After stumbling across a TED talk, ‘The Art Of The Imperfect’ by artist Phil Hansen (watch here), we at Saal Design started thinking about the limitations that many people face when trying to decorate and design their homes. Money, space and lack of functionality can seem to limit style and creativity and push you to the point of giving up. We’ve all been there…hair scruffed up, hands on hips and looking at the seemingly impossible space that you’re simply trying to make ‘work’. Hansen looks at these limitations and sees them as an opportunity to be innovative and we’ve decided to adopt this philosophy (or at least try to, hair will still get scruffy I’m sure).

So, with this inspiration, we thought we would share with you some clever, cost effective design solutions that will hopefully spark your imaginations and encourage you to look at the space and objects around you in a new light. Afterall, ‘Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds’.


These days it can often be hard to decorate a space with original items and ideas without having to pay a premium. We all want our homes to be unique to us however this can sometimes be hard when everyone shops at the same home-ware store. My advice would be to actively add that personal twist by making items yourself (and this doesn’t have to be ‘craftsy’ or look like something your niece made you at school which is often the risk with DIY decor). There are plenty of sophisticated ideas out there with great tutorials so there really is no excuse not to join in if you want to make your home one of a kind without the hefty price tag.

This is a fun way to create an original and inventive cork board with a photo frame and lots of wine corks. Best get drinking!

This is a fun way to create an original and inventive cork board with a photo frame and lots of wine corks. Best get drinking!


Lack of space doesn’t have to mean lack of design or functionality. It just means that we have to work harder and get clever with our creativity. I’m constantly amazed with space saving design solutions, from the simple to the spectacular. Here are some designs and ideas that have inspired me:


During our research for this post we carried on coming across one item time and time again. It’s cheap, easy to find, functional and can adapt to most styles and designs. What is this incredible item? The wooden pallet. We were amazed at how this industrial throw away item could transform itself to create cost effective and innovative spaces and furniture. Take a look at some of our favourite finds whilst we run down to the tip to salvage some for ourselves!

interior design hack
wooden pallet cinema room

This idea to use wooden pallets to create a cinema room at home is no doubt our favourite. With a bit of paint and some beautiful cushions they can look really sophisticated and create a unique and relatively inexpensive space. Plus, you’re recycling so you can feel good about that too!