Six tips for decorating on a budget

17:00, Jun 15 2014
WHITE WALLS: They're the best blank canvas. Feature walls need to be doled out with caution.

DIY blogs and Pinterest make decorating your home look easy, but an overload of inspiration can backfire.

Trying to do it all can wreck the aesthetic and is a common mistake people make, says paper artist and stylist Marsha Golemac

"Too many brightly coloured feature walls can be so overpowering ... sometimes people can go overboard with that," says the stylist. 

Looking for her career "love", Golemac quit her job as a product developer in search of a more creative field. She is now making a career for herself as a conceptual art director and stylist for small businesses, catalogues and advertising. She also does editorial interiors for magazines Frankie, Real Living and Inside Out.

With an eye for straight lines and simplicity, we asked Golemac her top tips for decorating on a budget.

Changing hardware. Whether it's colour or texture that you are after, Golemac says changing the hardware, such as kitchen handles, is inexpensive and is something she does regularly.


"Ikea and Bunnings have an incredible selection of inexpensive cupboard handles - all you have to do is research a local powder-coating service and basic handles can instantly be transformed into sort of a more luxe look."

Hang your artwork in an unconventional way. For renters, hesitation when it comes to putting a nail in the wall is common. Golemac says: "Unframed pieces look great on a wall in a cluster and on curtain wires. Bulldog clips can provide a nice long and ever-changing wall space, that's probably a good tip on a budget."

Buy timeless pieces of furniture. "If you are tight for cash, then you should buy understated, timeless pieces of furniture that you won't be tempted to replace as trends change."

Instead, she suggests making changes with smaller pieces, such as artworks or plants.

"Flowers ... go away quite quickly, but with greenery, beautiful plants are inexpensive and you just need to dedicate a little bit of time for nurturing."

Save your money for the things you love. While this isn't exactly a decorating tip, Golemac makes the point that "we spend so much of our cash on things we think we need at the time, but it's never the case".

Don't be afraid of TradeMe and second-hand shops. "Hard rubbish collection is the best thing ever," says Golemac. And while pre-loved furniture often requires some restoration, "it's absolutely rewarding when you've finished that - it's yours, it's unique and no one else will have it once you've put your magic touch to it".

White walls are your best friend. You can do so much with a blank canvas, such as a white wall. "You can do whatever you like in terms of your artwork placement or doing a small artwork feature."

Sydney Morning Herald