When it comes to the costs of improving your home, most would assume that interior design is not an area worth considering right now. Interior designers are expensive to hire and they choose uppity items that are way out of your economic means, right? Not necessarily. Most interior designers understand that people are pocket-pinching right now, and they know the best techniques and places to shop to help you find the most affordable items. Hiring an interior designer might even save you money in the long run.

If however you’re looking to update your home without professional help, here are some tips that were gathered right from the mouths of interior designers. The goal of decorating right now, according to one designer quoted in the 2010 issue of Home & Design Magazine, is to “go into what we call the soul of the home.” This means updating the items in the house that you find most important or sentimental, while also saving money and being more environmentally conscious.

Repurposing and reupholstering items that you already have is the most popular method of design right now. This allows you to keep pieces that hold meaning and memories, to reuse a worn piece rather than throw it out, and to update the look of your piece at a low cost.

Another popular designing tip right now is to decorate with neutral colors. Some interior designers consider this the number one tip for home designing, because neutral colors never go out of style. Ten years from now, your neutral décor will still look fresh and chic. So when you go to paint, use no or low VOC pain in tans, chocolates, grays or eggplant shades, including dark purples, plums and mauves. If you are updating your countertops or floors, you should use neutral colors and renewable materials, such as bamboo or cork. When you reupholster your furniture, use neutral colors as well.

When do you embrace current trends? Since trends are always changing, a popular rule of thumb that interior designers recommend is that you paint and update permanent items in neutral colors, and then you accessorize with trendy colors. For example, turquoise is the current color for spring and summer of 2010, so home designers should accessorize with turquoise artwork, curtains, dishware, throw pillows and any item that you can easily switch out and replace with a new trendy color down the road. Also, metal art and animal prints are both popular accents right now, which also both coincide with neutral décor.

There is always a way to update your interior design and keep up with current trends while still saving money in the process!