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Home Decorating on a Budget: 20 Thrifty Tips and Tricks

 Published on February 21, 2023 by Jamie Forbes 


Decorating your home can be a fun and creative process, but it can also be expensive, leading many people to avoid it. However, decorating on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a beautiful and personalized space. Whether you live in an apartment in Round Rock, TX, or a house in New Haven, CT, use these 20 expert tips to help transform your house or apartment into a home.

1. Plan and prioritize 

 Before you start shopping and decorating, make a list of the areas of your home that you want to decorate and prioritize them based on your budget and needs. “This involves visiting furniture stores, looking at vignettes and designs online, and browsing color palettes,” says Billy and Gail Briggs, owners of La Maison in Memphis, TN. “Once you have an idea of what you want, you can jump in and revitalize your space.”Jackie Barnes, owner of Jackie Barnes Design, suggests asking yourself, ‘what would make me happy?’ “Jot down the changes you most want to see in your space without any thought about price,” she says. “Then, choose your top two or three items. Prioritize spending in these areas to help you stay within your budget.” 

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Bathroom Tile Design

Working in the tile business for over a year and then some, I learned to appreciate the diversity and learned alot about porcelain verses ceramic and natural stone.  WOW tile is one of my favorites.  They have unique 3D tile that can be used just about anywhere and fits most any style.  They  are priced conservatively and offer a wide variety.  When shopping for tile there is alot to consider such as the use of the space, the lighting, and the flooring of the space.  In a bathroom space, you don't want it to be a slipping hazard.  Something with a little texture or that is rated non slip is essential.  Especially when designing a bathroom for special needs.  If you have questions about any tile, please feel free to reach out to us.  We are here for you!

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2020 Design Trend Predictions Are In (Architectural Digest)

 Here’s what to expect from design this year, according to our very stylish crystal ball December 27, 2019First and foremost, congrats on making it to the end of the decade. What a time! We've certainly seen a lot: Millennial pink! Memphis! Hygge! Plants! Sheepskins! Remember chevron? Anyway, enough of the past…let's look to the future, shall we? In order to gauge a sense of coming trends and sound knowledgable at parties, I asked a few of my coworkers, a few designers, and some generally cool people to tell me what they think is going to be all the rage in 2020. So sit back, relax, and take notes, because I'd bet the success of my New Year's party small talk on the fact that these trends will be everywhere sooner than you think.

Blockier Shapes"We don't tend to examine trends too much, but what we've personally been interested in recently are blockier, more graphic shapes. There have been a lot of soft, amorphous, almost cuddly shapes dominating design and interiors for the last couple of years. We love these, but are really enjoying working on heavier, more brutalist pieces at the moment, like our new I Chair—it's still comfortable, but has a more assertive presence."—Emma Jay of Los Angeles–based design studio Estudio Persona

Beautiful Storage"I think beautiful wall storage will have a moment. I just bought one of the Joe Colombo Boby Carts after months of searching for the most visually pleasing way to store my art supplies. Because so many people are tapping into their creative sides and making things with their own hands—an antidote to our work culture, which is so focused on screen time—they'll need storage solutions for their crafts. And while we always want things to look beautiful, when you think of wall storage, beautiful isn't the first word that comes to mind. But I think we'll be seeing more options like this wall storage because this…this is something."—Erika Owen, associate director, audience development, Clever 

 Statement Doorknobs and Pulls"We're always telling anyone who will listen that replacing doorknobs and cabinet hardware is one of the easiest home upgrades you can make—and it's totally rental-friendly! But I predict 2020 is the year those everyday necessities will finally steal the spotlight. I was blown away by the pair of eye doorknobs Nick DeMarco made for Ellen Van Dusen's house. Ditto, Green River Project's collection of gorgeous wooden cabinet pulls. And OMG these resin door handles by Doug McCollough and Katie Payne for L.A. Door. Move over, status ceramic!"—Sydney Wasserman, special projects director, CleverKindercore“I love the chance to latch onto and trash-talk a new trend in equal measure (hello, millennial pink), so when New York magazine invented the concept of Kindercore, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Sure, it takes a lot of ideas from movements we've seen before like Bauhaus and Memphis Milano, but it's also just a great word to categorize this "Lego, but make it fashion" concept. It combines a slew of Clever-approved styles like color blocking, bright hues, and strong geometric designs, and I think we'll be seeing it pop up everywhere from cafe interiors to furniture collaborations.Since Pantone has announced that the color of the year is Classic Blue, something very close to our fave Hyper Blue, I see bright, buzzing primary colors as a fresh way to begin a new decade. It's like we're starting from the beginning with a chance to build a foundation from childlike colors and simple shapes. Kindercore gives your brain a minute of relief and fun, and honestly, some much-needed lightheartedness."—Zoe Sessums, associate editor, Clever

