Top interior designer on a budget:
Getting the million dollar look without breaking the bank

Being a top interior designer for multi-millionaires, I am often given multi-million dollar budgets. It’s a thrill having the budget to fully customize a home to the client’s needs and wants, but I am not always granted that luxury.  Thankfully, I have spent many years in the industry and have developed many trade secrets and tricks that allow me to give my clients a million dollar design with a minimal budget. Here are some of my tips on how to save money when it comes to design.

Plan Ahead - DLD Design

Planning ahead allowed the electrician to provide power for all of the wall light fixtures in one trip.

#1 – Hire a Professional Interior Designer

Many people think that opting for a do-it-yourself design will save you money – but more times than not, this approach ends up costing more. A professional designer, like myself, can ensure that you are making the best choices for your lifestyle, home’s resale value, and budget. The long-term value of professional guidance far outweighs the initial cost.

#2 – Plan, Plan, Plan!

Planning ahead with a realistic timeline and an accurately measured space plan will help you stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary purchases and mishaps. Without a clear plan you are likely to have problems arise and can often end up paying double. Examples include having to call back your electrician to cut through the wall and provide power for the sconce you just bought or purchasing a beautiful antique sofa at an auction only to find that you can’t even fit it through your front door!

#3 – Stretch Your Dollar

Splurge on a few key items that pack a punch and make a statement in the room. A large chandelier or substantial piece of art has a grand presence and can be a showstopper.

DLD kitchen design

I splurged on the banquette fabric in this kitchen but saved by framing the inexpensive poster and finding the orange leather in my upholsterers remnants for next to nothing!


Save on items that are more commonplace and can be widely found, such as a jute rug or bamboo shades that you can find at a local store without the high-end price tag.


Restoration Hardware is a great source for necessity items at a very reasonable price. Pictured here is a bamboo weave shade and braided jute rug, both from Restoration Hardware.


#4 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Maximize what you already have. A fresh coat of paint, a new finish, or new fabric can transform anything – even a wood floor can easily be refinished and given an entirely new look. There is no sense in buying all new furniture when you can have the pieces you love reupholstered with the amazing fabrics you found on sale.

#5 – Bargain Hunting

Home décor and design deals are all around; you just have to know where to look. Interior designers are known for their resources, and I have plenty of them. The Internet is a great source for finding deals. You can sign up for showroom newsletters to keep up to date on their latest deals – or sample sales if you’re lucky! There are many online stores, such as Ebay and 1stDibs, which provide high-end furniture and décor for well below the retail value. Looking out for deals and signing up for online sources are great ways to save thousands on the interior design of your space.


Sample Sale! I was lucky to find these two fabrics at a sample sale by Rose Tarlow, because the fabrics are discontinued I scored them at just $25/yard!


Another serious bargain finder is shopping the remnant sections at stone yards and carpet dealers. You’ll often find a piece that fits your needs for a fraction of the cost. It’s a great way to get high-end counters and floors for a steal.

Keep these key tips in mind when your next interior design project comes up. Hire a professional, plan ahead, stretch your dollar, reuse, and keep a lookout for those bargains!