5 ways to do luxe on a budget

Amanda Lago
These tips will make you feel like you’re coming home to a luxury suite every day

ELEGANCE. Mike Pizarro's vision of luxury is translated in his bedroom design at the PSID exhibit. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The luxe look is something a lot of people aspire to, but so few can afford. What you may not realize is that it’s a look that’s easy to cop, if you play it right.

Here are a few hacks from interior designer Mike Pizarro, a faculty member at the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), who designed a luxury-themed bedroom for his booth at PSID’s graduating batch exhibit.

Make your bed

SLEEP IN. A plethora of pillows in different prints and textures makes the bed look extra-cozy. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

The simplest thing you can do is to make your bed every morning. People tend to overlook the luxury of coming home to a perfectly made, comfortable bed, but keeping this habit instantly makes your home more special.

“My ultimate reward is to lay down and sleep on a bed that’s well made,” Mike said. “And also I like pampering myself with the feeling that I have good sheets.”

Having good beddings is important as well – and it isn’t necessarily about the thread count. Mike suggested Indian or Egyptian cotton, but said that as long as the fabric is soft the touch and cool to the skin, it’s good. Also, adding a mix of pillows covered in different prints and textures makes your bed look more inviting.

Go metallic

SHINE ON. Small metal touches like this lamp and the airplane figurine make corners come alive. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Adding hints of metal will turn up the glamour in your space. And it doesn’t have to be just gold either.

“When we think of luxury, the first thing we think of is the shimmer. When you say shimmer, reflection, the first thing that will enter your mind is gold, but in general, the feel of luxury can be achieved by any metal,” he said. “In this particular case what I’m highlighting is silver, stainless.”

Go traditional

OLD SCHOOL. The bed's traditional look brings the room's luxe feel alive. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

As Mike said, “There is always a room and there is always a space for a traditional approach and for me to bring back what is old and what is traditional is by itself a concept of luxury. Because right now in all stores, all places you visit, in all areas you want to see, it’s all going contemporary to modern.”

Mixing traditional furniture with contemporary pieces can make a space look fancier.

Dig in your garage (or other people’s)

GARAGE FINDS. An old chair gets a new lease on life with a bit of creative reworking. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

You don’t have to buy all new pieces to achieve that look of luxury. Go shopping in your storage, your parents’ house, or your friends’ garages for any pieces that match your desired look. Also, don’t underestimate the power of reupholstery or a fresh coat of paint to update your piece.

“This is a very old wing chair that I found in the garage,” Mike said, referring to a chair in his booth. “I asked, how can I make this look very contemporary? What I did was, I removed all the fabrics, all the upholstery, and exposed the structure.” He then reupholstered the chair in a grey flannel, similar to a man’s suit.

Play with your lights

GET LIT. Lamps are an interesting and underrated way to light up a space. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

According to Mike, you don’t need to flood your space with light. Instead, you can play with how you light up a space. He suggested using lamps for more visual interest.

“The role of lamps creates focal points as to where your eyes will bounce from one area to another. Also it creates a layer of visual interplay that there is a foreground, a middle ground, and a background. After lights, you create shadow,” he said.

For more interior design inspiration, head to PSID’s graduating batch exhibit, G.O.LD: Glamorous Opulent, Luxurious Designs. The exhibit is currently running at the Uptown Mall in BGC until October 31. – Rappler.com