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Today I’m sharing some tips & tricks when styling your home on a budget…
I only moved into my first home last year, and it’s been a work in progress ever since. Even now, I’m not 100% happy with it – mostly because it’s rented and I’m more limited on what I can do with it… However, I have learnt to accept that this will be my home for the foreseeable future and I’ve figured out ways to style little corners here and there to add a bit of personality to the ol’ place. I don’t have a massive cash flow so I can’t afford expensive furniture or large homeware pieces, so this is where a bit of DIY and high street shopping comes into it. I think most young people start out on a budget, and just because you can’t afford to spend £1000 on a tiny sofa, doesn’t mean you can’t pick out some gorgeous bits for your home. Today I’m going to share a few of the places I’ve shopped at over the past year where I’ve picked up lovely bits and pieces to decorate my house with and how I’ve made it look a lot more luxe than it costs!
In my bedroom I have a pretty big ass desk that I got from Ikea when I first moved in. I actually didn’t expect it to be as big as it is (well done gem for never measuring anything) but I quite like it in terms of a big flat space for photography! There is so much space to fill though and I’ve been searching for some fancy prints to go on it for the longest time. However, whenever I’ve wanted to add character to my house with prints, I’ve never been able to find what I want for a reasonable price. Gold frames usually cost a fortune, or any decent frames for that matter. Homeware places like TK Maxx do framed prints but you can only buy what’s on offer and I’m so picky that I never like anything when I go in. I tried looking online but the prices can be absolutely ridiculous and that’s before they’ve even charged shipping. I then heard about Desenio and oh my god – no wonder it’s so popular! First of all, the range of prints you can choose from is so extensive, you can get them in hundreds of different sizes – AND you can select a frame of your choice in the exact size to save you having to buy it elsewhere. Not only that, but it’s the most affordable site I’ve ever come across for prints and frames. I can’t rave about them enough – I now have some pretty darn fancy looking prints on my desk in the most beautiful gold frames that were so inexpensive, and they match my gold lamp perfectly! The prints I chose are pretty minimal but that’s what I like. The first one I selected was this gorgeous XO black poster in 50x70cm which as you can see is pretty large, so I wanted a smaller one to put with it and chose this spotty skirt poster which is a cute fashion sketch to compliment it. I really like the set up of the two together and it’s made my desk look a lot smaller filling up some space. My gold lamp was bought a while back but it’s from Homesense, every time I go in there they have some gorgeous lamps and I’m pretty sure mine was only around £15 which is amazing for how expensive it looks imo! Another addition that I always thinks adds a luxurious touch to my bedroom is fresh flowers, particularly if they’re in a nice vase. My favourites are glass vases at the moment, I stole a glass jug off my mum and I also like to use mason jars too.
I’m a little bit obsessed with this area of my kitchen. All I can say is – I have a pretty darn ugly kitchen and it’s my least favourite room in the house. As soon as I move, whether that be renting somewhere else or buying somewhere, the kitchen HAS to be bloody gorgeous because I need a serious upgrade. I do however like the big window in there, it’s the best room in the house for taking photos in as it lets in so much sun light. I’m still looking for some blinds for it though, because when the sun is low it’s right in your eyes sat at the table! Anyway, I’ve made the best of the situation by adding cute furniture to the “dining area” of the room and I just love how it looks. This shelving unit is the albert shelves from Ikea and they were £13 – I repeat £13!!! I mean yes, they are cheap quality (obviously) and close up they are far from perfect looking but I like that about them. I like that they are ‘raw’ and as soon as I styled them with all sorts of kitchen bits and bobs, I just fell in love. I’m constantly getting compliments on them and they cost me less than a mug from anthropologie. I’ve basically styled them up with chopping boards, cute glass milk bottles, jars of cereal, candles, mugs, an artificial ikea plant and finally another desenio print at the top. I get most of my homeware bits from places like homesense, tk maxx, h&m home… and it’s all so affordable so it’s really just about shopping around, constantly popping in to see what’s new and finding little bits you love. The desenio print is a really nice touch I think, especially since it’s related to food and these shelves are in my kitchen. It’s the bon appetit poster and only cost £5.95 in this size which is an absolute bargain. I also recently picked up this house plant from my local garden centre and I think it looks gorgeous next to them. You can see that I still need to find a plant pot for it, but we’ll just ignore that part…
