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I’m always trying to help clients make a room look put-together, but on a budget. There are lots of ways to update rooms while staying within a modest budget. Beautiful rooms do not have to cost a fortune.


Source: http://blog.armoniadecors.com/2011/06/pleasing-presshigh-gloss-magazine.html

1. Add crown molding. Crown molding adds character and richness. It has a big bang for the buck. Professionally installed, it’s in the ballpark of $10 a foot. A do-it-yourself version can be as low as $2 a foot, depending on the material and design of the molding. Or, if you want to save even more money, you can do a faux version by using some

Here are 5 ways to make your living room look more stylish on a budget. thin molding and paint. Paint the molding before you install it, then simply hang it either a few inches down from the existing crown molding to beef it up or install just the thin molding both at the ceiling and a few inches below. Paint the remaining space between the two moldings the same color as the molding to trick the eye into thinking it is all one piece. Simple and inexpensive.

Source: http://hisugarplum.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-fake-crown-molding-part-ii.html


Source: Sally Wheat via cote de texas

2. Mix and match pieces in the room. Rather than buy a complete furniture set, mix and match pieces. In fact, the trend right now is not to match. Just keep within a similar style or mix overall. Notice that nothing in the image above is in a matching set. But, this gives the room more depth and character. So, it is alright to pick up one piece from Craigslist and another from a big box store.

The trend right now is not to match

Source: http://www.cocokelley.com

3. Group art together to make one large piece. Large pieces of art can get expensive, so why not use what you have on hand and group smaller frames together to create a large piece? Group like frames, colors or styles to create a cohesive look or mix it up for a bohemian feel. Use your photography, art from books, maps, and even fabrics or wall paper to fill the frames.

Source: www.livebreathedecor.com


Source: http://gladudesign.com/

4. Use fabric. Hang curtains. Nothing softens a lot of hard surfaces like fabric. Curtains are the number one way to polish off a space. Hang them high and wide. This makes the windows seem larger. A general rule of thumb is to hang them within 6 inches of the ceiling and up to 18 inches beyond the sides of the windows. Another way to use fabric in a room is by adding throw pillows to a sofa.

Source: http://www.yummyscrumptious.blogspot.com/. Design by Niki Papadopoulos.

Hang them high and wide Invest in large throw pillows constructed in quality fabric. Throw pillows that are 18 inches or less can read “store bought”. Store bought is not always bad, but to make a space a little more stylish, go bigger. Search etsy.com for larger pillows or request that a shop make them in a larger 20 inch size. It will create a higher end look fast. Be sure to choose quality fabric that complements your room’s design. If you purchase 20 inch pillow covers, buy slightly larger 22 inch pillow inserts to put inside them. This gives the pillow a nice robust feel. Source: Tobi Fairley. www.tobifairley.com


5. Use vintage items. Let Craigslist, antique malls and thrift stores be your best friends. Through these venues, you can find unique pieces at great prices. Vintage pieces add such character when sprinkled throughout a room. They provide a sense of history and a feeling that the space has been collected and grown over time. I personally subscribe to the notion that no room is complete without something old.

No room is complete without something old To the left are photos from singer/ songwriter Cheryl Crow’s home. She used vintage items for most of her accessories, as well as some furniture items (tables) and lighting. As you are out searching for vintage items, be sure to check out furniture. Painting an old piece of furniture that appears outdated can breathe new life into it and give a contemporary look.

Source: Architectural Digest. Cheryl Crow’s home.


Source: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/01/before-after-childrens-dresser-refresh.html#more-125479

Look for solid wood pieces with interesting detail. See past the wood finish. For no sanding and priming, use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It’s the quickest way to redo furniture and fantastic for a slightly aged or distressed look. If you prefer more of a glossy finish, consider first sanding and then using a semi-gloss latex paint. Wax over the paint when done for a good seal that protects your hard work.

Go ahead – get started on creating a beautiful space on a budget!

Stylish Living Rooms Created on a Budget. Copyright © 2012 for The Hoffman Group by AscendWorks. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from AscendWorks (info@ascendworks.com), except by a reviewer or blogger who may quote brief passages in a review or blog. This information is produced especially for clients of The Hoffman Group. http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/search/label/Furniture%20Transformations


any budget. Soon, helping my friends create comfortable stylish spaces in their homes evolved into a business where I help clients do the same. That is how Hyphen Interiors was born.

I am a decorator, writer, and entrepreneur located in Austin, Texas. Born and raised a Texas girl, I even had my own pony growing up named Lightning. During those childhood years, I always had a great sense of creativity and imagination which translated later in life into my design business, Hyphen Interiors. I have enjoyed fueling my passion and love inspiring others. Before Hyphen Interiors, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, worked as a graphic designer for a bit and later worked full time in youth ministry. My passion for interior design began when I purchased my first home in 2006. My husband and I just recently purchased our fourth home, this time in Austin. We have also lived in Utah, Kansas and Arizona. Designing my own home(s) showed me that beautiful spaces can be created on

How would I describe my design style? Eclectic. Generally, I like to start with a neutral base, while putting a new spin on traditional items when possible. I like to mix it up – old and new, inexpensive and nicer pieces, vintage and contemporary. Then, I layer it all off with pops of vibrant color, pattern and fun art. Bold colors and graphic patterns really inspire me when creating new and beautiful spaces. But, the most important thing when designing a space is that the room reflects the client’s personality and taste. I want to help them achieve their vision or dream for the room. I named my company Hyphen Interiors because it’s about me working with the clients and achieving a design together, more than my own personal style. I would love to help you see your Myrtle Beach home with a fresh perspective and to create spaces that you can look forward to coming home to. I believe the home should be a sanctuary and a reflection of those inside. It’s my greatest pleasure to inspire you and to destroy the myth that great style and a tight budget are mutually exclusive. My work has been featured on sites such as the DIY Network, Apartment Therapy, Young House Love, eHow, as well as numerous design blogs. -Kristy

Keep an eye out for the future issues of the Kristy Swain Series.


Stylish Living Rooms Created On A Budget