So you’re not made of money and can’t necessarily afford to implement everything your heart desires after browsing post interior design websites and magazines. Welcome to reality. It can be a struggle, certainly, to implement a look or try to recreate the feeling of a space when your heart says one thing and your wallet says another.
But the good news is, whether you’re looking to invest in high-quality pieces or you’re working within a squeaky-tight budget (or somewhere in between), there are ways you can achieve a sophisticated, stylish look. Let’s look to the living room to see how to mix highs and lows and come up with something waaay better than middle-ground.
Layer in color, pattern, and texture. I’m not talking about going all crazy in the throw pillow department or anything. But when there is visual interest in a space (as a result of tasteful layering and color choice), it automatically looks more sophisticated.
Invest in higher-end staples – your sofa, for example – that you want to stand the test of time. Use budget-friendly accessories and accents to brighten up a neutral living room.
Mix and match! “Hide” some carefully chosen generic pieces (read: Ikea) within your more expensive designer pieces to fool the eye into reading everything as high-end. Take this a step further, and customize the lower-end bits to make them original and unique…as well as newly chic-ified.
Install great hardware onto generic furniture to achieve a custom, expensive look. In my opinion, you really can never go wrong with brass pulls. Ever.
Look for footed furniture. It might sound a little crazy, but it’s true! When furniture sits off the ground – even slightly – it somehow seems more elegant and high-end. If your existing furniture is lacking feet and your budget is sticky, feel free to add some feet yourself. There are loads of options available, and this serves to create a truly custom piece.
Add artwork – lots of it – to personalize and create a vibrant space. Keep in mind that even the humblest of art pieces (translation: your 3-year-old niece’s watercolor of an apple tree) can look fresh-from-the-gallery when it’s framed and presented as such. Frame smaller pieces in groups for a greater impact, or go bold with one or two large pieces. Whatever you choose, just remember that, for artwork, presentation can be everything.
Personalize your stuff to add character and achieve a custom look. For example, a box-store bookcase (like this Billy from Ikea) can look like a built-in with a bit of moulding and paint. Reupholstering tired old furniture in modern, vibrant fabric is another sure-fire way to give a space a high-end look.