So admittedly, my living room is quite bare. I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s not the most attractive looking room if you watch my insta stories as it’s basically the ‘safe room’ of the house where Reuben plays everyday. All his toys are in there and I’ve sectioned part of it off with a baby gate as his play area. He used to just play in his own area and I’d shut the gate and lock him in, but since he’s got older and I’ve made it safer, he now just has the entire room to play in and I have a baby gate in the doorway. For this reason, it means I can no longer have cute trinkets and candles on the window sills or a vase of flowers on my coffee table. It’s just one of those things when you have a toddler I guess, but I decorate other parts of the house so it’s not all bad. I did decide to get myself a set of shelves for in there, to add something to the room, and my heart was set on some gold ones – but they’re just so so expensive, there was no way I could afford some. I didn’t give up and ended up finding a DIY online of the Ikea VITTSJO shelving unit where lots of people had spray painted them gold. I decided to set the task upon myself to do the same and ordered a set. I had to get them in black as for some reason they’ve stopped selling them in white on the UK site but it still worked out. It took a lot more spray paint than it should of (unless the blog posts were telling porkies) and I’m not sure if that’s because they were hard to cover or my spray painting skills are just shit – but hey ho. Anyway, this is how they turned out (see above) and even though they don’t have the best paint job up close, they actually look alright. I love the glass dividers, I think that they look so high end when the actual unit only cost me £65 (minus the £50+ of spray paint) – however I definitely don’t think they’d look as luxe if they weren’t painted gold. So in total they probably cost me around £100 but you would probably have to pay £800+ to get something like this from the likes of Anthropologie so I’m quite chuffed!
There’s a total of 4 sets of shelves but I can only use the top two as a certain toddler can reach the bottom ones and he kept throwing toys on the glass so I removed it for fear of it smashing. I still get the top two to decorate though and essentially decorate them the same way I do my set in the kitchen. I’ve got some cute little dishes from Anthropologie on there that were pretty affordable, a bit pricier than other homeware places on the high street, but worth it. I’ve got an expensive vase from Amara on there but that was gifted so technically doesn’t feel like an expense! I’ve sort of just thrown things together when it comes to these because I like that sort of look, there’s a lot of personal objects like jewellery and fragrance that I thought looked cute on there. I got the gold tray from H&M home for about £10 I believe and I sit all my perfumes in it and think it looks lovely. I did used to have this on my desk but I think it works better on this shelving unit and they’re in the perfect place for me to spritz something on before I leave the house. I have a lot of candles as you can see, but since this is my living room, it’s the place where I’ll sit on an evening with a few candles burning so it’s the best place to keep them. I’m constantly switching them up though as I buy so many and they tend to get ugly as you burn through them so I like to add a fresh new one to the mix every now and again. I recommend piling cute books up to put things on if you have them, I think it looks super cute and definitely adds character. And then after I styled the shelves, I tend to just chuck things on the top, I want a nice plant or something up there but I haven’t found the perfect one yet. At the moment, there’s just some pretty storage tins/boxes that I haven’t found a place for yet, an anthropologie candle that wasn’t sitting right on the shelves, and a couple of room diffusers. There’s also a new addition which is this lovely & black paint poster which I love. I wasn’t sure what to do with this one so I’ve put it up there for now and think it adds a lil somethin’ to the room – I think maybe it could have done with a gold frame but what can ya do.
So that’s how I’ve styled little parts of my home so far, it’s still a work in progress and I’m trying to work on Ru’s room at the moment as it looks a bit all over the place. I’ll maybe do a post on it in the future if you’re interested in that? If you fancy treating yourself to some new prints, the code “GEMMA” gives 25% off posters* between 13th – 15th February. *Except for handpicked-/collaboration posters and frame”.
Let me know your best tips for styling a home on a budget!