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You might be surprised to learn that sometimes, the best way to achieve real luxury in the home is all about the quick fixes. Those subtle decorative additions or DIY tasks that take mere moments can often prove to be the most fruitful.
It's the smaller details that are realistically achievable over an evening or weekend too. Instead of tearing your home upside down to accommodate that luxurious marble kitchen island or bespoke built-in living room bookcase, it's those minimal home improvements that can yield the quickest results for your home's overall interior design.
To give you some food for thought, we've spoken to the interior designers who share their favorite quick-fix home improvements guaranteed to make your home feel luxurious.
1. Install dimmers
Pretty much every interior designer I have ever spoken to has raved about the importance of dimmers. It's a small detail that you might not have initially factored in, but with living room lighting, kitchen lighting and bedroom lighting being so important, having that extra control of the light or dark, and consequentially the atmosphere, is a huge game-changer.
'Install dimmers, install dimmers, and install dimmers,' urges potter and designer, Jonathan Adler. 'You'll look even more glamorous than you already are.'
'A dimmer always!' agrees Kristin Fine and Analisse Taft-Gersten, co-founders of Hamptons-based design studio The 1818 Collective. 'They are a cozy and calming way to begin or end a day. Not to mention a great way to bring some beauty to a place like the bedroom where we spend so much time.'
Dimmers are a cost-effective way of changing your lighting too, and won't take too much time. Make sure to check what light is connected to the switch, if you have a dimmable bulb, it should be compatible and easy to do. Remember that LED lighting isn't often compatible with dimmers, but floor or table lamps often come with the dimmable option to bring that atmosphere to any room.
2. Upgrade your hardware
This is such a simple one that can go a long way - updating your hardware. 'Replacing common drawer pulls and doorknobs with bespoke, handcrafted versions goes a long way,' says Artem Kropovinsky of New York-based interior design studio, Arsight.
Handles, hardware and doorknobs are the perfect example of a seriously underestimated decorative addition. You use them for mere moments every day, but they're one of those details that need to have near-perfect grip, and add something to the room - perfectly blending form and function.
When it comes to the best kitchen handles, it's all about the material to help that feeling of luxury. 'Consider materials like brushed brass or antique crystal for a feel of elevated luxury,' says Artem.
Go for gold to warm up a room, and try and pull from colors and materials used in the rest of the space. Keep handles the same material too, and even extending it to your light switches can help a space feel harmonious.
Dimensions: Small: 3.75"W, Medium: 5"W, Large: 7"W, Extra large: 9"W
Price: From $22
3. Strategically placed mirrors
Mirrors can be an interior designer's secret weapon when it comes to enhancing that feeling luxury. Think outside the box when it comes to your living room mirror ideas. There are certain places you can position a mirror that can help bounce light around, creating a clever optical illusion to make a space feel brighter and airier.
'Position them strategically to create an illusion of increased space, reflect light, or highlight a favorite piece of furniture or artwork,' says Artem. Think about the frame too, and don't be afraid to go statement for a jewel box look. 'A beautifully framed mirror can serve as both a practical and decorative element.'
4. Use small tables for decorative moments
Coffee tables have long been considered a staple in the living room, but we're noticing small side tables and end tables creeping into the home more and more. 'You should be able to reach out no matter where you’re sitting and set down a glass,' says Jonathan. We certainly like this mantra for luxury living.
Coffee tables have evolved to function more as ornamental and decorative spaces - places where we add books, candles and objects to create coffee table decor and a charming focal point.
End tables are a little more practical. We're even seeing designs that have a C-shape, curving from under a sofa and arching over the cushion for a space for you to pop a laptop or drink. It's this extra convenience in the home that brings that extra feeling of luxury.
Dimensions: Square: 15.5"W x 15.5"D x 20"H, Square: 20.5"W x 20.5"D x 20"H, Round: 19.5" x 26"H, Oval: 27.5"W x 13"D x 26"H, Rectangular: 28"W x 13"D x 25.5"H
5. Make the very most of your wall art
A great piece of wall art can really add something to a room, with colors that pull from the color scheme of the surrounding furniture helping to tie a room together, and bringing that personal feel.
'Art is a wonderful way to elevate a space, especially if it evokes emotion,' says Kristina Phillips of Kristina Phillips Interior Design.
