So, you want a designer home but can't afford the designer price tag?
You'll be pleased to know you can create a stylish space on a budget, and it comes down to four key pillars: declutter, plan, DIY and bargain hunt.
We've sourced helpful ideas from designers and "serial home decorators" to give your home that extra razzle dazzle, all while keeping to a small budget.
1) Strip the home
Before you start dreaming about what you can and can't afford, consider what you can recycle or rehome.
Heather Brett, "serial home decorator and DIYer" of home organising business Simple Happy Spaces, suggests stripping rooms one by one of all their contents.
"Give yourself a chance to only bring back into the room things that you're going to keep, which makes you think about each item individually, and removes unnecessary visual distractions, making it easier to see how your stuff is going to be cohesive to your plan."
What sort of look do you want to create? Beachy, boho, scandi?
Don't hit Kmart with a big trolley and little thought or you'll end up with "a splatter gun approach" in your house, cautions Marlene of Rotorua's Marlene Hudson Design.
"Suddenly you've got five things that have no connection and it makes no improvement."
Try to buy items that suit your theme best, and then look to link colours by using the colour wheel (a visual that contrasts and coordinates hues) for ideas on how to improve their "stage presence".
3) Shop your house
The most frugal way to decorate is to "shop" what you already have.
Stroll around your house and think about how you might be able to repurpose objects or accessories in different rooms.
You might even have things in storage that could provide a refreshed look.
4) Grab a paintbrush
This is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform your home, says Tauranga interior designer and colour specialist Roselle Blockley of La Belle Maison Interiors.
Keep mostly neutral shades for "peace and tranquillity" but depending on your taste, a feature wall - painted or wallpapered - can create an impact.
Chalk paint is also an easy way to transform furniture.
Brett adds a neutral colour is also good for resale, and a gentle way to experiment with colour is via accessories.
If you opt for a feature wall, consider seeking expert advice first as choosing the wrong wall can make the room look smaller.
5) Spend wisely
If you're going to plonk down money, consider splurging on a quality lounge suite and dining set, which are high-use and high-impact pieces.
Then, decorate around them with "lookalike" designer knockoffs, such as a side table from The Warehouse or kitset shelves from Mocka.
Kiwi fashion designer Kharl WiRepa said revarnishing wooden floors was the big investment in his "whānau home" and became the show-stopper.
The house is then decorated with one-of-a-kind estate finds from antique and op shops and offset with contemporary pieces.
He's a fan of mirrors, which make a room feel bigger, as well as reflecting light, which brightens and warms spaces in the house.
He spends frugally, except on forever pieces: "I buy what I want to have for a long time".
If you have no choice but to keep the furniture you have, try DIY.
Paint or stain tables, or create a "table display", layered with a fruit bowl or flowers, and your choice of decorative pieces - ceramics, candles and coffee-table books.
To keep objects orderly and pleasing to the eye, try using trays to group similar items of different sizes and shapes.
6) Make small but key changes
Replacing handles on cupboards and drawers, new lampshades, and faceplates on power points and light switches can give your home an instant facelift.
Outside, try adding a splash of colour - a couple of tropical cushions and an umbrella - which can lift things instantly.
Painting outdoor furniture can also change the look of a space quickly.
Throws and cushions are a great way to update and transform your couch.
Try using velvet in winter and linen in summer, suggests Blockley, who says if your lounge suite has seen better days, slipcovers are a great money-saver.
Not sure what colour to go with? Nature tells us what colours work well in each season.
Bright and cheerful in summer and darker, warm tones in winter.
Blockley suggests adding candles, preferably battery-operated, to create a feeling of cosiness.
"The soft dim light will change the look and feel of a room and hide a lot of imperfections on walls."
8) Get arty
Shop for inexpensive prints and canvases from chain stores or create a picture wall of family photographs to help fill larger walls.
Hudson suggests displaying photo frames in a layered manner to create interest as well as grouping art to fill a wall as a gallery does.
"Have matching colours of frames for the biggest impact."
9) Get inspired, but don't fall for trends
Don't bin junk mail as soon as it arrives - it could be a good source of design inspiration.
Take a look at what furniture is for sale and how marketers have styled them with throws, cushions, rugs and art.
Could you create something similar? Or, if unsure, don't go there.
"Marketers tell us what's on-trend, but there are only a few people who can afford to remove and replace items as the trends change," Hudson says.
"It can look a bit like a store display if it's all from the same place and the same year."
Brett, who's renovated multiple homes, suggests making mood boards and only "borrow other people's ideas" if they really speak to you.
"I think people should be mindful that trends are exactly that - they come and go - and if you've spent lots of money on something that's a trend, a year later you could have a bit of regret."
Her own style is "industrial", which didn't quite mesh when her family moved from Northland into their new "very white" Pāpāmoa house, but when redecorating (including with her 50-plus house plants), she's learned to mix, not match.
10) Become eagle-eyed
Take your time hunting for special yet affordable pieces.
Set up alerts on Trade Me and Facebook Marketplace, and shop secondhand stores for items of interest.
If you want ideas for transforming op-shop finds, Brett suggests scrolling junkndisorderly.co.nz
She's a fan of Waipuna Hospice Charity Shops - particularly the Pāpāmoa and Fraser Cove branches - which have a high turnover.
"I tell my clients to shop there Mondays and Tuesdays. If someone is doing a big declutter or moving houses, they'll likely drop their stuff over the weekend.
"Buying secondhand doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be buying cheap stuff. Sometimes, it means you're getting better, quality stuff."
Where can I nab a bargain?
and Facebook Marketplace
to set up sale alerts for products from a variety of major brands/stores.