You’ve probably seen pictures of an elegant celebrity home in a magazine or caught a glance of a posh room in a movie and thought, “I wish I could make my home look like that.” If expensive upgrades aren’t in your budget or time schedule right now, no worries. Try implementing one or more of these changes to add a touch of sophistication to your entire apartment.
Most of the homes that strike you as “luxurious” are merely the products of creative planning and precise execution. When people move in to a new place, they tend to just unpack their boxes, haphazardly placing items on shelves, mantels, and tables. That may be the most efficient way to empty boxes, but it results in rooms that look more like yard sales than homes, with no rhyme or reason to their displays. What they should be doing is using those objects to create a decor that tells stories, commands attention, and engages visitors.
Framed pictures can depict the growth of a family over many generations or showcase dramatic sunsets and sunrises from their travels. Intersperse photos with interesting knickknacks and curios found at secondhand shops and flea markets. Instead of shelving books side-by-side with the spines facing outward, try stacking them vertically and horizontally to create a mosaic of shapes and colors. Intersperse the stacks with miniature vases and an assortment of candles in different shapes and sizes. What you choose to display is limited only by your creativity.
Creative Crown Molding
This elegant finishing touch used to be common in all types of homes, though nowadays it’s typically found in homes over 100 years old and modern structures with very high ceilings. It’s the narrow piece of trim that fills in the space between the tops of walls and the ceiling. Installing crown molding used to be painstakingly tedious, but you can now purchase peel-and-stick molding, which can be cut to size with a pair of household scissors. There are also modern patterns and designs available so you can match whatever decor prevails in different rooms. Stick with simple designs in small rooms and leave the more ornate ones for the bigger rooms.
When you decide spur of the moment that your home needs a facelift, flowers are the best quick fix. You don’t have to pay florist prices if you shop at grocery and big box stores, which charge less than half florists do. If you can only afford one bouquet, pick the largest and most colorful arrangement and display it prominently on a coffee or dining table. Smaller displays add glamour and style to bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways. Remove dead flowers every day to keep the bouquets looking nice and alluring.
Much like crown molding, wainscoting is an old-fashioned technique common in many older homes and popular in upscale new ones as a nod to traditional architecture. Back in the days when home insulation was coming into its own, wainscoting, a type of wood paneling, was used to add extra insulation to walls. Modern wainscoting is purely decorative and much easier to install than the original type. Instead of panels and trim (molding) on the lower three to five feet of an interior wall, they’re now usually made with pieces of molding that are the same color as the walls, and they’re arranged in square or rectangular shapes above the baseboard to create the illusion of panels. Home improvement centers also sell peel-and-stick wainscoting panels and molding to transform your home from frumpy to fabulous.
Big Art = Big Beautiful Impact
One of the biggest misconceptions about large-scale art is that it’s only appropriate for oversized rooms. In reality, hanging a piece of art above a sofa that’s as long as the sofa and three or four feet tall can make a small room look larger. These huge images, typically floral or geometric patterns, are also appealing because they can be purchased online at reasonable prices, professionally framed, and delivered right to your door.
Framing exceptional snapshots, artsy postcards, children’s paintings and drawings, and whatever else you find worthy of display is an affordable and easy way to gussy up your walls. Cheap frames are sold at 99 cent, secondhand, and discount retailers. Buy 10 or 12 that are exactly alike and start creating your collection. Display it on the wall next to a staircase, in a well-lit hallway, or on a prominent wall in your living room. When the season changes or you just have a whim, replace all the images in the frames for the fastest redecoration ever.
When money is no object, decorating is easy. When funds are scarce, it’s a stimulating and creative challenge.