Do you live in a small apartment with few decoration possibilities? Would you like to completely renovate the house but the budget tells you should moderate your enthusiasm before letting your interior design ideas spread over the cash-flow limit? Do you dream big but the space and the wallet are too small? How many times haven’t we been in similar situations? Have you ever tried to turn an old dress into wall paper or build your own furniture out of used jeans belts, nails and a piece of wood? Did it ever cross your mind that you can change the look of a room entirely with a few colored pillows or some wall stickers?
There are plenty of cheap interior design ideas out there. Here on TenMania we have already discussed smart and affordable small bathroom decorating ideas, living room wall renovations, luxurious wet bars and many other design solutions for independent rooms and entire homes, but this time we will focus on DIY projects that are cheap, easy to make, a little bit funky but nonetheless fun to try to implement and certainly challenging for our imagination, skills and determination.
Do-it-yourself projects are not a new idea in the world of interior design, as you will find a wide variety of tutorials on exercising your crafts, from making jewelry to creating a paper Christmas tree, to building your own furniture. You probably already know that modern design trends speak about contrasting colors, abstract patterns, floating shelves and tables for saving space, baskets for depositing personal items, use of light colors to create the feeling of space and so on. Today we will see ten cheap interior design ideas that can turn into modern furniture, new decorations, lively rooms, practical storage spaces and many more.
1. Patch your walls
The Patchwork Style is quite in fashion in the last years, with its funky and jolly looks and its interesting combinations, but it can also be a very challenging DIY project. No, if you think you can just add patches of textile from old jeans, blankets and clothes, bind them together and stick them to the walls, you couldn’t be farther from the subject. You should first choose a model or predominant pattern to express a certain style: warm and cozy, shabby-chic, childish and fun, it’s your choice, but you should remember that only some rooms are fit for this type of interior design idea, such as kids’ bedroom or your personality – expressive living room, but you should not exaggerate with colors, textures, patterns and quantity.
For instance, you will find great ideas and many tips and tricks on how to create your own patched wall on House to Home, while Apartment Therapy has an interesting article on a patch wall DIY project for the children’s dormitory. Get inspired, trash some old clothes and get to work! Don’t stop at walls: you can patch an old looking dresser, an old armchair, a lamp, mirror frames, or even kitchen furniture!
2. Blackboard and chalk decorations
Don’t think for a second that white or colored chalk on blackboards have everything to do with schools, classrooms or everybody’s shortage of breath before going in front of our teacher to solve a Math problem. These school items also have a great value as interior design ideas that are at hand and can be created by everybody with a little imagination.
For instance, nidahspa.com tells us that is quite easy to completely change the looks and the atmosphere of a room with a blackboard and some chalk and the ideas seem to never finish: add a blackboard in the kitchen and write on it message for the family members, the daily menu, the shopping list or just a happy motivational motto to keep you happy. If you buy a special can of black paint that works together well with white chalk, you can take things a little bit farther: paint some jars and write in white chalk information about their content. Write on black bottles or create your own personal food serving wooden plate or design labels on coffee cups. The possibilities are endless and you can play with this black-white artsy contrast to add some style to your home. For more interesting DIY blackboard projects, you should consult also with the experts from Houzz, as you’ll find there incredible and cheap interior design ideas.
3. Personalize your furniture
If the old one starts looking a little too vintage for your tastes or you just need to replace it altogether, don’t think that the only thing you can do is to patch it up with textiles and pieces of jolly imprinted old dresses. If the vintage piece of furniture is still functional, but it just looks old and rugged, paint it in creative ways, from dark mahogany for a more serious and modern look, in pink or light creme for a more vintage shabby style, in crystal white with applied handmade paintings (if you can paint) or cover it in special sticker paper.
In older times, people would use wood imitation patterns and colors to cover their furniture in, maybe to get a Shaker style sort of atmosphere, but that looks a little bit old and tacky. Today it’s all about abstract shapes and contrasting colors, so you can turn an old dresser into a modern surrealist piece of art by applying abstract patterns of stickers or if the budget allows you to buy a new cupboard, dresser or desk, take into account buying a cheap white one and get creative with stick paper to design your own vision of the house. You can check also Elle Decor for more interesting interior design ideas and DIY solutions.
4. Create a unique bed panel
This is an awesome project the beautiful people from Design Every Day teach us how to create on our own. If you have some old books you don’t use anymore (although it’s hard to believe that people would throw away books), let them still be a part of your life by creating a unique wall decoration or a bed panel that certainly will make a sensation. This is what you need: old books with hardcovers, of similar size and thickness, some nails, a wooden panel to tack the books on, a hammer, of course and some double-adhesive band.
Fix the books on the wooden panel with nails, stick the pages so they don’t flip and make sure you keep your new bed panel free from dust, as books are quite the dust collectors. It is an interior design idea and a DIY projects that is interesting and rather unique if you just happen to have some books around you will never read again. But, for the sake of culture, keep all the books open to your favorite passage in each of them, so you can fill yourself with immortal wisdom every time you go to sleep.
