How to design a cool interior with minimal costs


Choose minimalism

Minimalism has been somewhat losing its relevance—nowadays it is a bit less fashionable compared to what it used to be, but it is still extremely stylish.  And often inexpensive.  And remember, the main thing for us is the budget. The minimalistic style involves a small amount of furniture and decor.  The fashion for a minimalistic setting appeared in the United States in the mid-1960s, but the prototypes of the style can be found much earlier—in constructivism or traditional Japanese culture. Minimalism has never existed as an independent style in the interior.  Rather, it is a concept that suggests giving up excess and filling your home with only the most important and necessary things. Minimalism in interior design is characterized by a monochrome color palette; straight lines in wall, floor, and ceiling design; strict geometry of furniture; and lots of free space. The minimalistic style skews towards asceticism.  In order to create the “right” and not boring minimalism at home, give preference to natural finish materials or their high-quality imitations: wood, natural stone, concrete, metal.

minimalistic design

Do not rush to throw away old furniture

Sooner or later, the furniture deteriorates.  If the defects are serious, it will have to be thrown away.  However, most often there are just some small scuffs and cracks and no major damage.  In this case, the furniture can be refurbished—for example, repainted, re-varnished, or reupholstered.  An add-on advantage is that oftentimes you can repaint some pieces in brighter colors to make them into one of the key features of room interior and design. Here is an example of the before-and-after restoration of a dresser.

restored dresser

The other advantage of restoring the old furniture (rather than investing a ton of money into new one) is it adds this evergreen retro style to your room interiors.

Make the most of the brick

Brick, like concrete, is considered a cheap and practical material.  Exposed brick walls are also stylish and, some may even say, cool. First, clean the masonry from the plaster and see what condition your walls are in.  If what you see does not shock you, then you can either expose the entire wall or, if some parts of it don’t seem to be in such great shape, then you can always do a partial brick exposure. Natural color brick always look best and most stylish.  But if that’s not possible, you can always paint the brick wall white.

exposed bricks

If the exposed brick—natural brick color or painted brick—won’t work for some reason, you can also use concrete.  With the right design (and enough tastefully done color splashes afterwards) it can look very modern and truly stylish.

concrete in home design

Use paint, color, and contrast to solve problems

Instead of expensive wallpaper, use ordinary paint.  Color is a universal thing.  For example, you can use it to accentuate certain parts of the room.  If all or most of the walls are white or off-white consider repainting one of the walls dark red or orange. Bright-color splashes are another popular way to liven the interior and turn a bland, simple interior design into eye-catching and stylish.  And without breaking the bank, that is.

bright colors

And if you try to create interesting contrasts, you can easily hide flaws (for example, uneven walls, which is often an issue in some older houses) or simply transform a boring interior into a more exciting one.

wall colors

Allocate the budget wisely and be frugal

Any budget, even the smallest one, needs to be carefully divided into key components. First, you should get everything you need to make your house or condo “livable”: plumbing, electrical, building materials, lighting fixtures, and so on.  Next, fill the rooms with interior items (furniture, décor, fixtures, etc.).  For the remainder of the budget, think of how you could decorate your home.

Being frugal and figuring out different ways to save money is simply smart.  There are a number of ways to spend a lot less than you would if you did not look for opportunities to acquire things less expensively.  What are some of these opportunities?  Let’s list just a few.

  • For some of the “big” stuff, such as plumbing, building materials, and such, check out wholesalers and lumberyards as well as stores such as Habitat ReStorewhich sell gently used or second-hand materials, furniture, and fixtures.  Some of the building materials will be “behind the wall” anyways, so, buying them new is often a waste of money.
  • If your project is something like reroofing your home, repainting exterior or interior walls, fixing something specific requiring handyman work, you can do it yourself (if you are handy) or you could shop around for a local, professional service.  Always shop around for the best price and always look for home improvement coupons and discounts, offered by such services as, or some of the numerous local coupon books and magazines.

Your home can be improved literally at any budget.  The budget does not have to be huge.  You just need to be smart about how you go about spending the money you can afford.


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