Budget Friendly Decorating

Filed in Design and Decor by on January 14, 2014

The way you save money in an interior is to not replace what you have when it is out of style or you tire of it. Classic timeless pieces are the key to saving money. If you have quality furniture, it will look good for a long time. this holds true with wood furniture as well as upholstered.

By investing in well-made furniture, you can feel comfortable with the fact that you may never change out the pieces in your lifetime. I have heard people say they easily get bored with or tire of their things and therefore don’t want to spend much for their furnishings. I have seen what happens to inexpensive furniture: Within a year or two it starts to look tired. When it looks tired the homeowner gets tired of looking at it! Quality furniture maintains its look because the veneers are thicker, the frames are tighter, the finish is more durable and there are good quality components inside.


“Quality is important, but so is style. Clean and simple lines allow furniture to transition through time easier. Simplicity never goes out of style.”

Another secret to having timeless upholstered furniture is to select classic understate fabrics. Solid neutral colored fabrics are the most timeless. With a neutral base you can add inexpensive and easily changed-out items like pillows and paint.

Think of it like an artist’s canvas. If you keep the larger pieces such as the sofa and arm chairs neutral, you have a blank canvas where you can add splashes of color in a pull-up chair fabric, accessories, the color of the walls, or even the area rug.

The canvas idea is not only good for longevity but also throughout the year. In the summer when you want a fresh, cool look, bring in happy spring colors in the accessories, which can dramatically change the room. Or in the fall and winter, when we all what a cozier feel, we can add those saturated colors and nubby textures to the space.

People will ask if neutral means tan or white. Obviously grays, browns and whites are what everyone thinks when he or she hears the word neutral, but another color can be your base if it is your favorite color. Classic, timeless colors that can have longevity can be green, blue or, as in my house, red. I have two tomato red sofas that I can’t imagine ever changing. They are the base to my living room, and if I tired of the room I change the color of the walls or add some fresh throw pillows.

The blank canvas approach creates a timeless and comfortable interior that is both flexible and cost-saving.


Betty Ravnik, ASID, CMKBD, is an instructor at Alexandria Technical College in the Interior Design Department and is the owner of Ravnik Interior Design.