|Festive season is coming up, so Christmas trees are again to grace our houses. Inspired by this, I wanted to share with you how we can enjoy the natural beuaty and dramatic impact of a tree in interiors the whole year round.||Święta za pasem, i niedługo chonki znów zagoszczą w naszych domach. Zainspirowana tym, chciałam podzielić się z Wami jak możemy cieszyć się naturalną urodą i dramatyzmem drzew w naszych wnętrzach przez cały rok.|
Mission: complete / Misja: zakonczona
So, we’re finally back from Poland. I know, I said I’d be sharing pictures as we go along but things were changing so quickly, and we were literally working 24 hours a day… so instead, let me just share with you the video I’ve just created, I hope you’ll like it 🙂
A few details:
– I have managed to stick to my motto (design on any budget!) and have not spent a fortune on the flat!
– bedrooms are still unfurnished – we’ll see who will rent the flat and furnish according to requirements
– we had to compromise a few times – mostly due to funds, or lack of time. E.g. when we get to live there, I’ll change the window treatments, buy a proper coffee table etc. But things I cared most about are all there – my beautiful white high gloss kitchen, Indian-marble mosaic in the bathroom, and three built-in wardrobes… for all my shoes and bags!
More info and detailed photos will follow soon. All comments welcome.
Nareszcie wrocilismy z Polski. Tak wiem, mowilam ze bede sie dzielic zdjeciami w trakcie pracy, ale wszystko tak szybko sie zmienialo, a my pracowalismy doslownie 24h na dobe… dlatego w zamian, pozwole sobie podzielic sie z wami tym filmikiem ktory wlasnie stworzylam, mam nadzieje ze sie spodoba 🙂
– udalo mi sie podtrzymac moje motto (dezajn nie musi byc drogi!) i nie wydac na mieszkanie fortuny!
– sypialnie poki co nieumeblowane – zobaczymy jakie zyczenia bedzie mial wynajmujacy
– kilka razy musilismy pojsc na kompromis – glownie z powodu kosztow, lub po prostu braku czasu. Kiedy my sie tam wprowadzimy, na pewno kilka rzeczy bedzie do zmiany, kupimy porzadny stolik kawowy, dodamy troche wiecej koloru, zmienimy wystroj okien. Ale to na czym mi najbardziej zalezalo – jest 🙂 Moja piekna biala kuchnia na wysoki polysk, mozaika z indyjskiego marmuru, i trzy garderoby… na wszystkie moje buty i torebki!
Wiecej informacji i zdjec detali wkrotce. Wszystkie komentarze mile widziane.
New flat, old flat and other changes / Nowe, stare i inne zmiany
I don’t think I should even start apologizing for not being here for ages… so let us pretend those two months never happened 🙂
That would be difficult, though, as since the last post:
- we finished and rented out our Polish flat within a week of posting the ad (which is a really good time in our market!),
- both me and my husband started working at different companies (still within one corporation),
- we moved offices to outside of London,
- we moved houses in London to be closer to new offices
- … and yesterday we have become owners of yet another flat in Poland :).
So this is a very exciting time for me and there is really lots going on. I am obviously going to share with you the ideas for the new flat, and can tell you straight away this is going to be tricky, as we want to finish the flat mostly remotely, and as of today there are only bare walls and windows there.
But! First things first, let me show you what we managed to do to our first flat around Christmas; we wanted to make it livable, so that it rents out quickly, on a budget of ca. £250:
I guess you’ve seen some of our bathroom, especially the cupboard hand-made by my husband; to our great anger and despair, the glass maker did not manage to do the doors on time so our shelves are still open, but the rest was good to go:
The bedroom, with the furniture set we got for free from a friend, a super-old retro ceiling lamp, and bits and pieces of decorating from my mum, with the only new element of the baroque-inspired white wallpaper to add just a teeny bit of glamour:
To complement the wallpaper, we have used a spare piece as wall art and put it in behind glass, all placed on an old shelf which I finished in a quasi-shabby-chic look. The throw also works the same theme as the wallpaper.
- living room
Now, the living room, and to be completely honest this is the most haphazardly finished room ever 🙂 One feature wall covered in beautiful black wallpaper… though since it was our first time ever wallpapering, the results are far from perfect! Good tip – when working with a dark wallpaper, it’s much easier if you dab the areas on the wall, where wallpaper pieces will meet, in paint the colour of the wallpaper; this way even if your work isn’t perfect, the gaps between stripes will not be as visible as on our wall.
