So, you have just recently acquired an apartment (congratulations!!) or you’ve had one for a while now, but somehow you’ve not been able to pimp it up to a satisfactory standard because of lack of sufficient funds or ideas. Not to worry, we’re here to help you pull off a luxurious look with a restrictive budget in these ten simple ways:
- Be mindful of how you throw your COLOURS
The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have the right colours at the right spaces. The first point of call in colour monitoring is your walls: You want to make sure they are plainly coloured with ONE bright colour (preferably neutral colours). Colours to consider are grey (10% black), cream, white, very light shade of sky blue, off- white, etc. If you were to ask us, your best bet is off-white. Why? Because it can never go wrong with off-white: It gives your space the ‘rich’ fresh and clean feel once you enter the space. Bright colours also help with bouncing off natural light around to make the place feel warm and cosy.
- Make your seating areas as SOFT as possible
Once again, neutral colours come to play in selecting soft couches. The softer the couch, the more luxurious looking the space. If your sofa passes the colour test, ensure it passes the first and more critical test; the shape of the sofa. You can change the upholstery of your sofa, but can you change the shape? Another secret to making your sofa softer is having the legs of your sofa tall enough to lift the bulk of the sofa off the floor. Do you have a short-leg colourful sofa already that can’t be replaced at the moment? No to worry. Just introduce more plain neutral coloured cushions and throw pillows to the sofa, and your sofa is softly padded up. Better still, change the upholstery of your sofa and get you some cosy colourful throw pillows. Either way works but the latter is preferable.
- Get you a BIG wall-hung mirror(s)
Meet your local carpenter to make you a big simple framed (black framed or metallic framed) mirror or a collection of medium sized mirrors. What a mirror does is to reflect light: Light reflection makes your space look more luxurious. It also makes your space look bigger/ infinite. The bigger the mirror, the bigger your space. The bigger your space, the more luxurious it looks. You can either get one big mirror or get a couple of small mirrors to form a big mirror collage (this looks fancier).
- Have (at least) one good looking light fitting/ feature
As much as you want to have great natural lighting within the space during the day, you also want to have a beautiful light source at night. Light fittings can be expensive, so you’re better off going for uncommon/ unusual light fittings. If you can’t afford a good looking light fitting, you can go for jar lighting, or you can have down suspended copper lighting. This has a big visual impact on your space. There are varying light fittings you can look out for.
- Add a metallic hint
Metals shine when they come in contact with daylight. If you can’t get something golden (like a golden floor cylindrical flower vase), you can go for chrome, or any metallic preference of your choice. The idea is to make the space look flashy. So do well to place your metallic add-on somewhere visible to the eye and where natural light can come in contact with it.
- Get artwork portrait pictures on your walls
Finally! My colour loving mongers can get the colour their hearts have so desired. When it comes to the colour scheme of a space, you want to add colour to a plain space and not add plain to a coloured space (if that makes any sense). Large artworks and large mirrors are components with same effect; they make your space look more sophisticated and more expensive. So you can either get a few large artworks or have a cluster of them wall-hung.
- Go for natural textures
To have a more luxe feeling within your space, you want to have touches of natural textures around. You can get a natural fibre rug for your floor, not necessarily to cover the whole flooring area (just within the sitting area). Wooden floating shelves and (or) a woven basket are good options for storage, and are good sources touch of natural textures within your space. A natural flower vase with natural looking flowers (preferably short and full looking) would also add to this fit. If you’re going for flowers and vases, try not to use flowers or vases that are too busy (less is more). Laminate wooden flooring is a perfect touch of a natural texture. You can also go for natural stone wall paper and have a vertical strip on one part of your wall.
- Splurge on at least one item
Get one item that becomes the centre piece/ focal point of your space. A splurge item can be your centre table, your sofa, an art piece, a light fitting, etc. Basically, just splurge on something that you love and place it in a prominent spot within your space. You can’t afford a splurge? Not to worry. Just take out time on a DIY (Do It Yourself) project that will have a remarkable impact within your space. This gives a perfect mix of quality fits that range from ‘expensive’ to ‘cheap’.
- DON’T be TEMPTED to go for the pricing
With a budget, there’s a limit to what you can buy. But if you must buy, it must be durable. Because when you compromise quality, the implication is that you will be forced to spend more in the nearer future in order to sustain the luxe of the space.
- Get Affordable accessories
Books, magazines, small sculpture artworks, inexpensive Chinese porcelain, etc. It makes your space more exciting to be in. With accessories around, you have the feeling that you can stay within the space forever. They keep the eyes engaged and leave the space glamorous.
So, go ahead and play with your apartment bearing our tips in mind. Remember that being broke is temporary and you don’t need to break the bank to be comfortable.
By Tokoni Bozegha
(Tokoni Bozegha is a seasoned architect and interior designer who specialises in designing and constructing ‘affordable luxury’. He is Blueink’s resident housing and interior design olumnist. Follow @murphy.tee and @wrighthouseinteriors)
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