Decorating on a Budget - Dining Rooms

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Hey there! Did everyone survive the weekend? Whew! I’ll bet the credit card companies are jumping for joy. :) Well, now that we’re all broke, I thought it would be a good time to discuss where to shop when decorating on a budget.  I’ll use dining rooms in this week's example since we’re heading into the holidays.  Let’s face it - 'tis the season that we spend a lot of time at the table!

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The two examples I’ll be discussing are very different. I did this on purpose.  I wanted to demonstrate that you can achieve almost any look, as long as you make thoughtful furniture selections and you choose the right stores to shop at.  IKEA and Bouclair are great stores to shop at when decorating on a budget.  They provide style at a mid to low range price point. Now, I know they don’t have the uniquest (is that a word?…I don’t think so) of offerings, but we’re decorating on a budget here, so they’re perfect for that. 

Both of these designs were put together with a $2,000 budget in mind.  One costs a bit more than $2,000 and one costs slightly less.  Can you tell which one costs more?  I’ll let you know at the end of this blog.  First, let’s take a look at each design.decorating on a budget contemporary country dining room1. Pendant Lamp
2. Chair Cover
3. Table

Contact us for the full list of furnishings and decor.
Decorating on a budget modern industrial dining room
1. Ceiling Lamp
2. Buffet
3. Chair
4. Table

Contact us for the full list of furnishings and decor.

Okay, so I know it’s pretty obvious, but I’m compelled to point it out anyway, the key furnishings for a dining room are; you guessed it - a table and chairs.  What?!?! I know, I know, but what else is needed?  Well, if you are on a super tight budget, you might be restricted to the table and chairs and a few accessories, but if you have a little more room for spending, a sideboard for storage and extra serving space, as well as a rug and a stylish light fixture can really make the dining room design stand out.

When decorating on a budget, accessories should be mostly functional. The good news is that there are so many options for functional items these days, so you are bound to find something you think is beautiful, super cute, cool or whatever look you are going for.  Although I haven’t shown examples of all of these items, my top suggestions for accessorizing your dining room are:

  • Salt & Pepper Shakers or Mills
  • Plants and/or flowers
  • Vases
  • Pitchers
  • Candles
  • Bowls filled with fruits and/or vegetables for colour
  • Serving trays/dishes, glassware, flatware and coasters
  • Table linens & napkin rings
  • Chargers and/or placemats
  • Cutting boards
  • Cook books and a cook book stand
  • Art, mirrors or clocks
  • Area Rug

By choosing accessories that are stylish and functional, you are honouring your design and your financial commitments. Total win!

When decorating on a budget, consider your style preferences.  You may need to dial it back a bit if you are the type that loves a highly styled and accessorized space.  When I say “dial it back a bit,” I don’t mean that you have to sacrifice your design, but rather, you may need to re-purpose items you currently own to use in the design, purchase items from thrift stores or decide to favour a minimalist design style.

You’ll notice in both the modern industrial and contemporary country designs, I used purposeful furnishings and décor.  None of the items in either dining room has been placed in the design purely for its aesthetics; rather each piece’s visual appeal is a bonus of its function.

So which of these designs costs more?  Bouclair’s Modern Industrial dining room came in slightly over $2,300 and IKEA’s Contemporary Country dining room came in at slightly less than $1,900.  Not bad considering both spaces were designed from scratch. You could save even more money by using some of your existing furnishings and décor as I have already mentioned. If you’d like further tips on how to decorate on a budget, join our Design Tribe.

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Thanks for reading. I hope these insights have given you some ideas about how to design a space you love on a budget you can afford. If you have any budget friendly design and décor ideas, please enter them in the comment section below. We’re always looking for creative ways to help our clients save money.  And, again, if you'd like a the full list of furnishings and decor for either of these designs, please contact us Thanks again for reading. See ya at the next blog.

Interior Decorator Val Malnar
Interior Decorator Val Malnar

Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

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