My Top Tips for a Stylish Home on any Budget

My Top Tips for a Stylish Home on any Budget

Hello everyone I hope your week is going well?  I was just thinking about creative expression and all the ways we can achieve it from how we dress and talk to cooking, gardening, painting, writing and even our work (if we’re lucky)

Just one way I like to creatively express myself is through decorating as anyone who knows me or has been to my house will tell you. So I thought that today I would share some of my tips for a stylish character filled home that’s individual to you whatever your style or budget.  See if you agree or feel inspired by any of these ideas to get creative at home…


1. Size Matters

No matter what size your room or house a few very large pieces will make it seem bigger, not smaller.  They will also add character, style and the wow factor.

This includes mirrors, art, lamps, central light fixtures, clocks or rugs…go large!  Its a counter intuitive thing that also applies to painting a room i.e. paint a small, dark room in a dark colour not necessarily a bright one.

tartan scott
Click on the pic for link to ‘The Adventures of Tartanscott’, Interior Decorator

2. Art

More than anything else I think art gives a home character, style, individuality, interest and warmth and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.

2013-01-14 12.13.56
Framed vintage style prints from Etsy with frames from IKEA…

I have some original art pieces but I also frame pictures from magazines, posters, newspaper clippings and children’s drawings.

2013-01-14 11.03.36 (1)
This drawing of Irish Dancers was a gift from local artist & friend Sandra Vernon. Click on this image for more information about Sandra’s work…


kids gallery
Incredible home Gallery by eklektick (click on image) who hung her kids’ masterpieces and ‘framed them’ with line drawings using black craft paint!

When it comes to art go as large as you can find BUT failing that hang a smaller piece off centre. Add another framed piece at an angle to this one for an interesting display or alternatively go for a gallery effect with matching or mis-matching  frames.

After that the only rule is choose something you love…

Here is a selection of art from around my home including pieces by artists I love, Itzchak Tarkay & Linda Le Kniff, a copy of a vintage Sandeman poster, a map canvas from IKEA plus framed dancing girls in the bathroom…

PicMonkey Collage


Pine or similar doors, architraving, skirting…if you’re looking for something different my big tip is paint it.  Go for colours like duck egg blue, grey/green, grey, pale green, cream or pale pink. This is a great tip for taking the ‘identikit’ look off a house and making it personal to you. If you like period style houses or hotels you will have noticed the doors are often painted in this way but it’s a look that works well in a modern home too. It looks beautiful and it won’t cost the earth.

New doors (hence over door damage!) painted French Grey plus replica Braveheart sword and canvas painting from Heatons €15...
New doors (hence over door damage!) painted French Grey, replica ‘Braveheart’ sword and canvas painting from Heatons €15… We actually hung this the ‘wrong way’ as we liked the ‘flying’ perspective better!

Here’s a stunning example with stronger colours…

colour wood

Mirrors, Clocks & Lamps 

Yes, yes and yes!  Again go as large as you can find or afford especially when it comes to mirrors.  Now if I could find or afford the ‘Jane Mirror’ from Habitat I’d be very pleased indeed : )



Bookshelves, even a small set look great, add oodles of character to a room and don’t need to be expensive.  You can buy a white set with six shelves in IKEA for just €26.  If you’re on a tight budget you could add to them over time, lining them up for a library feel.


books & skirt

Hang Fixtures Low

Art, chandeliers, mirrors…the next time your’re hanging something and have it where you think it might go get someone to hold it just a little lower and see how it looks instead. I’ ve found it usually looks better.  When it comes to curtains always go floor length if you can.

Don’t Coordinate

Don’t feel that you need to match things, cushions and curtains for example.  Feel free to go for a variety of textures, patterns and a range of colours that complement rather than match.

Mix Things Up

If you want a truly individual look then don’t always use furniture designed for a particular room in that room.  Take the bathroom for example.  Bathroom mirrors and storage tends to be functional but ugly.  My tip is to use bedroom or living room pieces instead.  Wet and steam is the issue here so go for second hand or inexpensive pieces.

Who Are You?

Who are you?  What is your personal style and does your home reflect that?  If the answer is no but you would like it to then a good place to start is with magazines or online sources like Houzz or Pinterest .  Start cutting and collecting or pinning whatever appeals to you, makes your heart sing…

Make virtual or cut and paste moodboard’s (collages of ideas you love) Before long you will see one or more trends appear again and again, this is your style. The next step is to find ways of making that work in your home and just go for it…


Be true to yourself and what you love...
Be true to yourself and that you love…


 So what do you think of my suggestions?  Do any appeal to you in particular or have you any to add?





10 thoughts on “My Top Tips for a Stylish Home on any Budget”

  • Really excellent tips Jane! I went straight off to the IKEA website the second I finished reading. I always think that I can’t do anything with a bit of money to throw at you but you’re right, I need to think outside the box!

    • Thanks very much, great to hear you liked them : ) I always get tons of ideas when I’m there even if it is a bit on the ‘modern’ side for me style wise!

  • This is really inspiring. I don’t even consider decorating because I think it’ll cost more than I have. If you saw my house you would cry!

    • Thank you Joanna, really happy you liked it : ) Cost is always a factor for me too but I still find it good for the soul : )

  • I’m just looking at all my pictures hung dead centre in the wall and wondering what to do about them! Lovely pictures, great tips. Very thought-provoking.

    • Thanks Maud, you could hang more around them or hang one or two pictures or other items off to one side at an angle perhaps! Or you could leave well alone long as you like it yourself!

    • I should have mentioned I have some centred too! It can work! It was more just if you’re looking for something different you know: )

  • Love the home gallery! I have a bit of a ‘rogues’ gallery going on on one wall – photos of family and friends – need to update it! I so need to get back to printing photographs 🙂

    • I’ve been meaning to do that myself for some time, I feel terrible I don’t have more ‘printed’ pics of the girls

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