Design A Millennial Interior Designer’s Take on Creating Space on a Budget By Mikaela Meyering I want what is in this room…well something similar anyway! Furniture is expensive – it’s not something I fully realized until I wanted to upgrade from the hand-me-downs I had in college to my very own furniture. We talk a lot about creating peace in your home here at Triple Heart Design, and it’s hard to create a peaceful environment when you’re sitting on the smelly sofa from your childhood and eating at Grandma’s old dining table. So how do you put together a cohesive space without destroying your budget? Shop Around If you walk into my current home, you’ll find yourself lost in an Ikea catalogue – I’ll admit it’s not a huge step up from the hand-me-downs, but it’s a step nonetheless and allows me to work with my taste and colors. Places like Ikea are a great start for certain items, but lower price can mean lower quality. Sometimes you get lucky – I have a coffee and side tables from Ikea that are over 10 years old and they’re still in great condition. But I’m on the hunt for a new sofa to replace the old one I currently have. I have looked at Ikea for a new one, but the one I like is $1400, and still lower quality. Places like West Elm and CB2 have sofas on sale for less than that, and they’ll last much longer than two years. Goodwill and Craigslist can have great options for way less than that (of course living in a bigger city gives you more options at those places). However, don’t always assume higher price means higher quality. Look at how a piece of furniture is put together, check the cushions to see what is inside – it should be more than just a piece of foam. If it’s upholstered, check the fabric – is it durable, how do the seams look, is the back just a flappy piece of fabric? Will it last through kids, pets, normal wear and tear? Will it fade in sunlight? Make sure you shop around a little before buying to gain knowledge, and don’t let your budget limit you before you even look at all your options. Your best investment is in your sofa, so go cheap in other areas and save up for a better-quality sofa. DIY (Damn if you..wait..Do it Yourself) Although not for everybody, DIY is a great solution for a tight budget. And it doesn’t have to be anything complicated. I recently moved from an apartment with tan and brown finishes, to a house with grey and white finishes. I have wood tables that looked great in the apartment, but too orange in my new house. So instead of buying new ones, I painted them with Milk Paint. https://missmustardseed.com It cost under $10 and a couple hours of my time. With Milk Paint, depending on the look you want, you don’t even have to sand….#winning!! Create a color Palette Work with the coloring of your space – carpet, tile, walls, counters and floors. If you try and go completely against what exists, your space will feel out of sorts – kind of like mismatched socks. Lay out the items you want to use together and choose pieces that balance each other. Neutrals like cream, gray, beige and GREIGE work really well in most spaces. Add color with pillows, baskets and throws to individualize the space. At the end of the day, our home is a place we should be able relax, grab a craft beer, and find peace in. It’s worth investing a little bit of money, but it’s possible to create a space you love without ruining your budget (and have more money for craft beer). Remember to do a little research before buying, get creative, and be willing to invest some time.