Big Design Small Budget, Create a Glamourous Home in Nine Thrifty Steps


Want to know the secrets to living in the home of your dreams without drowning in debt? Learn how to decorate like a professional interior designer with Big Design, Small Budget by Betsy Helmuth. In this DIY home decorating handbook, Helmuth reveals insider tips and methods for designing on a budget.

The book is packed with so much practical design advice that by the time you reach the last page you feel equipped with the knowledge and strategies you need to tackle the toughest design dilemmas. Big Design, Small Budget is written in a comprehensive way that walks you through the design process from start to finish. It starts with determining your budget, discovering your personal design style to selecting furniture and adding color and accessories. Helmuth applies her simple design formula to every phase of the design process including creating a design budget, mapping out floor plans, selecting a color palette, and accessorizing like a stylist.

Helmuth provides clear guidelines and ideas that could be easily adapted to a variety of budgets, styles, rooms, and homes. The ideas in this book is just as accessible to the renter as it is the home owner. Design advice like find an inspiration piece, pull 3 colors from it and use them to decorate works in any room on any budget. As a professional designer the author knows that emphasizing solid design principles over buying cheap stuff to save a buck will yield better and more beautiful results in the end.

This book makes a luxury look an affordable reality. One of her points on how to choose different finishes in each room, shiny, mirror, wood, matte, glass and so on that complement each other to enhance a luxury effect. The book includes some advice on spending smart and getting good deals on furniture, but Helmuth is a realist who emphasizes solid design principles over bargain hunting tactics that would result in a space looking cheap.

The author writing style is descriptive and logical enough to be educational, but also witty and warm enough to be entertaining. The tone of the book feels like you are talking with a friend who is a great designer with plenty of helpful advice to offer. For a book that is packed with practical information, Big Design, Small Budget is still a fun read.


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