5 Tips for a Designer Home on a Beer Budget

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

With home renovation shows on practically every TV channel, plus glossy house magazines published every month, is it any wonder you want designer looks for your own home? The good news is, there are plenty of ways to kit out your home in a similar way, even when your budget is tight. Not sure how? Consider the following 5 tips to get your designer décor plans started whilst on a beer budget.

Image source:  facebook.com/JasonAgustina

1. Get creative

The web is packed full of DIY home ideas you can try out yourself.  Take Pinterest for example, even if you don’t consider yourself a hands-on or crafty person, you’ll find hundreds of easy ‘Pins’ linking to ways you can recreate designer looks on a budget. Take the following for example:

2. Buy secondhand furniture;

Buying secondhand furniture is super easy. Try one or more of the following to pick up some pre-loved gems:

Opportunity shops / thrift stores  

Some opportunity shops get names for themselves for being the stores that shift a lot of top notch vintage furniture. (Abbotsford Salvos in Melbourne, for example). Now, you might think recycled furniture in such stores is marked up to high, but before you turn your nose up at paying such prices, remember furniture is always going to be more expensive than clothing or bric-a-brac. You’re probably looking at a couple of hundred dollars to buy a piece of vintage furniture from an opportunity shop, but consider the savings you make when shopping for similar pieces elsewhere.

It takes patience to find the ‘ideal’ piece of furniture this way, however, the good thing about opportunity shops is the variety of stock. Don’t stop at furniture, consider op shopping for décor items such as vases, framed paintings (or ditch the painting but use the frame for another favourite piece of art), mirrors, kitchenware or crockery. Use your creativity, try mixing and matching thrifted pieces with new and you’ll get a quirky one-of-a-kind look for your home décor.

Hard rubbish

Mixing a little creativity as mentioned above, coupled with a good old rummage on the streets, hard rubbish offers an interesting mix. Sure, there’s a lot of crap, but you might be surprised to find perfectly good pieces of furniture thrown out in hard rubbish. Sometimes furniture in hard rubbish needs a bit of TLC, but with a few simple fixes or a lick of paint, you could go home with a new vintage gem for your home. Roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!

Vintage furniture warehouses

Consider vintage stores and warehouses as a step up from your thrift shop. You don’t need to scour through secondhand Ikea at vintage stores, who have already fished out the quality goods so you don’t have to. You’ll be paying more if you choose to shop this way over over op shopping, but, you’ll get a quality piece of furniture, which has already lasted the test of time. A lot of vintage furniture, mid-century Danish designs for example, are timeless pieces that you can work into contemporary homes.

Both of my own mid-century pieces seen here were purchased from a vintage warehouse

Gumtree / Craigslist 

 Although browsing recycled stores is fun, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your couch to buy secondhand if you don’t want to. Gumtree, or the American equivalent Craigslist offer free listings for those selling recycled goods. Take a look and narrow down your search to your neighbourhood, and you’ll be surprised at what you can find to add to your home.


eBay allows you to browse recycled furniture and décor in your area, all from the comfort of your own home. Where eBay differs from Gumtree or Craigslist, is the option to bid for your ideal piece in an online auction.. just make sure you don’t blow your budget if you get into a bidding war!

3. Buy direct from the supplier 

Who says you need to shop for furniture in a shop? Did you know, if you cut out the ‘middle man’ you can make huge savings on your furniture. If you shop direct from the supplier, you are looking at savings of up to 70%. That’s huge! It’s actually a more sustainable way of shopping for furniture too, because you skip unnecessary shipping from the craftsman to the importer > wholesale warehouse > showroom > retail warehouse > your home. Instead, you have your furniture pieces delivered directly from the craftsman to your home.

Jason Agustina is one such supplier offering designer furniture for less. Shop online for drool-worthy furniture for less, and have it delivered to your door.

Zola Dining Chair from Jason Agustina.
Tricia Dining Chair from Jason Agustina

 4. Small tasks, big changes 

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your decorating. Undertake a few small tasks and you can change the overall look of a room in your home in an instant.
  • Repaint your walls. With the right colour, you can completely change the look of a room. Painting your walls a neutral colour for example, will make even the smallest space appear more spacious.
  • Change your floors. Ditch that old carpet for new, or invest a little in a completely new flooring, maybe tiles, vinyl or floorboards. A change of flooring can work wonders for a room in your home.

5. Compromise

Must you choose real wooden floor boards or could you choose vinyl instead? Are Roman blinds an absolute necessity? Roller blinds can be very stylish and a much cheaper alternative. Do you really need that new designer couch you saw on the high street? You already know there are cheaper alternatives.

Working with a particular colour scheme?  Remember that doesn’t necessarily mean everything must be matchy-matchy. Work with what you’ve got, and bring in less expensive new (or secondhand) things that work into your ideal look. Be budget-savvy and don’t rush your buys. Take your time and compromise.

Kitting out your home to look the part really doesn’t have to cost a bomb. You really can get that designer look for your home on a beer budget with a little effort on your part and a little know how.


Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Jason Agustina

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

I agree with so much in your post. Mod design is classic and you won't have to update it as much, great investment pieces. :) and embracing the non-matchy-matchy, it's inexpensive but also so much more interesting and comfortable. It's a fun challenge to make a cohesive whole composition in your home with non-"matching" pieces.

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