Kishani Perera on Budget Decorating

July 1, 2009 Designers We Love

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When I was pouring through Kishani Perera’s portfolio I was struck by one of her projects which she titled “Miracle Mile Revival.” I especially loved the photo above with that beautiful gray velvet sofa topped with bright pink pillows and a suzani throw to accent. When I asked her about this home I was surprised to hear that this was a project done for a client on a tight budget and that it was furnished using a number of items from mass market stores such as Crate & Barrel mixed in with flea market finds and vintage pieces from eBay. I think this home perfectly illustrates the fact that you can achieve high style without spending a fortune. Below, Kishani shares more about this project and also gives us her top tips for decorating on a budget.

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Tell me a bit about this project and how you were able to create a space with such style on a limited budget?

When our client came to us, a marketing director at Barbie/Mattel, she had very specific requests.  She wanted her space to have a modern yet European aesthetic, with pops of color.  The catch was, of course, it had to be done on a very tight budget. We invested in really great textiles, we recovered her sectional sofa set with high-end luxe grey velvet, and we spent a lot time getting the paint colors just right…we used a professional painter who completely transformed the rooms.  We also splurged on  custom drapes in the master bedroom.  We found an inexpensive, beautiful fabric and had it upholstered into a fabulous cornice box and long flowy drapes for a romantic feel. We definitely saved with everything else in the house. We bought a lot of flea market basics, like end tables, side tables, mirrors, accessories, etc.  Other pieces came from high-end design shops like Jonathan Adler, to cost effective stores like Home Decorators.com, Linens ‘N Things, and eBay.

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When decorating on a budget, what pieces should people splurge on and where should they save?
Definitely invest in the obvious: solid basics and comfort items like a great mattress, a well made sofa, luxe sheets and towels…I also think a fabulous rug and gorgeous drapes are a worthwhile expense.

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What are some great resources for people who are shopping for their home with limited funds?
If you can be a little creative, eBay, Craigslist, flea markets and thrift shops are great for budget shopping.

Do you have any expert tips on navigating flea markets and scoring a great deal?
Be friendly and don’t be afraid to haggle. If the price isn’t right one day, the owner might remember you the next day, and be willing to sell for what you’re willing to spend.

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What are a few simple ways to spruce up your space on a tight budget?
Paint is the least expensive way to completely change the mood of a room. Be bold, pick a strong color. Also, toss cushions immediately give a room a new feel.

7 Comments

LindsB

Reply

Crate and Barrel!?! So exciting that they are not all “to the trade” I’m going shopping now, I love all these budget decor ideas- thanks!!

My Notting Hill

Reply

Super post! I just visited her website – OMG, wow!! I can’t believe she hasn’t been featured in Elle Decor or House Beautiful yet.

Mimi

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Great tips..It’s nice to see that such a wonderful designer is also a savvy and budget conscious shopper.

Jeannine @ Small & Chic

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I get so sad when I see “To The Trade” all over decor magazines these days. What a great feature for those of us who want to put together a chic little place without going to custom or trade-only route. Thanks!

Shandell's

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Just found your blog, FAB.
I love the gray sofa, where did it come from?
Wonderful post.

Vanessa Sicotte

Reply

Love Love love!!!!!

maryam in marrakech

Reply

oooh fun! So talented:-) Kishani actually bought one of my black Moroccan wedding blankets for a client a few months back.

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