Ceramic Furniture"Ceramics are having a big moment and we are beginning to see new forms appear, not just in accessories and lighting, but in seating, tables, and more. Designers such as Eny Lee Parker and Chris Wolston have shown us there is no limit to what you can create with ceramics. These handmade pieces are a great way to incorporate a conversation piece into a space with a unique story of how it came to be."—Aric Yeakey & Jared Heinrich of Love House, a showroom and gallery space in New York CityVintage Maximalism"Vintage maximalism—lots of color, warmth, antiques and eclectic touches—is about to be huge. I think in the age of social media (which feels like it's at an all-time high point??), we are all craving our own unique stamp on our spaces. We are looking for unknown and unnamed pieces to make our personal spaces stand out from the crowd."—Tali Roth, interior designerTexture Galore"Putting my personal (and strong) feelings about this glorious trend aside, let's look to the experts, shall we? We saw an array of textures and colors juxtaposing each other quite seamlessly at Design Miami this year, from balancing out quirky faux-fur pieces with colorful woods, a la AGO Projects, to the quadruple threat that is the Jonathan Trayte lounge chair finished with marble, cowhide, steel, and woven polyester."—Gabriela Ulloa, assistant to the editor in chief, ADA New "It" Chair"Designed for the Swiss Dietiker Mobilier in the '70s, the dining chair by Bruno Rey is about to be everywhere. In general, I think interest will continue to move away from now-ubiquitous midcentury and deeper into the '70s and '80s. I first saw [the chairs] pop up on Home Union's Instagram a couple of months ago, and have since noticed them being used in new restaurants Onda (by Sqirl's Jessica Koslow and Contramar's Gabriela Cámara) in L.A., and Sincerely Tommy's new vegan restaurant ST Eat & Stay. On top of that, Flynn McGarry of Gem (which now features a beautiful rendition of Josef Hoffmann's bentwood and cane chair) snagged a lot of his own from Home Union. If restaurants are any indication of where design is headed, get ready to see these chairs all over Instagram soon."—Wes Johnson, designer, CleverThe Plywood Vase by Pezzi is the ultimate example of modern trompe l'oeil. Courtesy of Bi-Rite StudiosTrompe L'Oeil"Trompe l'oeil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture. As we move away from traditional modernism, there's been a continuing return of figurativism in visual arts, and with it, we're also moving into more organic forms in furniture. Classical ornamentalism is having a very good moment, and I think this will become more mainstream in 2020.I'm personally thrilled to see this revival because trompe l'oeil is one of my favorite design movements! It borrows from neoclassical ornamentalism and has most recently manifested through the guise of postmodern design, which we've seen in the furniture of Robert Venturi, Garry Knox Bennett, and Piero Fornasetti, among others. It's been most recently represented in the collective works of several contemporary furniture designers and in the visual arts. I think we can expect to see a lot more of this come forward in ceramics, furniture design, and textiles."—Cat Snodgrass from Bi-Rite Studios, a New York–based 20th-century and contemporary design store 

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The NKBA List: 5 Hot Techorating Trends

 Techorating — updating or furnishing a home incorporating technology — is remodeling’s Latest Essential. By Danielle KarrFor 2019, having a stunning and spacious kitchen simply isn’t enough. People are looking for fresh ways to make their lives simpler and more beautiful, and smart home technology is this year’s essential addition for any modern kitchen. Thanks to the growing number of devices that are coming online, it’s easier than ever to make “techorating” a central component of any remodel or new design. Here are five of the hottest trends for kitchen technology for projects in the year ahead. 

VOICE CONTROL A voice control device is a quick and easy way to add the convenience of technology to a kitchen. Right out of the box, homeowners will have the ability to use voice control for music streaming, kitchen timers, reminders, and even hands-free recipes. If the home has any smart door locks, automated lights, smart thermostats, or other connected devices, voice control can most likely integrate with those products as well provide touch-free home control.Where to get started with this trend:Amazon Echo Devices

SMART STOVE KNOB Turn any existing stove into a smart stove with an easy knob replacement. Smart knobs allow homeowners to set cook times and burner settings, use voice commands, and access the stove remotely on a mobile device. Some devices will even send reminders to a smart device about when to flip, stir, or add ingredients to a recipe. If a user desires, the stove can even shut off if there is no motion detected for a period of time, preventing stove fires or accidental burns. Homeowners will love the peace of mind these knobs provide.Where to get started with this trend:INIRV Smart Stove Knobs 

