7 Budget Tips for Dabbling in a Color Trend

Ringing in the New Year with a New Color!

New colors come into fashion with every season change.  Keeping up with color trends is a great way to help a home decorated on a budget look fresh and current.  Before jumping in, consider these tips to help keep you in style yet on track with your budget decorating goals.

  1. One surefire way to incorporate new colors each season into your home is to have the major furnishings and walls in a neutral palette.  This will allow you to bring in new colors without clashing.
  2. Make sure that when you use the latest color in your home, it works with your other items.  A well color coordinated room can make even the shabbiest of interiors look expensive.
  3. Do not feel like you absolutely have to use the latest and greatest color in your home.  Just because a color is in style, does not mean that you must like it or use it.
  4. Think very carefully about investing money into a piece of furniture or other large item in the latest and greatest color.  You don’t want to be stuck with a sofa for 20 years date stamped spring of 2012.
  5. Think small and cheap.  For example, an inexpensive lacquered bowl in a fresh color brings the trend into your home for a small monetary commitment.  A single throw pillow in the season’s hot color is another budget friendly way to dabble in a new color.
  6. Consider painting a small table or other furniture item in a new hue.  A quart of paint is very inexpensive; the only real investment with this option is your time.
  7. Think practicality when purchasing something simply to partake in a trend.  You might consider purchasing an item for your Kitchen such a set of plastic tumblers or coffee mugs.  This small purchase will give a taste of the color you crave with the ability to store the items in a cabinet once trend has passed.

Remember these seven tips the next time you see those great new colors.  If possible, bring new colors into your home regularly for a true designer look.  Just remember that you can participate in a color trend without sacrificing your decorating budget.

Small Items That Pack a Big Punch

 Who says good things don’t come in small packages?   Sometimes a small item can add a lot of style impact to your home.   Small items can be great looking and budget friendly; in fact, some of these items are even free.  Check out these undersized items that deliver big decorating impact.

Produce:  Yes, you read correctly, produceDisplay colorful, fresh fruit or vegetables in a bowl in the Kitchen or Dining Room.  When used as an edible accessory, produce adds color and a delicate smell to your home and is great for your waistline.  Some varieties to try include pears, apples, lemons, limes, pomegranates, artichokes, and eggplants.

A Tassel:  Use tassels in unexpected ways.  Add a single tassel to the end of a pull cord on a ceiling fan or light fixture for a touch of color and instant sophistication.  Tassels can also be hung over a knob on a dresser or armoire to freshen the look of an existing piece of furniture.

Three Way Light Bulbs:  Replace a standard light bulb with a three way light bulb in a lamp that accommodates such a bulb.   The smallest wattage can be used for soft lighting to create instant ambiance.  The highest setting can be used for task lighting and reading. 

Throw Pillows:  Use throw pillows as a small yet effective way to add color, pattern and texture.  Adding a throw pillow in the season’s hot color, this spring the color is yellow, instantly updates a room.

Door Mat:  A new doormat welcomes guests to your home.  Rather than the basic green or tan color mat, look for a brightly painted mat to add color and warmth to your entrance.  First impressions last, so make yours representative of the details inside your home.

New Cabinet Knobs:  Replace your old cabinet knobs for a quick and effective transformation.  New knobs can transform the look of Kitchen cabinets from old to new.  A modern knob on older cabinets can result in an instantaneous updated look. 

Lamp Shade:  A tired looking lamp becomes new again with a fresh shade.   Seek to change both the shape and color of the old shade, and you will feel like you purchased a new lamp.  Bring your lamp base to the shade store for the most successful results. 

Fresh Flowers:  Flowers add color and smell to your home and help to brighten just about any room.  Pick flowers from your garden or purchase stems from growers at local farmer’s markets for a fresh and budget friendly alternative.

Hand Towels:  Perk up a Kitchen or Powder Room with hand towels.  These objects of necessity can do much more than simply dry your hands.  For just a few dollars, colored or patterned hand towels add a bit of interest in these utilitarian spaces. 

Paint:  One gallon of a new paint color can dramatically change the look of a small room or piece of furniture.  Drab walls can instantaneously change to stunning and a piece of furniture can be given a whole new personality with paint color.

