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LUXE FOR LESS

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

You don’t need to give your home a crazy makeover in order to make it look more luxurious. Pearl Mathias helps you get a high-end look without the exorbitant prices

We all dream of living in a palatial home — even something that resembles a suite at a luxury hotel would suffice. Unfortunately, that also requires spending a hefty amount. Instead, why not make your home look and feel as luxurious, with a few faux luxury materials? Here are a few things you could incorporate into your home décor to give it a five-star hotel vibe, while staying well within your budget.

COUNTER PRODUCTIVE
Who wouldn’t want their tabletops to look fabulous, while being affordable and durable at the same time? We’re sure you’ve heard of these commonly used materials and maybe even dismissed them because you think that they’re too expensive. However, not all varieties of the material in question are as highly priced. Give some of these a try, they’re not too heavy on the pocket, but will leave your kitchen looking opulent, without a remodel.

Soapstone You may not have made the connection between your kitchen counter and this material, which is generally used in laboratories, but the durable stone looks great and is a lifetime investment.

Tile Ceramic or stone tiles are affordable, and picking the right shades will add glamour to your countertop. What could get troublesome is cleaning the crevices. However, picking a darker shade or larger tiles will solve the issue.

Wood Not everyone likes wooden counters, but they add a luxurious and cosy feel to the kitchen. Great quality wood with the right sealer looks very luxurious. Choose from varieties such as salvaged wood, bio-glass and bamboo to give your kitchen a warm feel.

Marble Known for its classic style, marble is the go-to material for those who are dreaming of a white kitchen. However, instead of picking expensive Italian marble, try using composite marble instead. It is cheaper, but looks just as luxurious.

A BRIGHT IDEA
Lighting can change the look of a room and large rooms come alive with the right fixtures and shades. Place a stylish lamp on your bedside table or pick a modern chandelier — to hang above your dining table. Visit flea markets and second-hand stores to find antique pieces at budget-friendly prices. You can also place floor lamps around your home to create an elegant look. Try replacing standard lampshades with more eye-catching ones in order to dress up a space.

WALLS — PAINTS AND ACCESSORIES
We can all agree that choosing a paint colour is one of the most important decisions you will have to make while decorating a space. However, if you’re aiming for elegance, you need to pick either bold and dramatic or soft and understated décor. Adding in large mirrors will instantly open up the room. Crown moulding is an inexpensive way to make the room look more finished. Try adding high baseboards, ceiling beams, columns, ceiling medallions and chair rails wherever possible, in order to add a more glamorous vibe to the space. If you’ve chosen white walls or neutral shades, consider decorating your home with gold accents. Frames, gold mirrors and gold-legged tables will look extravagant.

FURNISH IT
If you’re looking to give your home a luxe feel, your furniture choices will speak volumes. Although it’s common for people to pick cheap furniture over designer pieces in order to cut down on costs, these pieces often come with a look that equals their price. They’re also usually made or assembled very poorly, and so, will come apart easily. Check out second-hand stores and consignment shops for elegant pieces that will give you the look you desire but aren’t too heavy on the pocket. Also, making small, decorative changes to existing furniture can make them more appealing. For example, switching from standard doorknobs to more ornate ones, adding fabric trimmings to furniture, tiling the tops of old tables or just giving items a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Large cushions look more luxurious than small ones and really fill out a space. When you’re choosing flooring, hardwood floors are a good option. They not only look classic and elegant, but are also inexpensive and you can pick from a variety of wood to suit all your decorating needs.

MUST-HAVE ACCESSORIES
Doors and window treatments are an important requirement. Avoid using flimsy curtains and instead, walk into a fabric store for something a little richer. A quick tip: once you’ve picked them, hang them as close to the ceiling as you can in order to draw your eye up and project the illusion of space. Curtains that are hung just above the window could look too sparse. Your door doesn’t have to match the colour of your home. In fact, a contrast would look fabulous. If you’ve chosen neutral tones for your walls, a white door will help balance out the look. You can also pick a wooden finish or go contemporary with steel doors, which are a current trend.

MINIMALISTIC LIVING
Surprisingly, one of the most affordable tricks to making your home look more luxurious is actually a free one — learn how to de-clutter! Dusting and vacuuming regularly will make your home feel high-end. Quickly attending to spots and stains prevents them from settling in and damaging your décor. Cleaning your windows regularly will allow natural light to fill the room, making it feel bright as well as warm and homely. Keep your kitchen counters, coffee tables, chairs and sofas free of unnecessary junk. Keeping things minimalistic will allow your accessories, cushions, wall paint, lighting and flooring really stand out. With all these exiting new ideas, we almost want to add a personal butler to the list, but that would be pushing it, right?

FAUX MATERIALS THAT EXUDE LUXURY
Monica Doshi, the creative head of luxury décor brand Anna Simona, suggests a couple of materials that you can choose from for a luxurious look.

Faux suede If you’re thinking about buying new furniture such as sofas or couches, you can pick faux suede to achieve a high gloss finish. This can be used as an alternative to real leather. These sofas are easy to clean and maintain, and are also available at an affordable price.

Artificial Velvet The material screams luxury, but is not always cost effective. Artificial velvet is a viable substitute and gives curtains, cushions and furniture a majestic look. You have to make an effort to maintain it, but it is worth it for the royal aura that it lends your home.

Polysatin This has a similar touch and feel to silk, but is comparatively cheaper. The material is easy to handle and relatively durable. A bright polysatin fabric item will help give your home the same gorgeous look that silk does. It requires less care too!

QUICK FIXES

  •  Fresh flowers will spruce up your home immediately, and can be placed anywhere, from the living room to your bedside table.
  •  Velvet or silk cushions, soft throws and animal-print rugs add an extravagant vibe to a space.
  •  When you’re shopping for hardware or accents, avoid going to stores where they allow you to choose from a drawer filled with pieces. Pay a little extra and pick more elegant looking pulls and knobs from standalone retail stores.
  •  For window treatments, stick to silk, linen and cotton. If drapes aren’t your thing, pick woven bamboo shades and wood blinds.


 

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