1. Furniture
Be most cost-conscious of your pieces that require the most fabric like a big couch or large window. Choose heavy duty, comfortable and affordable fabric on these items and choose a more expensive fabric for the pillows. It’s the same idea as taking an inexpensive black skirt with a great cut and pairing it with an expensive blouse.

2. Lighting
It’s amazing what we can have made today. A client brought me a photo of a light fixture she loved that was $5,000 and we had it made for $400.

3. Drapes
If you can’t afford a more expensive fabric, make sure you choose an interesting style. This will be the focus instead of the fabric.

4. Rugs
Take the time to bargain hunt. If you need to have something on the floors in the meantime, use seagrass throw rugs. As you find the right rugs, replace the seagrass one at a time. A client and I were at the flea market recently and bought a $15,000 rug for $500 because the seller had no idea what the rug was worth. That’s a bargain that’s worth the wait.

5. Accessories
Don’t rush to accessorize. Over time, you’ll see items you’d love to have and if you don’t have any space for them, you’ve got a problem. Some inexpensive ways to accessorize are using groupings of old books and groupings of photos. One or two expensive frames can be mixed with ones that cost less.