27 Jan Secret Sources for Super Sexy Budget Furniture
In the world of interior design, “budget ” gets a bad rap. For some reason, the mix of high and low in the fashion world—Topshop dress with Dior heels, H&M jumpsuit with Balenciaga booties—has never quite made it to the lips of the interior stylistas.
I’ll let you in on a little secret…
Every interior designer—whether they have a firm seat on the AD100, or are just starting out—has tricks up their sleeves for high style on a dime.
Outside of the obvious big box stores—West Elm, CB2, IKEA, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware—there are thousands of resources you likely haven’t heard of, that offer insanely good designs and ideas at a very wallet-friendly price point.
However, all lower-priced pieces aren’t made the same. There are plenty of furnishings and accessories that look cheap and feel cheap. There are also a lot of inexpensive pieces that look incredibly luxe, feel fabulous and will sit side-by-side with custom, high-end style.
Here are a few trade secrets for sniffing out sexy style on a budget
Always look for thick, rich fabrics like velvet, wool and cashmere. Leather, no matter what price, will wear beautifully. Stay away from cotton, linen, velour and anything faux on the lower end—the fabric won’t wear well.
Matte gold, brass or copper look 10x more expensive, but steer clear from shiny gold or chrome. Always look for real wood, even if it’s laminate. You are better off with a thin layer of real than an entire piece made of plastic. On the whole, dark finishes look more luxe than light, but it’s 100% your preference.
When it comes to shapes, a good rule of thumb is to go with clean modern lines. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but the more complex and ornate the piece, the higher the probability of it looking cheap (particularly reproductions, faux vintage, etc.).
A Word About Accessories
Accessories are kind of in the “no rules” territory. This is one aspect of design where the amount of money you spend truly doesn’t matter. I love mixing things I have found on vacation with objects handed down to me from my mother and grandmother. Have fun with accessories!
Buy the Best You Can Afford
Of course, it’s completely personal how high the high is and how low the low is, but always buy the best you can afford. If this means buying less and spending more on fewer items, do it. A pretty solid rule of thumb is to spend more on your furnishings—sofa, bed, chairs, dining room table, major lighting. These are investment pieces you don’t want to have to replace in three years. Accessories, lamps, pillows, and throws can be upgraded or replaced over time.
Budget Furniture + Style = Jackpot
This classic club chair is straight up classy. Upholstered in genuine brown leather, its wood frame is incredibly durable and sturdy, a rarity at this price point. Chairish.com
A white marble top within a spun metal base means full-on glam. Shiny and substantial, it feels way more sophisticated than it’s price point. WestElm.com
The heavy, sculpted, inverted white oak pedestal base of this table makes a beautiful showcase for books and accessories. ShopHorne.com
Boasting clean lines with a perfectly proportioned seat, this gleaming velvet-upholstered sofa is inspired by modern Italian design, complete with down-wrapped cushions, brass legs, and a gently reclining back. Swoon. Anthropologie.com
The bright colors in this kilim add personality without veering into kitschy territory. I love the tribal print matched with the bold pink and orange for a cool contemporary piece. Furbish.com
This lamp is stunning. It’s equal parts feminine and classic without going overboard. Furbish.com
An impressive piece for your living room with the crisp, white lines and artfully curved chrome legs. The translucent panels give a sense of fun, and easily slide open to expose an area with plenty of storage. ShopHorne.com
Luxe luxe luxe. These glam feather lamps are soft, delicate, yet also 100% rock and roll. This is the definition of sexy budget furniture. RockettStGeorge.com
Contemporary and cool, this stool is the perfect chair to gather around your bar. Its streamlined design is balanced by cozy quilted upholstery, which makes it look and feel totally luxe. Lulu&George.com
Covered in gold leaf, this chair is a total showstopper. ‘Nuff said. OkayArt.com
Crafted with strong lines and a rustic design, this piece evokes the refectory tables found in 17th-century Spanish monasteries. Like its inspiration, the table has a trestle base and a long top to maximize serving space. RestorationHardware.com
Wallpaper instantly makes your space pop. Keep your office upbeat with these gold polka dots—who said your workspace has to be so serious? Anthropologie.com
Funky pom pom bursts decorate both sides of this straw basket. Totally versatile, it’s can be used for storage, trash, or a catchall for documents. Leif.com
This Old-World beauty just might have you volunteering for a little weekend work. White Banswara marble works a modern angle on a brilliant brass base. Both modern and timeless, this desk is an instant heirloom. CB2.com
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