Low-budget interior ideas

 Low-budget interior ideas

Punam Kalra

The line between plain functional forms and artwork is slowly blurring as is any fixed notion of interior spaces. The focus now is on experimenting with interior styles that are natural, familiar, and have a bold streak of personality to create multifunctional and fluid spaces. Well-designed interiors provide an opportunity for experimentation with innovative materials, forms, and patterns, to create a bold, chic, and welcoming space.

The easiest way to make a space look larger and stylish is to declutter the excess and organize the existing décor. Investing in good multipurpose furniture helps keep a neat and orderly space, enhancing the visual appeal and keeping it user friendly. Options with charging ports, hidden storage, and adaptable parts that can be repurposed, are easy to handle in multipurpose homes and open office layouts. The smaller, floating storage can be smartly grouped, labeled if needed, and arranged using space organizers, boxes, and baskets.

A change in the existing furniture layout can be helpful while renovating the interiors. Open plans with a fluid public and semi-private zones create an easy flow while maximizing comfortable seating that can be used with visual buffers for privacy in an office. Good ventilation and natural lighting ensure a reduced dependence on passive lighting while creating natural focal backdrops framing the city skylines.

Using natural and handmade cosmopolitan accessories creates a more conscious, gracious, joyful and serene space that spreads love, hope, and inspiration. We have been reminded that our lifestyle is nothing but an ode to nature, and hence it’s essential to embrace the green movement, shifting our focus to biophilia, natural forms inspired furniture, indoor plants and easy to recycle elements like wood, vegetable fiber, jute, sisal, hemp, stone, metal, and terracotta.



Highlight furniture in natural materials paired along with accessories made in pottery, macramé, rattan, and wicker adds a beautiful and effortless charm to space. Existing furniture can also be reclaimed through the skillful use of lines, forms, and artwork creating a quaint and luxurious space. Relaxed furniture and upcycled experimental accessories, in a combination of modern biosynthetic and recyclable materials, radiate an affable, ultra-modern vibe.

A mix of modern aesthetic planters, and recycled household items like old ceramics and glass jars, can be upcycled to create an interesting plant space. Huge corner planters and tall planters are a calm and lively highlight, while smaller succulents and bonsai plants make the space look classy and delicate. Simple vases with fresh flowers, along with lamps, poufs, ottomans, benches, bean bags, coffee tables, and artwork add a dreamier, charming, cozy, and relaxing look. Grouping similar objects in clusters of three further create a natural symmetry and a sense of luxury within the space.

Colors and textures also make a huge difference in the perception of a space. Bold and dramatic, or soft and understated, or an eccentric mix of the two; the freshly colored walls, ceilings, and furniture immediately make the interiors look new and suave. The Pantone Colour of the year, Classic Blue, paired with earthy and neutral tones, highlighted with bolder shades like orange and terracotta create an elegant and artistic ambiance. Pastel and muted shades of pink, green, and lilac give the space a hint of cheery pop and modern vintage glamour. Adding deep forest tones to the upcycled furniture create a fresh natural look. Nature-inspired motifs and vivid colors like mauve, black, purple, and yellow in wallpapers, tiles, and statement accessories create a vibrant interior.




A combination of various patterns, textures and colors within a space add depth to the interiors, creating an interesting and distinctive ambiance. These can be added through upholstery in natural fabrics like linen and silk, or through bamboo mats, woven rugs, wallpaper, photographs, memorabilia and big artwork, used as feature walls, wall art, statement ceiling finishes, and installations. A wide assortment of forms, colors, textures, and patterns, along with a healthy dose of neutrals and wood, colors, and highlight accessories create a clean, simple and elegant design.

The addition of soft curves and solid, rounded, irregular shapes, along with sharper geometric shapes, brings a subtle play of curves and aesthetic symmetry. This can be done through highlight furniture, pillows, fabric prints, modern artwork, contemporary accessories, and statement lighting. Curvilinear furniture with bold curves like scallop-shaped furniture gives space a heartfelt contemporary ambiance, while irregular, organically shaped pieces of furniture and accessories add a wonderful character to space. Minimal, organic, geometric, metallic, printed or colorful, obscure shaped lighting in bright colors, bold forms, and varying sizes, can tie the entire room together while creating a calm, dreamlike ambiance.

Bringing in the decorative glory of maximalism with an understated expression, subtle metallic details in rose gold, copper, steel, tin, and brass, with delicate surface finishing like patina, rust, mercury glass, give a raw and intimate textural feel to the décor. These details can be added in the form of discreet upholstery patterns, luminous metallic fabrics, lighting details, sleek furniture details, crockery, wall hangings, and screens for a more dramatic space with an enhanced ornamental look.



Low budget interiors are all about designing minimal yet ingenious and impactful details that encourage a maximum utilization and clear legibility of space, without compromising on the overall quality of the strong spatial narratives created. Characteristic hardware finishing, like colorful knobs, funky handles, modern door stoppers, quirky locks, etc, help elevate the personality of the space. Mirrors in different shapes and designs can make a small space look bigger, and also make for a whimsical display piece. Foldable furniture in bright colors can be hung on the walls to, maximizing the space, and also creating a dynamic wall installation. Stick on whiteboards can be used for the office space instead of the traditional hardboard ones, reducing the cost and utilizing the existing surfaces.


The author is an interior designer and creative director of I’m The Centre for Applied Arts



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