Seeing past limitations can bring some amazing things into our lives. Feeling like our budget is too small to hire a decorator, or that we have to face the project alone may mean that we are skipping on a transformative opportunity. For this young exec in Fullerton, California, hiring Lada Webster of Squarefoot Interior Design was the best decision he could have made. Wanting something sophisticated, edgy as well as easy going, Lada helped him decorate his loft on a budget.

To create a high-end aesthetic Lada kept the palette neutral while working mostly with texture to bring in interest. She used low-budget tricks like placing three IKEA floor mirrors together to expand the space and create a visual focal point. Lada also believes that repurposing furniture you already own is a great way to cut cost: “maybe that dresser in your bedroom can be refinished and then used as a media cabinet in your living room; just by relocation alone, you get a fresh sense of space.”

To give each room a polished look, Lada played with symmetry. In both the bedroom and the living room she created equal proportions on either side of the sofa and bed. However too much symmetry can make a space feel boring–by choosing a rectangular pillow on one side of the sofa and throw for the other, she chose a specific moment to break with that symmetry giving it personality. Another way she brought in personality was to purchase downloadable prints from Etsy. “There are so many accessible prints–put them in a nice matted frame and you instantly have a well-dressed wall,” she explained.

But when we asked for more details on how she believes that a budget for a home should be spent, she gave the best tip of all: “I say save the splurge for entertaining friends and family afterwards on some good food and wine.” In the end, homes are meant to be shared and to be places to create great memories. The energy you bring is more important than the small design details.