Furnishing and decorating your home can be an intimidating process for a lot of reasons. You may not know where to begin, how to narrow down your style, or how to budget for furniture and items you’ve never purchased before. We’re not going to lie, large pieces that are seriously good quality won’t come cheap. However, that isn’t the case for everything you bring into your home. Just because you want a beautiful home that looks mature and high-end doesn’t mean you have to go bankrupt trying to achieve it. Even interior designers know the tricks to mixing lower-end pieces into spaces without compromising on style. Yep, that’s right—even designers shop at Target and HomeGoods. But you’d never know it because they’re experts at finding budget-friendly pieces that look like a million bucks. We got a few of them let us in on their secrets and share their favorite budget buys. You’re welcome.
One of the most expensive categories of furniture (usually for good reason) is upholstered pieces. According to New York designer , “Upholstered furniture is the most difficult to go cheap on—cost and quality are so tightly linked.” Her suggested loophole? “A substantial armchair with a comfy cloth seat and back, but wood or metal frame.” This way, you can splurge on a high-quality sofa and pair it with cheaper armchairs that look the part of luxe accent furniture without costing it.
The right budget-friendly piece can be elevated by the items it’s close to. That’s the thinking suggested by Leigh Lincoln and Aly Morford, the design duo behind . It’s no secret your mattress and bedding are two of the biggest expenses in furnishing your apartment. Thankfully, you can rest easy (wink wink) knowing they will last you a long time. Leigh and Aly recommend adding a headboard to refine your space. There are tons of cheaper options out there, and because a headboard doesn’t have to have much structural integrity or endure a lot of wear and tear, you can really afford to go cheap as long as you like the look of it.
Sometimes your budget-saving items can just be the result of smart shopping. Elizabeth Baumgartner of points out that you can get around the higher costs of quality fabric and pillows by shopping on Etsy. This super popular Schumacher dragon print pillow is $237 on Wayfair—the same pillow is available . If you’re savvy with a sewing machine, you can save even more.
Certain materials will always add a touch of glamour or luxury to your space, even when they’re not expensive at all. Two of Megan’s favorites are marble and bamboo. Marble is very popular right now, and can make even a simple side table or tray look high-end. Other less-shiny stone materials can have a similar effect in your space and provide some needed variety if you have a lot of wood pieces.
A unique material Megan loves to incorporate into a space is bamboo or rattan. It’s surprisingly price-friendly and is not limited to use in more bohemian-leaning spaces, she says. But let’s be honest, who isn’t trying to inject their space with some of that modern boho aesthetic that’s so popular on Instagram right now?