iStyle: Chic on the cheap

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A new design bible promises stylish interiors on a shoestring budget. Trish Lorenz takes a sneak peak

Improve, don’t move, seems to be the new British mantra. Research commissioned by Ikea this month as part of  its Life at Home report claims that 56 per cent  of two-person households have lived in their homes for more than 10 years.

If you’re one of those staying put and want to update your interiors but are on a tight budget, it’s worth checking out Thrifty Chic by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell, which is published in paperback this month.

As the title suggests, the book focuses on how to create an individual and stylish interiors without spending a fortune, with decorating ideas for each room, advice on key elements such as fabrics, paint and lighting and a selection of easy to make projects.

Budget decorating requires patience, focus and attention to detail says co-author Alexandra Campbell. “Thrift requires time,” she says. “You can’t expect  to sort it all out at once.  Don’t rush to buy the first thing you see; look around the auctions, garage sales and online to get a feel  for what you like.”

The secret to achieving a sophisticated look rather than student-style feel  is to give you home a sense of cohesion: find a colour  or era you like and reference it throughout the space.  It’s also worth splurging  on one key item.

“It’s good to have one extravagance in a room, a large, beautiful mirror or expensive wallpaper or a really good sofa,” Campbell says. “It will draw the eye and add that wow moment and you can decorate around it with simple, cheap pieces.”

And while auctions, eBay and garage sales are always a good source of bargains, today’s high street also offers affordable pieces. To make the most of a tight budget, take the time to scout around, looking at different brands and prices before you start to spend. “Focus on what you really need and don’t buy things just because they’re a bargain,” she says.

 

Get the look: five products under £50 that will jazz up your living space

A statement mirror can make an instant focal point. Freestanding mirror, £39, littlewoods.com

Cushions and other textiles are a simple and effective way to update a room and you can find good selections on the high street for under £15, such as this antique floral print cushion, £12, next.co.uk

Good lighting can change the mood of a room at the flick of a switch and the high street has a broad selection of styles. BHS (bhs.co.uk) is worth a visit, as is Sainsbury’s for this Matilda clear glass ceiling light, £18.75, sainsburys.co.uk

Set a large bunch of flowers and quirky trinket on this round side table and you’ll give a room a focal point an interior designer would be proud of. Sapporo bamboo side table, £49, marksandspencer.com

Candles can be a game-changer come evening. Turn the lights off and light candles throughout the room for an instant atmosphere lift. Stockholm candle holders, £10 for three, ikea.com

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat