This is one of the most popular articles of the past 2017 on houzz.ru, written by a practicing designer Natalia Janson. The article is aimed predominantly on people who like to arrange the atmosphere in their home thanks to decorative elements and personal things. This is a view of woman-designer and therefore more impulsively and bit less logical. However, if you are serious conservative man, you might seem the ideas below childish and unnecessary. But… probably some of the following top 11 tricks about how to create chic atmosphere on a budget are about to touch even the most hard-headed mind.
Put a plaster head on a prominent place
When we wander the corridors of the palace-museums, we are followed by steadfast marble stares – it seems the sculptures are everywhere. At the entrance there is a Greek god with a fig leaf, a successful commander looks out from the mantelpiece, the nymph bends in a seductive dance in a boudoir. The sculptures we take for granted – as an indispensable attribute of a rich, luxurious home. This well-established perception can and should be used to our own advantage.
Trick: Even if you place a marble bust in the most ordinary apartment, it will certainly bring into the space that flora of ‘dolce vita’, which enveloped the sculptures for millennia and turned them into markers of high status.
It does not matter how much your “marker” cost exactly. Even the usual sculpture from the art store is the subject to this magic.
Sincerely speaking, the choice will be also standard there: Caesar, Venus, Hercules, Voltaire. More exquisite variants – with their secret history and unique energy – can be found in flea markets. And if you do not mind to drag a plaster head from vacation instead of magnets, grab it unambiguously.
Tip: Figurines made of plaster, marble, and porcelain can be used as is in a classic interior. If desired – grow it old with a trusted master. In the modern environment, the accessory looks more impressive, if you play around with its shape. Put sunglasses on David’s nose, tie a necktie, decorate your head with a crown, you can even “pin” a tattoo on a plaster shoulder… Do not be afraid, true luxury easily passes the test by irony, without turning into dust because of it.
Get some vintage items
It is not mothballs whiff from worthy historical subjects at all. Perhaps they smell of pure pleasure, because these are things whose only meaning is to delight our view with beauty.
The Underwood typewriter (just like Faulkner!), a gramophone or an old radio receiver – these items have long lost their practical meaning, but still look exciting in the interior.
Vintage is firmly associated with the semi-dark antique shop, where for every square meter there is some treasure, whether it is a table lamp with mother-of-pearl shade, a hand-made ceramic kettle or an old cloth with amazing ornament. Here you can find a thing that has remained unique in its kind or simply objectively attractive, as if it is stamped with perfection. And if in an antique shop all these miracles seem casual, just one of many, then in the modern interior, the aura of exclusivity returns to them.
Retro is impressive by itself though some vintage items can also be successfully mastered in space. For example, an old chest will cope with the function of a coffee table, and a table for a classic “Singer” sewing machine can easily be turned into an elegant console for the hallway.
Choose [enormously] large oil painting
Luxury does not hide – it declares itself a fanfare. And if you buy painting in the house, then the format is larger.
Of course, any painting touches, because it’s “alive”: the person wants to examine brush strokes and immerse him- or herself in the story that the canvas tells. But only when this story unfolds on a canvas of 2,5х4 meters, you can sink there completely. Whether it’s a realistic image of a cherry orchid or an abstraction in the spirit of Pete Mondrian a large – bigger canvas is always more impressive. It catches the breath. This is how luxury works.
To find your luxurious picture at a reasonable price, it is worthwhile to connect friends and acquaintances of friends: for sure, someone in friends on Facebook has students “arties” who write more for the idea than for money. Also, art “for inexpensive” can be searched on exhibitions in art schools. Or google art forums and contact the newbie artists directly. Do not miss the opportunity to look into the non-pretentious art galleries abroad and pay attention to the decor of the coffee shops: some novice authors use their walls as an exhibition stand.
Tip: Do not get stuck in classical paintings. Works written in modern stylistics, as a rule, are cheaper. And it’s quite a stroke of luck if your picture is not just big, but also long in length – a special chic is to place such over the headboard of a bed or in a bathroom.
To love the brass
Gold often behaves authoritatively: a sense of proportion and common sense can dissolve without a trace in its radiance. It is very easy to blindly cross the line beyond which luxury degrades into “European-quality repair”. However, connoisseurs of warm metallic brilliance have a wonderful alternative, which allows us to do without the narcissistic redundancy of gold. It is brass. Brass looks no less noble, expensive (not just because the Romans called this alloy “gold copper”) and reliably. And it also reminds of things from past eras: exquisite pendants and brooches, cups and teapots, candlesticks and lamps. Objects from brass gleam with eternity; they contain an endless charm of permanence.
However, it is necessary to love brass only in ‘homeopathic doses’. Door handles, faucets, chandelier frame – to create a luxurious environment with enough details.
Tip: Look for items from brass not only in stores. Luck can also lurk in the ruins of flea market: you will not get Aladdin lamp there, but a beautiful vase that will take the best place in the living room is completely realistic outcome.
Think about the display case
After the fashion for the sideboard has sunk into oblivion, family services have disappeared from view, and completely in vain. You can not hide from the eyes such treasures as cups of hand made, brought from distant countries; ultraminimalistic ceramics, which are lovingly selected from local brands; rare porcelain, inherited from the grand-grand-, which may have been of noble birth. Beautiful dishes are good for the role of pride. And let it please you and your guests, even when you do not use it.
Tip: Of course, it’s best to opt for a stand-alone display case. If this is not possible, you can build a storefront in the kitchen sections or allocate space for open shelves above the kitchen splashback.
