On a budget? Julia Kendell knows it doesn’t need to affect good design


Interior design expert Julia Kendell gives her tips and tricks on creating amazing interiors, without going over budget


Amateur designers and home owners wishing to revamp their properties shouldn’t be held back because of costs. Creating a stunning interior doesn’t need to cost the Earth – and ahead of The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show in March, expert Julia Kendell has agreed to share her advice on how to create amazing designs without the high price tag.

“If you’ve got a small budget but big ideas for your interiors, one of the money-saving tricks I’ve used in the past is to create panels of wallpaper,” says Julia, who is one of the BBC’s DIY SOS guest designers. “It works really well! Rather than papering a whole room or a whole wall you can choose to use just one single roll that you really love.”


Image: charlotte holmes, Flickr

“Create panels on the walls with it,” Julia explains.  “If you’re forming large panels on the wall (creating three works the best), they will have almost as much visual impact as if you were wallpapering the whole room... but, of course, the price tag will be much lower. Usefully too, you won’t need to worry about joining the wallpaper together, which is particularly helpful if you’re not that great at wallpapering.”

Julia has also worked on ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover, where she puts a lot of her tricks into action. She specifically enjoys using colour to make interiors stand out. It “add[s] energy,” she declares. “Generally speaking, most people’s houses tend to be fairly bland as it does take a certain amount of confidence to add colour. However, it’s such a simple way to transform a room. Do this by simply adding brightly-coloured cushions, artwork and other accessories.”

On the subject of accessories, Julia is a great admirer of vintage finds. “Interesting one-off pieces [can] really focus the attention in a room,” she says, ““If you’re trying to save money, then the fewer items you’re having to purchase the better, so go for larger pieces. Look for those with a lot of height, size or bulk as these will create the greatest impact and transform a room much more efficiently than lots of little ones - there are all sorts of incredible things available if you’re open-minded in your thinking and creative in your shopping!”

However, if buying new pieces is out of the question, Julia has a tip that will refresh and renew old furniture. “Painting pieces of furniture and updating their appearance with new knobs, handles or feet is a great way to save,” she advises. “Good strong pieces of furniture, especially when it comes to storage items, can cost so much money to buy, but you can upcycle to create bespoke pieces with ease.”

“If you have an old chest of drawers that looks a bit tired, for example, or an old pine bedside cabinet that’s looking dated you’ll be amazed at the difference a lick of paint can make. You don’t need to be highly skilled to update and upcycle your furniture – you’ve just got to have a bit of patience and persistence,” Julia concludes. “You’ll save pounds for your purse... and the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve shaped the transformation yourself will be priceless!”

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