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Budget Interiors

Creative Furniture – Get Bespoke on a Budget

I was recently having a look around a friends’ newly revamped apartment, and for some reason I kept getting a feeling of déjà vu. It took a little while for me to put my finger on exactly why I was feeling this way until it dawned on me, I’d seen most of this furniture before (quite a number of times before in fact), in other people’s houses.

This is of course the result of there being an abundance of low cost, mass produced furniture, which in today’s economy is the first choice for bargain hunters. So instead of recommending my friends go out and spend more money replacing this heavily duplicated furniture, I decided to compile a list of ways that you can modify and personalise these cost effective but lifeless pieces, to create the look of bespoke without the price tag.

Inside all of us there’s a budding interior designer, and you don’t need to be a qualified carpenter to produce a beautiful looking piece of furniture.  Armed with a delicate stencil and some pots of paint in your favourite colour combinations, you can create create a chest of drawers that would be the pride of any discerning shoppers bedroom.

The greatly increased possibility of crayon, fruit juice, and other miscellaneous stains (and just general cosmetic damage) means most people aren’t cracking open the piggy bank in order to spend a vast amount of money on children’s playroom furniture. But with a bit of careful selection, you can pick out some playfully patterned and illustrated pieces of wallpaper, to line the recesses of a basic shelving unit, to create a piece of furniture that looks so fantastic and fun, even the most energetic of tots will be reluctant to cover it up with Crayola.

Another interesting way to create personalised children’s furniture is with accessories. The chest of drawers featured here has been adorned with new handles in various shapes and colours, which is a super quick and easy way of giving what would otherwise be plain furniture a playtime friendly feel.

If you’re unsteady with a paintbrush, another option is to cover up the plain neutral expanses which are such a well known feature of budget furniture, by purchasing a custom skin. You can order them from as little as £20 (prices vary depending on size/style and retailer) and can apply them to anything from drawers to bookshelves or even just straight onto the wall.

So what about those of us that don’t have much time to spare? How can you create a cool creation without having to spend hours carefully stencilling and fixing? Well even the smallest lick of paint can create a whole new feel to a room. The chair featured here began life as a standard, wooden dining chair, and has been transformed into a bright, bubblegum pink piece of loveliness that would sit happily in any modern, trend savvy living space.

Office and desk space can become plain and mundane when you’re on a tight budget, and you wouldn’t be the first to dream of having a beautiful hardwood desk to work on, but we’re thinking thrifty, and have found an example of a desk that begun life as a simple white gloss top, and has been updated using walnut contact paper on the drawer faces to add a bit of texture and interest, whilst also helping to match the table with a vintage real wood chair. Used on small areas (like these drawers) it’s very effective.

Everyone has a few pieces of furniture that could do with a bit of TLC, what can you find to personalise in your home?

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