83ºF

Secrets from an interior decorator: How to upscale your home on a budget

HOUSTON – If you have Pottery Barn taste, but too small of a budget to pull it off, we can help. Interior decorator Shelly Wahle of The Best Little Decor House in Texas is sharing her secrets to help you freshen up your home.

“This is the time of your after your Christmas decorations come down, that we think our house just looks a little blah,” Wahle explained. “Small projects like painting a wall or a piece of furniture, changing out pillows, can just give your home a new, updated look.”

Secret No. 1

Interior decorators have special stores where they shop that are only open to the trade. They carry high-end pieces you can’t easily find at other stores. One of those businesses, Elizabeth Cole Design & Decor on Hempstead Road, recently started selling to the public. Wahle has shopped here for 20 years. One half of the building is a high-end showroom with pieces you can buy right off the floor (no waiting for delivery). The other half is filled with furniture and accessories only used in model homes. All of these items are closeouts and clearance-priced.

These are a few of the deals we loved.

Picture frames from $3.99 to $14.99 at Elizabeth Cole.
Picture frames from $3.99 to $14.99 at Elizabeth Cole. (Amy Davis)

Picture frames from $3.99 to $14.99 at Elizabeth Cole.

This buffet at Elizabeth Cole is $420.
This buffet at Elizabeth Cole is $420. (Amy Davis)

This buffet at Elizabeth Cole is $420.

This brand new dresser is a steal at just $138.99.
This brand new dresser is a steal at just $138.99. (Amy Davis)

This brand new dresser is a steal at just $138.99.

Secret No. 2

A new coat of paint can freshen up a room whether you paint a wall or just one piece of furniture. Wahle said anyone can use chalk paint. It is supposed to look distressed, so you don’t need it to be perfect.

Secret No. 3

Tin can give your home a polished, professionally decorated look. The real stuff is pricey, but you can get faux tin from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Wahle said you can even attach it to a wall or inside an art niche with command strips or velcro. This is a great decorating idea if you live in an apartment or you like to change up your decor frequently.

Secret No. 4

Use iron to fill a window that’s too high for a covering. Wahle uses a wood and resin product that is far less expensive than iron, but you can have it made to mount perfectly in your window.

This is a faux iron you can order to fit inside a window.
This is a faux iron you can order to fit inside a window. (John Barone)

Secret No. 5

Have you ever tried to touch up your wall only to notice that the touch-up paint no longer matches? Wahle said the trick is ditching the paintbrush and using an old t-shirt to apply the paint instead.

See how it works on KPRC 2 consumer expert Amy Davis’ Facebook page.