The rest of the room is my parents’ old sofabed under a new throw, a red ceiling light which was supposed to be comlemented with red wall art though we never put it up (don’t ask), my teenage bedroom set, a good old piano, a spare single bed that can be put away depending on the needs of the tenants and an Ikea Lack table 🙂 Plus the really pretty blinds which unfortunately do not show too well in this light – basically when it’s light outside, they seem very pale and creamy grey, but when it’s dark, additional silver elements show as well.
Finally, the kitchen-diner, with the infamous kitchen units which never got properly fitted together (so that the worktop still floats independently of the units, there is no steel strip at the bottom and a millon other sins we committed with it and haven’t tried to make up for yet). Nonetheless we like the kitchen and maybe, some time, in the distant future, we will finally put it together once and for all 🙂 There is also an extra loveseat and armchair in the other part of the room.
…and our hall, unfortunately I have a photo only from the time when this ugly carpet was there (with the dog’s bone and toys prominently on display) so try not to notice them 🙂
So to sum up, this is certainly not the best example of interior design, but we tried to make the place nicer for the tenants than the usual offering but on a minimal budget, and the result was that we rented it out just a few days after we advertised it!
Chyba nawet nie ma co zaczynac przepraszac za to ze mnie tu tak dlugo nie bylo, wiec moze zapomnijmy o tych dwoch miesiacach 🙂
Z drugiej strony byloby to trudne, gdyz od ostatniego postu:
- wykonczylismy i wynajelismy nasze mieszkanie w PL w ciagu tygodnia od dania ogloszenia
- zaczelismy z mezem prace w nowej firmie
- zmienilismy biura
- przeprowadzilismy sie w Londynie by latwiej dojezdzac
- …i od wczoraj jestesmy wlascicielami nowego mieszkania w PL – a raczej wygralismy przetarg i teraz staramy sie jak najszybciej mieszkanie ‘przejac’ 🙂
Takze ten czas jest bardzo ekscytujacy i na pewno bede dzielic sie tu pomyslami na wykonczenie nowego mieszkania; juz teraz wiem ze nie bedzie to proste gdyz duzo chcemy wykonac lub zlecic ‘zdalnie’ z Londynu, a w tej chwili w mieszkaniu nie ma nic – stan deweloperski.
No ale! Zaczynac wypada od poczatku 🙂 wiec kilka slow o naszym pierwszym mieszkaniu. W okolicy Swiat Bozego Narodzenia postanowilismy zrobic ile mozemy w mieszkaniu by przygotowac je na wynajecie. Niestety czasu bylo malo a budzet juz zupelnie ograniczony (troche ponad 1tys. zl) wiec spedzilismy troche czasu wymyslajac co mozna zrobic by we w miare przyzwoitym stanie mieszkanie wynajac.
Zdjecia powyzej pokazuja rezultaty naszej walki z nieterminowymi sprzedawcami (czytaj: brak szklanych drzwi do szafek w lazience) i bardzo ograniczonym budzetem (czytaj: wykorzystanie naszych starych mebli, mebli ktore dostalismy od znajomych, odmalowanie kilku rzeczy, samodzielne kladzenie tapety ze skutkiem mieszanym – hej! robilismy to po raz pierwszy ok?? – i kilkoma drobnymi nowymi zakupami). Kilka rzeczy dalej nieskonczonych, typu kuchnia (caly czas nieprzykrecony blat i brak cokolow, nieoslonieta sciana i inne takie), te nieszczesne szafki w lazience (szklo to jedyne czego moj maz sam w tej lazience zrobic nie moze, i cholera tak nawalili 😦 ), oraz totalny misz-masz stylow i kolorow w duzym pokoju.
Zdecydowanie nie jest to przyklad swietnego designu ale biorac pod uwage ograniczenia czasowe i finansowe jestem w miare zadowolona z efektu, i obecni najemcy mam nadzieje tez.
Bathroom DIY / Lazienkowe ‘zrob to sam’
And finally, here they are – photos of what we’ve managed to do in our bathroom back home a month ago.
