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Interior designer Shaye Ford shares her best budgeting home styling tips to elevate your space

A top interior designer has offered a peek into her stunningly renovated coastal cottage and revealed her top tips and tricks for styling any space.

Interior designer and lead interior stylist at Aussie homeware brand Miss Amara, Shaye Ford, transformed an old, rundown cottage on New South Wales Central Coast into the home of her dreams.

Shaye was attracted to the home for its ‘good bones and workable floorplan’ and had already started putting together her styling vision before her offer was even accepted by the previous owners. 

The stunning light-filled home blends English cottage style with design notes from American bungalows and has a touch of Australian flair. 

Speaking with FEMAIL, Shaye revealed some of her best styling secrets from what is worth splashing cash on to her tips for elevating any space on a budget. 

Using her know-how, interior designer and lead interior stylist at Aussie homeware brand Miss Amara, Shaye Ford (pictured) transformed an old, rundown cottage on New South Wales Central Coast into the home of her dreams

Speaking with FEMAIL, Shaye revealed some of her best styling secrets from what is worth splashing cash on to her tips for elevating any space on a budget

Speaking with FEMAIL, Shaye revealed some of her best styling secrets from what is worth splashing cash on to her tips for elevating any space on a budget 

Shaye was attracted to the home for its 'good bones and workable floorplan' and had already started putting together her styling vision before her offer was even expected by the previous owners

The stunning light-filled home blends English cottage style with design notes from American bungalows and has a touch of Australian flair

Shaye was attracted to the home for its ‘good bones and workable floorplan’ and had already started putting together her styling vision before her offer was even expected by the previous owners

When coming up with a concept for your home Shaye recommended putting together a mood board and creating a look that isn't too coordinated. 'Nothing better than being able to see everything together before spending the money for all of it!'

When coming up with a concept for your home Shaye recommended putting together a mood board and creating a look that isn’t too coordinated. ‘Nothing better than being able to see everything together before spending the money for all of it!’

Shaye’s passion for interior design started when she was just a child and would flick through her builder dad’s house drawings in his office. 

‘I found them mesmerising. I would spend hours sketching floor plans as well hours moving my room around until I found the right balance,’ she said. 

‘I think I may have been the only ten-year-old I knew saving their pocket money for home magazines.’

She was able to turn her childhood fantasy into reality when she came across an ‘old but livable’ coastal home she said had a ‘gorgeous east facing triangular cathedral style windows’ and ideal location near the beach and a lake.

Before Shaye had even signed the papers, she had already come up with a design concept for the ultra-chic house.

‘I have always been inspired by English cottages and American bungalows and tried to mesh the two together in an Australian way to create a fusion,’ she said. 

Shaye's golden styling rule is not never stick to one aesthetic with the most well-designed homes is a mesh of at least two or three different styles. 'When shopping for items don't think about them as a stand alone piece,' she said

Interior designer Shaye Ford shares her best budgeting home styling tips to elevate your space

Shaye’s golden styling rule is not never stick to one aesthetic with the most well-designed homes is a mesh of at least two or three different styles. ‘When shopping for items don’t think about them as a stand alone piece,’ she said

Built-in shelves frame the cosy fireplace and are filled with decor and trinkets Shaye found at thrift shops and homewares stores while soft Miss Amara rugs, throws and cushions provides extra texture and warmth to the space

Built-in shelves frame the cosy fireplace and are filled with decor and trinkets Shaye found at thrift shops and homewares stores while soft Miss Amara rugs, throws and cushions provides extra texture and warmth to the space

Interior designer Shaye Ford’s top tips for elevating your home’s style that won’t break the bank

  1. When looking for furniture, think about easy changes on more budget options that could elevate the piece.
  2. Get crafty with decor pieces such of art – everyone has an inner artist and the saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’
  3. Thrift shops are your best friend – go often, have a little idea of what you’re looking for but keep your mind open
  4. A home isn’t a home without pieces that show who lives there – so small inexpensive touches like a family photo in a frame can add so much warmth!
  5. Scent is so so important, so a gorgeous smelling candle or incense can instantly elevate a space!

When coming up with a concept for your own home Shaye recommended putting together a mood board and creating a look that isn’t too coordinated. 

‘Creating a mood board really helps pull together your look especially when you want to create a cohesive nothing-too-coordinated look,’ she said. 

‘Nothing better than being able to visually see everything together before spending the money for all of it!’

Shaye’s golden styling rule is to never stick to one aesthetic as the most well-designed homes are a mesh of at least two or three different styles. 

‘When shopping for items don’t think about them as a stand alone piece,’ she said.

‘Always think about what is going to be placed near the item, how it speaks to the rest of the room – whether it’s a hero object, an accent or a base item that highlights a hero piece you already have.’

In her living room, Shaye heroed the natural light that pours into the space ‘all day long’ with large windows covered with sheer curtains and a clean white palette. 

Built-in shelves frame the cosy fireplace and are filled with decor and trinkets Shaye found at thrift shops and homewares stores while soft Miss Amara rugs as well as throws and cushions provide extra texture and warmth to the space. 

‘In the lounge room, I love good quality cushions that have dense feather filled inserts – they make all the difference,’ Shaye said. 

Off the living room, the kitchen has a dark-wood island bench contrasts the white stone benchtops and cabinets while vintage-style sconces and stove adds a rustic-chic feel.

Shaye said kitchen cupboard and draw handles are like ‘jewellery for the kitchen’ and are always worth splurging on in any home renovation as they are on of the most used items in the house. 

