Tips for Spring Decorating on a Shoestring

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This is a guest post from interior designer Elaine Griffin. I had featured Elaine in December.

Today, she shares some decor tips for shopping off-price retailers. What good is a post without eye-candy for inspiration. The tips are complemented with a few images of Soul Homes complex designed by Elaine from the March edition of Elle Decor.

1. Hit the store early and often.  It’s true that new merchandise comes almost daily.  And dahling, when you see something you like, buy it at once – you can always return what doesn’t work out, but short of robbery, you’ll never get your hands on it again if someone else snags it while you’re making up your mind.

Simple but elegant room..love the colors
Simple but elegant room..love the colors

2. Hit the road, Jack(ie).  If you fall in love with something that you need multiples of but can’t find them in your store, check out the others nearby (or afar, if you’re really smitten).  There’s a great chance that its twin is lying in wait for you, since merch tends to be fairly uniformly distributed in the region.  And again, time is of the essence.

Pot as a stand
Pot as a stand

3. Think out of the box and go beyond the obvious.  Sure, a seven-drawer chest looks great in a bedroom, but it would also be stunning in a bathroom (maybe with a candlestick lamp on top for a little evening glow) to hold towels, beauty tools, and luxurious lotions and potions.  Ditto for a Chinese ceramic garden stool perched next to your tub.  Tiny bejeweled enamel doodads destined for dressing tables are divine as elegant dining table objects.

Add zing to bathroom with misc furniture
Add zing to bathroom with misc furniture

4. Overindulge in accessories.  At these price points, I encourage it!  Change throw pillows seasonally and at your every whim.  Switch out your tablescapes at the drop of a hat.  Alternate shower curtains weekly.  The beauty of budget buying means that you can spend less and get more.

Vases, pots, flowers - you name it, its there!
Vases, pots, flowers - you name it, it's there!

5. Fall in love with the lamp, not the shade.  After you save a bundle on the lamp base you love, you’ll have $$ left over to splurge on a separate shade for it that better suits your style.

A tough one - I like both
A tough one - I like both

6. And finally, don’t just look at style, look for the labels.  I love scrutinizing price tags, drawers, stamped details and other discreetly-placed markings to find out all I can about an item.  Because sugar, I am speaking from experience knock your socks off.

Summer is almost here, in India. These tips are evergreen and with Sale never out-of-fashion in stores these days, I’m sure you all of us will benefit and save a few moolah.  Thank you Elaine.

Photo credits:

2,3,5 – Elle Decor (Adam Chinitz)

1,4 – Help USA (Todd Plitt)



  1. Vandana Choudhury

    I love your blog…..It has lots of good read,ideas and real homes with interesting decor tips…

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