5. Make your own floating shelves
Not enough room in the house? Need just some more extra space to place some personal items? Have some leather or textile belts you can live without? Perfect! Let’s get to work and make some narrow but chic floating hanging shelves. All you need is two belts, of same color or even contrasting ones for a lively effect, light narrow wooden boards, painted in white or any color of your choice, a hammer and some strong nails. You can make them simple shelves or double hanging shelves, just like Bob Vila shows us. The how-to tutorial regarding 5 Things to Do with… Leather Belts is spectacular in its simplicity and creativity and you can get a lot of new ideas from there.
Back to our shelves, make two large bows from the belts, insert and fix the wooden board and hammer the shelves with nails in the wall. It won’t be the most solid shelf ever, but it will look nice and gain you some space.
6. Use colored towels to decorate your bathroom
We talked before about bathroom decorating ideas on this site, and here we have another one of the simplest cheap interior design ideas out there. You can’t have it more simpler than this: say you have a small bathroom painted in white or neutral colors. Say it looks rather dull and the budget doesn’t allow you to make extensive renovations. Don’t despair.
One of the cheapest interior design ideas you can implement in a day is to buy some colored towels, in very powerful tones to match and to contrast the rest of the bathroom. They should not be very expensive, but a bit of extra fluffiness doesn’t hurt. For a dash of extra style, buy some colored bathroom carpets too. Roll the towels and keep the rolled with the help of a fine piece of textile bow. Rolled towels look like true pieces of art and you can strategically place them under the sink, on a floating shelf, in a basket in a pyramid shape or above a cabinet. Use them only for decoration and match a lively colored carpet too if the floor is white or dull looking too. On Decoist.com you will find more pictures where this one came from, together with other minimalist ideas, both as a style and as a budget. DIY projects have never been so easy!
7. Change the handles on doors and drawers
This is not quite a regular DIY project, but more like a DIY carpentry job, but still, it is a great interior design idea, especially if you have a lot of furniture that looks rather dull. So change the closets’, the cabinets’ and the drawers’ handles with some original ones. Contrary to popular belief the stainless steel ones or the wooden ones are not everything you can find in the handles market. You can have plastic colored ones, animal shaped ones, glass-made, vintage style models, anything you like. So what if your drawers don’t have any handles? Stick some colored knobs on them. Or even better, get wooden plain knobs and paint them yourself with some acrylic paint, just like in the photo. There are thousand of models of door knobs and handles out there.
8. Wall stickers taken to the next level
There are hundreds of ways to liven up your walls and we’ve talked here about ten of them on a previous occasion, but nothing says more things about your personality than covering an entire wall with a photo-turned-into-sticker wallpaper. It can be your favorite landscape, the Siberian night sky, an artistic photo of your choice, anything you wish for. A black and white photo can add a stylish touch to a neutral colored living room, while a colored photo can liven up a child’s bedroom. There are specialized companies that can turn your favorite pictures into wall stickers (even removable ones) and it is definitely easier and cheaper than repainting the entire house. You can find more information on these options here and here.
9. Create your own wall art
Maybe the furniture looks alright and the house expresses your personality, but something is missing. Maybe some paintings? Some canvas art? How about you try some interior design ideas involving creating your own art? You can make anything from surrealist paintings (textile materials and frames) to newspaper flowers, from decorations involving your water plastic bottles spread around the house to wooden masks, all sorts of collage – like artsy decorations using old maps, fallen book pages, feathers, dry leaves and flowers, even Christmas decorations, you name it.
If you really want to get inspired, Better Homes and Gardens shows you 14 Easy Canvas Wall Art Projects that take you only a few materials usually available around the house, some simple tools and a lot of imagination. Consider an old Chinese dress as your new painting, spray some feathers with silver car spray and attach them to a blackboard, take the content of a potpourri and spread it over a wooden board with a lot of glue on it. Art that brings nature in is always better than your regular sketch drawing from the mall. Not to mention you will be proud of becoming a true artist yourself.
10. Paint the floor
Not many people think about decorating their floors with anything else but carpets or rugs, but let’s keep in mind that we are talking about cheap interior design ideas that can turn into great DIY projects. So why not paint a wooden floor in squares, polka dots, floral motives or even paint the shape and the model of a rug? You can mimic a carpet with special paint or even decorate a larger floor with small carpet-like paintings.
From this point on, sky is the limit: you can play with powerful colors for contrast, stripes for creating the idea of space, squares to mimic tiles and so on. You can find brilliant floor painting ideas on Better Homes and Gardens and you can turn the DIY project into a family challenge too, as you will need some time for this. Have fun, spend as little as you can and get out of the decoration box with new ideas!
What other cheap interior design ideas do you have? Ever tried a DIY project on your own? How did it go? Did you use a tutorial or followed your instinct?