This time of year, we always become antsy to start anew — and that includes refreshing our abodes. For these sorts of problems, we turn to a pro, like Bill Lawrence of William & Wesley Co. in Dallas, who specializes in producing luxurious custom furniture for the trade. Naturally, he also has a keen eye for design, so we picked his brain for ways to make our homes look like a million bucks — even if we didn’t spend it.
Invest in art
Art can reinvent a room, and the good news is you can find a piece of art for every budget. My personal tip is to buy a piece of art you love — something personal. For example, if you spot a piece while on vacation, then it becomes a conversation piece as well.
Large figurative paintings are often expensive, so look for giclees, sketches, or black and white photography. If art if absolutely out of your budget, then look for a family photo in black and white, then have it enhanced to look like a painting.
Toss around plush pillows
Changing the pillows on a couch or chair is an affordable way to spruce up the room. The pillows need to blend not match, so go for bold patterns like ikat, geometric and stripes. I love to throw in sumptuous silk and velvets and bold jacquards.
You can find an artsy rug at any price point, so my tip is to think about your space and budget. If you’re on a tight budget, then shop around for a sisal or chunky seagrasss rug. On the other hand, if you have more to spend, then I love bold Turkish Oushaks. You can mix and match these rugs to create an interesting look.
Collect coffee table books
Create a vintage coffee table book collection. Pick themes you love, whether it’s fashion, animals or art. If you go to a museum exhibition and love it, usually the museum shop has a coffee table book.
Also, pick up books while on vacation, and don’t forget to visit the thrift stores, flea markets and antique bookstores. These are all great places to pick up vintage buys; plus these books make great conversation pieces.
Edit your photos
Move personal pictures to your bedroom or personal space. After that, replace wood frames with simple glass or thin black frames. Think clean lines, and make sure your frames blend.
Dim the lights
I am a freak about lighting, and the cheapest redo fix is to get dimmers. Next to that, you can change your lamps or the lampshade — even the finials. Chandeliers speak volumes to create a new focal point.
Don’t forget to change your light plates on the walls, which is probably the cheapest fix of all.
Shop flea markets
My passion is to go to flea markets, like Round Top, and find old banged-up furniture and refurbish with sublime fabric and lacquer finish. You can redo any piece of furniture with a little imagination. If you don’t have an idea on how to refurbish, hire a pro. The hot trends include polished nickel or acrylic and bold lacquered colored finishes.
The last word
Your big pieces should be timeless. Then throw in a trend or two so your home always looks updated and fresh. But, in the end, your home should reflect you and be a place of happiness and comfort!