled dining chairs around a modern dining table or vice versa. I love this mix of old with new and bringing old pieces of furniture back to life. We, as human beings, are always reinventing ourselves to keep current and move forward, so this should be the case with our interiors.
There are lots of great flea markets and upcycling sections within local waste disposal sites that are definitely worth looking out for, as well as your local charity shops. As the saying goes, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. Be open minded when you are looking for your treasure, it may not be the whole piece you can use, and there may be a chest of drawers with some great architectural ironmongery that catches your eye. You can also upcycle clothes to make cushions and panels in curtains. The options really are endless, and you can have such fun as well as knowing you are helping the environment.
If you’re looking for some interior design inspiration, Abbey has also collated her top interior design tips for you to follow here!