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Luxury, for less: How to stretch a low budget for interior design projects

Luxury is a feeling, and there are ways to incorporate it into your designs – even with low budgets.

Interior design made with recycled materials by Retrouvius
Living room by Retrouvius
Luxury, for less: How to stretch a low budget for interior design projects
Clara Carlino de Paz
November 15, 2022

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With no regards to the clients’ budget, the feeling of comfort and luxury is the ultimate goal. For us, luxury is more than a price tag or a brand; it is the sensation of achievement and awe. In this article, we want to discuss how to evoke that hard-to-grasp luxurious atmosphere while sticking to limited budgets or no extra money.

01. Design according to your clients’ everyday

Nothing is more pure luxury than having a space designed to accommodate your clients’ habits. Whether it’s putting a stool close to the doorway to put one's' shoes on, or creating a reading nook where natural light shines all day for enhanced thriller bingeing, luxury is true, bespoke comfort.

Hallway design by Kate Rosenfeld

02. Reject sets, embrace mixing and matching

Straight-to-customer interior design relies a lot on sets and very cohesive collections of furniture. To achieve that “haute” design look, mix and match different pieces of furniture from different styles, eras and brands. This will give your spaces a more eclectic look that feels inspirational instead of accessible.

Contemporary living room by Crittal & Hill

03. Purchase vintage furniture and antiquities or use what you have

True, “old money” luxury comes from the old and well kept. If you’re struggling to find amazing furniture that fits your budget, go to outlets, second-hand online traders and charity and thrift shops. If possible, integrate the older structures of a home into your design, to enhance that feeling of heritage.

Fireplace and living room details by Albion Nord

04. Support small, local artists for bespoke pieces

Art shouldn’t be a luxury – but it definitely feels like one. A great way to increase the outward appearance of chic opulence in a home is to incorporate art pieces in it. If you’re struggling to make it work with your clients’ budget, you can contact artists in your area to create bespoke pieces for you. If they’re not well known yet, you might be able to pay them according to their own prices and still save a little money.

Living room corner by Kitesgrove

05. Restore old, damaged furniture and materials

Upcycling older, outdated pieces via conservation, painting, or updating hardware is a must-do if you’re trying to give off a luxurious vibe on a budget. Get on that DIY train and restore old furniture as much as you can. Also, you can contact suppliers and other contractors for left-over materials to repurpose. It’s all about being creative!

Reclaimed sanitary in action by Retrouvius

06. Swap some materials for their more inexpensive counterparts

Sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and find alternatives to your luxury favourites. A great example could be swapping Venetian plaster for Microcement, or fur for faux fur. Keep these swaps at a minimum, otherwise you run the risk of looking a bit “try hard”. Instead, use luxury elements in small quantities, and embrace some bareness when you can’t do anything about it.

X-Bond Microcement by Alternative Surfaces

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