The Advertiser - Real Estate

Tips to make the most of your budget

- Juliet Love Interior designer

You don’t have to have a room full of big ticket items to create a stunning interior environmen­t.

I am constantly asked how to combine expensive items with cheap and cheerful furniture and decorative accessorie­s to create a look that’s pleasing overall. The good news is it can be done very inexpensiv­ely.

Here are some simple ways to achieve this:

Have one or two showstoppe­rs: It’s true you don’t have to spend a lot of money on every piece in the room, but you do need to invest in one or two items. If everything is cheap then, quite frankly, everything is going to look cheap. The showstoppe­r doesn’t have to be a piece of furniture, it would be equally effective to have an upscale Italian light fitting. Go up-market, but don’t break the budget.

Invest in good quality fabrics: Cheap soft furnishing­s are a sign that you haven’t spent much on decor. You can get away with an affordable synthetic sofa, but invest in some good quality, large cushions with designer details such as a piped edge and you’ll transform your bargain basement sofa into a head-turning designer piece.

Buy vintage: Often vintage furniture can be more affordable than antiques, but just as gorgeous. By spending time scouring flea markets, garage sales or auction houses, you could find a gem that looks like a rare, timeless, age-old piece with a big price tag, but for a fraction of the cost.

Add legs: Elevating your furniture off the floor can give it that designer edge you are looking for. Add legs to the base of an ottoman or chest of drawers and it will instantly look more up-market.

Expensive accessorie­s: A real silver tray on an inexpensiv­e coffee table can raise it up to a new level of sophistica­tion. Similarly, a designer decor item such as a cashmere throw rug draped across an armchair will make the chair itself seem more glamorous and expensive.

Hang art: A common feature of expensive homes is the art on the walls. It doesn’t have to be extravagan­t; the trick is to hang it like you would see in a gallery – in multiple matching frames, or have one oversized artwork on a main wall.

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