Before revamping any space, take a moment to consider exactly what you want to change. This is especially important when you are working on a tight budget. Bronwyn Loucks, interior designer at Absolute Abode and associate of the British Institute of Interior Design, gives her expert advice on redesigning your space on a budget

1 Make a plan

The most important part of any project is to start with a plan. Start by considering how you would like to change the room and the way it is used. Write a ‘dream’ list and a ‘practical’ list to work out what is achievable for you and your budget. I often visit Kempton Antiques Market on the first and last Tuesday of every month to find inspiration and it is also a great opportunity pick- up beautiful stand-out pieces, homewares and accessories on a budget. If your budget stretches to hiring an interior designer, it is worth your time. They will know how to work with your space to ensure that your scheme is coherent (Absolute Abode offers a bespoke design service).

2 Create a theme

Coming up with a theme or a concept will help you achieve your overall goal. I like to spend time creating a concept that draws on my holistic approach to interior design, so I will determine how I would like my space to feel, smell and look. Tactile textures such as throws and cushions will revive a bedroom (try Margo Selby and Jessica Zoob, whose beautiful cushions are both stocked at the Absolute Abode Emporium) include freshly cut roses (we love Columbia Road Market) in the hallway to create a welcoming scent, or a collection of neutral soft furnishings that will create a relaxed atmosphere in a living room, are all elements you can add to your scheme even if your budget is tight.

3 Think about the whole house


Use tactile textures such as throws and cushions to revive a room

Try not to design a room in isolation from the rest of the house. The rooms should flow seamlessly into one another, with colour schemes that are complementary and follow a similar style. For example, if you have used a bold, bright colour in one room follow this through with investing in a piece of artwork (Print Club London and Art.co.uk are great places to look for bright, bold prints on a budget) accessories or furniture in similar shades in other rooms.

4 Use small touches

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a whole room, think about the small touches. For example in a bathroom choose a new basin or vanity unit and decorate it with a beautiful scented candle (Baobab has a selection of luxurious scented candles that could transport you to the plains of the South African bush), small potted plant or other decorative features which will create a pleasant space. Or just invest in some new lighting.  Lighting can really impact a room. By adding varied lighting such as floor lights, table lamps as well as overhead lighting, you can change the way a room feels throughout the day and adapt the lighting depending on how you are using the space. These small touches do not cost a lot but will make a world of difference to the overall feel of the space.

5 Make the most of your space


Art needn’t be expensive, visit art.co.uk for good value pieces

If you are struggling to know what to do with a dark or under lit room turn it into a cosy and warm space rather than trying to make it feel lighter. More often than not if you paint the walls a dark colour in a light room, it will emphasise the darkness of the space rather than make it feel lighter. Instead, paint the walls in a, lovely deep warm colour like Farrow & Ball’s London Clay and we would recommend investing in some quality lighting, that will stand the test of time such as Bert Franks brass table and ceiling lighting. Available at the Absolute Abode Emporium, this lighting will help to create a soft, warm and cosy atmosphere.

Absolute Abode is an interior design shop, café and emporium in Raynes Park that offers interior design advice over a cup of coffee. For more information, visit absoluteabode.com


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