One of the biggest secrets of budget dining room design is to use what you already have! Begin your design project by thinking about what it is that you want from your space, and how your existing furniture differs from your design. If your existing furniture is still sturdy, there are lots you can do to improve or alter the aesthetic appeal. The solution could be as simple as a coat of paint in a fun new color, or replacing the top or your old table with a new one in a more contemporary shape. Buff out old scratches, and give aging wood a new coat of polyurethane or furniture wax.
Re-purpose your existing dining room furniture to give your space a whole new look without the hefty price tag. For instance, stack shelves or serving units to create height and drama, or replace traditional cabinet doors with antique shutters. Changing or rotating seat cushions, picture frames, and other small details can also help brighten up the space without requiring a major redesign.
Remember that to achieve a great new look in your dining room, you don’t necessarily have to change out all of your furniture. Often, just a few striking new pieces are enough to give the space a new atmosphere. If you’re only investing in a few new items, it’s worth it to shell out a little extra money for something really high quality. You’ll save on replacement and redecorating costs down the line. Don’t be afraid to mix various styles to come up with something truly unique. If most of your furniture is cottage vintage, a few well-placed industrial design elements can create a strikingly dramatic look through juxtaposition.
When decorating your dining room, never underestimate the value of a little footwork! Resist the urge to purchase everything all at once at a big box store; there are much better ways to get value for your money. Particularly in the case of furniture, second-hand stores, thrift shops, and garage sales are your greatest ally. Also remember that all the techniques you’ve used to update and improve your own furniture can work on yard sale finds as well!