Do you have champagne taste on a beer budget? You’re not alone. If your discretionary spending has been downsized this year, don’t despair. There are some simple tips interior designers use to stretch their clients’ project dollars without sacrificing style.
One way that Chicago-area interior designer Stephanie Tuliglowski creates a glamorous look for cost-conscious clients is to employ a primarily monochromatic palette for the main furnishings and then bring in luxurious accents such as pillows and throws featuring touchable texture or vivid color.
Investing in select statement pieces – such as lighting fixtures and lamps – is an effective way to bring maximum visual impact to every room in the home. These elements have decorative staying power that you can build a design theme around, changing out accessories, pillows, casual furniture pieces, and rugs periodically to refresh the look without spending a lot.
Items that are reflective – mirrored surfaces, statuary, and accessories such as mercury balls – subtly exude an air of luxury. The same holds true for chandeliers and table lamps; mirrored finishes give an extra oomph of glam to any space.
In addition, having several beautiful table lamps throughout the room creates layers of light that provide “warmth” while making the room appear larger and more comfortable to spend time in.
When entertaining, Tuliglowski uses reflective surfaces on the dining table by placing a beveled or framed mirror on the tabletop to serve as a decorative tray for showcasing accessories. She also recommends bringing in sprigs of greenery from outdoors for seasonal appeal.
“A lot of my clients have beautiful homes, but not necessarily $2,000 to $3,000 to spend on a gorgeous rug,” Tuliglowski says, adding, “Area rugs ground the room.” An economical alternative is to visit a local reputable carpet store that carries remnants. There are often leftover pieces from high-end projects that might be in a pattern or colorway that would perfectly suit your space. Remnants can be bound by the carpet shop to become finished rugs in the exact size you need.
Tuliglowski has also had great success visiting consignment shops, online auction sites like EBTH (Everything But the Home) and antiques centers looking for quality vintage furniture pieces that she can have reupholstered. Even for her own home, she discovered a midcentury chair at an upscale consignment shop and had it re-upholstered in Mongolian fur for a luxe update.
There are also beautiful home décor items, such as vintage framed mirrors and chairs, taken to charitable shops run by Goodwill and The Salvation Army. “People don’t always want the hassle of consigning something [but don’t want to trash something of quality], so they’ll drop off their furnishings,” Tuliglowski comments. “I’ve found fabulous accessories, such as vintage crystal goblets, there.”
Another important key to making a space feel more luxurious is to eliminate clutter. Wicker baskets are a simple method for keeping kids’ toys or gaming accessories out of sight when not in use. Even a collection of decorative accessories can make a room look less sophisticated if there are too many of them. Edit the selection down to several favorite pieces at a time; you can always rotate them out periodically to give an instant refresh to the room later on.
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