'Design Star' runner-up shares budget-friendly design secrets

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PHOENIX-- Britany Simon represented Arizona well on national television, appearing on season season of HGTV's "Design Star." The field of thousands of hopefuls from across the country is eventually narrowed to 12 contestants who are then featured and eliminated weekly before a national audience, hoping to win their own design show on HGTV.

Simon, 28, is a designer in Phoenix. An account executive at a homebuilding retailer, she was among two remaining finalists. When all was said and done, Simon was named runner-up.

While she won't be getting her own television show (yet), we sure enjoy it when she stops by 3TV to share budget-riendly design secrets we can all use.

Simon said gets excited about creating something fabulous without having to spend a fortune. In one of her "Design Star" challenges, Simon used oversized matted frames instead of expensive tile to fill a large space in a kitchen. For this, she tore pages from a book and framed them, creating a nice conversation piece, as well.

Because so many people here in Arizona have niches in their homes, she also shared a tip for making those spaces pop. First, she says some of those spaces can remain empty. In many cases, less is more when it comes to interior design.

Garage sales offer more design inspiration than most people realize. The designer suggests shopping the sales for vases and collecting them in several shapes and sizes. Then paint all of them the same bright color.

For one of her design challenges, she chose yellow and grouped them on a monochromatic wall painted ice blue. As long as vases that are the same height are not grouped together, she says the illusion creates a very glam chic look.

Finally, Simon says using tape to paint what appears to be wainscoating can save you thousands of dollars. Sure it's time consuming, but Simon says as long as you have time, some painters tape, and a great paint brush, your living spaces can look like a million bucks. She demonstrated the easiest way to do this on "Good Morning! Arizona." Watch the video at the top of the page to see how it's done.