Thursday, June 1, 2017

High End Look For Less

I think we all would love to have that really pulled together High End Look in every room in our home.  Knowing how to achieve that High End Look For Less is something I have been striving to accomplish for years.  I have learned a few tricks that all designers use all the time.

1.  GO BIG.  One big statement piece will create more of a high end look than a lot of little pieces.  By that I mean Big Art, Mirrors and Accessories.

The painting in my entrance area is definitely big-31/2 feet x 41/2 feet.  Since it is on a two story wall, it really doesn't look all that big, but it really does make a statement.  You can find all kinds of affordable art at places like AtHome, Home Goods and even Goodwill.  You might also try painting your own abstract piece and showing off your creativity.

Big Mirrors - A big mirror can be a statement that totally makes a room.  You can find some really big mirrors at again AtHome, Home Goods and consignment stores.  Don't be afraid to look for some great high end pieces at consignment stores.  You can have a quality piece for a fraction of the price.

  Instead of a lot of smaller items, a mirror commands attention and it can reflect something else pretty in a room at the same time.  Mirrors also make any small space seem larger.

My loft area is not a huge room, so the mirror helps to create depth and it also reflects the entertainment center and bookcases on the other side of the room.

Now you've all seen that huge mirror I have and use in my living room.  It definitely makes a statement.  This small room would have looked like a closet without this mirror.  It creates the look of a mirrored wall without the cheesy "mirrored wall" look.  I found this at a discount designer store.  This is 4 feet x 8 feet and so big it was marked down to around $300.  You couldn't even begin to buy the frame for half of that.  Now you don't have to go this big, but don't be afraid of something that looks really big, it could be the statement piece your room needs.

My horse painting is really big too, but the thing that takes it over the top are those really big sconces on each side.  Small ones would make it look rather ordinary, but these make a statement and for only $39.  You can find them here.

This room is filled with hand me downs, thrifted and left overs from other rooms over the years, but that horse painting and sconces create a focal point that distracts your eye from the rest of the room and gives the illusion of a much more expensive space.

2. Know When To Go Trendy - Sometimes it is a good idea to follow a trend, just be sure it fits in with your style.

Right now Cowhide Rugs are seen everywhere.  They are unique and create that designer look that we all want to achieve.  Fortunately they are available at really affordable prices.  Pick one that makes a statement like this white one I found.  Nothing ordinary, but something unique. Another great trend in this room are the plaid drapes.  These are a really huge plaid, but since they are a soft cream and light beige, they follow the trend but don't scream at you.

3.  Custom Pieces - Something that looks custom and made especially for you and your space is always High End.  You can do that with any kind of special detail.

 Monograms are great.  Even if you don't have a sewing machine to add monograms to your linens, there are fabulous "iron on" ones available that can take anything to a whole new level like the one.

The above pillow and these two crystal pieces are all done with monogram transfers.  I found both kinds at llMagnolia Lane Etsy

One of a kind pillows always add a designer detail to any room.  Here I show you 5 different ways to get a designer look without having to sew.

One of the cheapest ways to add a designer tough to your pillows is to replace those poly pillow inserts with down inserts.  You can find really cheap down inserts at Ikea or I buy most of mine at Goodwill for around $2.99.  Just discard the pillow cover and donate it back to them and keep the insert.  In this post I show you the huge difference down inserts make.   These are the World Market pillows that come with a zipper and are only $9.99 each, sometimes on sale for $4.99.

4.  Furniture Makeovers - There are so many places to find great used furniture.  Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Hotel Liquidators, Craig's List and garage sales.  You can find all kinds of bargains if you keep an eye out for YOUR style and then see how you could make it over.  I have made over tons of furniture throughout the years and you really can achieve that super high end look if you find the right piece and then put your stamp on it.

My Painted Headboard is a prime example.  I found this at Hotel Liquidators.  Great style and the fabric was great, it was just that orange wood on it that turned me off.  Not to worry.  A little paint covered that orange wood and now it looks like a super high end headboard.

