Things To Do

Home Design & Remodeling Show brings designer Alena Capra to dish on designing on a budget

Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show has tapped South Florida interior designer Alena Capra to give do-it-yourselfers a few trade secrets about creating high end designs without breaking the bank. The New York transplant has brought her clean, modern contemporary aesthetic to remodels all around South Florida since she began designing 12 years ago. The University of Miami grad will host a seminar on Monday at 3 p.m. where she will share her go-to strategies to create upscale looks with limited budgets, but first she gives her top 5 design tips before the trade show takes over the Miami Beach Convention Center on Labor Day weekend.

Related content

1. Wallpaper is back

Most shudder at the thought of wallpaper because removing it used to be such a nightmare. Not anymore says Capra: “Wallpaper has made a huge comeback and it’s much easier to remove nowadays.” It is the perfect way to make a wall pop, she says. “One accent wall can really change an entire space. It’s such a Miami look to have a cool bright wall. In the past people were doing it with paint, but now people are doing it with wallpaper. When I started designing in early 2000, they stopped selling it. No one wanted it. Then a few years ago, I started using metallic wallpaper at first, but in the last five years there is not a project where we don’t wallpaper at least one room. It brings another texture to the room.”

Related content

2. Splurge on beautiful accent tiles

Maybe you can’t afford to go floor to ceiling with high end tiles, but Capra says with a few strategically-placed accents, you can create a luxurious look without spending a fortune. “When you are working with tile for a bathroom remodel, pick a beautiful accent tile and create a small accent, like around a mirror or a vertical accent. The tiles may be too expensive to use everywhere but if you create a little accent, you can get a lot out of it.”

Related content

3. Bold backsplashes

“In Miami, people are doing a lot of quartz countertops. It’s a clean solid color so get a wild backsplash to make it pop,” Capra recommends. To save money there are some DIY adhesive tile mats that you can apply yourself. Capra loves to use adhesive stainless steel tiles to give a kitchen a sleek modern look.”You stick them on yourself to create a high end backsplash.”

Related content

4. Pump up the pillows

In the bedroom, Capra loves to mix and match accent pillows. “Mixing different texures of pillows will create a unique look – taking velvets and sequins or fur pillows. You can get a lot of those inexpensively at HomeGoods or Marshalls. Don’t be afraid to mix funky patterns and prints.”

Related content

5. Wood tiles

Wood floors and tropical humidity don’t mix. But with the latest flooring trend, wood-imitating porcelain tiles, you can have the look of wood with absolutely none of the maintenance. “If you live in a condo or by the beach, wood is not an option. But I’ve been using wood tiles for years. It mimics wood and it’s a beautiful product. It’s a great way to create the look of wood, but in our environment tile is much better to deal with. And it’s affordable. I have clients who do their whole house with it.” Capra has used it not only for flooring, but to create accent walls as well. “It can give a rustic, beach house feeling. Very Florida.”