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Luxurious styling with grand coffee table and cream sofa with feather cushions

Luxury home on a tight budget

Do you have champagne taste but a beer budget?

This blog is for you…

Not everybody can afford to spend tens of thousands on their home decor to get a high end look. So let’s talk about getting creating a luxury home on a budget. By the end of this blog, you will know where to invest the big bucks, make plans to declutter, gain a few simple styling tips and be itching to start your DIY project!


Luxury home tip 1: Invest your money wisely.

When it comes to furnishing and styling your home, it is difficult to know where to prioritise your spendings. Everything in your home should not hold equal value, as they do not hold equal importance or usage. I always tell my clients to spend more money on the pieces that your bum touches regularly or if it takes daily abuse causing quicker wear and tear. Have you ever heard of the expression “Buy once, cry once”? You get exactly what you pay for, so make sure you invest wisely on your most used pieces so that you don’t have to buy a second time in future.


Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bargain and absolutely believe you can spend less on certain pieces in your home. But it is important to invest wisely on the heavily used items of your home.


The five furniture items I would invest wisely in are:

  1. Sofa.
  2. Dining table.
  3. Dining chairs.
  4. Your mattress.
  5. Rugs.
  6. Less is more.

It is easy to get lost in adding trinkets and treasures you love around your home, especially if you can’t turn your back on a good bargain or holiday souvenir. Too many bits and bobs around a room can become distracting to the eye, stealing attention from the real hero’s of the space where you likely spent more money. Clutter doesn’t scream luxury, ask any five-star hotel!

If you are a lover of souvenirs and trinkets, don’t let me stop you! But do allow me to encourage you to buy some larger scaled items too for diversity. Instead of buying multiple hand blown glass fish from the market in Bali, why not invest in one larger piece that may cost more but looks more impressive. This will also prevent you from buying too many things and make you appreciate those “investment” pieces much more.


Luxury home tip 2: Full-length curtains give the illusion of higher ceilings.

A thoughtful window treatment adds instant luxury to your home. There is a certain curtain style and material for every design trend so make sure you do some research before you pick your curtains. The one point I really want to stress here is making sure you get the size right as the size of your curtain can actually enhance your room, making it feel much bigger than it really is. There is nothing worse than seeing a beautiful room with ill-fitting curtains!


Your curtains should always go from floor to ceiling unless they physically cannot. If your window stops halfway up the wall, you should keep going to the floor with your curtains. The idea is to draw the eye upwards making the room feel taller than it really is. Hang your curtain rod about 15-20cm above the top of your window to allow for some breathing room and to give the illusion that your window is taller than it may be. Your rail should be closer to the ceiling than it is to the window.


Similarly, your curtains should sit wider than the window itself so that the full window can be seen when the curtains are open. This will make the window appear much larger, bring in all of the natural light and make the space more feel grand and luxurious.


You can incorporate new curtains with your existing blinds too. The blinds can be functional and the curtains can be decorative if you like. A good curtain can act as an insulator against our hot summers and cold winters. Adding sheer’s behind a curtain for privacy is another added touch of luxury and don’t cost too much. Bigger is always better when it comes to expensive taste.



Luxury home tip 3: Larger pieces look more expensive.


When choosing your rug, make sure it is wider than your sofa. If it is any smaller, it feels skimpy and disproportionate. Larger rugs are more expensive. You can choose a slightly cheaper rug to get the scale right, but don’t compromise on the size! Make sure you read my other blog “How to choose your rug” for more tips on this topic. Check out Miss Amara and Temple and Webster for affordable, great quality rugs.


When choosing your art, it should be scaled to the wall it is sitting on. Portrait directional art should hang on narrow walls and landscape directional art should hang on wider walls. If your art feels too small for the wall, double it up for a greater impact. For a luxurious feel, bigger is better but no bigger than any piece of furniture sitting below it (it will feel top-heavy). Remember to hang your art at eye level so that the middle of your art is about 150cm from the floor.


Other items I like to go bigger with are bedside tables, lamps, decorative vases and tall house plants. They draw the eye upwards making the room feel much larger than it really is. Don’t be afraid to go bigger on these items. Go large or go home peeps!


Luxury home tip 4: Work with a tonal colour palette.


Work with a tone-on-tone, fuss-free palette to create a luxury home. Once again, less is more. Stick with one or two colours maximum and use multiple shades for contrast. Aim for light and bright with shades of white and beige or go dark and moody with fifty shades of grey! You can easily create a vibrant and interesting space by sticking to one colour if you incorporate different textures. A Hamptons home is typical of this approach as they display their furniture in mostly creams, whites and accents of blue.


I styled this dental clinic in Adelaide tonally as the client wanted his reception to feel high end and classy. We went for beige linen to work in with the soft floor colouring, marble to compliment the white wall panelling and accents of gold metallic for visual stimulation and bling!


In Summary:

  • Pick the items to invest in wisely. these items are the ones that are used most, and should last the test of time. 
  • Less is more with a luxurious look. Go for one big ornament over multiple small ones. 
  • Your curtains should be hung higher and wider than your windows to make the room feel bigger and grander. 
  • Style big! The bigger the decorative pieces, the more expensive the feel : big art, oversized rugs, big cosy cushions etc.
  • Work with a tonal colour palette. 


I hope you found this blog useful. reach out to tell me what you think or if you have other Interior Design topics you want me to discuss. 


Thanks for reading! 


Tracey Bright

Tracey Bright

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