Child’s Artwork:  Nothing adds character and color to home like a picture made by your favorite child.  Simple artwork can be transformed to look like a masterpiece when placed in inexpensive frame.  You can even commission your child to color a picture for you to fill a specific place on your wall or add a needed touch of color in a room.  

These ideas are simple and inexpensive.  Go ahead and give one a try, you will be impressed with how big of an impact the addition of one small decorative item can have in your home.

Interior Design Makeovers in 2 Minutes, 20 Minutes, 2 Hours and 2 Days

With the long Thanksgiving weekend upon us, here are a few ideas to freshen up your home no matter how little or how much time you may have this weekend.  Maybe you can even give the 2 minute makeover ideas a try while your turkey is cooking! 

Happy Thanksgiving.

2 Minutes Makeover Ideas

Take a visual scan of the room in need. Look for things that instinctually bother you and are ongoing visual eyesores. These can be things like a picture that is hung too high or too low, a plant with dead branches, or an accessory that you no longer like. Take two minutes and fix this problem; re-hang the picture, pull the leaves off the plant, or remove that accessory.

Add fresh flowers in a colorful vase.

Quickly rearrange the existing items on a mantel shelf or coffee table.

20 Minutes Makeover Ideas

Empty a bookcase of all its contents. Reposition the items back on the bookshelves in a new and interesting way. Instead of placing books standing up, stack them in neat piles of like size books and place them on the shelves with an accessory or two on top of the books.

Take down all the artwork on the walls and re-hang in new places in the room. It will look like you purchased all new artwork.

Rearrange your furniture in one room for a new look.

Swap the lamps in one room with the lamps in another room. That matching pair of lamps in your Master Bedroom might look great in your Living Room and the unmatched pair from the Living Room might add a touch of visual and unexpected interest to the bedroom.

2 Hours Makeover Ideas

In a bedroom, switch out the duvet cover or quilt, add decorative pillow shams, and hang some coordinating sheer delicate drapery panels.

In a Bathroom, add new towels in a fresh color, a clean new shower curtain, a new area rug, and new framed mirror.

An alternative in the Bathroom is to paint an old wood vanity a crisp white or even use this as an unexpected place to add a touch of color.

Go through your entire house with touch up paint. It is amazing what eliminating scuffs and dings on the walls can do to help brighten a home.

Hang a set of shelves in the Office or in a Child’s Bedroom for book or toy storage.

Hang a new light fixture in your Entry or Dining Room; it is like adding jewelry to an outfit.

2 Days Makeover Ideas

Repaint a room, any room from a Bedroom to the Kitchen, top to bottom in a fresh and up-to-date color.

For your patio, buy new furniture, an outdoor area rug, a few new potted plants, and hang some wooden carvings to transform an average patio to an outside oasis.

Give a bathroom a complete facelift by painting the walls, installing a new framed mirror and light fixture, new towels, new accessories and rugs. The room will appear brand new.


My name is Lisa Michelle Davidson.  I have worked as an Interior Designer for over 15 years with experience on very high end design projects, both on residential and commercial.  By high end projects I mean the type where the client calls you at 5:05 p.m. on a Friday and states “If I don’t have the pillow for my maid’s room Louis XV chair tonight, it will ruin my entire weekend.”  No joke, true story!

In the past years, I have, by choice, elected to work with more clients that are real people with real budgets – people just like me.  I prefer clients with kids and pets and busy lives; people who sometimes leave the breakfast dishes in the sink until dinner time.  We want good looking design that doesn’t necessarily equal throwing dollars at a high price tag or designer label.  Yet we don’t want to lower our design standards to replicate the cheesy and tacky “budget decorating” that is out there either.  This is design for real life, where form must follow function.

This blog is a place where I will give you solid design advice and ideas (backed by my experience and education).  I want to demystify the “whys” of interior design and educated you so that you can become your best designer.  I am not looking to put myself out of a design career, but I believe that knowledge is empowering, and we all deserve to tap into our power.

I have a bachelor’s degree from CSUS and a degree from UCSB in Interior and Environmental Design.  Additionally, I appeared on HGTV’s hit show Designers’ Challenge and have had my design work published in magazines, books and various newspapers.  While still running my full service Interior Design business, I have brought my design skills to the internet with www.interiordesignserviceonline.com. In my off time, I am a busy and happy mom to two beautiful, happy, interesting children.  To contact me, please email designer@interiordesignserviceonline.com.