Find your style

Taking a home full of IKEA and hand-me-downs to the next level isn’t as hard—or expensive—as you think. Use these eight tips to create a cohesive, luxury look where no one can tell where you spent and where you saved.

Throw Down

A beautiful blanket styled on a big-box couch perfectly nails that high-low mix. Drape it casually over the arm for a more bohemian look, or fold it neatly across the back of a sofa for a classic, tidy effect. Similarly, a designer accent pillow — we love ones from The Citizenry — can add instant oomph to an otherwise-drab sofa. 

Bonus: Interior designer Fran Keenan has a few tips for putting it all together on her IGTV.

Frame Job

We’ve extolled the virtues of elevated wall collages, but nothing helps a piece of artwork stand out like a frame. For the most luxe look, opt for a simple and sleek gallery frame. Target offers them at a ridiculously low price, but if it’s within your budget, we like the added heft of West Elm’s gallery frames.

Art work

Buy the Expensive Hand Soap (and Reuse the Bottle)

True story: When I got engaged, I joked that the only thing I wanted on my wedding registry was Aesop’s petit grain hand soap. It felt ridiculous to purchase a $40 bottle of soap, but receiving one as a gift? Who was I to say no. Besides, we’re supposed to be washing our hands religiously right now! Now that I have the bottle on the master bathroom vanity, I can never go back. I’ll be ordering a new bottle soon, but I could just as easily keep the look and refill it with a clear liquid hand soap. Other fancy, beautifully packaged hand soaps include Byredo’s hand wash, available in a sea-glass-inspired range of bottles, and Grown Alchemist’s hand wash with sweet orange, cedarwood and sage.

Incorporate Greenery

Indoor plants reduce carbon dioxide, decrease airborne dust, and reduce levels of pollutants. That’s reason enough to add them into your home, but from a style perspective, they’re incredibly affordable while radiating an expensive feel. Depending on your design style, orchids, olive trees, and fiddle leaf figs would all add a luxe yet natural touch. Don’t forget a pretty planter. 

Similarly, fresh flowers create a sense of easy luxury in your space. You don’t have to go fancy here: simply choose a monochrome palette from the grocery store of whatever’s in stock to create an elevated look.

When It Comes to Dishes, Don't Mix and Match

We’re all for mixing and matching patterns and colors. But for a luxe look in the dining room, you’d do best to choose a matching set of dishes and glassware to create a cohesive look at your next dinner party. White porcelain is classic, versatile and affordable — there’s no need to blow your budget on precious china. Crate & Barrel has several modern options, like the Logan stacking series (it’s particularly good for small spaces).

Set the Mood

A jewel-tone color on the walls adds instant intrigue and luxury. Try a shade of emerald, sapphire, amethyst, or even black to elevate your space, then toy with finishes like high-gloss for added drama.

books as decor

Swap the Lamp Shades

We’re not knocking big-box lamps. There are some undeniably chic, affordable options out there. But one dead giveaway is the lampshade. Create a more personalized look by swapping out a standard lampshade for something more upscale. Play with shapes, like switching out a boring drum shade for a dramatic coolie silhouette, and materials, like opting for a textured linen or vintage-inspired paper.

Enlist an Interior Designer

Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? But a Havenly mini makeover is on sale for just $79. This expert service pairs you with an interior designer to put the finishing touches on your space. It all starts with our design quiz.

Words by Sara Watson