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Best Interior Investments On A Budget

...where to save and what to save up for

Creating a beautiful and comfortable home doesn't have to break the bank. With some strategic planning and creativity, you can make some smart interior investments that will give you the most bang for your buck.

blue china cabinet, painted hutch, painted china cabinet, sheer drapery, living room
Sheer drapery, a pop of color and some vintage pieces make this the perfect living room.

Before getting into the list, it is important to note that the room you are focusing on can also have an effect on whether it is a good room for a budget refresh or if you should really consider saving up and making a bigger design commitment. High use, high traffic spaces are where I advise my clients to spend the bulk of their investment. The kitchen, the living room, the dining room and your personal retreat, the primary bedroom are, to me, the most important rooms in the home. This is where you buy quality items as these are either the rooms you entertain in or the room where you relax and unwind. These are also the spaces where you may consider hiring a professional interior designer... and by a professional interior designer, I obviously mean me =)

But not every interior design project needs to be so involved. There are spaces in the home where you can flex your creative muscles while saving some money. If you are on a tight budget, the home office, guest bedroom and kids spaces are perfect places for you to start.

Here are some of the best interior investments that you can make on a budget:


To me, there is no better way to do a quick refresh than painting a room. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home's interior. It's a quick and inexpensive way to update the look of any room. Choose a color that will work well with your existing furniture and décor, and you'll be amazed at the transformation. But what color to choose? Studies have shown that colors can have a significant impact on not only our mood and emotions but also our energy levels. Different colors can evoke different feelings and can greatly affect our mental and physical well-being. This is why it is important to carefully consider the colors we use in our homes, which is where we spend a significant amount of our time. Read our post on how to select the right color for your space to help you make your decision.

bar cart, painted chair rail, painted wainscoting, vintage rug, small room, elephant decor, accent table
This room was brightened up with this paint combo and also has my favorite accent table.


Good lighting can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a room. Utilizing as much natural light as possible is always a great starting point. Determine which direction your windows face in each room will let you know if you can go with light and breezy sheers or if you need something a bit more substantial. Consult our Window Treatment Guide for more help in this department. If you know you absolutely don't have it in your budget to get custom window treatments, really do your research. Window treatments can make or break your room. But fear not, natural light isn't our only lighting source. Also consider adding some new light fixtures or lamps to brighten up your space. Lighting is almost like jewelry and can really impact your space. Don't forget to replace old bulbs with more energy-efficient options to save on your electricity bill. And if you have recessed lighting, be sure to purchase the can lights with the adjustable temperature control. This way you can see what works best in your space and adjust accordingly.

Accent Furniture

Investing in a new piece of furniture can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. What you don't want to do is spend money on poor quality furniture. But by shopping online or at thrift stores for gently used pieces you can refinish or reupholster a piece to fit your style while saving money. This method works best when purchasing accent furniture. I do not advise trying to save money on regularly used items. A good quality sofa will hold up and last for years whereas a cheap sofa might as well be disposable. Then you are just wasting your money on having a temporary place to sit and soon you will be throwing that one in the landfill and purchasing a replacement. Sometimes it is not as easy as just going to the thrift store and picking up some furniture. Consult our post on vintage finds to see our tips on where to go and what to look for. Read the post here.


The power of decor is often underestimated. Carefully curating a bookshelf, coffee table or open shelving in your home can transform you space and give it personality. Adding small objects, coffee table books and other decor items are what make those photos you save on Pinterest magazine worthy. You can also consider adding some new throw pillows or a rug to refresh your existing furniture. By changing out a few items you can really give a fresh look to your room.

home office, double desk, cow art, picture light, lantern
Find a gorgeous oil painting like this second hand.


Adding some artwork to your walls can be a great way to add some personality to your home. Look for affordable prints or create your own artwork to save money. Keep in mind the frames can make or break a piece of art. If you are finding your artwork second hand, remember to look beyond the frame. Frames are easily replaced and in some cases are not even necessary. If a canvas has finished sides you can hang canvas art directly to the wall completely frameless.


Kitchens and Bathrooms

While there are small things you can do to update your kitchen and bath, generally these are two of the most expensive areas in the home to upgrade so it is a good idea to get a skilled team on the job. Regardless of whether you go it alone or hire a team, you will be spending a lot of money so having a good interior designer who works with a list of professionals, all who have done many projects of the same kind and have tons of experience is so much better than attempting a project and creating a very costly mistake for yourself. It is also said that updating your kitchen and bathrooms is one of the best investments you can make in your home so be sure to be doing it the right way.

Hunter Douglas, woven woods, linen drapery, changing table, rocking chair, gray nursery
Woven woods and linen drapery are perfect in this nursery.

Custom Window Treatments

Having the proper window treatments can truly transform a room but in form and in function. New drapery, shutters, roller shades or woven woods can instantly update the look of a room. There is a lot that goes into the perfect window treatments and the investment reflects that work. Read our post on window treatments to see if custom is the way to go or if you can save some money on store bought options. But don't say I didn't warn you about the investment. Sticker shock is normal when it comes to custom window treatments!

Heavy Use Furniture

A good rule of thumb is to spend money on your most used items. In the long run, saving your money for the furniture you and your family use the most will be . If you are purchasing a sofa for your living room and that is where your entire family and friends gather daily then you would be much better off saving your money to purchase a quality sofa. If however you are adding a sofa to a rarely used guest bedroom then feel free to save on a lower quality piece. After all, they're lucky to be there! Keep in mind when searching for those high use pieces of furniture that high-performance fabrics are always worth the money. They extend the life of your upholstered item exponentially and with proper care they can last quite a long time.

Original Artwork

If artwork is your statement piece in a room then you want to be sure it's an original. I'm not talking about getting a Warhol or Picasso, though I do have clients who have both and it is absolutely incredible to see. You can get original artwork from budding local artists for a really good price. You will of course be spending more than you would on a print or remake but the power an original art piece has in a room is paramount. I work with some artists who have absolutely gorgeous paintings so if this is a route you'd like to go and don't know where to start, send us an email to and we would be happy to help guide you.

living room, linen sofa, swivel chairs, white painted brick fireplace, vintage rug
Need help pulling it all together? Send an email to - we would be happy to help!

​Designer For A Day Services

Hiring an interior design firm is a large investment but if you are on a tight budget, that doesn't mean that you can't get a professional assessment of your situation. EDN's Design Collaboration Experience may be the best way for you to finally feel confident ordering that new furniture, finally make those design decisions you have been putting off and see the best options to create a great place for your family to make memories.

Having a healthy interior design budget isn't always available to everyone but knowing where to save and where to spend can help you stretch every dollar. Remember, good interior spaces should improve your quality of life, not create anxiety and debt. Investing in your home doesn't have to be overly expensive. With these simple and affordable interior investments, you can transform your space on a reasonable budget without breaking the bank.


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