Design Lesson
Apr 18, 2004

Design lesson: Is it worth it?

By: Kimberley Seldon

Design lesson: Is it worth it? Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Apr 18, 2004

Design lesson: Is it worth it?

By: Kimberley Seldon

Who isn't looking for a bigger return on an investment these days? We all want assurances that we're spending our money wisely. This is also true for home improvements and design projects. However, there's no need to feel limited by a small budget. Instead, try some of the following inspirational design solutions that will give you more dash for less cash when adding a fresh look to your home.

Luxurious fabrics
Buy gorgeous luxury fabrics to re-cover high-profile small decor pieces like pillows and compact occasional chairs.

A custom lampshade
The wrong lampshade can destroy the impact of a stunning lamp. The shade should be appropriately sized and structured to highlight the beauty of the lamp.

Original artwork
Look for an inspiring piece of original art that you can enjoy for years to come. It may even increase in value and prove to be a worthwhile investment.

Enhanced mouldings
Add generous baseboards, handsome chair rails and intricate crown mouldings to improve the character of a home.

In-floor heating
Keep your feet warm all year long with heated marble, tile or stone floors. Nuheat, a Vancouver-based company, uses a wafer-thin electrical system to deliver heat where it's most appreciated.

A floor mirror
Whether the goal is to brighten and lighten a space or to reflect something noteworthy, a large, well-placed floor mirror can offer immediate impact.

Lighting design
Hire an interior or lighting designer to help you create a plan that bolsters the beauty and function of a room with dramatic lighting.

Beautiful frames
A humble photograph, a fine art masterpiece or even the latest creation by your toddler – all assume greater significance when beautifully framed.

Quality towels and sheets
Bedding and towels are the first thing in the morning and last thing at night that come in daily contact with your body. Splurging on them is an affordable luxury.

Do's and Don'ts
DO update items at eye level. When a dull stair runner, tired backsplash or insipid wall colour is replaced or enhanced, it offers immediate gratification.

DO combine standard and custom items. For example, when renovating a kitchen, consider using mainly stock cabinetry with a few custom cabinets.

DO use paint to freshen up a space. It offers big impact at minimum cost.

DON'T hesitate to use standard elements with custom flair. For instance, you can customize 12-inch-square slate floor tiles yourself by cutting them into smaller sizes and using the tiles to create a unique pattern.

DON'T think you have to do it all at once. Often, a five-year plan is the only affordable solution for creating the home of your dreams. Make a list of all the required changes and work systematically, beginning with hidden work like plumbing, heating, air conditioning and roofing.

DON'T be afraid to mix pedigrees. An IKEA sofa and Hermès throw are perfectly companionable provided they share a similar look.

DON'T skimp on investment pieces that you expect to use a lot, such as a sofa, mattress set or area rug. They're items you should be able to enjoy for many, many years before replacing them.

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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Is it worth it?