Budget-Friendly Design

This thread is for everyone who wants to make their home look good without running out and buying a bunch of new stuff. Link to interesting articles and DIY’s or post your own design dilemma, before and after, or secondhand score.


Thrilled to see this here! I will probably end up buying something new, since this is a little tricky to track down: have you all seen any budget-friendly cloth napkins/placemat settings/tablecloths that you’ve liked?


I’ve used tea towels as napkins, and those might be easier to find on Buy Nothing or craigslist. My local thrift also has a dedicated section for table linens, worth checking out if you’ve only tried online so far.


Yes!!! I will be spamming this thread frequently.

I’ve been playing around with floorplanner.com and spending way too much time on possible furniture arrangements lately.

First up is the office/guest bedroom but the main bedroom and living room also need some design love.


well, I’m here because we’re building a damn triplex right now and about to have 10 million design decisions.


Anyone have good recs for affordable area rugs? I do actually want to buy something for our house (gasp) but haven’t shopped new for things in ages and could use a tip.


My answer for this is to use something spectacular, maybe new, for some piece of this and then the old tried and true for the otthers.

I have colorful, Indian placemats. But almost all my napkins are vintage, white linen.

I have almost no “Christmas” table linens. But I have used red ribbons, candles, etc. on the table. Wrapping a white linen table cloth with a 3" wide ribbon with a looped bow in the middle solves the “centerpiece” problem, looks like a package, and doesn’t cost a fortune.

For seasonal napkins, etc. at not insane prices, try cocobhome.com. They sell color coordinated sets of napkins, towels, etc.

Or, you can buy 100% cotton or linen napkins, tablecloths, runners at dharmatrading.com, they’re white.

Or, check out your local thrift shop or antique store, after you know what they sell for new. Some dealers or thrift shop people are just insane about what they think things are worth!


Ahhh I need to put art up and may have Questions here…

I’m so here for this thread! My house is a sad empty slate right now with some fun colors on the walls. Right now we are working on the pink and teal play room that is so close to being done.

Oh edit to add my husband made this super awesome clock that is on our wall out of random lumber he saved from random places and a few stains that were also saved.


Yes! I have both of these and I’ve used them daily for about 3 years now and wash them like twice a week, they’re wearing very well. I’ve purchased cheaper ones in the past but if you’re using them exclusively (like no paper) they just don’t wear that well. It’s cheaper to buy better ones, like these:

We also use cloth towels for the kitchen and those get laundered twice a week minimum. I’ve had these for about three years and they’re showing some wear but still have life left in them:

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I haven’t purchased from them but ruggable looks really cool to me, especially since it’s all washable.

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I have two ruggable rugs. They are great for this stage of my life (a toddler that is extremely mobile but still spits up all the time).

But…they definitely don’t stick to the pads very well so they gather a bit along the edges rather than lying flat. I hang mine to dry and they haven’t shrunk but I’ve heard that they shrink if you dry them.


I appreciate the feedback ty!

I am so into this thread!

As far as cloth napkins, I have a ton and all were purchased second hand for almost no money (flea markets, thrift shops, etc.) despite being in great condition.

I would like to share a before and after. I’m a renter and my apartment has a gorgeous fireplace with built-in bookcases on either side. Above those are two sconces that I really don’t like. I fashioned some covers for the sconces using embroidery hoops, wood scraps, poster board, and some fabric I received for free. I was able to build them such that they just sit on the sconces and aren’t attached to the wall or anything else-- a perfect rental solution.


Those covers are great!

I’m also a fan of the googly eyes on the planter.


Thank you! Yes, the googly eyes make me smile every day.


Thank you for the cloth napkins and place settings ideas, friends! You have inspired me to at least check out the secondhand shops near me.

Another question for you all: where do you get inspiration for design ideas? I get Havenly’s marketing emails, and I find them to be helpful with lots of designs and concrete advice. I’m also watching this MasterClass - my wife gets free access through work, so other folks might have it too? https://www.masterclass.com/classes/kelly-wearstler-teaches-interior-design

Finally, I checked out this book from the library: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/540725/interior-design-master-class-by-edited-by-carl-dellatore/9780847848904


Chiming in to say this has been my experience with Ruggable too. Also, the rugs we bought don’t look as nice in-person as they did online: we had to return one because the colors were so different. I don’t think I’d get another one.


I like houzz for browsing different styles but the actual shopping is mostly a gut thing for me.


That looks so good!

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