SMART LIGHTING Dwindling are the days when lighting is controlled with a simple switch. In 2019, the hot trend for lighting is all about the scenes and moods that lighting can set through home automation, allowing lighting brightness, color, focus, and mood to easily be adjusted by users. For example, a homeowner can select a lighting configuration that is brighter for kitchen prep and cooking, and then, with those same lights, have another configuration that sets more of a low-light, warmer entertaining mood later in the same space. Easily achieve this in a kitchen by selecting a lighting brand or smart-home brand that offers a “scene” capability for lighting.Where to get started with this trend:Control4 Smart LightingMOTORIZED CABINETSMotorized cabinets are beneficial for kitchen convenience as well as accessibility. A kitchen cabinet lift solution transforms a kitchen into a clean, accessible paradise. With the touch of a button, cabinets quickly and quietly lower to the countertop level to access stored kitchen appliances. This techorating trend brings a clean look to any kitchen while keeping homeowners with compromised reach abilities safe.Where to get started with this trend:GRASS Movement Systems 

VIDEO ACCESS Smart video access devices connect a doorbell to a smartphone, touch screen, or any other mobile smart device. This is perfect when in the kitchen while preparing a meal: When a visitor presses the doorbell, a built-in camera instantly sends video to a phone or touch screen. Users no longer need to stop what they’re doing to answer the door; they can now simply identify the guest via the one-way video feed, speak with the visitor over the two-way intercom, and then decide whether to tell the guest to come on in or to come back later — all without missing a knead or stir. 

Where to get started with this trend:Control4 Intercom Anywhere Danielle Karr is a Certified Showroom Planning Specialist for Control 4, a company that provides smart-home technology through enhanced connectivity solutions.

Binova Anima motorized concept kitchen

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Emerging Kitchen Trends

 Fads in fashion come and go. Design trends also come and go. It is impossible to stay on trend in that department so my advice is to get what YOU love, not what others deem is popular for the decade. However, if you want to know what is trending I have put together this presentation for you. 

Big and open spaces have actually been a trend for quite some time now. More than a decade I would say. To go along with this, many are going with fewer upper cabinets, more drawers, pocket and barn doors and multiple islands. They are designating islands for different things for example: serving, homework, happy hour etc. They are adding full functioning kitchens behind a “show” kitchen. That way the mess stays behind a door that the guests never see. Butler’s pantry’s are becoming all the rage with a wine dispenser and carbonated water spickets. Kitchens are becoming “smart” integrating all our technology into them. Have you seen the latest refrigerators that can play music and search the web with voice activation?

Some color trends are becoming warmer although gray and white still prevail. An all-white kitchen is still timeless and will not go out of style. Navy is a cabinet color trend which is still neutral and makes a statement. Light oak floors with wide planks are in demand. People are loving the reclaimed wood that is rustic while mixing herringbone, plank and parquet. Marble countertops are still a trend although I would not recommend using natural marble. Purchase a good quartz that has a marble pattern and you will be much happier with the durability and price. Backsplashes are staying classic with the subway tile, but the chiseled edge and colored grout give it a new look. No matter what the trend, be sure and stay true to yourself and whatever you do will be timeless for you. 

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Alder Vs. Red Oak

 Have you ever wondered what type of wood you should use for your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities and still stay within budget? I’m going to give you some information on just that!Let’s look at Alder wood first. Alder is a beautiful wood characterized by reddish undertones and a light brown hue. It has a straight even-textured grain with a surface stable enough to take stain well. You may have heard of Rustic Alder as well. It has a more dramatic grain and may contain a variety of pin holes, knots that are open or closed, bird pecks and grain variations. Larger holes will need to be filled on this type of wood. Both Alder and Rustic Alder are softer woods and light in weight. They can dent easily so using them in a light traffic area is probably best.

Oak has been used in fine furniture for many years and makes beautiful cabinetry at a price within most of our budgets. Oak ranges in color from white to pink and reddish tones. I prefer the red oak. It is characterized by prominent straight lines, arches and points. Red oak cabinets stain easily just like the alder. Some rustic versions of the red oak can have intense color, knotholes and pronounced graining. The wood’s variations are more noticeable with the lighter finishes. Oak will stand up to every day use and is a harder wood than alder. Both are beautiful woods, but if you have an active family, then the best wood to use is oak.

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