Interior designer Marin Deen Wilson of Marin Design Co. proves that a few carefully considered changes can breathe new life into a space without busting the budget. For a Land Park bungalow that she revamped for a mother and her young daughter, Wilson retained existing furnishings when feasible, accessorized with off-the-shelf decor and painted where necessary to freshen up rooms—all to beautiful effect.
“Being a designer is all about budgeting,” explains Wilson. “We may have a vision for a $10,000 couch, but in order to make that work, we are always trying to be crafty with the other pieces.”
Wilson stretches design dollars by sourcing trendier pieces from big-box retailers and scouring antiques fairs for unique accessories that have an enduring style. “I love having a vintage piece next to, say, a lamp from Target. We are all about styling with a mixture of high and low.”
Wilson offers these tips for filling a home with style without draining the bank account:
- Consider keeping, not replacing, kitchen cabinets if they are in decent condition. “Using what you do have will bring the budget down significantly. You also have the option of replacing just the upper cabinets and keeping the lower ones.”
- Add plants or simple greenery to soften the space. “Even if it’s just stopping at Trader Joe’s and getting some fresh stems, or plants from local nursery, it makes a world of difference to bring a green element into your home.”
- Coffee-table books add easy style to a room. “We get a ton of these on Amazon. They look great layered with other items.” Used bookstores are another great resource.
- Retailers like Target and HomeGoods are great for picking up accessories, but consider looking elsewhere for hardworking pieces like sofas in order to get better quality. “I don’t like to buy furniture for high-traffic areas [from big-box stores]. I want heavy-duty pieces in that instance.”