How to Design Your Home on a Budget with Teggy French

Hand-drawn design of a modern living room

Reading time: 4 minutes

Moving into a new home? That can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to decoration. You just brought perhaps the most expensive investment you may ever make – and now you’re thinking, “How can we design a home on a low budget?”

“You don’t have to have a lot of money to look like you have a lot of money,” says Designer Teggy French.

Teggy has taken the fashion world by storm with her flare for 1960s Palm Beach, which inspired both her clothing style and home décor. We recently welcomed fashion blogger and designer Teggy to the vipHome Podcast for home decorating ideas on a budget!

Watch the full episode now and read below for more quick home design ideas from Teggy!

Begin your designing journey with color

When seeking inspiration in her own living space, Teggy begins with the color palette.

“I’ll see colors that really speak to me,” says Teggy. “For my living room, I walked into a store, and they had this turquoise and marigold bench. I never would have thought to put those colors together, but it really spoke to me.”

Teggy’s living room was originally white velvet and yellow, but bringing home that one piece of furniture began a redecorating project.

You can also showcase a space by painting a room a “super fun color,” like Teggy did when she lived in a tiny apartment in New York City.

a blue and yellow chair with a yellow throw pillow occupies a living room that's mostly cream and off-white colors.
A new chair can begin a redecorating project.

“I had no money and the world’s smallest bedroom, but I had a lot of clothes,” recounts Teggy. “So I went to IKEA and got a plain white bed that had drawers underneath it to store everything. Then I got their armoires, and that’s where I hung all my clothes.”

Teggy painted the room a navy blue and then hung a golden, sunburst mirror to contrast. She finished the small space with a giant piece of artwork.

“My little apartment was so cute, and I did the whole thing for under a thousand dollars,” says Teggy.

Then move onto the space and flow

a person takes a picture of an empty living room on their phone
Technology can help you envision the space.

Once you have your color scheme, then it’s time to tackle the room’s layout. Teggy uses the picture app to create collages and get a feel for where the furniture should be.

“I do that a lot with outfits as well,” says Teggy. “It just makes things much easier with the way that my mind works.”

Once you know where the furniture will go and what size pieces you need, then the real fun begins – creating inspirational interiors.

Accessorize (and shop around)

a room with vintage items, such as bookcases and clocks, and other antiques
You never know where you’ll find your next accessory.

“The biggest hurdle when it comes to home decor is to be open to shopping anywhere and everywhere,” says Teggy. “A lot of times people think they need to go to one place and decorate their home in one color. It works and it looks pretty, but get a little creative, especially if you’re on a budget.”

Teggy generally stops by a local, budget-friendly thrift store in Morristown, New Jersey, where she finds beautiful pieces of art for about $40. She also shops at TJ Maxx and other bargain home stores for interior decoration, such as wall art, coffee tables, and throw pillows.

“It’s going antiquing, going to TJ Maxx, and putting it all together,” says Teggy. “I spout that if you just manifest what it is you’re looking for, the shopping gods will answer. You just have to be open to going to all different places.”

Add inspired items – and return them if need be

a rock-walled living room has a black couch, a wooden coffeetable, and a light brown rug
Try out some pieces in your space.

Another hurdle for homeowners on a budget is to try out certain items and return them if they don’t work in their unique spaces.

“A lot of people are afraid of that, like ‘Is it going to work? Is it not going to work?’ but just throw it in your car and see,” advises Teggy.

There are no rules when it comes to fashion and décor

a living room with palm trees on the wall and yellow accents
Find your inspiration.

“Nobody gets to tell you what to do with your own space,” says Teggy. “That has taken me 37 years to learn, to tell people, ‘No, this is going to be what I want.'”

Teggy’s décor is reminiscent of Palm Beach and Palm Springs in the 1960s, even though she lives in New Jersey.

“I’m going to create that world, so when I’m in my home I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. You can have a little fun with creating an atmosphere to match maybe where you’d rather be.”

And your living space can make you comfortable and happy without breaking the bank.

a gold lamp with a red lampshade sits upon a table in front of windows
Mix new and vintage items for a great style.

“Don’t put yourself into debt because you think you need to spend to create a certain life,” says Teggy, who has gotten great deals on Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant and at shops in Asbury Park.

Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Most thrift stores generally take at least 10% off the asking price. Recently, Teggy purchased two lamps for under a hundred dollars.

“It’s mixing old with new, but you don’t have to really invest in a lot. It’s all about how you put things together. You can make things look like a million dollars, and secretly, it was like $5.”

Remember – home is your sanctuary

a dog with fluffy, curly hair lays on pillow, on a couch
Enjoy your home.

“Now more than any other time, we’re realizing our homes are our sanctuaries,” says Teggy. “We have to create an environment that we really love and that makes us Zen. We’re spending every waking moment in our homes. it should be a place that you’ve created that you really love.”

Keep your redesigned space safe

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Download the app today

Decorating your home can be hard, but maintaining it doesn’t have to be. vipHomeLink’s home management app keeps all your home info – including paint colors, contractor names, and receipts – in one secure place. We also help to enhance your home’s value with tailored recommendations. In our vipTIPS, we provide home interior design ideas to help you make the most of your space while also keeping it safe.

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Learn more about Teggy French and her fashion and design tips on Instagram – @TeggyFrench and at

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