What makes a room look “expensive”? Is it necessary to hire an interior designer and spend a small fortune on handmade furniture and exquisite materials? Must every appliance be high-spec and every gadget have its own made-to-measure storage? In fact, it’s entirely possible to design your own kitchen or bathroom, on a budget, and still achieve a high-end look. The key is in planning the space carefully and spending a little extra on the small details that make a huge difference. Here are our six tips for attaining a luxurious look without breaking the bank…
Stick to neutral or classic colours
Expensive interiors are often calm interiors. Imagine the foyer of a five-star hotel – the hushed, soothing atmosphere and the sense of utter serenity. It’s easy to achieve the same tranquil feeling in your kitchen or bathroom by using soft neutral shades that diffuse light in a flattering way and work harmoniously to create a space that feels peaceful and relaxed. Off-white shades from our standard range such as Linen, Ivory Satin and Cream, or soft greys such as Mist, Dove Grey and French Grey, all help to produce this effect.
Alternatively, darker shades with a traditional feel can look incredibly smart – navy blue and racing green are colours we associate with expensive outdoor pursuits, smart military dress and British institutions such as Wimbledon and Aston Martin. What’s more, dark colours have a soothing, cocooning effect that feels grown-up, sophisticated and rather classy. Forest, Olive, Edgbaston Blue and Regency Blue are all great options.
Keep things sleek and streamlined
High-budget interiors often have built-in cabinets, shelving and other furniture, commissioned for the room and to the clients’ specifications. The end result is sleek and graceful, with clean lines and an efficient use of space that feels very pleasing. However, it’s not hard to replicate this look if you design your own kitchen or bathroom. Firstly, try to ensure that your cupboards, storage units and appliances are all at the same depth so they create a streamlined row across the room; secondly, consider symmetry and balance within the space as a whole so no area feels too crowded or too empty; and thirdly, consider a few bespoke elements such as a glass splashback that’s cut to fit the exact shape of your wall space – the attention to detail and pleasing finish this provides is at the heart of the high-end look.
Add glossy reflective surfaces
There’s no denying that gloss and polish are a short cut to luxurious style! Reflective surfaces such as mirror and glass throw light around the room and create a high-shine finish and instant glamour. Gloss cabinets and glass shower enclosures can achieve this effect – paired with our glass or mirrored panels they really look a million dollars. Or, for a subtler effect, combine glass panels with matt units and keep the high-impact sparkle concentrated in a smaller area.
Commission a piece of bespoke artwork
Generic “cookie cutter” design can make a room feel flat and cheap, even when the quality is reasonably good. The lack of attention to detail and the desire to play it safe can result in a complete absence of any visual interest or attractive focal point, leaving the space feeling sterile and dispiriting. Adding even a small element of character and creativity can inject some life and fun into the room, immediately making it feel more warm and welcoming.
Bespoke artwork, that has some meaning for you and your family or is simply something you feel drawn to, is a lovely way to produce this result. From a family photoshoot to an illustration of a favourite building or landscape, it will make you smile whenever you look at it. For a practical option, our digitally printed glass panels offer an easy way to reproduce a favourite photo or image on a surface that is highly durable, easy to maintain, and made-to-measure for a perfect fit.
Put thought into the details
It’s amazing how much difference minor elements can make to an interior. Hardware such as handles, taps and socket plates may seem insignificant compared with units and worktops, but they can completely transform the feel of a room. If you’re going to design your own kitchen or bathroom and you’re on a tight budget, these are the areas on which to spend a little more – low-cost white units will look far more high-end with some beautiful brass or polished nickel handles attached to them. Your splashback and wall coverings should also be carefully considered – a smart option such as sparkle or metallic glass can have a massive impact on the look of the space.
Likewise, carefully placed lighting, including under-cabinet LEDs or low-hanging pendant lights over a table or island, can elevate the space to new design heights.
Curate your clutter!
Nothing will spoil your carefully designed interior quicker than surfaces covered with kitchen roll, dusty appliances, sticky bottles and plastic tubs. Try to store as many things out of sight as possible – but do consider leaving a few attractive items on display. Fruit, flowers and pretty vases give the impression of ease and luxury rather than panic and chaos. It’s a simple change, but hugely effective.