Don't disregard how your living room wall art is framed. 'The frame can be as important as the art itself,' says designer Kit Kemp. I love deciding on a frame color, looking at contrasts with the colors displayed in the print, or pulling tones from the painting. Think white oak frames for a more Scandi, minimalist room, or go for a burnished bronze color for something indulgent and luxurious. A good frame will only bring more life to your room.
Think about where you hang your frame too, urges Nadia Watts of Nadia Watts Interior Design. ‘Most people hang their art too high; this can make even the fanciest art look cheap. A good rule is to hang your art at 60” from the floor, and centered.
'Once you have it hung correctly, light it up! There are a lot of great products on the market for this, including wireless art lights that you can stick right on your wall, and angled can lights that will allow you to light your artwork from the ceiling,’ adds Nadia.
6. Don't underestimate the power of a good book
A beautiful coffee table book or the best interior design books just exudes luxury. Chunky and beautifully illustrated, they work as a focal point and piece of art in themselves. 'Large coffee table books are one of my favorite luxury additions to a room,' says Nadia. 'Find books that have a subject you enjoy with an interesting cover and spine.'
Place on as a piece of coffee table decor in a living room next to a ceramic vase and bunch of flowers, on a console table in an entryway as per this example from Chango & Co, or use them on a bedside table stacked three books high for a decorative addition. Even on a modern home office desk, it can give a feel of luxury and make the space feel more curated.
7. Enlist the help of candles
I'm of the firm opinion that the simple addition of a candle can really elevate a space. There is something comforting and pampering about that small flickering flame, and the scent that a lit candle unlocks elevates your room with an added sensory experience. A candle is your best friend if you're looking for that quick-fix for surefire luxury living room.
'Candles bring warmth and light to a room,' says Nadia. 'There are so many wonderful candles available in interesting containers and glass, I love the look of a larger scale candle,' says Nadia.
'Scented candles are always wonderful and create a different mood, while tapered candles create a warm glow which gives comfort,' says Grey Joyner of North Carolina-based Grey Joyner Interiors.
8. Don't forget to bring the outdoors in
There is nothing like a beautiful boutique of flowers in a room. For Kristina, it's about helping a room feel complete. 'Fresh flowers will always look polished, especially when several are arranged throughout a home,' says Kristina.
Go large and full for added freshness in any space. The trick for added luxury is to go big and bold in design. Statement stems with bold colors, and if plants are your thing, the best indoor trees are big palm leaves that bring a sculptural feel, or the ever-popular fiddle leaf fig tree. The bigger the better, using your plant or bunch as a work of art.
If you're worried that your fresh flowers will quickly decay, investigate how to decorate with dried flowers. These will last longer and involve minimal maintenance once assembled in a beautiful vase.
9. Use fabric and texture to bring a luxurious feel
Relying on texture and contrast of materials is one of the best things you can do to give your room that extra bit of luxury. 'Mix high with low, new with vintage, hyper-sleek with hyper-layered,' says Jonathan.
'Introducing a mix of textures creates visual depth and tactile richness,' says Artem. 'This could be as simple as adding a velvet throw pillow or a sisal rug. The interplay of textures adds a sense of sophisticated comfort to a room.'
‘I am a big believer in quality materials,' adds Nadia, 'even a small dose of a high-end material can make a whole room feel more luxurious. Velvet, mohair, boucle, leather, fur... bring it on. These lush fabrics will up your luxury factor.'
It applies to your hard textures too. Having multiple textures in a room, like the combination of marble and glass, even a leather-bound coffee table book takes the room to a higher level and provides interest everywhere you look.
10. Give your trim a little love
Finally, a little love for your trim can go a long way. You might not have noticed, but a white trim easily can get a little grubby, exposed to dirt and splashes from any spillages. Over time, white trim might develop a yellow or greyish tint. 'A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference,' says Artem.
'Choose colors that evoke a sense of luxury.' If you're asking yourself, should I paint my wall trim white, soft, muted colors and tones can also evoke a sense of calm elegance.
But for me, unless you go monochromatic and blend the color of your trim into the walls, white is the classic go-to, and with a quick gleaming lick of paint, you'll be surprised how quickly it resets your whole space. Black can also bring a striking border to the space, like this home from Fare Inc.
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For style leaders and design lovers.
Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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