Mixing high-end and thrifty items is a resourceful way to decorate

Dec 13 2010

Window treatments can turn windows into a focal point in a room with both high-end and inexpensive furnishings.
Window treatments can turn windows into a focal point in a room with both high-end and inexpensive furnishings.
Interior decorators need more than a strong sense of style and a head full of creative ideas to be successful. They also need to be resourceful and know where they can scope out the best deals for their projects.

Often, that means mixing the old with the new, or finding an additional use for furnishings and accessories that homeowners already possess. It also means shopping at both high-end and thrifty venues to come up with a combination of upscale pieces offset by those that have value, but lower price tags.

"Invest money where it counts: high-quality fabrics, neutral furniture that will last for many years, any items you truly love and will likely keep for a lifetime," interior design expert Laura Flanagan advises in her column for Interiordec.About.com. "Just like everything in interior decorating, it's all about balance."

One example is to find a flea market bench, side chair or sofa and give it new life by reupholstering it in a high-quality fabric. Or do the opposite - take an upscale sofa and accessorize it with inexpensive pillows. They can be changed according to season.

In the same way, an inexpensive coffee or end table will look elegant with the right choice of coffee table books or a striking sculpture. An inexpensive lamp from a second-hand store can be freshened with a coat of paint on the base and topped with a new lampshade.

For the home office, purchasing a desk with simple, contemporary lines from a discount store allows homeowners to splurge on a classy hardwood or fabric-covered chair to accompany it. It should also be comfortable and offer good support. Quality hardware for drawer pulls and knobs can give office storage units a high-class look as well.

A beautiful window treatment can make the windows a focal point of a room and tie in with the furnishings and color scheme around it. Valances can be made of wood or upholstered to go with the main pieces of furniture, or treated as an accent. A valance can be mounted over window shades, blinds or curtains.

Another versatile choice for window coverings is roman shades. They come in a wide range of fabrics that can give a timeless quality to any décor, and have a softer look that works best in a residential setting. Light-filtering roman shades allow natural light to permeate a room without giving up privacy.
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