People often ask me what are my rules for high/low decorating. The high and low of decorating is a tricky art to master and can go horribly wrong if it’s done wrong. The goal of decorating on a budget is to have a high-end look on a low budget … Not the other way around. Here are five high and low decorating tips.
Where to splurge
Splurge on high-quality big-ticket items like sofas, chairs and beds. The quality will largely outlast any Ikea sofa so you’ll end up spending the same amount on sofas over 10-20 years. Make sure these items are in classic shapes that you will love forever for a long time and the fabrics are durable.
Where to save
Save on trendy accessories that, let’s be honest, you’ll want to sell or donate in a year’s time anyway. I’m talking to you pineapple everything, rose gold trinkets, suzani throws, ikat bowls, quote pillows, zebra rugs and buffalo check galore.
Textiles: splurge or save?
Splurge on textiles. People always assume that the big-ticket items are the larger furniture and appliances but the hidden costs often lie in curtains, rugs, pillows, bedding. Custom made curtains are a splurge worth every penny as they will dress the windows in a beautiful way. Pillows made with quality material will last much longer. Anything that’s soft furnishing is worth splurging on. It makes all the difference in the world. The only exception to this rule is a good vintage rug score!
And how about vintage finds?
Save on vintage finds. This is where resourcefulness comes in handy. Think of: glassware and dishware, storage baskets, old maps and globes, chairs to reupholster, metal cage baskets (they make the best-suspended lamps), and furniture of all kind. I’ve gotten some of my best pieces on the curbside for nothing and all they needed was a little TLC. Go to garage sales, flea markets, local thrift shops and antique markets, look on eBay and Craigslist – you will find some real gems! Make sure to put your curbside finds in a large leaf bag outside for a couple of days (or in the winter cold) to make sure you do not bring home more than you bargained for. Then, pass the vacuum cleaner all over or clean your object, don’t forget the cracks, nooks and crannies, and you will be ready to use of makeover your fabulous find.
Art: Mix things up
Mix high and low art. Large artwork from reputable artists are an investment for sure. But only having small art prints fdoesn’t do much for the overall look of the room. Try mixing larger prints with smaller genuine artwork, frame your own photos, ask your talented friend to paint a custom piece for you, look for art in flea markets, ask your grandma what’s hiding in her attic, or get your kids to make you a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Basically, a mix of art will look much better without the crazy price tag.11