Great Style on a Budget

I love the fact that you can still achieve a stylish home without spending crazy amounts of money, if you just think creatively. And this home is a perfect example of that. It's the home of Hilary Robertson, Alastair McCowan, and their son Gus. The family moved from England to New York for Alastair's work. With the high cost of living, the couple used their unique skill set to furnish their new home.

Hilary is an interiors stylist, and Alastair has a talent for rehabilitating all sorts of unloved items, turning them into works of art. While working for Canvas, a line of furniture by Ochre, Hilary asked to be paid with a Chesterfield sofa instead of cash. Weekends were spent scouring antique stores looking for bargains. Alastair bought a trash can for $2 from the Brooklyn Flea, spray painted it and turned it into a wire chandelier for the living room.

Ersatz "French" chairs ($50 for the pair from an antique show) with a few coats of gray paint,
a layer of shoe polish, and muslin loosely stapled to the seats and backs.

Behind the doors a red metal trunk picked up from an antique store for $40.

The Chesterfield sofa that Hilary got paid instead of cash; the pool measuring board was $40
at an antiques centre; a leather pouf that has been shredded by the cats hides under a throw;
and Alastair's wire light shade looks fantastic.

Hilary buys industrial metal bases and marries them with marble tops for her store.

Antique mirrors collected by Alastair line the mantel piece.

This table was a steal marked down from $3000 to $350, and the chairs came from the Antique Garage.

The nightstands were brought over from England and Hilary has outlined them in chalkboard paint
to give them some definition, and tie in with the black lamps.

The window cut-outs were display objects that Hilary bought from West Elm for $50.

Antique dressing mirrors and plaster friezes collected by Alastair.

The mirror dressing table was $150 at Brimfield.

Hilary found this mannequin at a stoop sale in her neighbourhood.

Alastair embraced the darker bottom floor of the apartment and painted it with chalkboard paint. Everything pops against it including the orange chalk flames.

Hilary has since opened her own vintage store, Mrs Robertson, featuring furniture and accessories she collects for life and work.