I’ve put together a list of 7 style tips for achieving a luxe look. Enjoy!
Luxe – level counter tops
The average stone slab thickness runs between 1″ – 1-1/4″. But did you know you can add a mitered edge that gives the counter the appearance of a thicker slab? These nearly 3″ counters in a kitchen I shot during a house tour are a great example of this idea. The slab itself is standard thickness, but the added edging gives it an amazing luxe look. Of course, this isn’t an inexpensive process, but it certainly is less expensive (and lighter weight) than if you actually specified a 3″ thick slab of marble. Read more here on AD’s Guide to Marble Countertops.
Drapery panels can be luxurious and add a lot of color and warmth to a room. But they can require a lot of fabric, especially if they are made to cover a wide expanse of windows. However, if you don’t need the curtains to fully close over the windows, then non-functioning, or decorative, panels will do the trick at a significant cost savings. The image with the pink curtains above don’t really show the window (it’s my own dining room!) but there is a wide bay window and rather than having the drapery cover the window entirely, I had 1-1/2 width panels made for the sides. The second image (a non, styled, iPhone image) shows the same concept. The clients didn’t need the curtains to be closed, so decorative only panels was a great option. The trick is that they still need to feel luxurious and look like fully functional panels. Single-width panels (usually about 50″ W) such as most store bought panels, are never wide enough for the effect. The panels above are double width, which means they are around 90″ wide.
Vintage pieces re-imagined
I love a good repurpose project – whether it’s a large scale church conversion or a small piece of vintage furniture that becomes a bathroom vanity – a good conversion can be a great way to bring in the charm of old-school design and construction. Most common re-purposing is to use an old cabinet and turn it into a vanity cabinet. But there are more unique projects out there. How cute is the converted Singer sewing machine base? And so easy to do – just remove the sewing machine and configure to fit a sink and faucet. Similarly, the more modern looking Mid-Century console above that is converted to a floating vanity. A marble counter and sinks are added to the top. The trick is to be sure the heights work for the purpose and the structure of the cabinet is strong and will hold up to the added weight of countertops and sinks. Love these!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using rugs is to select one that is too small for the space. Perhaps the rug only comes in one size, or it’s a vintage item handed down. Just because it’s the wrong size doesn’t mean it can’t be made to work. Rugs can always be layered on top of a larger but less expensive natural rug (sisal or seagrass) or even a piece of broadloom cut and bound to size. In the image above, it’s clear that the beautiful vintage carpet above would be too small if left on it’s own. It would be completely covered up if it were fully under the bed. By layering it over the larger jute rug, it becomes a focal point, yet the entire bed is still “supported” by a rug that is the correct size. And no one wants to get out of bed onto a cold floor!
Down filled pillows
I love pillows! They add such a gorgeous array of colors and texture to a space and can easily swapped out seasonally. Even a simple store bought pillow can be made to look luxe by simply swapping out the poly insert with a down/feather one. Most stores carry the inserts, including Pottery Barn.
Beautiful is the room that wears a crown
This room above is a lovely space with warm and inviting materials. But, it’s a great example of a builder who skimped on the crown and baseboard moldings. Crown moldings help to draw the eye upwards which highlights a tall ceiling (as this is) or gives the impression of a taller ceiling when it might not exist. Additionally, the baseboard molding (see far lower right) is skimpy at best.
Then here we are at a lovely space with gorgeous wainscot and door frames, and a beautifully rendered crown molding. I also love the detail of the crown being painted the same color as the wall. A great choice for those who worry that the crown will lower the feeling of a room (it doesn’t).
Lighting is one of the most important elements to a successful room design. It should be layered, with lighting at all levels – ceiling, walls and tables. It should be flexible – which is where the dimmer switch comes in. Regardless of the type of lighting you currently have, regardless of your budget – adding dimmer switches to all your lighting will take your room from meh to masterful. You can even get dimmers for table lamps if they don’t already have a three-way bulb in them. It’s a fairly easy DIY project and a must if you’re installing new lighting!