We all love creating our own look for our rooms, relying on our taste and imagination to guide us.
But designers also play a key role, not just by influencing the way we furnish our interiors, but by producing their homeware ranges to make high-quality style available on the high street.
Karen Stylianides, deputy editor of House Beautiful, which features 20 top designers in its June issue, says: "Even in these hard economic times it's possible to celebrate great design in our rooms thanks to the work of people like Sir Terence Conran, Kelly Hoppen, Cath Kidston and a host of others."
Those top interior experts give their tips on creating a stylish home on a budget.
Designer Gillis Lundgren helped Ikea to change the way we shop for furniture by inventing the flat-pack, and also designed the best-selling Billy bookcase which celebrates its 30th birthday this year.
Today, there are 18 Ikea stores in the UK as well as an online shop, all crammed with well-designed and affordable pieces.
Ikea's interior design expert Mikeal Berryman suggests: "Start on a low-cost makeover by rolling up your sleeves and clearing out your clutter, then work out where you could most use new storage."
Karen suggests: "Create a stunning display with a neat row of inexpensive vases. Unite the display by choosing the same colour or material, ie: a row of glass vases."
Get the look: Ikea's latest PS collection includes the Selma easy chair, £249, and Veranda bed, £549. Billy bookcase, £47.96, and Billy combination, from £221.20.
Queen of Vintage
Her love of nostalgic design led Cath Kidston to open her first shop selling vintage fabrics, wallpapers and junk furniture in 1993.
Inspired by its success, she went on to create her own wallpaper, bed linen and tableware, making it easy for homeowners to add vintage charm to a room.
Kidston's tip: "Update a wall by painting it with gloss paint or by covering wallpaper with a gloss varnish. This gives a practical finish that's easy to keep clean.
"A patterned oilcloth, an easy way to add colour to a room, is a practical tablecloth choice for everyday dining."
Karen suggests: "Team a new roller or Roman blind, in a fabric chosen to complement your scheme, with existing curtains to give windows an instant new look."
Get the look: Antique Rose Bouquet wallpaper was one of Kidston's first designs and is £22 a roll. Her new summer camping range includes a floral tepee, £100.
Shine a light
Lighting pioneer Christopher Wray discovered a passion for vintage lamps in his 20s and now has three shops in the UK and an online store.
His tip: "Search the clearance departments of stores for designer lighting and furniture at affordable prices that will add style to your home."
Karen says: "Give an old lamp base a quick transformation with a new shade - pleated silk is a key trend this summer - or cover an old shade in a new fabric."
Get the look: Lead crystal table lamp with white parchment shade, £125, from Christopher Wray.
Kelly Hoppen has long been known for her iconic blend of East and West style, and her interpretation of neutrals.
Her books, paint range, lighting and accessories have inspired the trend for understated luxury, with texture and beautiful lighting making off-white, cream and grey a stunning combination.
Hoppen's tip: "Plug gaps in your bookshelves with glass vases filled with inexpensive and long-lasting silk flowers."
Karen suggests: "Add interest to neutral walls with framed black and white photographs. Buy inexpensive frames on the high street and fill with favourite family portraits."
Get the look: Kelly Hoppen's paint range, The Perfect Neutrals from Craig & Rose. Look out for Limestone matt acrylic paint, £19.99 for 2.5 litres.
Sir Terence Conran's simple, modern style looks just as fresh today as it did when he began designing in the 1960s and founded Habitat in 1964, bringing contemporary style to the high street.
His elegant Content by Conran furniture and tableware for Royal Doulton continues to offer simple style that's affordable.
Sir Terence's tip: "Vary the height of your lights, use dimmers and try bouncing light off walls and ceilings in different parts of the room to create a greater sense of space."
Karen suggests: "Invest in classic furniture designs that are made to last - you can often pick up bargains in second-hand stores, auctions or clearance stores."
Get the look: Kendal storage unit, from £475, Coniston three-seater sofa, from £2,125, armchair, from £1,345, all by Content by Conran.
Chrissie Rucker founded The White Company in 1994, starting as a tiny mail order company, after realising there were few sources for top-quality natural fabrics in neutral shades.
Her mail-order catalogue and shops now offer everything from furniture to candles.
Rucker's tip: "Even something as simple and affordable as a scented candle can make a real difference to your room. Don't forget hidden spaces - use lavender sachets on hangers in cupboards, line drawers with scented drawer liners."
Karen suggests: "Add baking soda to normal detergent when washing your whites, hang them outside, to ensure they stay bright."
Get the look: White fig scented candle, £25, Corsica double bedspread, £195, mohair throw, £50, all from The White Company.
Innovative floral designer Paula Pryke pioneered the combination of bright colours and stunning design, using spiky leaves and foliage mixed with jewel-coloured flowers.
Her inspirational ideas, which feature in her book Simply Pink, are easy to achieve, ideal for everyday use or displays for special occasions and a great way to bring the outdoors in.
Pryke's tip: "Buy supermarket herbs and replant in pretty pots as an instant summer table decoration, which also means they're handy for use in cooking."
And Karen says: "Mix in sprigs of greenery from your garden to make a floral bouquet look more generous, and stand floral displays next to a mirror to enhance the effect or surround a vase with a circle of tea lights."
Get the look: Gift floral displays, such as the Rose, Germini and Berry Posy in a Lemon Vase, £75 plus delivery from Paula Pryke.
Farrow & Ball, founded in the 1930s by two chemists, is renowned for its authentic heritage shades and quality paint ranges.
It currently has 132 different paint colours including new eco-friendly formulations, and 16 wallpaper designs in more than 800 colourways.
Sarah Cole, director of Farrow & Ball, says: "Paint remains the easiest way to transform a room, and a relatively inexpensive one at that.
"Strong warm tones are a major theme this season, balanced by more neutral colours. Our top tips for 2009 are nature-inspired shades, from pale coastal blues to dark earthy browns."
Karen suggests: "Use leftover wallpaper to cover the inside of cupboards, shelves or in alcoves for a stylish effect."
Get the look: The new Lotus Papers collection with two pattern sizes, £71.50 a roll.