With limited resources and unlimited material desires, it pays to prioritise when updating your home. While having ‘expensive’ taste isn’t always a positive, there’s something to be said about curating your home in a style that makes you feel just that little bit more special when you come home every day, or has your guests making appreciative comments when they drop by. Here, we’ve broken down a few ways to achieve that luxurious look for less (or more, if that’s your style).
One of the easiest places to start in at your entrance. Kerb appeal is key when making your home feel more luxurious, as a well-curated entrance increases the perception of luxury before people even step a foot into your home. And added bonus of increasing the luxury levels outdoors will also be apparent when you go to sell; homes with high kerb appeal generally command a higher price when sold. Updating this area can be as simple as repainting the exterior (by either putting down a new coat of your current house colour or updating it entirely). Planting hedges and shrubs can increase privacy while also making the space feel extra special. An elegant letter box (with the house number clearly displayed) is also a quick way to update the entrance — you’ll be surprised by how much.
Once you’ve managed those exterior entrance areas, it’s time to take on the front entrance of the house. Entrances often become landing strips for the day’s detritus, littered with shoes, school bags, bills, hats and rogue bottles of sunscreen. Instead, you want to be aiming for something like the lobby of your favourite hotel; even though many people regularly move through them, and they can quickly become full of luggage, hotel lobbies manage the mess by managing the space. Use one weekend to set up a functional storage system that will help you manage the mess as it comes in. You can use a variety of cupboards, hooks, baskets and other storage systems to do this. You might also decide to put in a new rug to help update the area, or give the current rug a thorough shampoo and vacuum.
As anyone with a sense for luxury will know, home is where the art is. Artwork sets the tone for a space, and can not only elevate it, but can also give guests a clue into your personality. Colour is really important when picking art: either pick a statement piece to base the room around, or purchase art that falls within the same colour palette as used in the room. You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional oil-on-canvas art either: choose prints, watercolours, sculptures — whatever you like best. With this in mind, choosing art comes down to one main thing: invest in pieces that capture your personality or make you happy.
A change is as good as a holiday and a deep clean is as good as a new house. Before you embark on the odyssey that is choosing new flooring, get your existing carpet deep cleaned by a professional — your flooring attitude will change immediately. Once you’ve had this done, go through the rest of your spaces with a fine-toothed comb (so to speak). Shine every door handle, dust every window sill, clean and reorganise every cupboard. It may seem like a lot of work, but a bit of effort now and a few minutes spent every week on maintenance can really make a difference.
You might not be able to change the view from your living room, but you can change the way it is perceived. Correctly hanging your curtains can help to enhance both the view and the perception of the space. With this in mind, ensure you always go for floor-length curtains: abruptly short curtains look cheap, no matter how expensive they are. Floor-length drapes also add a sense of romantic ambiance to the space, helping to elevate it further. More is more, in this case.
As anyone who’s ever looked at a bachelor pad might know, smooth surfaces against plain walls make a space look unfeeling and cheap. Bringing textures into your spaces is a shortcut to a luxury vibe. Yes, good quality couches, throws and cushions can be expensive, but view this as an investment in your future: after all, you’re far more likely to use a space when it’s inviting you to come in and relax. As we mentioned, this can be introduced via cushions or throws. More expensive ways to integrate texture include lighting — particularly hanging fixtures — or interesting patterns on the floor or on wallpapers. You could even choose to integrate some chrome or metallic accents to add an unprecedented sparkle to a space.
If you can manage it, add a dimmer to every room switch. Harsh lighting can completely ruin the mood of a space, and make it far less likely that you’ll use it long-term. Get your electrician to add a dimmer to, at the very least, the kitchen, dining room and living room, as well as your bedroom. If you can’t mange this due to the fact you’re renting, try integrating lamps into these spaces as your primary source of light. Another option is to use smart light bulbs, whose colour and brightness can be adjsuted from your smartphone. Candles are another effective way to change the lighting — after all, what’s more romantic than a candle arrangement on the centre of the table during dinner? Extra points for scented candles in spaces like your bedroom.
This is a really simple but effective way to brighten a space. New flowers or foliage can completely transform a space by making it look softer and more inviting. You don’t even need to make an expensive trip to the florist to bring flowers into your home — make an arrangement yourself from cuttings from your garden, a nearby tree, or your local supermarket.
These are all steps that can help your home feel more like the luxurious sanctuary you wish it was. If you have the money, there are plenty of ways to properly invest in this luxury to ensure it is long-lasting. If you’re a little tight on cash right now though, there are still easy ways to integrate the luxury you want: you might just have to get a little more creative or search a little harder. The life of luxury that you’re looking for is at your fingertips — just get out there and curate it.