As you know / don’t know, we live in London in a rented flat, but our hearts – and our own flat – are still in Poland. We have never managed to finish it to the standard we wanted because we moved to the UK having just bought it and being able to do only the basics. Now every time we come back to visit our family, we try to add to it.
The next visit over Christmas will be even more important as we’re thinking about renting it out, and for that we need to finish at least the projects we’ve started, if not the whole place!
Our orange-cream-brown bathroom is actually the only room in the flat that more or less started coming together and is almost finished – it really is missing a few minor details (though my husband wouldn’t call it details…)
Below is what we’ve managed to complete last time – some embellishment around the mirror, and a tall cupboard for the much needed storage. I’m not going to show the whole bathroom yet – I’ll do that when we finally finish it off, but I can proudly say that the bathroom design and most of manual work have been done by my husband with a tiny bit of help from me.
Mosaic mirror frame
Actually, this decor has never been planned. We thought we’re going to have just an extension shelf over the mirror, on the same level as the top of the cupboard next to it. But then it turned out that we have some remnants of the panelling which we could use for the shelf. The only problem was that it was some milimeters shorter than the cupboard, which would result in the front of the shelf being a bit recessed in comparison to the cupboard, so the idea of having it at the same level for a sleek look would be lost. So we thought and thought… and then I came up with an idea of adding something decorative to the front of the shelf to disguise the difference in level, and we settled for some mosaic.
Obviously, there are many types of mosaic, and originally I thought we’d get the traditional glass mosaic. We also needed to make sure that the size of single tile (or two / three etc) is more or less the same height as the front of the shelf.
But after some strolling around the decorating shops, I saw this decor and I loved it! The original version was vertical (the size of the usual tile decor) so I broke it up into pieces, got rid of the supporting (and irritatingly difficult to remove) plastic frame beneath which normally holds the mosaics together for easy mounting on the wall, and used each separate tile as I wanted, making sure I don’t repeat the pattern much.
I mounted it onto the shelf using a standard all-purpose strong glue, and it worked very fast and was much easier to work with than the tile glue. Of course, be careful with this – you don’t want your fingers stuck together forever 🙂
…and after a moment of drying up, we were able to hang the shelf up!
This is another example of recycling what was already in the house. My parents have bought a set of furniture to my teenage bedroom ages ago; one cupboard had glass door. We thought we saw some stain on it, so we asked for replacement. The manufacturer duly resent the door, but never took the faulty one. In the meantime we decided the fault is almost unnoticeable, so haven’t even replaced the door. And so it lay for ages in the basement, which my husband noticed some time ago and had his plans for it 🙂
Even though I know how good a DIY-er he is, I was still surprised by what he managed to do in half a day (with some finishing touches the next day) – he has actually measured up, had the panels cut, finished the edges, and built a proper cupboard for our cupboard, nicely employing all colours from our bathroom’s scheme.
Even so, I can hardly survive having something so big in my house without me adding the teeniest bit to it… so I’ve decided to use the spare mosaic tiles to finish the door handles 🙂
So, that’s it for now. Going back now to choosing textiles for Christmas… hmmm maybe that’s a topic for my next post 🙂
Room of the day / Pokoj dnia
…and another view to show the whole space:
Why? Because of its very natural approach to eclectic spaces. It’s no nonsense, relaxed, with a splash of colour here and funky design there, and somehow it all comes together. Even though every item has its own history and comes from somewhere else, it’s all so.. simple. Feels young and refreshing!
The Finds / Znaleziska
I can’t believe how many great products and designs I’ve seen on my last trip to Poland. The interior design market is changing there rapidly, and there aren’t that many new trends that you can’t find there now; even better – most of them are available at high street retailers, making great design available for many!
But before we go into the New, first let us talk about the Old. First, a find stil bought in the UK, but which I envisage to place in the yellow bedroom I was describing some time ago. For now to keep you in suspense – still in packaging, you will see the final effect when all is ready! This vintage glamour / shabby chic mirror frame cost peanuts and is absolutely amazing; I found it on iBootSale and picked up the next day. As it turned out, it was too big even for my mutant-huge suitcase, so had to ship with DHL. But it was worth it, the new owners are thrilled to have it!
