Decorating Diva: 6 Ways to get a luxurious look for less

Welcome to Decorating Diva, where every week we share fresh, fun ways to update your home and spice up your living space! If you’ve ever wanted to give your home a more lavish look but were deterred by potential cost, we’ve got some great news: Home décor with a luxurious twist doesn’t have mean spending a fortune. We’ve put together some easy ways to add opulence to every room while sticking to your budget.

Decorating Diva

Luxury living room

Lush and lavish – for less

We got the inside scoop from Mary Cook of Mary Cook & Associates about simple and affordable ways to give your home a more luxurious look. And she knows luxury — Cook recently designed all of the Trump Chicago model units and has designed for Pete Wentz’s Chicago nightclub, Angels & Kings. She shares her tips with the Decorating Diva below.

1Think about lighting

One of the easiest ways to give every room a more lavish feel is to change the light switches for all of your dining chandeliers, sconces and other general lighting to a dimmable version, Cook says. “Being able to control lighting can help you set the tone for any kind of function, and make the overall feeling richer, more formal, more romantic and much more luxurious,” she explains.

2Incorporate texture and pattern

Texture and pattern are great enhancers to any room, Cook says. “Adding texture or pattern in key places can create dimension, add interest or contrast, and the result is a more upscale and luxurious feel,” the designer explains. Here are a few easy ways to do just that:

  • Add grasscloth wall covering above or below a chair rail or behind an open-back bookshelf. Grasscloth is made from natural fibers woven together (bamboo, arrowroot, jute, cattail — to name a few) and provides a natural and eco-friendly way to add texture to a wall and a unique alternative to regular wallpaper.
  • Origami pillowReupholster an accent chair in a richly woven fabric to add interest and depth, boosting the overall impact of the piece – for much less than buying a new chair.
  • A patterned wall covering or heavily textured wallpaper on the headboard wall in your bedroom can be an effective way to add richness and enhance the warmth of the room without changing too much or spending too much money.
  • Replace tired old pillows with great textured or patterned ones. We love these sculpted origami pillows from West Elm ($34). The sweater-knit pillow covers provide unexpected texture and dimension wherever you place them.
  • Swap out the slip covers on your dining room chairs with something featuring an eye-catching pattern or noticeable texture.

3Mix it up

Using a variety of patterns and textures together really helps to enhance dimension and luxury, Cook says. Silks, leathers, woven fabrics, wool and varying patterns can all be combined in the same space to create real richness.

Be careful with this tip, because you don’t want to go overboard. Too much of every texture and pattern you can think of will just look chaotic — being selective and keeping balance in mind will give you a look that is stylish and sophisticated.

4Opt for richer hues

Cook suggests using deeper, richer colors as accents or as general paint colors to enrich the mood in any room. Jewel tones like navy, garnet, jade and amber can add luxury and sophistication when applied in just the right proportions – just enough to accent the space. Think pillows in garnet or amber, a jade accent wall or even a dark navy throw on the back of your livingroom couch can add a more sumptuous look to the room.

5Make it metallic

Metallic finishes in accessories and furniture can give your home a more opulent look for less and Cook shares a few simple way to do this.

  • Two door mirrored chestOpt for metallic-framed paintings rather than plain or painted wood.
  • Add a collection of mercury glass accessories to a mantel or shelf. We’re partial to the simple but elegant mercury glass table and bedside lamps from Pottery Barn ($199 to $259), which add a splash of sophistication to your desk or end table.
  • A table frame, lamp base, nailhead detail, or accessory can be highlighted with a shiny or brushed metallic finish to create lots of luxury.
  • A mirrored-front accent chest can add depth and interest as well as luxury to any room. We found this elegant mirrored chest at Horchow on sale for $560.

6Focus on finer details

Don’t discount the small details, Cook says. “Generally speaking, the more and finer the detail, the more luxurious the space looks,” she explains. Spend time focusing on the details at all levels of a space – from the texture on the wall coverings to the ornate carving on your candleholders – to make sure you haven’t missed an opportunity to add impact.

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