How to design your house on a budget, courtesy of the 'Queer Eye' guys

  • After buying a home in Pennsylvania in 2014, Carson Kressley renovated and started decorating.
  • Along the way he made several mistakes, including buying furniture that didn't fit through the front door.
  • Together with his "Queer Eye" co-star Thom Filicia, they created a new show focused on interior design.

Whether you're moving into a new space or sprucing up an old one, making decor decisions can be challenging. And celebrity stylist and former "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" star Carson Kressley knows this first-hand.

After buying a home in Pennsylvania in 2014, he renovated and started decorating. But along the way he made several mistakes, including buying furniture that didn't fit through the front door.

"I just bought stuff that I liked, but I didn't have a plan. So I had a bunch of stuff that didn't really relate and rooms that didn't feel connected," Kressley told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

That's when he called interior decorator and his "Queer Eye" co-star Thom Filicia for advice. Together, the duo realized they could turn their collaboration into something bigger.

Kressley's quest for good interior design turned into Bravo's new TV show, "Get a Room with Carson and Thom," airing Saturdays at 10pm. In each episode, Filicia and Kressley (who's learning interior design along the way) help clients transform living spaces that range from budget-friendly, to super high-end.

Design on a Dime

Carson Kressley, Thom Felicia -- (Photo by: Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Rodolfo Martinez | NBCU
Carson Kressley, Thom Felicia -- (Photo by: Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Kressley stated that one way to make a room look great, if you're on a tight budget: Paint.

"It's by far the biggest bang for your buck design tool. It also allows you to take a bit of design risk without a big financial risk," Kressley told CNBC.

Filicia added: "Put your money into the things you'll live with a long time (sofa, bed, dining table etc.) and have fun with the things that are more temporary (accessories, pillows, etc)."

The interior decorator said to think of interior design like fashion. If you invest in a great pair of shoes that you plan on having for a long time, you can pair that with a T-shirt and jeans, and still look fabulous.

"When it becomes the design part….that's really about your personality your sensibility, your aesthetic. It becomes very personal and people become paralyzed," Filicia said.

If you're not sure what your style might be, The co-hosts say take cues from your closet. Kressly explained that "If everything is roughly in floral and kind of bohemian then you might want a shabby chic kind of vibe."

Filicia added that using apps like Pinterest are also helpful. Users can create vision boards, and pin pictures of items that catch their eye.

"If you use that heart feature and you start liking things that are on a design retailer's site or even a Pinterest, you'll eventually start to see a through line," says Kressley.

But it's not just your personal style that factors into a good design.

"Understand the location of the home, the architecture, your lifestyle, your point of view, how you want to use the space, how you entertain and live and then you start connecting those dots, Filicia said. "So you look kind of inward, you look at yourself and your architecture and your own point of view, and that should be your springboard."



On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.