As we’re with vintage, when we visited my in-laws, I was in heaven. Here are some more finds. First, the sideboards, etc that my husband’s grandfather hand made some years ago (he was even taking carpenter order for those for local people, and funnily enough I saw a very similar one in some other garage when cycling through the village):
I’m planning to sand it, paint in a delicate pastel colour, add a few embellishments and generally keep it shabby chic / country. Whether for me or someone else – I don’t know yet!
This is another beauty, with more bite to it and gorgeous handles… there is also a sideboard top in another shed but in much worse condition – still there is a chance 🙂
Loads of those around as well… I’ve seen some very nice decors of country kitchens with stove door as a decoration on the wall:
…and finally our finds from a nearby house that is being refurbished – a vintage double shelf and an old radio which I am thinking about converting into a night stand. They were just being thrown away so hopefully they will get a second chance 🙂
And now last truly vintage items. Not obviously planning to do that, and with ideas ranging from ghost chairs to mismatched vintage, we bought 8 chairs 🙂 When we first got into this antique shop, we just came in to browse, and then we came across the two beauties:
…the raspberry-peach louis-style chairs, eight
…and the black and golden stylized chairs (19th c. Art Noveau style), six
I couldn’t decide which ones are better. The raspberry ones worked well with my idea, and I even considered such chairs (with different upholstery); they are also much easier to fit with many styles; glamour, eclectic, shabby chic, etc. The black ones, though, were absolutely original and different to what you normally find, but would not suit our space as they would really require it to be much more upscale than we planned for.
But we couldn’t decide, as both sets were gorgeous. We also had to think through whether they really will work well, how much they will influence other design elements in the house, even what are we going to do with this number of chairs 🙂 At some point we wanted to get both sets, as the black ones were dirt cheap. Having slept over the night dreaming about them, we took a decision – we go again and we buy one set that will work best.
At closer inspection, it turned out that the black chairs were very uncomfortable – what looked as well-formed foam was in fact a nicely shaped plank, or some other piece of wood, and the seats were darn hard. Also, the paint was peeling off at the teeniest touch, and someone actually painted (probably with spray) over part of the fabric at the back. There were a few other elements we didn’t like either.
Generally unhappy about the quality, we turned to the raspberry set. Gosh, that was comfortable 🙂 Very soft, stable, and sturdy in construction; after being told the shop can pressure-clean them, and having got a super-discount, decision was taken and they are OURS! Of course they need re-upholstering and a new coat of finish (and maybe crystal buttons?), but after cleaning they can even serve as they are for the time-being (meaning: when they are in the shed waiting until we move back to Poland, but no one knows when!).
Their versatility will allow me also to use one for a work desk, and another two can work very well with some retro or modern couch.
My mother-in-law even suggested some fabrics for upholstery from her own collection:
OK! Enough of vintage, I will show you what I found in shops next time 🙂
Az mi trudno uwierzyc ile przepieknych i oryginalnych produktow i projektow znalazlam w czasie mojego ostatniego pobytu w polsce. Rynek wnetrzarski i projektowania wnetrz naprawde jest teraz ciekawy, i niewiele zostalo jeszcze designow ktorych w Polsce nie mozna teraz znalezc. Co lepsze – dostepne sa w zwyklych sklepach, nie u drogich importerow, dzieki czemu dostep do nich ma w koncu wiele osob.
Ale zanim o nowosciach, troche o starociach. Najpierw przepiekna stara rama, na skrzyzowaniu glamour i shabby chic, ktora planuje powiesic w zoltej sypialni o ktorej kiedys pisalam. Znalazlam ja za grosze na iBootSale i odebralam nastepnego dnia. Niestety okazala sie za duza nawet na moja gigantycznie zmutowana walize, wiec poleciala do Polski DHLem. Ale bylo warto – rama bardzo spodobala sie nowym wlascicielom!
Juz w Polsce najpierw odwiedzilismy tesciow. Moja radocha nie miala konca gdy zajrzalam do stodoly, obory, i innych skrytek. Znalazlam na przyklad dwa przepiekne kredensy / komody zrobione wlasnorecznie przez dziadka mojego meza (robil je tak dobrze ze nawet przyjmowal zamowienia od okolicznych mieszkancow, i faktycznie – rowerujac sobie przez wioske znalazlam w innym garazu bardzo podobny kredens!).
