7 Designer Secrets For Making a Home Look High-End
Someday you’ll live in a $100 million estate, but until you make that Jeff Bezos money, there are a few things you can do to make your home look (and feel) a little more luxe. We’re spilling some of the best-kept secrets to creating a more high-end vibe, even if you’re living on a boxed-wine budget.
1. Memorize the Right-Size-Light Formula
Changing out your light fixtures is an easy way to upgrade any space, but all too often, you go to the hassle of hanging that pendant light or chandelier, only to step back and realize…it looks dinky. Several interior designers swear by an easy formula for choosing the right-size light for any room: room length (in feet) + room width (in feet) = diameter of the light fixture (in inches). So, in that sense, a room that’s 10 feet long and 12 feet wide would add up to 22. You should shop around for lights that are 22 inches in diameter for that space. Easy, right?
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2. Follow the 20/20 Rule
You’ve heard that you should hang your drapes so they practically kiss the ceiling. But how high is that, ideally? Try mounting your curtain rods 20 inches higher than the top of the window—and 20 inches wider than its edges, says Leia T Ward of LTW Design. It’ll make your ceilings seem higher and maximize the amount of natural light you get each day.
3. Layer in Texture
Bring on the chunky knit throws, linen-covered books, velvet pillow covers, stone bowls and greenery—incorporating a variety of textures adds depth and dimension to a room, Ward says. It’s especially effective when you’re dealing with a restrained color palette—it’s what separates a stark neutral room from one that feels elevated and inviting.
4. Shrink that Hermés Throw
That iconic, H-emblazoned throw blanket appears in high-end homes everywhere, but here’s a little secret, if you can’t fathom spending $1,550 for it: Order the baby blanket instead. At $980 new, the blanket’s still an investment, but its 39-inch by 55-inch size is perfect for draping over a chair or sofa without bunching awkwardly, says designer Erin Gates. And if you scour sites like eBay or Poshmark, you may be able to snag a gently used one at a major discount (like this one, for $680).
5. Go Big or…Get It Outta Your Home
When it comes to styling shelves and coffee tables, size matters. “Big, bold pieces make more of a statement when it comes to accessorizing versus a lot of smaller-scale pieces,” Ward says. “I love using an oversized wood bowl on top of large coffee table books (like Tom Ford’s) or a large vase on a console table.”
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6. Put a Few Pieces on a (Well-Appointed) Pedestal
Another pro tip for styling shelves and countertops: Vary the height of the items you display. It creates more visual interest, as long as the space isn’t cluttered. And one chic staple Ward swears by to prop things up is Tom Ford by Tom Ford. As a home stager, it’s her job to style a house so it sells for top dollar, and she’s found that that book tends to fit with a range of aesthetics, is just the right size for stacking and well, looks damn good anywhere you put it. (Of course, if it’s not your style, don’t buy it for the sake of looking cool, but if you’ve been eying it for a while, it might be worth the splurge.)
7. Upgrade Your Hardware—Strategically
You’ve heard a million times that hardware is like the jewelry of a room and changing it out can make a big difference in taking a home from builder-grade to designer. But what should you consider? For that, we turned to Ted Roberts, Style & Design Chief at Schlage. “Today I see all types of black being popular. Gloss black, black stainless steel, textured black and matte black, just to name a few,” he says. Choose the finish you like best, then incorporate a few other touches in that same style to really pull the look together. “Look for all the small elements of your room, from candleholders and picture frames to light switches and door locks,” Roberts explains.