10 ways to live luxuriously on a beer-dollar budget

My grandmother has always told me I have “champagne taste on a beer-dollar budget.” Although she’s right, luckily, I like champagne and beer equally! Plus, champagne taste and luxury can be achieved on a beer-dollar budget. Luxury is in the heart of the beholder, not in the price tag. To me, living luxuriously is about elevating your space to your heart’s content. Maybe that means making your house more functional and organized by only keeping your favorites (which costs nothing!). Maybe that means layering in new textures to add comfort and dimension to your space. Either way, luxurious living can be accomplished without the high price tag:

1. Add original art: Hanging an original painting can make your space feel custom and unique. It’s a way to make your space feel special and collected. However, a commissioned painting can be quite the splurge. But did you know many artists paint a small proof for you to approve before they paint the actual commissioned piece? What do the artists do with all those beautiful original proof paintings? Some of them sell the proofs for a very reasonable price. My favorite artist and talented friend, Rylie Caldwell Art, sells her beautiful 5x7” painted proofs for $35 at her art shows. Jackpot! Etsy also has great original paintings by talented up-and-coming artists at a great price.

Below is an example of how original art adds a collected feel.

2. Mix it up, textures: Adding different types of textures provides interest and comfort. Below, I love how the walls are glossy, the sofa is velvet, one chair has textured/patterned fabric, while the other chair is leather. Each surface and material are different, giving a layered look not found in a traditional furniture/home store.

3. Extend your curtains: Hang your curtains high to make your ceilings look taller. You’ll also want the curtains to go all the way to the floor. If you want the window to appear larger, extend your curtain rod beyond your window and hang your curtains just beyond the window. Don’t believe me? Take it from Emily Henderson:

5. Fake it gold: Can’t afford to buy a new piece to incorporate your love of gold? Trust me—gold spray paint is your friend. House of Hawkes did a DIY gold Ikea shelf, and it more than satisfies the need for gold! 


6. Add flowers and greenery: You don’t have to spend a ton on fancy bouquets. Go to your local Trader Joe’s where flowers are as low as $3. Or, put a single fern frond in a vase for a unique way to bring the outside in.

Design:  @wolfinsheepdesign . Photo:  @joyellewest .

Design: @wolfinsheepdesign. Photo: @joyellewest.

7. Add candles to your routine: I love the way my favorite store smells—it’s relaxing and calming to me. Since smells are associated with emotions, I buy my favorite store’s signature candle for several rooms of my house. Burning candles day or night is a small indulgence that makes my home feel (and smell) more luxurious.

8. Upgrade the hardware you touch the most: How many times a day do you open your pantry door? Probably a lot (especially if you have a toddler!). You’d be surprised how a slight upgrade to the pantry door knob might add luxury to your day-to-day. 

Emtek crystal knob as seen on  http://www.clarkandcohomes.com/details

Emtek crystal knob as seen on http://www.clarkandcohomes.com/details

9. Line your drawers with paper: Some luxuries aren’t for anyone else but yourself. Lining your drawers is a simple and inexpensive way to do something for you. I tend to line my drawers with wrapping paper from World Market or Paper Source.

10. Buy a rug large enough for your space: Most people buy rugs too small for their space…probably because rugs can be expensive. Your room will look better with a less expensive rug that’s the right size, vs. a more expensive wool rug in the smaller size. In the two pictures below, the larger rug grounds the room and makes the room more substantial and inclusive. For a less expensive rug to hold you over until you buy the rug of your dreams, I think Urban Outfitters, Lulu and Georgia, and Rugs USA have good options in different price points (filter by your price point!).

Too small:

Just right: