Thursday 19 April 2018

Plush for pennies - five affordable high-end finishes for your home

Five ways to give your home a high-end finish without having to re-mortgage

Picture: Houseology.com
Picture: Houseology.com
Picture: Harvey Norman
Picture: Michaelmurphy.ie
Picture: DFS
Picture: John Lewis
Picture: nest.co.uk

Caroline Foran

With plenty of high street brands having majorly upped their homeware offering, our decor style need no longer be dictated by our finances. This is particularly good news if your tastes happen to lean in the luxury direction, which, unlike the minimalist or Scandinavian-inspired aesthetics, has typically cost a lot more to achieve. At last, with luxe trends dominating at all price points, it's becoming that bit more affordable. Whether you opt for a brass finish over the real deal or choose something that's vintage-inspired rather than genuine vintage, here are five tricks of the trade to up your luxe factor for less.

Go plush - but sparingly

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Picture: DFS

Nothing fast tracks you towards a luxe aesthetic quicker than a plush fabric. However, before you dump everything out in favour of a matching velvet suite, remember the importance of keeping your fabrics mixed. This is important as it creates a 'one of a kind' custom-made illusion - even if that designer-inspired cushion is actually mass produced by Penneys - and a look that's carefully curated will always have more of a luxe factor than if you lifted an entire room from a shop floor. Choose a woven fabric lampshade here, a faux fur or sheepskin cushion there, a hint of velvet and linen. This can be easily achieved in your soft furnishings alone which is a lot more cost-effective than larger furniture pieces. And each of these textures work wonderfully to mask a sofa that you're stuck with.

Mix your textures

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Picture: John Lewis
 

On the subject of keeping things mixed, the same goes for your textures. Glass is one of the most affordable textures to work with so start there. You could try a vintage-style decanter, a set of crystal-style tumblers from IKEA, or a glass pendant light. Glass is best mixed with metals - a brass or gold-sprayed tray or a mirror - over wood. Unfortunately, copper no longer has the luxe factor, it's been done to death and even if you have the real deal it will appear outdated. Keep it more subtle with fuss-free and timeless brass finishes.

Make a statement

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Picture: nest.co.uk
 

Whether it's something artistic on the wall - a canvas, a print, a painting - or a statement rug, allow yourself to go big in this department. Why? Committing to an oversized piece of art (a print will work as well as an original) creates a wow element in your room and provides a stylish focal point. There are countless large art options available on the high street right now. Even a vintage movie poster - try allposters.com - in the right frame can have this chic and powerful effect. The same goes for an oversized rug. Don't limit yourself by choosing a rectangular shape that fits your coffee table. A large rug can anchor the room - be it a dining room or living room or even a hallway - and with a statement colour or pattern, it limits the need for countless accessories elsewhere.

Less is more

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Picture: Michaelmurphy.ie
 

Resist the urge to cram your living space full of things that look expensive. A truly luxe home will be more pared back and everything will appear as though it's always belonged there. This is key. If you have a lot of reading material on your coffee table, for example, choose just one book as a permanent fixture - coffee table books = luxe - and store the rest away. Invest in one large candle (try cloonkeenatelier.com) instead of covering an entire mantle-piece with smaller ones; these small edits will give your home a new level of sophistication. What's more, the less stuff you have, the more you can justify spending on that one statement cushion (try Madam Stoltz, madamstoltz.dk and lambdesign.ie).

The colour of money

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Picture: Harvey Norman
 

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to create a luxe effect is with wall colour. With nods to Gatsby-era interiors still appearing on the high street, choose rich, dark colours such as forest green or petrol blue or even a smouldering grey ('Backdrop' from Dulux Moda collection is perfection, dulux.ie). Furniture aside, this alone will create a luxurious atmosphere. It doesn't particularly matter if your space is small, in fact, it can work surprisingly well; think about the most luxurious bars and restaurants you know of - they almost always lean towards a sultry colour palette. Committing to colour can be a daunting prospect, so if you prefer a muted palette on your walls then choose one or two accent colours that can stand out on their own to pack a powerful punch. A lampshade or a pouffe are perfect examples.

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