Her dining room lies just off the country-style kitchen and Shaye has a solid light wood table with rattan dining chairs. A retro sideboard offers a chic storage solution while black-framed sliding doors open the room out to the deck alfresco seating area

Her dining room lies just off the country-style kitchen and Shaye has a solid light wood table with rattan dining chairs. A retro sideboard offers a chic storage solution while black-framed sliding doors open the room out to the deck alfresco seating area

Shaye said kitchen cupboard and draw handles are like 'jewellery for the kitchen' and are always worth splurging on in any home renovation as they are on of the most used items in the house

Another item Shaye said is worth spending on is a quality dining room table saying: 'a solid timber table looks, feels and wears so much better than a veneer table and will last decades'

Shaye said kitchen handles are like ‘jewellery for the kitchen’ and are always worth splurging on in any home renovation as they are on of the most used items in the house. Another item Shaye said is worth spending on is a quality dining room table

How to style your home like a pro according to Shaye

  • Creating a mood board helps pull together a look especially when you want to create a cohesive, nothing-too-coordinated look 
  • Never skimp on the handles in the kitchen, they get so much wear and tear so good quality solid handles are worth spending the money on 
  • There are some great companies out there producing budget furniture that you can tweak to make it look more expensive and luxe looking 
  • Check out your local vintage or thrift stores to fill your shelves 
  • Invest in a solid timber table, they look, feel and wear so much better and will last decades 
  • It’s also worth splurging on fabric. Whether it be your lounge, cushions, curtains, good quality fabric always sits, looks and feels better 
  • When shopping for items don’t think about them as a stand alone piece. Always think about what is going to be placed near the item, how it speaks to the rest of the room – whether it’s a hero object, an accent or a base item that highlights a hero piece you already have 

‘Never skimp on the handles in the kitchen, they get so much wear and tear so good quality solid handles are worth spending the money on,’ she said. 

Another item Shaye said is worth spending on is a quality dining room table saying: ‘a solid timber table looks, feels and wears so much better than a veneer table and will last decades’. 

Her dining room lies just off the country-style kitchen and Shaye has a solid light wood table with rattan dining chairs.

A retro sideboard offers a chic storage solution while black-framed sliding doors open the room out to the deck alfresco seating area.

For the other rooms in the house she recommends investing in good fabrics as well as quality linen for the bedroom. 

‘Whether it be your lounge, cushions, curtains, good quality fabric always sits, looks and feels better. You can truly see the difference,’ Shaye explained.

‘In the bedroom it’s the bed linen for me, we spend or should spend eight hours sleeping – luxurious beautiful linen is a must.’ 

However, for those on a tighter budget, Shaye said there are budget retailers making affordable homewares and furniture that can be adjusted to look more expensive while op shops can hide some stylish finds. 

‘There are some great companies out there producing budget furniture that you can tweak to make it look more expensive and luxe looking and also decor pieces likes vases and trinkets,’ she said.

‘Check out you local vintage or thrift stores to fill your shelves…I love the thrill of the find.’

GET THE LOOK FOR LESS

Styling a home to make it look like it belongs on the pages of a high-end magazine doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. 

Shaye’s boho English cottage aesthetic can be replicated without breaking the bank thanks to a number of budget retailer’s offering stylish homewares and furnishings. 

In the living room, Shaye’s shelves and tables are filled with trinkets similar to Kmart’s ribbed vase for just $15 and $12 disco ball as well as Target’s $25 Hallie vase. 

While the stylist used the Miss Amara Misha Tribal wool shag rug $2,265, you can get a similar one from Rugs Online like the Saffrom 22 white rug from just $149.95 to add texture to a room. 

Kmart sells a grey couch just like Shaye's for less than $500

Kmart sells a grey couch just like Shaye’s for less than $500

Home DIY guru Geneva Vanderzeil has a simple hack for replicating travertine stone tables for just $58 like the one seen in Shaye’s lounge.

To make an on-trend side table, she used three pieces of travertine natural stove pavers and Selleys construction adhesive glue. 

Gigi and Tom’s $90 boucle stool will add a trendy statement while Kmart’s $449 Harrison three-seat soft is much like Shaye’s grey couch. 

In the kitchen, Shaye uses straw baskets as a stylish storage solution and Target sells a range of natural woven baskets from $25 each. 

How to make your own travertine side table for just $58 

What you’ll need

How to make your own travertine side table with items from Bunnings for just $58

How to make your own travertine side table with items from Bunnings for just $58 

  • 3 Travertine pavers (I used these and they were 600mm x 400mm x 30mm – or 24 inches x 16inches x 1 inch)
  • Selleys Hold Up Glue

What to do 

Before you get started, it’s important to wear sturdy shoes when handling these heavy pavers. Even with shoes on you need to be very careful not to drop a paver onto your feet as you are handling them. You may also want a friend to help you lift and hold the pavers into the place when gluing. And don’t try to lift the finished side table on your own.

  1. Lift up the first paver onto the short edge, and apply glue along the long edge, perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Lift the second paver and press it onto the glue, making sure that it is well centred onto the first paver. This will ensure good balance. Also, check to make sure that both pavers are completely flush with the floor and have good contact. If they don’t or seem to be cut slightly out of line, consider flipping them so that the straightest edge is flush with the floor with good contact. They should create a balanced T shape 
  3. Apply glue to top edge of the T that is formed by the first two pavers. Add a decent amount of glue to ensure a good hold. 
  4. Lift up the third paver and place it on top of the first two. Make sure that the top is sitting in the middle of the base and that there is the same amount of distance from from both sides of the base. 
  5. The glue remains flexible for around 15 minutes after you put it together, so you may want to use some tape to hold it together if you find it is sliding around. Then, let the glue dry for at least 48 hours before moving it or disturbing it. (Note here the balance of the structure in the picture and the shape of the T).

Source: Collective Gen 

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