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Tired of looking at that drab, shabby room in your home that nobody spends any time in? It’s time to give that room a purpose and some style. Patricia Correa, Interior Design Manager for IKEA Pittsburgh, has some tips for designing a great room on a budget. Creating a beautiful room that meets your needs will give you one more room in your home that you love to spend time in.

Patricia Correa
IKEA Pittsburgh
2001 Park Manor Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
(412) 747-0440

Patricia Correa settled in Pittsburgh after coming to the US from her native Colombia to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in interior design and architecture. She has spent the last 11 years designing dream rooms at IKEA Pittsburgh that show function and style at a low price. She enjoys the challenge of designing beautiful, small spaces. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Choose An Inspiration Space

Look through magazines to find a room that has the same function, style and color scheme you want to create in your room. When you design your room, you will not need to recreate it product by product, but your inspiration room should provide an overview of the feel that you want the room to have. Keep in mind the size of your room vs. the inspirational room you selected and the architectural features. Some of the products you might want to get may be bigger or smaller depending on the proportion of your room when it comes to height, width and length. Price should also not be an issue when choosing your inspiration room. When you reproduce this room, you will be able to shop around to find or create very similar products at lower cost.

Find Some Anchor Pieces For The Space

Focus on the room as a whole, instead of each individual product. Keeping your function, style and color scheme in mind, look for some anchor pieces that are similar to your inspiration space and will provide the same feel in your room. There are many antique stores or used furniture stores where you can find furniture according the function you are looking for. For example, you may find the right style desk or coffee table at the right price, but not in the right finish. You can still use this piece and all you will have to do is sand the original stain down to its plain wood and stain or paint the furniture to what you want it to look like. The one thing you have to take in consideration is that the piece of furniture you are purchasing is made in solid wood or a material that can be sanded and stained. Use your imagination and have fun inexpensively transforming some budget finds into unique pieces for your space.

Add Some DIY Artwork

When looking for artwork for your room, consider the color scheme and size of the art work used in the room that inspired you. Sometimes the design won’t matter unless you are producing a room with a theme in mind, like a kid’s room with teddy bears or a bathroom with boats. If there is no theme, try painting your own abstract work of art or having some photos that you took blown up and spend your money on nice frames. If you don’t feel comfortable painting your own artwork, ask an artistic friend to help.

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Don’t Skimp On Textiles<

The textiles of the room will give the room a lot of life, so remember you are shopping for the style you picked and color scheme, not for the exact rug pattern but a pattern close enough in size and similar colors so it reflects the same feel. For the window treatments, shop at bargain stores or create your own window treatments easily using fabric remnants. If the curtain you find seems not to give you the same fullness as your inspiration picture, you can buy two sets of the same drapery and use them together on the same rod and this will create the same visual fullness that you are looking for at a lower price. If you’re not one for sewing, many fabric stores offer simple services, such as sewing pockets for rods into fabric for you. The same rule applies to pillows and throws. These items are easy to create from any fabric of your choice. Mixing and matching different textures from bargain store finds can also add a feel of luxury in your room.

Spend Time Shopping Around

When designing a room on a budget, it is important to remember that you are going to find everything in one place. Give yourself plenty of time to shop for the best deals. Before you start shopping, though, consider your own furniture and items that can be worked into this room by re-upholstering them or sanding and staining. Think about how to use articles you already own at home that are just sitting in your basement that you can convert to shelves or any other type of functional product. Recycling furniture will always give you the most design bang for your buck. More expensive, anchor items like the main furniture pieces and the rug are where you can make a difference on your budget by smart shopping and being creative, so be patient and shop around and don’t be tempted to blow your budget on impulse buys.

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Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at