Top tips to achieve an Instagram-worthy lounge on a budget

Jack Kinsey 1

Create an Instagram-worthy living room on a small budget

This week, we’ve got a featured blog from guest contributor, Jack Kinsey. Jack is an interior designer based in Norfolk who you may have seen featured on BBC One’s Interior Design Masters Season 4. When not lighting up the silver screen, Jack is busy creating stylish, timeless spaces up and down the country. Who better to tell our lovely readers - that’s you - how to achieve an Instagram-worth living room on a budget?

@jackkinsey

There is so much you can do yourself, so let's dive straight in with painting and decorating. A fresh coat of paint can really lift a room and instantly transform a space, while a clever use of paint can create the illusion of added height, width and length.

To make a room feel taller, take the paint up to the picture rail height and leave the remaining wall and ceiling in white or a lighter tone. To make the living room feel cosier and more intimate, simply colour drench the walls and ceiling in the same shade giving a cohesive, snug feeling.

These simple yet clever methods of painting can be done yourself without the need to call in the professionals.

Apply a fresh coat of paint

There is so much you can do yourself, so let's dive straight in with painting and decorating. A fresh coat of paint can really lift a room and instantly transform a space, while a clever use of paint can create the illusion of added height, width and length. To make a room feel taller, take the paint up to the picture rail height and leave the remaining wall and ceiling in white or a lighter tone. To make the living room feel cosier and more intimate, simply colour drench the walls and ceiling in the same shade giving a cohesive, snug feeling. These simple yet clever methods of painting can be done yourself without the need to call in the professionals.

Jack Kinsey 2

@jackkinsey

Think about window treatments

Whilst we’re on the subject of feeling cosy, it‘s only natural to discuss how window treatments can transform a room. This is where California Shutters come into their own!

With their vast range of beautiful plantation shutter styles, colours and finishes, it’s easy to shut away the outside world and enjoy all the privacy you’ll ever need as you wind down, switch off and relax – and at an affordable cost as they are DIY shutters. 

I chose the Berkeley Full Height shutters in the ‘White Grained’ finish for my chapel conversion's living room windows. They complement and elevate my existing décor beautifully and have added an extra layer of class and sophistication. Plus, they’re a snippet of the price compared to most other bespoke shutter companies.

California Shutters are made-to-measure meaning a bespoke fit every time, and are super easy to install yourself, saving the added cost of a carpenter or builder to fit them. Me and my partner installed our DIY shutters in just one morning!

Upcycle your furniture

I chose the ‘White Grained’ finish for my shutters to tie in with my upcycled furniture which consists of white-washed antique pieces and distressed textured surfaces.

Upcycled and DIY furniture is another great way of creating an affordable living room, whilst having some fun. Who doesn't love mooching around second-hand furniture stores, charity shops and markets to find a bargain?

The quality of new furniture doesn’t compare to that of older, unique pieces as they are often made with materials far superior by craftsmen many, many years ago. It’s important to weave old and pre-loved pieces into an interior to give it a personable and more curated feel.

Jack Kinsey 1

Berkley Full Height - White Grained - @jackkinsey

Add panelling

Another way of adding character to your lounge on a budget is by adding panelling to your walls - and no, you don't need a carpenter for the job! Simple 'box panelling' is a favourite of mine, giving depth and an architectural element to a room – just as plantation shutters do.

Affordable panelling is within easy reach as materials like MDF and beading can be painted in whatever finish and colour you like. Architectural fixtures like shutters and panelling provide thoughtful detailing to areas that otherwise may be quite plain and boring.

Ignore trends

Many interior design trends stem from creators on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Indeed, the panelling trend has been made so accessible through tutorials on social media, however, I do try to avoid some trends as they come and go.

This can make renovations in the long-term more expensive as you may be tempted to change your décor to keep up with the times. For instance, the Pantone Colour of the Year 2024 is ‘Peach Fuzz,’ which unless you are a peach enthusiast, I'd avoid at all costs... as next year may well be ‘Avocado Green.’ I rest my case!

Find your style

Looking to create your very own Instagram-worthy living room? Shop our collections today and find your style.