Designer Details – How To Get A Designer Look On A Budget

I am sharing all the tips and tricks on how to get a designer look on a budget!

How to get a designer look on a budget poster.Pin

How many times have you heard, it’s all in the details.”?  Probably about a bazillion.

Well…that certainly proved to be true when it came to decorating the Chic Chateau showhouse.  Take the full tour HERE in case you missed it last week.

Tour a showhouse filled with upcycled vintage finds.Pin

The concept behind the Chic Chateau showhouse is to inspire and show all of us ordinary folks how to achieve a beautiful designer look on a budget.  Almost all of the items in the home were purchased from thrift stores, Craigslist and other thrifty venues.

Today, I want to take a closer look at how the designers transformed ordinary items, that you likely wouldn’t look at twice, and turned them into things of beauty.

Mid-Century Modern Home

The decor theme of the home is mid-century modern.  Along with the design theme, the talented designers were given a color palette to work within so that the overall look of the home would flow.

As you’re looking through these photos, it might help to switch back to the house tour to get a feel for the entire room that each of the items are in.

Let’s start in the foyer where a blue coat of paint on a thrifted chest and a reupholstered chair breathed new life into these mid-century modern pieces.

Updated mid-century modern chair and chest.Pin

Take a closer look at the chair and you’ll see that the frame has been painted a soft grey to tie in with the upholstery fabric.  The designer really made it a wow piece by using contrast fabric on the welting and covered buttons.

A black and green fabric covered chair.Pin

In most of the rooms, it was all about the fabric.  Gorgeous, vibrantly colored fabrics, all in the color palette specified by the lead design team for the house.

For example, the fabric used on this club chair set the stage for the family room.

A glass and brass coffee table with books and vases on it.Pin

It was repeated as an accent on the drapery panels…

Add an accent fabric to ready-made draperies to give them a custom-made look. A band of fabric can be added to the bottom to lengthen too short draperies.Pin

…and on the roman shades and a bench pillow.

Repeat fabrics throughout a room to get a pulled together look.Pin

Throw pillows on the neutral sofa repeat the bold colors.

Colorful accent pillows on a white couch.Pin

Thrifted end tables and lamps were painted in a deep shade of blue and radiant orchid.

A small blue end table with a red lamp on it.Pin

The family room and dining room are open to one another, so it was a smart decision to repeat the suzani print fabric used on the sofa pillows in the dining room draperies and some of the chairs and bench pillows.

Large bay windows with a built in window seat full of pillows.Pin

The designer for the kitchen repeated the pretty suzani print fabric in the napkins and used vintage albums as chargers on the island.  Anybody remember those?

For a fun place setting, used old vinyl records as plate chargers.Pin

If you’ve ever priced oyster plates, you already know how expensive they can be.  Make your own by gluing oyster shells onto plain plates. Such a great DIY project!

Glue oyster shells to plain plates to recreate the look of the expensive version.Pin

An office area was tucked away behind large pantry style cabinet doors in the kitchen. It was really cute, but I’m not sure how much I’d like to work in such a confined spot. However it does make full use of the space!

Tuck an office space into a kitchen by placing it behind cabinet doors. No more worries about having a mess desk!Pin

The master bedroom was on the main floor and was one of my favorite rooms.  The colors in there are a little more restrained and subdued, which gave a very serene and elegant feel to the room.

Beautiful master bedroom with neutral accents.Pin

The dresser is made of up three different pieces – a small dresser in the middle and a small shelf unit on each end.

Mid century modern bedroom furniture updated for today's living.Pin

A grouping of round mirrors was used instead of one large one above the dresser. Did you notice that the middle mirrors have a gold design overlayed on them?  I couldn’t tell if it was a vinyl cutout or if they were stenciled on.  Each of the lampshades is wrapped with a strip of wallpaper that was used an accent above some other shelves in the room.

Group several mirrors above a dresser instead of just one large one.Pin

A piece of DIY artwork brings in all of the colors in the house into the master in an understated way.

DIY painting on the wall behind an armchair.Pin

Another room on the main floor was a girls bedroom.  The headboard is made of two painted doors, one stacked on top of the other, with small pieces of gold painted wood applied in a retro’ish design. It looks modern and beautiful.

Headboard made of two doors, one stacked on the top of the other with small pieces of gold painted wood applied.Pin

The knobs on the painted dresser give a pop of the radiant orchid color.

Updated mid century modern dresser with radiant orchid knobs.Pin

A bedroom up on the second floor has a reading nook made all the more cozy by the addition of a gold plug-in lantern suspended from a chain.

A cozy ready nook with a lantern suspended from a chain.Pin

And lastly, this lampshade covered with plastic spoons is so cute.  I love how the top is finished with spoons pointing in the opposite direction.  Wrapping ribbon around the shade is a good way to hide the ends of the spoons.

Cover a lampshade with plastic spoons.Pin

Did you find some inspiring home decorating ideas? I hope you enjoyed all these looks on a budget.


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    1. Hi Marisa. I was amazed at how the house flowed even though each room was decorated by a different designer. I love color so all of the rich colors really appealed to me.

  1. Michelle Scott says:

    What a fun idea for a show house! While some of this is not my style – the ideas a wonderful and applicable to pretty much any style! I especially love the dining room.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour, Michelle. I agree with you – many of these decorating ideas could be applied no matter the style of the decor. The dining room was amazing and the fact that it was located in an unexpected place made it all the more dramatic to me.

  2. I had a chance to see this house in person and I took inspiration photos of several of the same items. The master bedroom was my favorite room too.

    1. Hi Tammy. I guess great minds think alike! 😀

    1. That’s so good to hear, Lydia. It’s often hard to really do a room justice when just photographing the entire thing. I’m glad you came away inspired!

  3. Gentle Joy says:

    Thank you for the helpful tips… for the pointing out of different features. Very much appreciated. 🙂

    1. You’re more than welcome! Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Ace of Shades says:

    Thanks for sharing these inspiring designs, I love the drapery and this nuance of blue.

    1. I’m glad you were inspired, Lisa. I love the draperies too.

  5. Lovely! It’s great to see how it all came together. Thanks for linking up at Show Me Saturday. Hope to see you there again this week!