5 Affordable Ways to Make Your Place Look Like a Million Bucks
Get your plant game on
Plants bring fresh air and a lovely splash of colour to your room. They’re fun to maintain as well, so you might find yourself growing surprisingly attached to them. The types of plants you choose should be matched to your taste in décor. If you’re a fan of the shabby chic or rustic romantic look, African violets and begonias will add a beautiful floral touch whilst thriving indoors. If you’re into a more modern, minimalist feel, maidenhair ferns or golden cane palms are perfect for adding a splash of greenery without overwhelming. You can also easily make your own terrarium, or try hanging up a few air plants in decorative jars for a funky twist.
Natives are also wildly popular at the moment, and with good reason – they’re some of the most striking plants around! Matt from Stix N Stonez Landscapes says “I get inspired by nature when I’m out surfing or on a bushwalk.” So take a stroll through your local area and see what takes your fancy!
Looking to pick up some plants at a nursery near you?
Hang up some curtains
Never underestimate the transformative power of curtains. Bare windows or blinds can leave your walls looking depressingly washed out and boring, but it’s very simple to sort out. Well-chosen curtains will frame your windows nicely and add a point of interest to the room. And if you hang them wider than the windows, you can even give the illusion of bigger windows. Two birds; one stone!
To pick the right curtains for you space, consider the décor already in it and the overall mood of the room. If you’ve already got quite a bold look with lots of patterns around, you might choose to go with a single colour so you don’t clash (primrose yellow and crimson are the hot colours for 2017). If you’ve got a bit more wiggle room to try something daring, abstract pastels and bold florals are a big talking point at the moment. Also consider factors like the rod you’ll be using – do you want a sleek steel rod or a more ornate wrought iron finish? Every component should work in harmony to complete your overall window treatment finish. They should also be functional, so if you want to block out light, make sure to consider a rubber backing for your curtains.You can find some great printed curtains at most good furniture stores or even pick up some fabric from a craft store and make your own.
Looking to create the curtains of your dreams?
Display some artwork
Good art doesn’t have to break the bank, you know. Second-hand shops are a treasure trove of cheap cool prints, and even a single piece can change the feel of a whole room. If you see a vintage piece you love but it’s looking a bit worse for wear, don’t despair. You’d be surprised at how drastically a new frame can transform a print – have a chat to a framing specialist to see what they can do. Another great option is to have fun trawling through your local markets on a Saturday or Sunday. You’ll not only be buying something one-of-a-kind, but you’ll also be supporting local small business. Win win!
Accessorise with one statement piece
If your budget’s tight, don’t waste your cash on half-baked décor that people might not even notice. Instead, focus on one bold, bright or daring piece that’s guaranteed to turn heads. Think a colourful rug, an oversized floor lamp, a nice throw or some funky print couch cushions, and don’t be afraid to get creative or unusual. It’s your place, after all! One of the best ways to dig up a truly unique piece is to have a browse through your local markets. Kirribilli Markets in Sydney and Coburg Trash & Treasure Markets in Melbourne are pretty much guaranteed to deliver something to suit your style, and there are plenty more options around every city where you’re sure to find some treasure.
Paint a feature wall
You’re not afraid to get a bit messy, are you? A feature wall is the perfect way to really inject your personality into your interior space. When picking the wall to paint, try avoid any that have doors or windows, as it will detract from the overall statement. The wall you see when you first enter the house is usually a good choice, as it will make a great first impression for guests. Otherwise, a feature wall can make a great addition to the living room or your bedroom.
In case you’re a bit lost as to where to start, a good rule of thumb when it comes to a colour choice is that dark colours tend to make a room appear smaller, so unless you’ve got a lot of space, you’ll want to stick to light-to-mid shades (earth red and powder blue are trending paint colours, FYI). If you’re feeling extra daring (and your existing décor won’t clash), consider using some polka dot or stripe stencils to create an eye-catching pattern. A side table, framed prints and a lamp in complementary colours will help to complete the look beautifully.
A quick tip – when it comes to preparing, make sure to clean the wall with sugar soap and sand with fine sandpaper before starting, as this ensures a professional finish. As Andy from Atlas Painting puts it: “Initial preparation work is, in the end, unsighted, but it provides the means to get to a high standard.”