Decorating with Less: How to Have a Beautiful House with a Small Budget

A beautiful house does not have to mean a mansion filled with expensive furniture. It can mean a cozy cottage, an enigmatic loft, a flat with a fun personality. The key to a beautiful home is that it reflects the unique personalities of those who live there.

Open It Up

This is not the Victorian era. Every space does not have to be occupied with chairs and tables that are covered with knick-knacks. Whether floors are hardwood or carpeted, walls are white or ruby, a sense of openness and timelessness can be created.

  • Do not be afraid of empty spaces.
  • Do not be afraid of bare or nearly bare surfaces, including walls.
  • Do not be afraid to build a room around one grand piece, be it a sofa or piano. Then, less will be needed to “fill” the room.

Open corners and bare walls are fine, as long as the room is balanced with other pieces, at least one grand or unique piece per room.

Do not succumb to the need to fill every space with something. Open spaces are part of what the room is saying – let it speak without choking it.

Let Personalities Shine

A home is a refuge, a place to relax, to refuel, to retire, and to repair. Therefore, in order to get the full value from this important space, people should make their homes a reflection of their likes, their dreams, their goals, their fantasies and fancies.

  • Do not be afraid of a bold or unusual piece of furniture.
  • Do not be afraid to paint a wall a bright colour, including bright white. White walls are a statement, too, says interior decorator Marco Pasanella in his book, Living in Style Without Losing Your Mind.
  • Do not be afraid to step outside of the norm, either with furniture or accessories or both.

Trio Side Table - Detail

“Great design is a little off,” says Pasanella. “It includes the unpolished, the unique, perhaps even the slightly nutty. To have great design, you’ve got to have a little something, with a little something extra.”

Pasanella goes on to say that design can be scary, but it does not have to be. “To have a great home,” he says, “the point is, you don’t need a platinum card or a flair for fabrics. You need to know how to see.”

A well-designed home can be simple, with very few pieces of furniture, with pillows on the floor for sitting. The point is that it should reflect the preferences and personalities of those who live in it, and be a place where guests can be joyously welcomed.

Then, coming home will be a joy, a respite from the challenges of life, as it should be. One should not have to fight the furniture, as well as traffic. “Interior design has principles, and the most fundamental of these are gathering and retreat,” Pasanella says. “Keep it simple.”

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