Z kremowa lub pastelowa farba i krysztalowymi galkami beda przepiekne 🙂 (choc ta mniejsza komoda sama z siebie ma piekne raczki wiec moze zostana). Jeszcze nie wiem czy znajda miejsce u mnie (w koncu 59m2 ma swoj limit!) czy jednak u kogos innego…
Mnostwo jest takze drzwiczek od starych piecow kaflowych, ktore pieknie moznaby wkomponowac w kuchnie wiejska.
…a na spacerze kilka domow dalej trwal remont, gdzie wsrod wyrzuconych smieci znalazlam piekna podwojna polke i rame starego radia (ktora byc moze stanie sie stolikiem nocnym). Cuda nad cudami 🙂
No i w koncu – ‘niechcacy’ kupilismy krzesla 🙂 no nie moglismy sie oprzec. Zastanawialismy sie nad dwoma zestawami – malinowo- brzoskwiniowymi Ludwikami, oraz czarno-zlotymi z przelomu XIX/XX wieku, w stylu secesyjnym. Przyznaje ze bardziej za serce w pierwszym momencie chwycily secesyjne, choc od razu wywietrzylam problem. Te krzesla mocno narzucaja swoj styl, ktory jest duzo bardziej elegancki niz planowalismy. Z kolei ludwiki jak to ludwiki – pasuja do wielu wnetrz (eklektyczne, glamour, shabby chic, i inne), wygladaja dobrze nawet z nowoczesnymi (szklo, plastik itd)…
…przespalismy sie z problemem, w pewnym momencie nawet uznajac ze moze kupimy oba zestawy. No ale przy drugim obejrzeniu okazalo sie ze jakosciowo te czarne nie sa najlepsze… i mocno niewygodne. Oczywiscie byloby to do zmiany ale juz nas tak nie zachwycaly jak dzien wczesniej. Malinowe (choc siedzenia bardziej w brzoskwinke wpadaja) ludwiczki za to jak najbardziej wygodne, i nawet sprzedawca dorzucil profesjonalne pranie zeby troche ich jeszcze pouzywac tak jak sa. No i je wzielismy 🙂
I tak przyda im sie nowa tapicerka z pelniejszym wypelnieniem, krysztalowe guziczki (moze) i nowy lakier, ale poniewaz na razie i tak stoja w schowku czekajac na lepsze czasy czyli nasz powrot do PL (kiedy? kiedy??…) to moga byc 🙂 Planuje jednego uzyc do biurka, i sa odpowiednio ozdobne by pasowac tez przy retro czy nowoczesnej kanapie. Kochana tesciowka odlozyla juz nawet material ktorego moglabym uzyc na obicie i inne dodatki, ale to juz zalezne bedzie od ostatecznej koncepcji. Juz sie nie moge doczekac!
No! To tyle tego vintage. W nastepnym poscie przechodzimy do nowosci jakie znalazlam 🙂
Reading for the Weekend / Weekendowe czytanie
During an all-day shopping spree yesterday, where I searched through half of London to get all the stuff needed for my Diploma in Professional Interior Design which is about to start, I bought a book and a magazine which I recommend a lot:
Firstly: Small Spaces: Making the Most of the Space You Have. I really like this book as altough some spaces / floorplans perhaps are not the same as our flats and houses, it is very inspirational, and most importanly – offers a lot of ingenious storage solutions! Focusing on storage and multifunctional furniture, it is a good buy especially for someone who is not afraid of experimenting or DIY (or spending some money on professionals) to turn some of the ideas into reality.
The second buy is the Livingetc October issue:
Yes, I admit it – I bought it because of the stunning cover (I just LOVE yellow and grey and patterns!!). Yes, I admit also that this is NOT a magazine for decorating on a budget. But – it’s cutting edge and provides loads of inspiration and GOSH! I don’t remember when was the last time I loved every page of a magazine! It is just stunning… check out especially:
- the ‘Living With A Flatscreen TV‘ section showing how to blend yout TV into your room using very original solutions,
- the ‘Modern Romance‘ section (Alex! watch out some of that might inspire your room 🙂 )
- and the astonishing ‘7 ways we boosted our space’ house presentation with super-smart and pretty DIY solutions for both storage and flexibility (furniture on wheels as an example). And – believe it or not – they downsized the house to make more use of the garden and outside space.
