Decorate without blowing the budget

With the change of seasons often comes the desire to refresh and update your interiors, but there's also that new pair of boots you have your eye on, or that amazing coat! There are plenty of ways you can breathe new life into your home without blowing the budget, and I'm going to share a few of my faves.

Bring the outdoors in. Flowers and foliage always looks beautiful in your home, adding life and texture. You don't need to spend a lot of money at a florist, just look to your garden. Sometimes the simplest arrangements are the best.

Clean and declutter. It goes without saying that the easiest way to make your home look good is to clean and declutter it. I love knick knacks and ornaments, but I'm careful to only have pieces that I absolutely love. Look around your house at the things you have on display, if they're not beautiful, sentimental, or functional, let them go. Once you've done this, rearrange your shelves and table tops to create new vignettes with your favourite possessions. Your home will look and feel lighter as well as tidier.

Change your layout. Regularly changing the vignettes around my home keeps things fresh and interesting. The same applies to furniture. Changing the layout of your room can transform your space. Pull your sofa out from the wall, swap pieces from another room, move pieces around, it's fun creating a new look using your existing furniture.

Get out your paintbrush. Paint is one of the simplest ways to transform a room, and is much cheaper than new furniture. You may want to freshen everything with a crisp white, or get brave and introduce colour. If you're not sure about which colour to choose, talk to us, we love working on colour palettes for our clients.

Display your kids' art. Kids often create the best art - they're not afraid to go crazy and they have a certain freedom about their creations. One of my favourite pieces I've seen online is a bedhead made by a teenager and her friends on a simple canvas drop-cloth.

Get crafty. Don't leave it all to the kids, get in touch with your own inner artist and crafter. Are there any pieces of furniture that you can repurpose or breathe new life into? I love this simple side table created by a stack of magazines on a piece of wood with caster wheels. What a great use of all those magazines you have lying around.

Here are a couple of cool DIY projects that I came across recently (click on the image to see how to make them)... I love the wall hangings and they will add great texture to a room.

The pressed flowers hark back to my first suggestion to bring the outdoors in. You take the glass from two equal size frames, place your pressed flower or foliage between the two and tape together with strong white tape creating a frame - love that!

I hope you find at least one thing in this post that you want to try. Remember, it's your home, the choices you make should reflect you, and make you happy when you walk through the door. Change is as good as a holiday.

Favourite Space | Florence Charvin

Dael & I are really excited to be bringing you a new series of blog posts called "Favourite Spaces". We are surrounded by amazing, clever people and we wanted to share these people with you, and show you the places they love the most. You'll usually find creative people in cool surroundings, and that's definitely the case with the lovely Florence Charvin.

Florence is an amazing photographer, and will be our photographer for all of our Fave Spaces posts. I've featured her on the blog before here and here. Originally from France, she's now a true blue Hawke's Bay-ite and has recently moved into a cute wee cottage in Clive with her three young children.

Florence's favourite space is her dining nook and kitchen. When she moved into the house the kitchen was very old and dated. Although she couldn't afford a super flash kitchen, she has managed to create a beautiful space on a tiny budget. The old cupboard doors and bench top have been replaced with plywood and cut-away detailing instead of handles. Planks of wood on metal braces provide more storage, and the wall hung cupboards were kept, but with the fronts removed.

The open storage means all of Florence's beautiful pieces are on display. Gorgeous pottery and old tins collected over the years, and jars filled with kitchen staples.

The bench seats in the dining nook are made from concrete blocks, topped with a wooden seat and layered with cosy throws - ingenious! So simple, really comfy, and in keeping with Florence's style.

Each "Favourite Spaces" post will have a wee Q&A so we can get to know our creative peeps a bit better...

What do you love about this space?
I love the fact that it's where we all meet to have our meals and be together, work, do homework, play games...

Who helped with your renovation?
I loved that space from the moment we moved in, and I knew I wanted it to look clean, open and cosy. So I painted it myself straight away in black and white, and my friend Rowe provided the plywood that replaced all the old surfaces and cupboards doors. My sister-n-law, Megan, was great with advice, like keeping the cupboard on the wall but getting rid of the doors so they look like modern shelves; and I also wanted comfortable window seats to go around the kitchen table, and she suggested using those concrete blocks, which were really cheap and really useful for storing my cookbooks.

Do you have any advice for people decorating on a budget?
Just work with what you've got and improve it with paint in a colour that's really you. Bring in some fun and modern items (like the concrete blocks, a nice table, plants etc).

Getting to know you better:
What's you favourite time of day?
When the light is soft and beautiful, either early morning or late at night.

Who or what inspires you?
There are a lot of clever, interesting people around, but I am the most inspired by people who are excited about life and it's possibilities.

What are you reading at the moment?
I love reading, in particular French writers. I am reading Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" (Swann's Way).

Sweet or savoury?
Savoury!! Even when I was little I would ask for cheese and olives as a treat rather than chocolate or cake.

Favourite drink?
Chai tea, and Champagne for special occasions.

Favourite thing in your home?
My vintage mirror collection. I have loads of them, I love their various shapes and the light they reflect back in the house.

Top of your wish list for your home?
A beautiful industrial lamp to go above my kitchen table and a large vintage Cathrineholm enamel bowl in black or yellow.

Thank you so much Florence for inviting us into your home, and for joining us on this journey of favourite spaces. I think you'll agree Florence has a beautiful style and you can see that reflected in her work - Fotographie by Florence Charvin. I hope you come along on the journey as well, and meet all of the clever and interesting people we know.

Decorating on a Budget

This 'decorating on a budget' post is based on one very creative Dutch home...

washi tape adds design to an object as well as holding up photos and cards,
and string wrapped around a vase or bottle is delightfully simple and effective

It's a beautiful home with a lovely soft base colour palette. And with the help of washi tape and twine the owner has cleverly incorporated touches of neon pink throughout in a simple and temporary way. It's a fun and very inexpensive way to decorate, and easily removed when you feel like a change. 

Source: Planet Deco via VT Wonen

Why not try one or all of these ideas? And, of course, you could use any colour you like. You can find washi tape here or here, and try coloured cord from here or here.