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How to Get the Luxury Look for Less

Get a posh interior without paying the price.

Photo: Adobe Stock / Vadim Adrushchenko
We’d all love to decorate our homes in a fashion worthy of a glossy magazine spread. The problem? Not everybody has the budget to do so … or so we think.
The truth is, you don’t have to pack your great room to the gills with high-end furniture and costly accessories to give it a luxurious look. All you need is a good eye and a solid knowledge of what we like to call “selective splurging” — in other words, knowing which items you should shell out for, and which items you can buy on the cheap. Read on for some of our favorite tricks.

1. Fake It to Make It.

Other than having a nose for sniffing out bargains, knowing how and when to go faux is key to getting a luxe vibe on a budget. Many materials have less pricey counterparts that look pretty darn close to the real thing. Lusting for hardwood floors? You can save with laminate. Or line your hearth with manufactured stone veneer instead of authentic river rock. Just be careful not to go overboard — you can’t fake luxury using all bargain-bin basics.

2. Be Detail Driven.

You may not think people will notice what kind of hardware you have on your kitchen cabinets, and you may be right. But small details like these can make a subconscious impression. Think about it: Replace the boring knobs on a cheap, mass-market dresser with unique ceramic pulls you discovered at a flea market, and suddenly you have a customized piece. The best part? This is one upgrade that definitely won’t break the bank.

3. Invest Where it Makes Sense.

If you don’t have tons of money in your budget, consider funneling it toward one big-ticket item that you absolutely love. That one special piece might even provide the inspiration to determine the decor for the whole room — or even your entire home. The item you choose should be unique and speak to your personal style, but make sure it’s classic enough to have staying power. After all, there’s nothing worse than spending a small fortune on something that’s may look outdated next year. Invest in areas that will stand the test of time and look to lower-cost pieces that may be in today but out tomorrow.

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