How to make cheap furniture look expensive

Tips from an interior designer.

Everyone loves a bargain. Although many of us may lust after a beautiful and expensive new sofa, or perhaps and luxurious king-size bed, sometimes those things just aren’t affordable. And while there are many wonderful affordable furniture and homewares retailers in Australia with great products, there are a few clever ways you can make a warehouse sale find look like it was custom made for your home.

We spoke to interior designer Krystal Sagona in design firm Interior Flow to get some of her tips and advice for picking furniture and homewares that will look lovely in your home, no matter what your budget is.

What colours or materials will make cheap furniture look more expensive?

“Classic furniture tones are white, grey, black, and oak timber. You can style these pieces with coloured accessories that are easily interchangeable and affordable,” says interior designer Krystal Sagona of Interior Flow. “Use timber that matches your existing furniture so that there is a continuous theme that carries throughout the home. And steer clear of any coloured furniture unless you have a keen eye for styling.”

What finishes should homeowners avoid when buying furniture?

“Avoid gloss finishes, as the matt look has been on trend for some years now and won’t date or show scratches as much,” says Krystal. “Invest in solid timber as it wears well and can always be repaired, or even look better as it ages.”
“Avoid ‘pleather’ as it does not wear well or breathe well when sitting on it in summer. Choose fabric instead, as this can be made to look expensive when styled with cushions and a complimentary throw.”

What are some design tricks to make cheap furniture look bespoke?

“Change the handles on your furniture to quickly modernise the piece. Use a faux hide and place it over the back of a chair to make it look like a statement piece of furniture.”

Where can people buy great, affordable homewares?

“Look out for unique pieces of furniture in antique stores or garage sales in the country. Well cared-for antique furniture is often found or on hard rubbish day in the country.”

“You can pick up simple modern furniture from affordable homewares stores such as Freedom or Fantastic Furniture for great nesting tables. Try Oz Design for unique bedroom furniture and you can buy an affordable mattress from Ikea or Koala.”

“Look for one-of ceramic pieces at your local market, and plants are an easy styling option. You can put them in affordable pots and stands from Adairs, or try ceramic hanging pots from Angus and Celeste placed near windows in bathrooms or living rooms. “

This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.

You might also like:

ALDI has all your bathroom renovation needs

Update your kid’s bedroom with this affordable range

Here’s how to splurge on a new rug without feeling guilty

Want some tips on upcycling old furniture? Watch the video below.

Loading the player...

Related stories