Na wczorajszych calodniowych zakupach, gdy przelecialam z mezem pol Londynu starajac sie znalezc wszystkie materialy potrzebne do mojej nowej szkoly 🙂 (przypominam bom dumna:) – dyplom profesjonalnego projektanta wnetrz) natknelam sie na ksiazke ‘Small spaces‘ (czyli Male wnetrza) oraz pazdziernikowe wydanie magazynu Livingetc – no i oba druki mnie powalily 🙂
Small spaces to naprawde ciekawa ksiazka pokazujaca faktycznie male przestrzenie (w przeciwienstwie do niektorych innych wydawnictw) i jest bardzo inspirujaca, ale co najwazniejsze – skupia sie na wszelkiego rodzaju schowkach i sposobach przechowywania, a takze na wielofunkcyjnych meblach i sprzetach ktore sprawiaja ze mieszkanie na malej przestrzeni moze byc tak komfortowe jak w duzym domu. Swietna ksiazka zwlaszcza dla tych ktorzy nie boja sie projektow ‘zrob to sam’ badz tez moga wydac troche pieniazkow na specjaliste, gdyz wiekszosc rozwiazan jest na wymiar (podstawowa zasada zagospodarowywania malych przestrzeni).
Z kolei Livingetc wydanie pazdziernikowe zaszokowalo mnie tym, ze wszystko mi sie w nim podoba. Nie pamietam kiedy ostatni raz mialam taka gazete w rece. Przyznaje, nie jest to gazeta ‘oszczednosciowa’, ale ile w niej inspiracji! Wystarczy popatrzec na okladke ktora ma boskie polaczenie szarego z zoltym i duzymi wzorami. Mniam 🙂 Proponuje zwlaszcza artykuly o Nowoczesnym Romantyzmie (Ola! zdjecia niedlugo do Ciebie dojda :), sposobach umieszczenia plazmy tak by nie byla glownym elementem wystroju pokoju, oraz prezentacje domu, ktory o dziwo – zostal zmniejszony 🙂 po to by miec wiekszy ogrod i polaczenie z natura. Dom jest rowniez bardzo ciekawy pod wzgledem zabudowy, a takze elastycznosci rozmieszczenia mebli (kanapa na kolkach i tym podobne). POLECAM!
Room of the Day / Pokoj dnia
How pretty is that! Viv has completely remodeled her studio by converting an unused space in her house into this gorgeous haven of creativity! I live the DIY aspect of it which not only saved the budget, but also immensely personalized the space. Check out the gorgeous butterfly mobile, Eames style chair, painted wardrobe and this antique sideboard on the right! Not to mention the pretty designs over the desk (Viv’s own, and you can buy them in her Etsy shop here).
Co za piekne studio! Viv przemienila niewykorzystane miejsce w jej domu w przepiekne, kobiece studio w ktorym tworzy swoje male dziela. ‘Zrob to sama’ to jej motto i dzieki temu przestrzen zostala upiekszona nie tylko tanie, ale i bardzo wyjatkowo. Zwroccie uwage na piekna ozdobe z motyli, krzeslo stylizowane na Eames, pomalowana szafe i zabytkowy bufet. No i oczywiscie obrazki nad biurkiem, ktore sa dzielem Viv i ktore mozna kupic tu.
Design on a budget
I’ve decided to update my blog tagline (see above) to include part of my motto –
…how to get the designer look on a budget?
(And be quiet, language purists – of course there is always a budget but I mean the common meaning of this phrase!)
Really, I don’t think it’s difficult to create a great space with lots of money (though, surprisingly, I’ve seen LOTS of expensively made, but terribly designed / decorated spaces). To be honest, the tendency to go for the expensive is very irresistible. Why?
Well, it’s really not about squeezing money out of clients. It’s just that we love good design. And good design is, predominantly, very costly. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone – after all, to create an outstandigly beautiful and high-quality piece of furniture, for example, has to be costly. In time, ideas, effort, resources (including human of course), machinery and materials. Then – advertising or getting it to the market, etc…
But – one is also paying for the brand, and again rightly so, as those brands ‘high up there’ deserve to be special and exclusive for their role in opening new design horizons for us all. However, if one is willing to search and research, and wait a bit longer, and try out things, and visit auctions and sales, and customize, etc, etc… one can really create an amazing space mimicking pretty well the unattainable designer classics. So what can you do?
