Styling Your Home on a Budget

Published: October 16, 2019

Decorating is all about making your apartment, townhome or house feel special, and there’s great news: you can get the design you love while maintaining a budget that works for you! Whether it’s wallpaper, unique wall hangings or bargain hunting, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to spruce up your home without breaking the bank.

We spoke with Devon Queen, Boardwalk’s Capital Design Coordinator, to find out how to spend less and get more when decorating your apartment or townhome.

In your opinion, what are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to revamp a dull or dated room?

Paint! While it may not be cheap to re-paint your entire home, you can always start with one room, say a bedroom or the living room. Wallpaper is also a great and very budget-friendly option. Gone are the days of your grandma’s floral wallpaper. There are many contemporary designs out there that can make a big impact. Wallpapering a main floor powder room or an office ceiling is a great place to start.

What are some good places to get design and décor inspiration for a room?

If you’re looking through magazines for inspiration, why limit yourself to the IKEA catalogue? Go straight to the best quality magazines such as “Architectural Digest”, “Interiors”, “Western Living” and “Luxe”. For instance, you can often replicate a scene or vignette using more moderately priced pieces.

Elle Decoration magazine for apartments


How do you make sure you stick to a theme when styling your home?

I often start with an image of a room I (or my client) likes. It has to be an overall room shot and one that represents the theme well. You don’t need to love any particular piece in the shot, but instead, it should capture the overall feel. (Make sure you and your partner agree on the image to avoid disagreements down the road!) Then anytime I go to select a colour, finish, piece of furniture or accessory, I bring that image to mind and ask myself, “Does this match that theme’ or “Can I picture this in the room?”. 

What are common mistakes people make when styling their home?

A few things come to mind:

  • Hanging artwork too high.
  • Not sticking to a consistent “theme”.
  • Getting the scale wrong. For example, the sofa is too big for a room or having a lot of small pieces in a big room which can make it feel empty.
  • Mixing warm and cool colours. It can look good when done well, but you really need to know what you’re doing, or it can easily look like a mistake.

What are the best places to shop for décor and furniture on a budget?

Homesense is great for artwork, mirrors and accessories. The Silk Plant Warehouse is also really great for artwork, accessories and plant pots.

Home styling and decor

Do you have any home styling DIYs you can share?

My favourite DIY is making a “gallery wall” of artwork. Pick a variety of styles, frames and sizes, lay it out on the floor first, then hang it. Alternately, for a more tailored approach, make a “grid wall” using six or eight square frames aligned in a grid.

Gallery home for your home

Image retrieved from

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share?

  • Don’t be afraid to show your personality. If you have a hobby or passion, you can work it into the design.
  • Start small. Think about creating vignettes within a room. For instance, if you have a cabinet or console table, accessorize it with a combination of items such as a large art book, a lamp, a sculptural piece, something short and something tall.
  • A bar cart is a great way to fill a hole in a room, even if you don’t drink you can create a vignette using a vase, a plant, stacks of flatware and unique drinking glasses.
  • Don’t be afraid to go big when it comes to light fixtures. They can be a great way to add an unexpected sculptural element in a room.
  • I prefer a mixture of artwork to avoid monotony: some framed, some unframed, some paintings and some prints.

Take a look at a few of Devon's favourite Boardwalk projects below:

O'Neil Tower

Boardwalk O'Neil Tower

Boardwalk O'Neil Tower

Radisson Village

Boardwalk Radisson Village

Royal Park Plaza

Boardwalk Royal Park Plaza



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