Bob and Cortney Novogratz Blog: 7 Tips for Decorating Your Home on a Budget

11/06/2015 at 04:26 PM ET

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

Bob and Cortney Novogratz are a design duo—and parents to seven children—who recently bought a 1920s-era castle in the Hollywood Hills. Check back regularly on PEOPLE.com as they blog about the rewards, risks, messes, and successes of the project, giving their expert tips and tricks for home renovation. You can follow them on Twitter at @TheNovogratz or on Facebook

We’re designers, so great design is obviously important to us. Plus, we’ve got 7 kids, so we’re always on a budget. But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean great design needs to be sacrificed. Here are a few ways we’ve learned to budget while decorating.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

1. Look at alternatives. As our kids get older, they have an opinion in all things design, which is naturally exciting for us. Our teenage girls want wallpaper in the castle, which we’re happy to accommodate, but we’re constantly reminding them to look at the price — some wallpapers are much more affordable than others.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

2. Other than choosing a more cost-friendly wallpaper, try wallpapering just the ceiling or an accent wall, rather than doing an entire room. This will keep your budget down so you have money for great accessories at the end of your project.

RELATED: Bob and Cortney Novogratz Blog: 9 Tips For Designing a Home Your Kids Will Be Psyched About

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

3. Dramatic canopies in bedrooms are beautiful and feel luxurious, but for an option that doesn’t cost a fortune, opt for tulle, which is super affordable. Dress up the canopy by stitching an ornate fringe on the edges of the tulle. This really elevates a bedroom without needing to spend on fabric. Pair with an inexpensive wrought iron bed for a timeless look.

RELATED: 7 Chic Items to Decorate Your Living Room on a Budget

4. Dining room chairs don’t have to match — you can mix high and low. If you have your eye on expensive dining room chairs, you don’t have to buy all 6 or 8. Buy 2 for each end of the table, and compromise on less expensive chairs for the middle. Down the road, you can repurpose any of the chairs for office or vanity chairs.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

5. For decorative items and art, use what you already have. Whether you’ve collected tickets and playbills, saved a vintage alma mater sweater, or inherited beautiful old sheet music you don’t use, show off these items in either a display case or an inexpensive frame. Not only are these affordable ways to decorate your home, but they also speak to who you are.

6. Make sure to spend money where it counts. Don’t splurge on trendy furniture; buy sturdy, classic furniture upholstered in a durable fabric, especially if you’ve got five wrestling boys like we do. If your budget is on the lower end, read the reviews. It’s really amazing what you can find in the lower price range if you do your homework.

RELATED: Bob and Cortney Novogratz Blog: How To Design Your Home Like a Boutique Hotel

7. Save trendy moments for accessories like pillows, which are inexpensive and easy to swap out. This is a great opportunity to play with color and pattern.

Bob and Cortney Novogratz
The Novogratz

We’re big believers that you can have style at any price point. If you’re smart about how and where you spend your money, you’ll end up with a home you love. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t buy what you love — being selective will allow you the budget you need when that special piece comes along.

RELATED: Inside Donna Karan’s Soothing (and Stunning!) Spa House

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 7 comments

No thanks on

These two are weird. So are their ideas.

These two don’t strike a chord with the average person; cut ties People magazine and find someone else.

Anonymous on

I don’t like anything about these two people or their ugly designs. They both always look like they just crawled out of bed and need a shower. Yuck!

wm on

Don’t like anything about these two people or their ugly designs. Also, they both always look like they just crawled out of bed and need a shower.

Justeme on

Yeah on a budget, like a million dollar budget…no thanks

Jenny on

Really didn’t see anything in there appealing. And those blue dining room chairs look terribly uncomfortable.

go on

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Sammy Johansen on

My brother tell me for this awesome article! It’s so useful. Thanks a lot for sharing! I will continue to follow your briliant website🙂

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