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How to make your living room look elegant on a budget


By Samantha Nicole Alarilla

Sometimes we find ourselves window-shopping and ogling at living room displays and wishing we had our very own luxurious living rooms. But most of us instantly banish the thought, as we catch a glimpse of the price tag. The reality is, no, not all of us are fortunate enough to afford that expensive leather couch or the abstract oil painting on canvas.

But we can fake it til’ we make it – and the best part is no one will be able to tell that we are. We don’t need a million bucks to make our living rooms look and feel like it.

Before we get into tips on how to make your living room look elegant, sophisticated, and high-class on a budget, remember to ask yourself these important questions: What is your design goal? How much room do you have to work with? How will the space be used? What pieces can you keep, and what needs to be replaced? Then, when you’re all geared up to start redecorating, make sure to de-clutter beforehand and adopt the mindset of minimalism – which is the essence of both luxury and comfort.

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  1. Details make the difference.

The key to elegance is detail, and in this case, our detail is crown molding. It brings the walls and ceilings together and gives the room a more finished and sophisticated look. Crown moldings are relatively cheap, especially if you get the plastic, paintable ones. Choose the widest trimmings your budget will allow and get to work!

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  1. Consider your colors.

Repaint your living room with bold and dramatic or soft and subtle colors that are light and easy on the eyes. Dramatic colors would be colors associated with royalty such as rich, deep indigos and soft colors would be beiges and creams. But don’t forget to add splashes of black or white as well! In doing so you are creating contrasts, highlighting certain elements of the room, and completing the whole look of high-class.

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  1. Pay attention to the pillows!

One of the most overlooked and underused elements of the living room are the pillows. They serve two unique purposes: comfort and aesthetic. If chosen carefully, pillows will add to the coziness factor of your room and create interesting and plush layers on your couches and chairs. Invest on large down-filled pillows and cover them with unique patterns and colors that will go with the entire color scheme of your room.

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  1. Give your windows a makeover.

Five-star establishments will always have wide floor to ceiling windows draped with the finest materials because it makes their rooms elegant and sophisticated. Create the illusion of higher windows by hanging your curtain rods higher and going for long curtains that will brush your floor ever so slightly. Invest on silk, linen, or cotton drapes, and if drapes aren’t quite your style, opt for woven bamboo shades or wood blinds instead.

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  1. Light it up!

Replace your lights with soft, natural-looking LED energy-saving bulbs and use interesting fixtures like chandeliers or lanterns to add flair and style!

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  1. Hardwood beats carpet any day.

Many would think that carpeted floors are the indications of refined tastes but it is actually quite the opposite. Hardwood floors in neutral colors are one of the keys to making your living room look more elegant and high-class. But don’t be afraid to have an accent rug – perhaps made of fur or sporting interesting patterns – under the coffee table and couch set!

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  1. Add interesting statement pieces!

Print, frame, and hang up art and photographs on empty walls. Have an eye-catching, expensive-looking chaise chair near the sofa. Display modern sculptures or pottery. Make use of interesting textiles. Experts say to go for adorning your living room with the color gold to give it a more luxurious and expensive feel.

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  1. Shop secondhand.

If you’re thinking of buying new furniture and can already hear your wallet weeping at the prices of branded ones, go to a secondhand store instead. Chances are you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and pay less for it!

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  1. Create the illusion of space!

Vast living room space is always what makes them seem larger and fancier than they really are. But again, not everybody has the luxury of space as most of us in the city live in condominiums and apartment buildings. So trick yourself and your guests into thinking the room is larger by installing mirrors on the wall! Not only will your living room look considerably less stuffy, but the mirrors will add a touch of class and chic to it as well.

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