Luxury in a budget: Not at all impossible

High prices are not necessarily synonymous with luxury. A little creativity,adaptive reuse of existing materials and the right use of strong and light vantage points and highlights can give your home a luxurious look without costing the earth

Written by Prashant Solomon | Published:June 2, 2012 12:47 am

Is luxury possible on a budget? Is it possible to have expensive items when we want to shop in a budget? Yes,it is definitely possible. Luxury does not necessarily mean the most expensive car or house that money can buy. It is possible to live in luxury without breaking your budget. More expensive does not necessarily mean better quality. For many people,a limited budget is a reality. However,having a budget is a good thing as it means thinking about money in an analytical way to avoid excessive debt. It also means setting realistic goals for spending and saving.

What is important to do first is work out what luxury means to you. When this question is sorted,what remains is to work out practical steps towards a more luxurious lifestyle. More than the expensive car,exotic holiday or an exclusive jewellery piece,what is more important is to have an abode,a place you are proud of,a place that is a showcase of your lifestyle,your taste,aesthetics and your creativity. A beautiful home can make you feel so perfect.

But if the luxury bug has hit you then you would not be satisfied with just an apartment or a home,you would dream of a house near a beach or any other exotic location,with best schools,golf courses,parks,lawns,shopping malls and other amenities nearby.

These facilities add to the appeal of these luxury homes. This means shelling out a huge pile of cash,which might not be possible in most cases. So what do you do if you want a luxury home,lifestyle and rich living?

Location first

Locale is important,but nowadays with fast expanding cities and multiple options available,real estate developers are coming up with innovative projects in a given budget that are hard to resist. These are packed with additional facilities like large parking space,gyms,and swimming pools or a sauna/spas as well as designer reception areas and clubs with mini bars. The homes too are spacious,beautifully designed with choice materials used for flooring,walls,fittings and storage spaces. Modern day technology is not only lighter on the pocket but also reduces overall cost of the project. Alternative materials and new techniques coupled with energy saving nature-enriched designs help a customer make a right decision.

Now comes décor

Designing your home in luxurious styles? You do not need the high-flying interior designers or a high budget; you just need to be a little creative. A little creativity,adaptive reuse and the right use of strong and light vantage points and highlights can give your home a luxurious look at a reasonable price. There are two ways of deciding on the décor — firstly and most important – the amount of money to spend; secondly — the approach and style statement.

Style on a budget

Now you have bought your home,whether a studio apartment,1,2,3 or 4 bedroom apartment or even a large villa with five rooms or more,you are ready to decorate it and fill it with an individuality that will be a reflection of you and your family’s lifestyle,thinking and attitude. There are two ways to do it,first,all at once that is save for a while and then spend,or second,slowly from monthly budget take some out and do a step by step decor of your home.

1. The existing furniture: Some of the furniture,decorative items that you already possess,which you may want to dispose,but choose wisely,do not throw everything away. In order to start new does not mean everything old needs to go away. Some of the older furniture can be adjusted with a few minor changes and alterations. Create dedicated spaces for each of your particular requirements like for e.g. a yoga corner,a TV corner or a small relaxing corner. No matter what style you choose to decorate in,by keeping it minimalistic,you can afford to spend more on quality pieces you love rather than many pieces overcrowding the home.

2. Colour coordination: Washable colour and a little pattern here and there can add a lot of depth and attitude to your walls. Match the colours according to the room and coordinate it with the furniture,accessories and furnishings. Natural and artificial sources of light should be kept in consideration as they have an effect on the way the colour will appear on the wall in sunlight,fluorescent,spot lighting. There is a host of options available. Look out for durable paints especially balconies,outdoors,kitchens and bathrooms. Before choosing your shade,view your swatches under the light in the room you intend to paint,during the day and night.

3. Light it up: Lights transform a space. When you switch them on in the evening,they do a lot to enhance the mood and style of the room. Add latest modern lights in rooms to give a luxury look to your home. Lamps at strategic locations go well,especially in the living room and the bedroom. You can play with the different types available like track or spot lighting,recessed lighting,dimmers and floor lamps. Lighting helps transforming a space.

4. Create visual accents: Simple details can add a luxurious feel to your home,and accents,such as antique lamps,artwork and fresh flowers,can spark visual interest. Mirrors help provide depth to small rooms and create an optical illusion of space as well.

5. Faucets and fixtures: These items are significant,and quality is important here. As along with functionality and design durability is also important. Spend less on other décor items but be wise to invest on quality products that will stay beautiful and be durable through the years to come.

6. Going green: It is easy to get an affordable luxury look using elements that are eco-friendly,including locally sourced products or natural materials. Look for what is available and what can be used in your given living and weather conditions. A luxurious look outside can be achieved,while creating a relaxing space. Planters,flowers,greens do wonders to cheer up the mood and also add freshness to the atmosphere.

So before you get to work put down that check list and the budget down on a paper and stick to it to keep your decorating on track. Luxury is not just about brands it is also about attitude and style,enjoying what you do and where you live despite the restricted budget. Luxurious living on a budget takes a bit of effort,time and creativity,but it is worth the effort.

— The author is Joint MD,Chintels India

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