My $9.99 Louis Chairs came from Goodwill.  Again, they had some kind of orange color wood and really bad upholstery.  Chairs are really easy to redo, so I stripped these down, stained them a dark walnut and reupholstered them.  Now they look like super high end one of a kind chairs.  The cowhide fabric is actually a corduroy but the texture makes it feel like real cowhide, and don't be afraid to use a trendy fabric as an accent either.  That alone can give a piece an upscale look.

So, tell me, what are you best kept secrets for achieving a high end look?

You can still link up to Inspire Me Tuesday.  So much to see so check a few things out.

If you like Thrifty & Chic on a Budget, I would love to have you follow me.

Have every post delivered to your inbox with Bloglovin
Check out Pinterest & See behind the scenes on Instagram 

 photo facebook_zpsjidlprdx.png  photo twitter_zps2tkztdwt.png  photo pinterest_zpsrqc2e9tb.png  photo instagram_zpshgvokoye.png  photo rss_zpskxkhosrf.png  photo google_zpsq4r5lcgg.png  photo bloglovin_zpszdewbww1.png  photo email_zpsecoee34x.png

Enter your email address:


  1. Smart ideas! Choosing big has always been hard for me. I know it's the right thing to do but I seem to be attracted to cute little things. The ceiling in our new house is super high so I'm really going to have to concentrate more on BIG.

  2. Love the oversize pieces you use, I am especially fond of the horse painting!! Wish we had thrift shops here like you have. Of course half the fun is in the hunt isn't it LOL. Your new home is looking beautiful :)

  3. Great tips Marty! You have made some wonderful purchases.

  4. I really like your style. The cowhide fabric on the backs of the dining chairs is genius.

  5. Love your style Marty. You always make such good choices. I found two high end pieces at terrific prices - one very large mirror with gold trim, looks a lot like yours. I found it at Albertsons Grocery Store for 49.00 and I grabbed that and brought it home and it is in the dining room. Was shopping at Home Goods and found a picture of a florist shop in Paris as big as your horse picture. The glass alone would have been expensive is purchased alone - wait for it .... $49.00. It was so big that they had to carry it out and put it in the car for me. That is hanging in my living room and I just love that picture, which goes so well with my french decor.

    Got some of the wind cleaner for cars - now to find a day when someone is here when I climb up on the ladder, don't want to fall again. I am not allowed to climb according to my son - if he only knew...

    Have a great rest of the week.


  6. I love it Marty! I'm getting ready to buy a giant mirror for my dining area/living area, our whole home is so open so you'll see it no matter where you are... the only thing, my ceilings are 8ft so it will look huge! Your ceilings are soaring! I'm quite jealous:) I also love making my own pillows, it's an excellent way to get that custom look like you mentioned! Love it girlfran, your home is looking fantastic!

  7. The larger pieces advice is spot on. I wish I'd realized it before purchasing all those littles over the years. It's only been in the past few years I've donated or sold most of them and replaced with larger pieces. Less clutter, greater impact. I still have some smaller things but I've tried to combine them in display cabinets for greater impact there, too.

    I also agree with the down insert suggestion. Almost any cover becomes expensive looking (and feeling) with the right insert.

    The collected look is expensive looking, too. Avoiding "sets" has helped me create a look which is more pleasing to my eye. It looks less contrived, less planned. Which is a kind of truth of my life, really. I've rarely had the funds to purchase a room full of furniture all at once. I've had to make things fit over time.

    Great post today, Marty!

  8. All excellent ideas! Down inserts do make a big difference...when I worked for a designer and did some of her sewing, down was all we used. One dramatic piece rather than several little fussy tchotchkes makes a better visual.

  9. I have always chosen big and it will make a difference. Thanks for a great post, Marty!

  10. I've always loved your huge mirror! Bet it's heavy.

  11. You always do high end on a budget so wonderfully! Yes, go big or go home!

  12. Marty, you're a master. You have the best ideas for achieving a high-end look on a budget; thank you for sharing your secrets!

    And thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party. I'm featuring you this week!