1) Buy vintage, customized or knock-off versions.
Sounds simple, well, it is and is not. You will have to invest a lot of time in investigating all options, checking out all the outlets, eBay, online boutiques of hand-made items, local auctions, blogs like this, designers’ stores and online shops, discounts and sales at the shops you love (and they are now everywhere, does anyone buy full-price anymore?), charity shops, car-boot sales, and the local suppliers down the road who are happy to create something for you for fraction of the original’s price.
So, time is the main investment. But this option is certainly most cost-efficient. Apart from those ‘real’ designer classic in vintage, which are sometimes more expensive than new (unless someone doesn’t realize their value and yes, it happens a lot).
And it’s fun, too, especially when you find some gorgeous stuff! You don’t have to be skilled, you just need loads of time, good eye, and good luck. 🙂
2) Customize yourself.
This is the most rewarding way, the real crowning of your achievement. But that requires ingenuity, and is certainly not ‘cheap’ in terms of time and effort. It requires skill. And patience. And good eye. And a bit of experience. So – you just have to ask yourself: what is more important to me? Am I willing to save time and spend money for the great stuff? Or am I able to spend time to research and get inspired and build and create?
Both options are rewarding in different ways. And I don’t think I’ll make a call on which one is better – I love them both. And you can also mix’n’match; buy this sleek Eames chair lookalike, but save on very simple coffee table which you can get at your local supplier and which will look just as good as any (let’s hope). Allow yourself for this gorgeous designer wallpaper, but use it sparingly – on one wall only, or buy just one roll and customise an old cupboard with it.
Bear in mind though… the ‘budget’ version does not always mean dirt cheap. Sometimes you will have to invest in high-quality golden paint, or in gorgeous crystal cupboard handles (and you will notice that accessories are often more expensive than the base item you wanted to customize). In fact, in many cases, you would have been able to buy a pretty high-street item for less than all the materials you need for customizing, and for zero effort.
BUT. Whatever you create will still be cheaper than the classics. More importantly, whatever you make yourself, is absolutely unique. Not only will it look outstanding and special, but will also reflect your personality and taste, and make your house a home.
…so where does the interior designer come into this ‘budget’ game?
Well, you may want to consider their services on two levels:
- Idea. If you do not feel you are up to creating the layout, the style, the idea for the place – this is the first problem designers can help you with. Depending on your budget and plans, this can be anything from online help (you send photos / floor plans, designer sends back his version), through to one-off consultation at home, then creating the mood board (which will gather your colour / style / furniture ideas and give you a feel for the proposed space), up to the visualisation stage, furniture and accessories suggestions, etc.
- Implementation. If after that you still are unsure you can find those unique items, or really you’re not up to customizing or simly can’t spend time rummaging through second-hand shops and going to auctions, the decorator can act as your buying agent and source everything that is required for your unique place. Even more so, depending on the extent of their services, they can customize objects for you. Perhaps they sell their furniture and accessories already?
And if you go for the interior design services, remember: ALWAYS be open and frank. You remember the previous article? “The more your tastes are communicated, the happier the outcome. Also, have a specific budget in mind. Honesty is always the best policy.” Say that you want customised. Or say that you want know-off. Say that you’re not afraid of vintage. Say that you hate the standard. Or that you love The standard, you just can’t afford it. And so on, and so forth…
…so, good luck with designing on a budget, whatever it is :).
DIY IKEA, or how to make the standard – unique
I can’t believe what some people are able to do with some of IKEA classics. If you’re up to it, try this out; some of the projects aren’t that difficult (more time-consuming and nerve-racking) but SO amazing! All of them have been found on the IKEA hacker blog.
- Malma mirrors made into wall art
- (Broken) Emmabo rocking chair into stylish deck lounge chair
- Now this is really simple but so stylish! Lack / Vika Fintorp chic entry way / hall table
- How ’bout this really simple but prettily customized set of Malm tables aka TV bench?
- And one for the arty types out there: A heavenly wall art / tree mural done with scrappings of IKEA fabrics:
- Finally, the best in my opinion: Retro FIRA jewelry cabinet …AND… a shabby chic bedside table
To this!! The Absolutely Gorgeous shabby chic bedside or side table is a smashing HIT! Congratulatins on imagination and craftiness!