A quick guide on how to get the luxury show home look, at a reasonable cost.
Stylish apartments on your favourite TV programme, wow-factor show homes on a new development, glossy magazines with impossibly good-looking and happy people – with children! – living in spotless and professionally decorated homes – there’s no getting away from material for inspiration when it comes to interior design.
We all want to live in a perfectly cultivated, sleek space but in reality it’s hard to achieve that show home look unless your budget could buy a decent family car – or is it?
Living in a fabulous home doesn’t have to cost the earth and there are some tips and tricks interior designers use to give their projects that opulent feel whilst maximising their profit – they are trying to making a living too, after all.
Plain walls tend to cheapen a space as it sharpens the edges of a room, giving it that boxed feeling and even the most professional of painters will have a hard job doing a perfect job cutting in so if you are using a different colour on your walls as your are your ceiling – and you really should be – you’re going to have wonky lines.
No room is completely level and contrasting colours will highlight that even more, moulding will cover that up whilst adding elegance to your room. For very little money and effort, crown moulding can add a rich softness to the space.
Opt for a wide trim to give it that extra expensive feel and high quality finish. Any experienced DIYer will manage this task with ease. Novices may find getting the mitring spot on a little tricky so try to rope in a dab hand where possible.
Soft furnishings like pillows and throws are always a fabulous accessory that add a real luxurious feel to a room but don’t fall into the trap of buying lots of little pillows. Pillow overload does the opposite job and looks tacky and unoriginal.
Think boutique hotel and go for larger pillows stuffed into a slightly smaller cover to give it that deep, cushy, inviting look. You want pillows that can serve a purpose as well as look good. Lots of small pillows will add clutter and clutter isn’t a sign of luxury.
Painting your radiator can add a new dimension to your room and turn something that is generally quite ugly into something unusual and attractive however this can go horribly wrong which is why many people tend to employ bulky and only marginally more attractive radiator covers. A well done upcycled one can improve a room and provide an additional shelf.
You could consider going electric and fitting your rooms with a stylish and modern unit like the range at Verismart Heating, which not only complement contemporary designs but are cheap to run, eco-friendly and sustain an even level of temperature better than conventional water fed systems or storage heaters. A warm room is a sumptuous one.
Splashing just that little bit extra on a top quality high pigment paint will pay for itself in the long-run. Cheaper paints will get the job done but do not maintain their quality for as long meaning you’ll either have to redecorate or go back to putting up with a less than luxurious design. Use a neutral hue to lend an air of sophistication and affluence to the room.
If you are feeling brave another easy trick to add a luxurious finish is to paint interior doors black. Black doors instantly give the space an expensive vibe; just ensure the doors fit the rest of the décor and make use of black accessories.
Pimp your finishes
Unless you’ve had custom work done your house is probably full of stock items bought in bulk – they’re cost effective for the builders but rarely carry the look of luxury we’re after. It’s not expensive to replace simple things like door and drawer handles or faucets.
Reclamation yards, and even boot sales, are great places to pick up antique or unique fittings for next to nothing. You can do the same with your light fixtures and antique shops offer surprisingly good value for items such as Art Deco lamps. Bargains are readily available for high-end fixtures and they really do add a unique designer look.
Ditch the gold
Gold is often considered synonymous with affluence but can actually appear rather tawdry, especially when it’s used far too liberally. A touch here and there does what it says on the tin and adds the impression of opulence and wealth but too much says you’re trying too hard.
Silver, chrome and brushed nickel are easier on the eyes and offer a polished look. Silver and chrome also reflect light better than gold helping you to achieve the look you want.
Mass produced furniture can look sleek but to add that real feel of luxury you need something old, unique and inheritable. A nice bookcase from IKEA will do the job and probably look fab in the right room but it’s not something you’re going to hand down nor will it increase in value.
Wonderful pieces of furniture often sit neglected in bric-a-brac stores, house clearance warehouses and charity shops. You can pick up some wonderful deals and with a little TLC you can easily restore a once painstakingly hand-crafted item to its former glory and add a regal touch to your home in the process.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth to achieve the look you want but you will have to employ a bit of patience and a lot of effort to source what you want at the right price. However, with a few of the these tips you too can have a great looking home on reasonable budget.