Whether you’re trying to decorate on a budget, or in a compact space, we’ve put together a few tricks of the trade to achieve those luxe looks you love from everybody else’s Insta and Pinterest – without breaking the bank.
The velvet crush
So, you’ve fallen madly in love with this season’s plush velvet pieces? We hear you. But if your budget – or room size – doesn’t quite stretch to accommodate that epic five-seater sofa you had your eye on, why not compromise on size and spend, but not on style, by buying a vivid velvet armchair or ottoman, or by adding plush velvet cushions to your existing chair or sofa to elevate it from everyday to elegant.
Can’t afford to deck your house out in a series of solid timber pieces? No drama. These days there’s a fabulous range of furniture featuring high-quality timber veneer to achieve the illusion of timber, without the weight or expense sometimes associated with heftier wood products. Even better, the flexible nature of veneer means it often features in fashion-forward products, so while you may save money, you certainly won’t sacrifice style.
Mad about marble
Marble’s been at the top of the wishlist for style-savvy interiors fans for decades, and it’s easy to see why, however, an enormous slab of marble on a kitchen counter or bathroom vanity is a major investment, and out of reach for plenty of people. Never fear, that’s why we’re here, with a range of marble side tables, coffee tables, dining tables and accessories, so you can enjoy the natural beauty of this swish stone, without the eye-watering price tag of wall-to-wall marble.
All rugs are not created equal
Rugs are one accessory where the range of products – and prices – is enormous, and it can be hard to get to grips with what’s what. If your budget stretch to a silk hand-knotted one-of-a-kind find, there are still plenty of fashion-forward options. The next step down from a hand-knotted rug is a hand-tufted one, and it’s a terrific pick. Still hand-crafted, durable and made for years of enjoyment, hand-tufted rugs are a great mid-range choice. Still too steep? Sisal and jute rugs are a natural, stylish alternative, and while synthetic or machine-made rugs won’t last as long but there are plenty of seasonal styles in a whole host of sizes which will add that desired splash of colour and texture to any space without a huge spend.
While original artworks from established or even emerging designers can be a serious investment, prints or limited edition prints from Australian artists are a chic compromise. You’re not going to see them on everyone’s walls, but you’re not paying gallery prices either. Another option is to create your own gallery wall from a combo of sketches, photos, prints, wall hangings, animal hooks and more.
Light it up
Changing the lighting is a relatively simple way to up the luxe factor in any space. If a showpiece fixture isn’t an option, a pair of table lamps or a table and floor lamp combo is a great way to add interest and style without the expense of wiring in permanent lights.
Any stylist will tell you there’s hardly anything that offers the same bang for buck as a feature mirror. The general idea is to buy the largest mirror you can afford and to place it somewhere central, above a console table in the entryway, behind a sofa or on the wall overlooking a dining table where it can bounce the light around, add depth and drama and up the glam factor. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable mirrors in a range of materials and sizes to do the job.
And to finish up, a few insider tips from our resident stylist. If you can splurge on one feature piece, then do. Whether it’s a swish leather sofa, a showpiece chandelier or a gorgeous rug, splashing your cash on one key piece and then decorating with inexpensive furniture and accessories around it is a great way to achieve an overall luxe look for less.
Another suggestion is to style with symmetry. By pairing up table lamps, side tables or armchairs, you’ll nail that coordinated magazine-spread look you love, and there’s nothing to say the items you double up can’t be hip-pocket friendly.
Lastly, a touch of shine never goes astray, so add a little metallic magic through accessories – vases, lamps, candle sticks, trays, side tables – and up the glam factor in a flash.