How to Get a Luxurious-Looking Home on a Budget

The following post was originally featured on Julie Blanner and written by blogger Julie, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Home.

It's no secret (to Chris) that I like the finer things in life. I'll find myself perusing a magazine or shopping an antique store and everything I'm drawn to makes me fall over in shock when I look at the price tag. I can spot something fabulous from a mile away. I allow myself to have nice things but blend them with less expensive items to maintain a style I love and my budget! Today I'm going to share my tips to a luxury home for less, when to spend, and how to blend high and low items.

Luxury For Less:

Shop outlets: They don't just carry damaged goods, but also carry overstocks and floor models. I particularly love outlets for down pillow inserts (usually 1/6 the price) and if you're lucky, curtains. Get to know their sales and their staff. I know to refrain purchasing from the Restoration Hardware Outlet when they're offering $100 off every $500. I hold out for 30 to 40 percent off. Remember, it's only a deal if it's exactly what you want!

Craigslist: I don't reserve Craigslist solely for furniture that I want to paint. I seek beautiful pieces of furniture that my favorite luxury stores try to duplicate — with veneer. Having a piece of furniture with history always adds to the beauty. This also includes thrift stores and garage sales.

Local Artists: Stray from galleries and seek beautiful paintings and watercolors from local artists. They're a fraction of the price and will add even more charm to your home.

Etsy: I look to Etsy for reproductions of popular items and antiques. It's also a great resource for custom pillow covers in high-end fabrics and one-of-a-kind art.

Pin it: Find something amazing online that you can't stop thinking about, but it's out of budget? Pin it! Pinterest will notify you when there is a price reduction. I recently purchased a set of Pottery Barn baskets that were on clearance for 50 percent off, plus an additional 20 percent coupon and was thankful I waited.

Froogle it: OK, Google discontinued using that name years ago, but I never will. Enter your Google search, then click "shopping." Google compares prices of that item for you! I make a lot of major purchases this way. I was able to upgrade when purchasing our refrigerator because I found the one I truly wanted at 40 percent off. To think I almost settled! I used Google to search for a similar bench, saving me over $1,800 with this find!

Craft stores: Craft stores have become really great at duplicating high-end looks for less. This vase is an excellent example. I removed twine from it to reveal a vase I saw at another store for $70. I paid $9, using a 40 percent off mobile coupon.

Discount stores: Discount stores often carry fabulous home and furniture accent brands. I see $300 lamps for just $30 all the time. They'll also surprise you with things like Turkish towels (usually $50, but about $10 there) and every now and then Belgian linen curtains. Yessssss.

Sister stores: Stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have "sister" stores Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, and RH Baby and Child. Crate and Barrel owns their lesser expensive CB2. For lighting and accents, I look to their sister stores to see if I can achieve the same aesthetic at a more reasonable price. I just "had" to have this chandelier lamp from Restoration Hardware, but I couldn't really justify the price — $1,100. I purchased similar for just $400 — almost 1/3 of the price, from their Baby and Child store!

The hardware store: Yes, I shop at the hardware store! I was able to find the same low-profile carpet I was looking at at a flooring store at Lowe's at a deep discount, plus I was able to use a 5 percent off coupon! I also look to them for furniture and cabinet hardware, paint, landscaping, and lighting.

Email lists: I'll be honest, I dread this one a little bit, but saving 20 percent on purchases of $1,000+ really helps!

Floor models: A gently used floor model can sometimes be found at more than 50 percent off. These are particularly great for those rarely used pieces. Check carefully for damage as those sales are usually final.

Now let's talk about where to invest! I suggest investing into anything attached to your house that would stay when it sells (floors, lighting, etc.) and timeless furniture that transitions easily with the seasons and seasons of your life. If you add a few key pieces of luxury into your home, it will elevate the less expensive items. Use magazines and catalogs as a resource to guide you.

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