Main image – Farrow & Ball
Wanting a fancy-ass house and having the money to fill the GAFF with the best stuff are two very different things. But that’s why we’re here; to help you cheat. Here, we run through the most cost-effective changes you can make, to make your look a little bit more luxurious.
1. Choose Dark Wall Colours
A dark moody paint colour will utterly transform your living room – no matter how small it is – creating cosy intimate vibes. At the moment, teal and deep blues are having a moment, but there are also some gorgeous aubergines out there. These wall colours are Gatsby-inspired and Gatsby-inspired anything is considered to be empirically fancy.
Farrow & Ball
2. Less is more with Candles
Instead of having loads of candles on every surface – which means you’ve more work each night in terms of lighting and blowing out – choose just one or two but spend a little on them. You’ll probably save money doing this because the burning hours are massive – choose one that’s up to 60 hours – and it will also make your living room smell rich. We love Cloon Keen Atelier for an Irish brand – they cost €40 but you’ll get yonks out of them.
3. Texture is Key
Nothing looks fancier than a considered mix of textures – regardless of your colour palette preferences. Think woven and velvet cushions, even ones with tassels will add a sense of luxury, as will faux fur and sheepskin which is still hanging in there as a decor trend this year. All of these work wonderfully against leather – so if you have an old leather couch, layer it up. Another way to make things look more expensive is to opt for a textured lampshade – be it your main ceiling light or a table lamp – with maybe a wool or woven fabric. Below is from Penneys.
4. Brass, Baby
Copper will only make your room look outdated – sorry to be the bearers of bad news. But brass is an excellent way of enhancing your living room. Think of a brass candleholder or a brass tray on which your remote controls can live. Even a bit of brass in a lamp would do the trick. And remember, when we say brass, we mean the appearance of brass or gold – they needn’t be the real deal at all. Chrome and silver has always been considered more basic (and not in a basic bitch kind of way) so brass instantly looks like an upgrade. And don’t be afraid to mix brass with wood – a coffee table – and glass – a side table. An expensive looking room will have points of difference and interesting textures; not everything will be matchy-matchy.
5. Go Big or Go Home
One smart way to make your living room look luxe for less is to go big on your wall hangings. One large piece of art – it could easily be a print that costs less than €100 or a canvas you pick up in Ikea – will make the world of difference, rather than loads of little frames dotted around the place. A luxe home is not a cluttered home. Alternatively, if you don’t have space and you prefer to hang a mirror instead, you can take your art to the floor with a statement rug.
6. Flower power
Fresh flowers – especially as we edge closer to spring – are the easiest ways to make your living room look fancy AF. A glass vase will do – we love this one from H&M home – and pick yourself up a bunch of tulips everytime you’re in Lidl or M&S – it shouldn’t set you back more than €7 max.
7. Get Low
If you have curtains in your living room around your windows – make sure they hit the floor. Floor to ceiling curtains – once they aren’t garish – are synonymous with luxury.
8. Shabby Chic
A hint of vintage here and there – even in the most subtle of ways – can add instant luxe factor. Head to your nearest thrift store or salvage yard – or do what we do and raid your parents’ attic – and keep an eye out for a crystal decanter or an old side table that you could style to perfection. If you prefer modern pieces (although remember that most mid-century stuff now looks modern to us because it’s so on trend) consider swapping out the dull chrome drawer or doorknobs with something old an interesting. These you can pick up for less than a tenner each.
Vintage glass decanter €25 Amara