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Decorating Ideas on a Budget

Concrete décor gives you a variety of creative design options to choose from, but all those can come with a high price. When you plan your design, take into consideration the increasing cost of labor and material. Here are some ideas to consider when you want the finish and durability of concrete on a limited budget.

Color stain

If you want beautiful interior concrete floors at lower costs, choose a regular one-color stain application with a sheer overlay sealer rather than complex treatments. If your contractor suggests intricate cuts, unusual graphics or contrasting stain colors, remember that all this costs more. Go with less expensive, equally durable products such as water-based stain rather than acid stain, which demands deep cleaning and neutralizing.

Color hardener

You can be economic and still have a beautiful driveway by using a dramatic base color or hardener rather than getting a stamped concrete driveway, which requires a variety of colors and patterns. To add an inexpensive but effective splash of artistry, stencil a section of your driveway or just the border. You can use the same method for patios.

Dramatic finishes

Use a vivid exposed-aggregate or rock-salt finish to add style to all your exterior concrete work.

Polished concrete

If you love the mirror shine of marble but can’t afford it, purchase polished concrete flooring.  It is just as luxurious and won’t cost you half as much.

Simple style

Nothing defines the style of a room like a fireplace surround. The engravings and curlicues that accompany decorative fireplaces cost a small fortune. Economize by omitting curves and small details. With a little ingenuity, the effect will be just as dramatic, drawing culture and sophistication to the room.

Easy countertops

Before you install those decorated countertops, you may want to think about how much it will cost. The originality of the piece combined with the effort and time used by the artisan to create those intricate designs adds more to your bill than you may realize. Throw in the cost of transportation and installation, and your bill will skyrocket. Decorative additions that really hike the price are unusual, dramatic shapes, concrete that is more than one inch thick, integral drain boards, specially made edges, and backsplashes. Ask your designer what effects can be achieved at a lower cost.