Marlene Card is back! This time around, she shares with us 3 things that you must do when decorating on a budget.

Paint is your friend

There are wonders you can do to improve your space with paint. Only $40 a gallon on average. If you look in the paint discount section first, you can find premixed coloured paint greatly reduced. Someone’s mistake could be your next fabulous room.

Feature walls make an impact on a room. I like how they frame out a fireplace.

The Benjamin Moore site has a great program that lets you visualize your space in their paint colours.  It can give you a lot of easy to do ideas.

Be thrifty

I have been thrift shopping for years and so have many designers. People throw out treasures that have come back in style.  Old lights that need a new shade. Old chests, chairs that may need a slip cover. Old furniture that can be refinished or painted to give it a new look. Don’t disregard second hand stores.

Auctions also have great finds if you have the time to sit through them until your item comes up for bid. Church bazaars, flea markets.  I love to shop at them all when I have the time.

I revived this antique chair from Furniture Bank Toronto for the Chair Affair auction to raise money for families that need furniture and a fresh new start in their homes.

Go online

When I am on a mission, the first thing I do when I am looking for a specific item is head over to Google, Kijiji, Craigslist and EBay. I have no problems purchasing online if I see great picks. Never forget to negotiate your price!

Check out these elephants I just found for $250. I’m sure they would be great in the right setting with a glass top for end tables or a coffee table.

The Sassy Stripper is one my favourite online haunts. They creatively refresh, renew and recycle furniture.

Apartment Therapy is a great site too for decorating and design ideas.

Even though you’re decorating on a budget, have fun with it.

Be creative.
Be open to gently used.
And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. D.I.Y.


Marlene Card is a Registered Interior Designer with IDC (Interior Designers of Canada) working with fashion forward interiors since 1990, specializing in multi- family residential interiors in Toronto and surrounding areas for the past 12 years