Watch CBS News

Ask An OC Expert: Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

27 diamonds interior design 610 header
(credit: 27 Diamonds)

Shopping for your home can not only be stressful, it can be expensive too. With the myriad of options out there, you may find it an overwhelming and exhausting process. OC expert and interior designer Anna Shiwlall provides helpful tips on how shop for your home on a budget.

Anna Shiwlall
(credit: Jeri Koegel)

Anna Shiwlall
27 Diamonds
Orange County, CA
(949) 391-4549

Anna Shiwlall is the owner of 27 Diamonds, Inc., an interior design company based out of Orange County, Ca. Since graduating from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles in 2005. Anna has worked on hundreds of residential and commercial projects ranging from small-budget clients to large companies such as Herbalife. In her early years, Anna also ran a style blog that gained recognition on CNN and was also featured in Newport Beach Magazine. In addition, Shiwlall also had a regular morning segment on the Froggy 104.9 giving tips and advice on design. Servicing between 15-30 clients a month now with her team of designers, they create beautiful spaces all throughout Orange County and her mission is simple -- creating beautiful spaces on any budget. "High style is not just for the elite," says Anna "it's an expression of life".

Shopping Online
(credit: istockphoto)

Shop Online

"Furniture stores are closing left and right because it does not make sense for them to pay for the massive overhead. They also simply can't keep everything they have available in stock on the showroom floor to show you. Keeping costs low for the merchant will in turn keep costs low for you as the consumer. With all of the websites and blogs out there, shopping online is the savviest way to find that special piece of furniture right in the comfort of your own home."

Related: Best Furniture Stores In OC

(credit: HomeGoods)

Home Goods

"It is no secret that you can find the cutest pieces at amazing prices at Home Goods. It carries a lot of popular lines at rock bottom prices just for you. I once found a beautiful mirror clock from Home Goods that I will never find again. But I always get compliments on it when people see it. This is a great place for accessories and filling that large bookcase in your home that you never knew what to do with. It takes some digging, but if you're out shopping on a lazy Saturday afternoon, take your time and you never know what you may find!"

FRANCE-MARKET thrift store
(credit: PASCAL PAVANI/Getty Images)

Thrift Stores

"If you're handy and can sew, paint or refinish, go to a thrift store. Sometimes they have items that look a little outdated. For example, I found a chandelier in gold once that normally would just collect dust in the corner of the store. But I took it home and I spray painted it like crazy. By adding a bold color to an old piece, it gives it a modern funky vintage feel that makes a statement in any home."

Back-To-School Season Becomes Big Business For Retailers
(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Auction Houses

"Spending an evening at an auction house is more entertaining than watching 'The Real Housewives of Orange County.' I guarantee it. There are some auction characters there. Along with the entertainment you get with people watching, you can find absolutely awesome pieces at the auction house for really amazing prices. I can't tell you how many Queen Anne chairs I got from there for under $10 and got them refinished and reupholstered, and they always turn out amazing. With older furniture pieces, the craftsmanship and wood is sometimes a lot more solid and sturdy. So you're working with great bones, but maybe not so great color or fabric. Adding chevron or a trendy fabric with a pop of color always gives the furniture piece a very refreshed look."

Online Shopping


"A lot of model home companies, interior designers, small furniture stores and regular folks all advertise on craigslist. While I highly suggest being cautious when purchasing from Craigslist (always bring a friend or pepper spray), it has really awesome pieces on there all of the time. It's like buying discount without having to spend time sifting through all of the stuff you don't want. Searching for an item is simple and purchasing is easy. I once found a gilded silver mirror from a very high-end furniture store for a few hundred dollars and the seller even dropped it off at my house for me. It doesn't get any better than that!"

Related: Best Interior Designers In OC

Barbara Akowuah is a freelance journalist based in Southern California. As a fashion examiner who is privy to style, Barbara loves to write about fashion and how it relates to the Los Angeles scene. Barbara loves to dish out the latest trends, style tips, and inside scoop. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.