How to Design Your High-End Space Working with a Low-End Budget

Updated: May 17

Being a recent college graduate with a degree in Interior Design is a challenging place to be when it comes to designing your first “adult” home. Stuck somewhere between having real money for the first time and needing to pay for everything on your own - the necessity to design your space like you have always dreamed is slowly becoming a distant memory. Unless you know where to look.

It may come as a surprise to some but most of the finds in my home are from Facebook Marketplace, Home Goods, or my favorite antique store in Urban Suburban in Crestwood. Shopping on Facebook marketplace or at Home Goods does not always require vision - my rule of thumb is if I love it I should buy it because I can find a home for it. This doesn’t always help the budget, but when you’re shopping around these places not many items will necessarily break the bank.

Our dining table (one of my favorite finds) was a treasure snagged off of Facebook for $75. It came with all of the original paperwork, chairs, leaves, and table mat. The old patina and vintage fabric on the chairs give it so much character - so it will probably stick around for a while. As for the linen header chairs they were a splurge from World Market and are SO comfortable and durable for the price.

The majority of the pieces hung on our gallery wall are from yard sales, Facebook Marketplace, or antique dives - because one thing about my roommate and I, we are going to stop at that shed that says antiques. We just collected things that we loved and admired and eventually had enough pieces to make this wall a large focal point in our home. As we were curating things for it we just tried to keep similar tones in the frames, or colors in the art. In the end some things did not match perfectly but still managed to cohesively work together.


One of my favorite accessories to use anywhere and everywhere are Coffee Table Books - they are a must for a high end looking space. They can be pricey but Home Goods always has a few really good ones throughout the week and I have linked some of my favorites here. And a small secret - they do not have to go just on the coffee table, I PUT THEM EVERYWHERE. The coffee table is a glass and metal with a bamboo detail that I scored for $10 off of Facebook Marketplace. My beautiful, gorgeous, greek key goodness, sisal rug sat in my cart for MONTHS and it was $750. Found it barely used on marketplace for $150 - in all of its 10x14 glory.


Throw pillows are an easy way to bring color, pattern, and texture into your space and make your sofa feel cozy and inviting, I swap out pillows regularly so I purchase most of them from Home Goods. For my space, I went for a tone on tone with the different shades of neutrals and textures for a layered look and added a contrasting throw.


The 9 foot skirted console table was a "custom" build conjured up by myself and a close friend. The $80 worth of lumber and $30 worth of linen curtain panels were a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands we could have spent if it was purchased through a boutique or custom shop. We set out to make this console table ever designers dream, on a budget. The little details like the pleated shade buffet lamps and stacks of old architectural digest, to me, give the space more depth.


One of the best finds I have ever came across at Home Goods are the pair of 42" Visual Comfort Lamps that had to come home with me immediately - they are a strong statement piece and I love the lines. My four post bed was a steal on Facebook Marketplace for $65, solid wood and an iron detail. I could not imagine what I would pay for something similar in a store.


This type of collecting and shopping takes time and will not happen over night and will not happen with one paycheck but you can find good, quality pieces that you will want to keep forever at affordable prices if you just look in the right places. Enjoy the process, it is supposed to be fun!


Photography Credit: Cole Youngblood

Instagram: @coleyoungblood