Many people kick off the holiday season by decorating their homes. But let’s face it, decking the halls can quickly turn from fun and festive to stressful and expensive – but, not for Sara Bragg! If you’ve been following along on her home journey, Sara’s “Bougie on a Budget” Instagram reels for holiday styling went viral last year, and for good reason! She offers affordable tips for home styling, leveraging pieces that look upscale and elevated without breaking the bank.
Sara Bragg is the creative mind behind @sarabragginteriors – a home décor and interior consulting business that has garnered an impressive community of followers on Instagram. Graduating from Alfred University School of Art and Design, Sara has always been passionate about home décor. Working with her husband in the commercial construction field, interior consulting took shape while she was on maternity leave. As a mom of two, Sara loves sharing design ideas and styling tips that are beautiful, practical, and affordable.
Out of the Box Gift Wrapping Ideas
Use colorful and festive fabric as gift wrap, securing it with a ribbon or twine for a reusable and eco-friendly option. Or, wrap your gifts in old maps, sheet music, or book pages for a unique and vintage touch.
“My mom always saves cereal and cracker boxes and wraps gifts in them. When my kids open their presents from Grandma and Grandpa, they get excited because they think they got a box of cereal, when really a new outfit is inside the box! And for an added bonus, my mom will add in spare change or a bag of rocks or magazines to make the box feel heavier. She then wraps them in beautiful wrapping paper (that you can find at the dollar store) and adds a cute velvet bow! It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant; remember, less is more! I am totally going to use that for my “bougie on a budget” series this holiday season! Thanks, Mom!”
Sara's DécOr Tips
These simple tips go a long way in achieving the look you want for less. And, in Sara’s opinion, try not to get too caught up with trends. They come and go and are popular for a few years before something else starts trending. Choose décor for the holidays and year-round that you love and appreciate whether it’s trending or not, while sticking to your budget and you can’t go wrong.
Check out stores such as Pottery Barn, West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel, and local boutiques and furniture stores to get ideas and find pieces you really like. Keep an eye on them and shop the sales to know when items are marked down or on a promotion.
If you find something you really like, but can’t bring yourself to splurge on it, try to find a dupe! Short for duplicate, a dupe is an item that has the same aesthetic look but is available at a cheaper price from another store or vendor. Sara says, “I always research to compare.”
Repurpose what you already have. If you have something you no longer use, find a way to turn it into something else. For example, old garland you don’t hang anymore could turn into something like a centerpiece accent or an addition to an existing wreath to give it new life.
Shop off-season. Especially for items such as garland and florals, using realistic stems can go a long way in elevating your look. However, you don’t always have to splurge to get the look you want. Many of these items (such as the viral Norfolk garland) go on sale in the summer, and you can snag them at a much lower price. This can be a great way to get the items you’ve been eyeing!
Pay attention to the materials you choose and mix discount items with more expensive ones. One example is with ornaments. Sara suggests selecting ornaments that are matte, shiny, or glittery in rich, moody colors such as brown, burgundy and mercury glass. She mixes these with other “splurge” items to achieve an elevated look for her tree, mantle, and stairwell. “Adding glitz and glamour will always create a more elegant and sophisticated look,” Sara explains.