Ideas from local designers to decorate your space on a budget

“Open the drawers and make sure the drawers aren’t flimsy and everything opens and closes as it should,” Mandolini said as he pulled out the drawers.

Stay away if the room contains particleboard, also called particleboard or low-density fiberboard, as it likely won’t last, said Vidinsky, a high-quality wood enthusiast.

As for chairs, avoid ones with damaged rattan seats or outdated fabric, as it’s expensive to reupholster an entire chair, she added.

At Alphabet Soup, Kristina Morris, who recently moved from Half Moon Bay to Petaluma, was focused on a round wooden table outside the store. She hoped to find a piece that would last throughout her nomadic life.

Morris said she bought a mahogany dresser she found on Craigslist for $100, painted it with white chalk paint and distressed it to give it a “chic modern farmhouse aesthetic. .

“Because of inflation, furniture prices are only going up,” Morris said. “You can find a piece of furniture whose wood has been around for over 50 years, put some elbow grease into it, and turn it into something new.”

Andriola once found an octagonal wooden table at a garage sale in Santa Rosa for $60 and added his personal style by painting just the top a deep green.

“Sometimes you paint the top of the room or add color or fabric to the back of a shelf,” he said. “If people are willing to work a little, you create a piece that is uniquely personal and you save money.”

Discover real estate sales, thrift stores, garage sales

At estate sales, you virtually explore someone’s entire, fully furnished, newly vacant home, and you’re bound to find a slew of possibilities old and new.

If you appreciate nostalgia, real estate sales will be more like a treasure hunt than a tedious journey with no end in sight.

Eckman, who has been running these sales for more than 20 years, knows how to rummage through old things and strike a deal. During nearly 500 sales, he found kitchen chairs, pots and pans, dining tables and decorative Asian pieces like ceramics, Buddhas, dragons, woodcarvings and artworks. of framed art.

Incorporating used pieces into your decor also has benefits on a larger scale. “Fast furniture,” a term to describe low-cost, mass-produced, poorly-made furniture that doesn’t last, leaves a heavy toll on our environment.

In 2018, nearly 10 million tonnes of furniture was thrown into landfills, up from 8.9 million tonnes in 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Only a small part of the furniture is collected from landfills for recycling.

“Becoming more environmentally conscious is more important now,” Vidinsky said. “There is enough on the planet for everyone; we have to find ways to use it creatively.

Styling tips

So where do you start once you have a handful of pieces you’ve decided to work with?

Trying to figure out how to maximize the space in your small apartment can be frustrating at first, but there are ways to do it.

Nancy Farage, senior interior designer at Holistic Home Designs in San Ramon, said placing a mirror in your space where it’s functional — next to a door, above a dresser or sofa — will make your small apartment seem bigger and bring light.

Her motto: keep the furniture light and warm in color to make your apartment feel bigger, open and breathable.

She also suggests keeping the wall space in your apartment as light as possible so as not to weigh down the room. Choose chairs and a sofa with low profiles rather than high backs. If you’re going to hang floating shelves on your wall, don’t overcrowd them. Simplicity is the key.

Vidinsky said when adding accessories like framed artwork, pillows or throws, keep the color cohesive throughout to bring unity to your space. But don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures, monochromatic patterns and eras.

“If you find a piece you like, buy it. You will find a place for it in your space,” Andriola said. “Honor your sense of style. If you like it, it works. Ultimately, the space is yours.

You can reach editor Mya Constantino at [email protected] @searchingformya on Twitter.

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