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LOOK LUXE FOR LESS: FUSS FREE UPGRADES THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK

By Karlie McQuillen

Bathroom review
One of the hardest (and most expensive) rooms to update can be the bathroom. However, sprucing up this space needn’t be costly. Take note of what vanity top, windowsill and shelving space you might have spare in the room, and think about what items you own that might fit into the space and make it feel a little more ‘done’ and more your style. This can be anything from a few fab plants to a carefully considered selection of candles, ornaments and shells that the kids may have collected from the beach.

Lay it out
Feeling a little bored with your current furniture or room layout? Try evaluating what space you have available and rearranging the furniture; consider how different pieces may fit together in different ways, and don’t be restricted by what furniture happens to be in the room. You may find that a cute stool that has been hiding in a bedroom makes a character-filled side table and conversation starter in the living room. Try arranging your furniture around the flow of natural light, or around indoor/outdoor flow, to create a harmonious space. Even better, centre your living room furniture in such a way that encourages conversation.

Surface art
Drinks carts, sideboards, shelving and coffee tables are all wonderful opportunities to make a space feel styled. Arrange your drinks cart with pretty bottles and glassware that are complementary, perhaps with a few fun cocktail accessories thrown in to complete the picture.

Suitable arrangements 
Create a styled vignette on an otherwise empty sideboard or coffee table by grouping ceramics, glassware, geometric shapes or ornaments in threes or fives. Be sure each grouping of objects has similar or complementary colours and different heights and shapes for the most aesthetically pleasing result.

Make an entrance
The first thing a person sees when they visit your home is the front door. Make a bold statement by attaching a wonderful door knocker to your front entrance. From lion’s heads and mermaids to gothic shapes and shackles, there are endless options to choose from.

Get a handle
While you’re at it, check out your doorknobs around the house. These days, doorknobs are easily replaceable and you can buy all sorts of styles – from ceramics and mosaics to oversized faux-gemstones – online or in store.

Play with scale
Play with scale in your home by contrasting low-line furniture with tall indoor plants or lamps. Really looking at the scale of your furniture (is it all the same height? Are there any standout pieces?) is a great way to add drama or interest to a room. Another way of doing this is using a statement artwork to draw the eye to the centre of a room.

Style like a Scandinavian
Another way to make a room feel more luxe is to employ the technique of contrasting textures. For example, if you have an empty chair or sofa, try adding a sheepskin, knitted throw, or fluffy cushions in similar colours but varying textures. This is a great way to cosy up a space and make it look more considered. Don’t be afraid to artfully throw a blanket across the end of your bed or hallway benches too; it’ll just add to the effect.

Get shelving
If you’re an avid reader with overflowing bookshelves, you may be unwittingly making your bedroom or living room feel more cluttered or messy than it really is. Give your home library a tidy and ensure all books are standing upright and spines out – it’s even better if the covers make for a complementary colour palette. If your book collection is a little bare, use this as an opportunity to shake things up. Stack books horizontally with a candle on top. Add a few plants, photo frames or quirky objects to the shelves to break up the piles of books. Be aware of leaving a little room between items so the scene is calming to the eye.

Find the unique
Finally, an absolute gem of a way to make your space feel a little bit more luxe for less is to check out the local markets. One-off pieces or handmade artisan products a couple of ways to make your benchtops, dining tables or coffee tables look suave. Items such as handmade fruit bowls, vases, trays and mugs are great.

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