Who amongst us doesn’t gush over the pages of room in AD, Elle Décor, Florida Design and the other designer porn magazines? These million dollar rooms provide us with inspiration and aspiration and we too can achieve their ‘rich’ look without the trust fund. Honestly, we can have the same look of the rich and fabulous for far less simply knowing a few tricks of the trade. So read on if you want to raise the bar before friends and family arrive to celebrate the holiday season and give yourself a present- a rich and fabulous room makeover.
First look at these rooms, even the most traditional space is not cluttered, spotlessly cleaned, glass sparkles, metals twinkle and there’s not a speck of dust (like the cleaning staff has been through this room daily) and the room has space to breathe, less is by far richer and one needs to know when to stop adding furniture and accessories. How to know when enough is enough, horizontal surfaces need to breathe and we should be able to see their surfaces, if you can’t that’s your first clue that there is too much stuff in that area, next keep your table scaping to three, five or seven items.
Luxurious rooms and the most talented designers know how to mix it up, look at your inspiration (shelter magazines) and you’ll probably note that there are some new and some traditional items in that space. Perhaps it is a traditional end table that is set with a modern glass table lamp or an ultra modern dining room has a vintage piece of art hung above the buffet. Designers of the fabulous know where to spend their money for the greatest impact. For a dinner party we often set the table with every day inexpensive white dinner ware but toss in fabulous vintage salad plates or champagne glasses rimmed with 24K. Check out thrift stores, pond shops and flea markets for a set of glasses or plates to mix in with your less expensive serving pieces. We often chat about coffee table books here and once again I bring up the subject because we really do judge a book by its cover and table books can be inexpensive decorating staples. We use them to elevate smaller items and to help establish the mood of the room. Invest in great books on art, architecture, fashion and travel. You won’t need too many one to three is enough for a living room but they are important elements so choose wisely. While we are chatting accessories one other observation note, the most ‘expensive’ rooms will contain an organic element, a great chunk of amethyst or quartz, a bowl of beach pebbles, or a vase of drift wood or apple branches.
Keep furniture pieces neutral in colour and pattern and if you are living with regret turn to a neutral slip cover to save you from your mistake. Shop for a fabulous one of a kind chair and as we have discussed before make it fabulous, take it to your favorite auto body shop and have it lacquered gold, silver, bronze, white, black or multi toned and then have it upholstered in expensive fabric or even with a vintage rug or duree. Most chairs need approximately five yards of fabric. On the arm of the sofa or your new fabulous old chair throw a ultra luxurious faux throw-always think luxurious and sensual textures.
Every room needs some fabulous original art hung on the walls and art makes a statement as too our personal sense of culture, so hang well. Look for vintage paintings art flea markets and thrift stores or new student works. Student shows are a great source of fabulous talent at more than reasonable prices and who knows you may just pick up a painting or two from the next Picasso. The secret to making your art look expensive and there’s no doubt that you will probably spend more on framing than on the piece itself if you have picked up the art from a student show or flea market is to spend the money on the framing. Frame it as if it was a highly valuable Picasso. To save a few dollars on the framing take you piece into the student art store where you’ll find that framing is considerably less than regular framing stores-shop where the artists shop.
We turn bargain store or even thrift store inexpensive table lamps into ultra luxurious and expensive fixtures simply by changing the shade. Shop on line or at your favorite lighting store for a great shade for a lamp. A new shade with a great texture, the perfect colour, (remember that a shade does not always need to be white or linen) and in a modern shape will take this fixture to greater heights.