Tammy Hart, I.D.D.P, CAPS is a graduate and tutor of QC Design School as well as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist from the National Association of Home Builders. She is the owner and award-winning designer for Designer Chick Co., and she’s the previous director of the National Board for DDA (formerly CDECA). She is a professional speaker and has spoken at venues like IIDEXCanada and the Small Business Forum. She’s been featured in East in the City Magazine, has had a guest spot on Daytime Durham, Rogers TV and has won the HOUZZ Service Award 2017. She works to empower young women to become successful future leaders and supports ocean clean-up efforts.

Interior Design and Decorating is about creating designs that inspire clients to enjoy their spaces, no matter what their personal style or budget may be. There are designers and decorators suited to every client’s price point. Some clients will have larger budgets with room to purchase new furniture and accessories. Meanwhile, other clients will challenge an interior decorator or designer with smaller budgets. Regardless of budget, our role is to create a beautiful space. But it’s also our responsibility to consider the environmental impacts of the interior decorating industry.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

We need to think creatively when doing our job with an awareness of those impacts. Sourcing decor from outside-of-the-box places and reusing or recycling (or upstyle) great finds is a great approach.

I love antiquing! I love antiquing because you can find so many beautiful accessories and decor pieces that have a story and are unique. I have found incredible framed mirrors for hanging on walls, beautiful antique pitchers for flowers, and candlestick holders for tablescaping. Even better, you can find beautiful dressers that, with a little elbow grease, can be transformed into small kitchen islands that double as storage units.

Reupholster your furniture

In a client’s home, I’m always looking at their existing furniture’s style and condition. Is it really necessary to buy a new couch if their current couch is in good condition? No. Perhaps it just needs a reupholstering. It will be cheaper than replacing it with a new, luxury couch.

reupholstering chair upgrade for interior decorating jobs

By reupholstering, you can pick any fabric your heart desires. Or, simply switch out pillows with custom pillows. I started my own line of bespoke pillows for designers and clients. They are all custom, unique, and never duplicated. Swapping out your pillows can change a room’s entire look and feel instantly!

Find treasure at auctions

Don’t be afraid to go to auctions! Repeat after me, “Auctions are my friend!” You can find amazing furniture for truly next-to-nothing. I’ve paid a couple of dollars for beautiful pieces that I’ll take back to my studio to give new life to it. And it’s better than getting new furniture that you need to piece together. I get solid, real wood furniture, and then I beautify it.

Beautiful your windows

Another of my favorite hacks I share with my clients is upstyling their window treatments. I love putting stunning ribbon trims on the seams of the panels. Doing so changes the treatment instantly! And don’t be afraid to spray paint the rods with metallic spray paint. It saves your clients a ton of money and creates a new look.

antique painted vanity vintage upstyle for interior decorating

I’m working with a client right now where we are having her bathroom vanity painted. It’s already in great condition, but it won’t match the new look we are giving her bathroom. I’ve called in my painter to use paint with a high gloss finish on the cabinetry. I’ve also had her tubs refinished with a new color rather than ripping it out, purchasing a new tub, and then having to refinish tile.

You can see how these hacks not only save clients money but they also save the landfills from more waste. No matter the budget, push your creative limits. By pushing your creativity, you are helping our planet at the same time!

What other interior decorating tricks did we miss? Let us know!

Adding plants can instantly refresh a home! Here’s our green guide to using plants in your interior decor!

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