This expat shows us how to tastefully decorate a home on a budget. In New Delhi.

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This expat shows us how to tastefully decorate a home on a budget. In New Delhi.

Katie shares the challenges of being an expat in India when it comes to renting and decorating a home. She lets us into her eclectic home that is gifted with natural light, her design sense and penchant for DIY projects. Lessons we can learn.

If you are a regular reader of AT, I bet you have seen this. Digging through the treasures of AT, I re-discovered Katie’s home in New Delhi. As an expat living in the capital, it can be daunting to find a home on rent with enough natural light, space, and finally, furnishing it to one’s taste. On a budget, of course. When you look closer, you will find that the home is decorated on a shoestring budget with flea market finds, DIY hacks, and budget decorating objects like the railway clock. Things that don’t burn a hole in a one’s pocket yet make the home look like a million bucks.


wooden table

large windows

Ideas to steal from Katie’s space:

  • Light: When you go looking for a house to rent or buy, pay attention to the windows and quantum of natural light that streams in. This is half your battle solved.
  • If you are unsure about wall color, go with pure white. It’s a blank canvas whose mood you can change any way you want, when you want it.
  • Bring in plants. The easiest way to bring life into a space is through plants. For easy maintenance, buy a bunch of areca palms and keep them indoors.
  • Furniture: if you do not want to spend big on new furniture, buy old ones and give them a weathered look. For more details, see the section below. It will add to the style of the space.
  • Outdoor furniture: If there is a balcony or an outdoor space, buy some colorful chairs and pair them with a weathered wooden table to enjoy a quiet morning with your beloved ones.
  • Blinds: even though curtains are easy to maintain, cost less, and can be replaced often, they fail to bring in the sophistication of a blind. To make a space look classy, invest in good blinds. If you are unsure of which colors to go with, I’d recommend golden, beige or white with self-patterned motifs.

Shop the look:

Distressed cabinet: you will find similar weathered cabinets from a brand called Bohemiana on Pepperfry. Or, if you have a cabinet at home that is worn out and has seen better times, hire a painter to paint it for you. This is project that can be accomplished in less than Rs.3,000.

Clocks: honestly, we are spoilt for choices when it comes to railway clocks. Look for something called platform clocks online. The prices range anywhere from Rs.1000 to Rs.5000 based on the finish and clock diameter. Golden finish add an antique touch while the black finish gives it a rustic appeal. See what suits your decor the best.

Basket lamps: you can either buy one or create one for yourself in different shapes and sizes. This post should help you with the resources to get the rattan basket look.

Image courtesy: AT



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