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Designing on a budget

September 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Looking for ways to design on a budget? Our House Doctor Lisa Quinn visits with Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, founder of ApartmentTherapy.com, and commercial art buyer Victoria Smith for some creative ideas for affordable decor to fit your style.

Design tips:

-Art makes a big impact to a room. Pick art that you care about and speaks to you.

-Make sure there is flow in a room. Spread furniture apart and make sure you can clean and vacuum in between each piece. That is a good indicator to the flow of a room.

-Bring the outdoors in by utilizing outdoor space like a patio or courtyard.

-If you have a Pottery Barn sofa, mix it with unusual and eclectic items to bring individuality to the room.

-Try flea markets, such as the Alameda Flea Market for décor like mirrors, picture frames, etc.

-Try eBay and Craigslist for furniture, pottery, unique items like chalk boards, etc.

-Use bright pillows and colored décor items to bring life to a room.

-To create art work on walls, scan old photographs, enlarge them and print them on a an inkjet printer.

-To get a creative look, find vintage stained glass windows (you can find at flea markets) and put up over windows or hang on walls.

-Reduce clutter by getting organized with containers, which you can buy at Ikea and Container Store.

For more information, visit sfgirlbybay.blogspot.com

About Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan:
One part interior designer, one part life coach. Maxwell is the founder of apartmenttherapy.com. He's a regular commentator on the HGTV show "Small Space, Big Style" and has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Observer, and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in a 250-square foot apartment in NY's West Village with his wife, a food writer.

Buy the book on Amazon: Apartment Therapy Presents Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Real Design Solutions

About Victoria Smith:
She's a commercial art buyer who has created her own décor style of BoMo, for Bohemian Vintage-Modern. She loves buying products at the Flea Market, E-bay, & Craigslist. She lives in Herb Caen's old apartment - 800 Square Feet. A one bedroom in a Victorian Unit.


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