Econ 101

Uncertain economic times can make one anxious.  Fortunately, good design does not depend on your pocketbook.

In this vintage layout from House Beautiful, the editors highlighted several designers who rose to the challenge of the Royal Oak Foundation (the American arm of the National Trust of England)  "to prove that good design can work within budgetary restraints."

The three images, above, are Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer.  Ridder was committed to lavender toile and after a good, long hunt settled on this Manuel Canovas.  Hmmm... Canovas is not usually so easy on the pocket book, but the designers chose inexpensive upholstery and reproductions to stay within the guidelines.

Mariette Himes Gomez designed the space above and below.

The article mentions her preference for things "strong and gentle, plain and fancy."  It does not mention how she kept the design from overwhelming her budget, but the simple, textured fabrics could be had for a reasonable amount.  In addition, the mirrored tiles over the fireplace make a big statement without breaking the bank.

Stephen Sils and James Huniford focused their seating area on the center of the room for this parlor.

Today, curtains out of the box via chain retailers might take the sting out of this more elaborate window covering.

And, hello, Ms. Moss.  Who knew Charlotte Moss could design on a dime? 

Yet, she did, using inexpensive green corduroy for the curtains.

And last, but certainly not least, David Easton created this smashing space and did share his tricks.  Easton used a favorite beige and white stripe, this one a from a discount fabric store, to hide the flaws of the room.  He used masonite painted to look like patinated bronze to create the fireplace surround.

Cork tile for the floors proved inexpensive and sound absorbing.  The kitchenette can be hidden by the curtains.  Easton did use his own English antiques as a nod to the foundation.  A wonderful idea if you can get your designer to go for it.

Photography by Antoine Bootz.  Sadly, I have not retained the entire article and did not note the date.  Darn.