To create an elegant screen
The screen is not the most popular “fashion model” on the glossy pages, and this is its special glamor: this optional detail of the interior always causes silent respect.
Fairy-tale flowers are blossoming on the screens, paradise birds are hovering, unconquerable dragons and tigers are winding. They are decorated with the finest manual embroidery, stones of different degree of value, sheets of mother-of-pearl and seashells. The screens resurrect in memory the stylish stories about emperors, shoguns and geishas. They hint at the atmosphere of the eastern palace with its extraordinarily exotic aesthetics. And all this can be used for your own purposes.
The simplest option is to make a base and tighten it with a cloth. Optionally: grow old wooden doors, order a simple painting, decorate the screen with mirror inserts, add pockets. But whatever you do, the image of the screen itself works flawlessly.
Of course, the screen is capable not only of decorating, but also of practical use: elegantly separates the working area in the living room, the educational one in the nursery, the wardrobe in the bedroom; replace the curtain with itself, serve as a haven for bathrobes and towels.
Let the flowers in the house
The fragrance of a just cut flower – is there a more accurate metaphor for luxury? Flowers transform the interior as by a finger click, because we achieve beauty in its most natural embodiment, not made with hands, fragile, breathing life. Someone will say: “Expensive.” I will answer: “Luxury is about the ability to enjoy life, and not about the desire to randomly blow off money.” It is not necessary to buy meter Dutch roses, in the world there are wonderful peonies, chrysanthemums, wild flowers for the season. You do not need to buy flowers every day. It’s easy to do if possible and on the mood, because such magic does not need schemes.
Alternatives to flowers can become branches of trees and shrubs, placed in large glass flasks.
Tip: The next time you walk in a park or forest, look under your feet – be sure to find expressive dry twigs that will ennoble the house. You can set a goal and find the liveliest options at summer residents, who sell stems and branches for other gardeners-farmers.
These can be mirrors in a non-modern way heavy aged frames, as if they lived a rich life, or simply models of interesting shapes. It is important only that they are independent and self-valuable.
Indulging in ergonomics, we brought mirrors to the additional function of the closet in the hallway or the lockers in the bathroom, which hide shampoos and shaving foam. But any room will become much more significant if you find a place for a full-fledged mirror in it – large one, in a beautiful frame, maybe even vintage. Once on a separate wall in the hallway, it will fully justify your trust.
And if you do not have a large living space, spectacular mirror in a carved frame can always find honorable place somewhere above the sofa or bed.
Turn the bath into a bathroom
Many people note the efforts of the decorators, who make real selfie zones from the restrooms. But only a few pay proper attention to their own bathroom, where, meanwhile, countless minutes of our life go on. The possibility of filling these moments with beauty are in our hands.
Our goal can be brought closer not only by a mirror and sprig of alstroemeria from previous tips, but also auxiliary furniture. Depending on the size of the bathroom, you can place a high stand under the pots, a small stool in the oriental style or a side table (for an evening cup of cocoa and a book of Murakami), a wicker basket or ottoman.
Well, if you are very lucky, then you can place even an armchair or a stand-alone cabinet for bath accessories.
In total, a couple of “room” items – and sanitary ware indifference turn into a space of hedonic insights.
Set the table
Luxury is something you can omit. It’s not always things and resources, sometimes little rituals. By refusing to serve the table, we win in time, but we lose considerably more – the aesthetics of everyday life.
Try to get the Bohemian glass not by chance, but without an excuse, just because today is a pleasant Friday and how wonderful it is with family to enjoy the most familiar Friday ragout. You immediately feel it: the back is straightened, the arms are deftly manipulating instruments, the wine is getting tastier.
And if in a huge dining room there is served for ten people table – it’s something for granted, then a cozy table setting for two in the kitchen looks just great.
Tip: It is enough to come up with two or three servings – and you will be fueled by the feeling of the beauty of the moment for a long time. And to not lose it throughout the day, beautifully arrange the tray glasses, decanter and vase with seasonal flowers.
“Serving” the bed
The same goes for the ritual of make the bed. It would seem, what a whim is to spend ten minutes to tuck in a blanket, to straighten a coverlet and lay out pillows, which will still have to be scattered in the evening. But keep in mind: between the ringing of the alarm clock and the evening book you will spend several active hours, so why not set them a pleasant emotional background, getting along with the bed in a royal way? Choose two or three basic options with which the bed looks perfect, and your bedroom does not need a fabulously expensive chandelier or Italian curtains. Sense of pure luxury will be present here and without them.
Keep in mind that “perfectly tucked” is not equal to “by the ruler.” Our goal is an elegant, casual atmosphere. To create it, choose a simple in constant use cushion layout – from four to seven pieces, with some of the pillows should be decorative, made in colors, which are already present in the interior of the bedroom. If you do not like cushion ‘piles’, stop on the minimalistic headrest rollers. Then think over the layout of the blankets and covers, make bed linen in the manner of hotel rooms or leave it free to hang. Checkered plaid or wool blanket, folded in the foot of the bed will help to add warmth.
In fact, it’s easier to compose an interesting bed setting than to describe it, but if you do not fully trust your own taste, you can look for more detailed recommendations of professionals on this topic.
Instead of conclusions
To create an atmosphere of seasoned luxury, high taste and respect for yourself, your home and the people coming to it, you do not need to travel to the end of the world to some unique store for unique people. Sometimes, in order to touch genuine perfection, it is enough to arm yourself with knowledge and pay attention not to the brilliance of things, but to the understanding of the real world that bestow them this brilliance.