It’s easy to get dismayed when you flip through the glossy pages of magazines like Architectural Digest and House & Garden. With cover stars like Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine (their LA home was featured in AD’s most recent issue, and can we just say, wow!) even the most “understated” homes are filled with custom pieces and rème de la crème finishes that come at a dizzyingly high cost. The reality is, there are very few people who have rockstar and supermodel- level budgets for decorating their homes, which is why we make a point of working with anyone and everyone, regardless of budget. In fact, some of our most brilliant and stunning projects have been the result of a tight budget. Instead of budget restrictions being a setback, we view them as a creative opportunity and delightful challenge. Here are some of our best tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way for achieving an haute look for less…
The Power of Paint
By this point, you’re probably bored to tears with us talking about paint but it’s honestly just SO transformative! If a hallway feels uninspiring, consider painting the doors a colour other than white. If your wallpapered powder room feels incomplete, try painting the trim a complementary colour. If your kitchen feels tired and out of date but a full gut job just isn’t in the budget, get the cabinets painted! If an old, wooden dining table feels out of place, sand it and paint it! It never ceases to amaze us what a simple paint job can do, which is why we’ve added our Paint Consultation Package to our list of services available. Sometimes, all you need is a fresh pair of eyes to look at your space and suggest something you never even considered!
Upgrade Your Hardware
Built-in cabinetry is often an expensive investment so regardless of budget, it’s always worthwhile to consider a few options before springing for new ones. As per our last suggestion, paint is always a great way to give tired cabinetry a fresh look. Another great option though, is to simply installing new hardware. From chrome pulls to marble knobs, there are endless options of hardware that will instantly update and elevate your cabinetry. In some clients’ homes, we’ve used hardware to transform budget-friendly chests of drawers and armoires from Wayfair and Ikea.
Reupholster Previously Loved Pieces
Whether it’s a piece you’ve had for years, something you’ve inherited from a family member, or furniture you picked up at a vintage store or on Kijiji, reupholstering is a great way to breathe new life into a piece and make it your own. Although “designer furniture” as such may not be within reach, designer textiles often are. Whether we help you source one of the many fabulous options from suppliers like Kravet or Shumacher or find an off-cut elsewhere, we love the entire process and the transformation that occurs. In our client’s home above, we helped her select this stunning flame stitch textile to update an armchair that she had inherited from a family member! See the before and after here.
Mirrors are Magic
Mirrors are one of those elements that are surprisingly under used in homes, as they tend to be reserved for bathroom and entryways. In reality though, mirrors can be used pretty much anywhere and they have the ability to make a space feel opulent and solve a number of problems! If a room feels small, hang a large mirror to create the illusion of space. If a room feels dark and dreary, hang a mirror to reflect light. If you have a dead space on a wall but don’t have the right art piece, hang a mirror with a beautiful frame. Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes and with frames that vary from minimalist to ornate and everything in between. So if you’re pondering what to do with a particular space, consider whether a mirror will do the trick! It might just be the most effective and budget friendly solution for adding a touch of glamour to your home.