How to get new looks for less

Whether you wish to brighten a single space or redo an entire home, where can you save? Many low-cost alternatives can provide high style at an affordable price. Looking to get a luxury look for less? Here are some general tips and cost-saving design hacks to keep in mind.

1. Look for fabric blends. From pillow fabric to area rugs, blends of various materials are often lower in price.

2. Consider indoor/outdoor materials and fabrics. A popular cost-saving designer hack is to use indoor/outdoor area rugs indoors. Typically the rugs are modern in design, long-lasting and a fraction of the cost.

3. Source locally. A large part of the cost of an item may be related to the cost of shipping and handling. Whenever possible, pick up an item in-store.

4. Use mirrors instead of artwork. Mirrors tend to be less expensive than artwork and can be used in pairs or in a series.

5. Go frameless. Instead of using framed artwork, consider gallery-wrapped artwork instead. The pieces are printed canvases that have been wrapped around a wood frame. Gallery-wrapped artwork is typically considerably less expensive than artwork that is framed.

6. Go to sample sales. Sample sales, in which floor models are sold, are a great way to score a great find at the fraction of the cost of a new item. While the items are sold as-is, they aren’t really used and in many cases are in like-new condition.

7. Use side tables instead of traditional nightstands. In many instances using night tables will not only save money, but help to create a lighter look in a space.

8. Consider glass instead of wood. Glass tables will be a lower-cost alternative in most instances.

9. Paint. Painting is one of the least expensive ways to add color and help decorate a space.

10. Repurpose. Whenever possible, consider repurposing or reusing an existing item in a creative or unique way.


Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at .

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