Paying careful attention to the smaller details in a decorating scheme, such as layered textures, a sculptural chair or an oversized light will help you to create a luxurious space without it costing the earth. A mix of practical flooring, wall coverings, furniture, lighting and accessories is the first thing to consider when adding a high-end feel to your interior – the rest will follow naturally.
1. Invest in flooring
To give the feeling of grandeur, light-coloured natural stones, such as marble and limestone, are ideal choices to create a luxurious and spacious feel. For extra opulence, go for an inset border or central design within the floor, which looks great in a hallway. If you’re redesigning your bathroom try traditional marble on the floor – a classic option that will never date. In the living room and bedrooms, a silk rug or carpet is an excellent choice if you love natural textures, and want to add a high-level of luxury. However, if you don’t have the budget for 100 per cent silk, there are some fine faux silks available, which feel almost like the real deal underfoot.
2. Be creative with wall coverings
A luxury-style living room will not only look good, it’ll feel like a wonderful place to relax in after a busy day. To create the look, I’d go for a strong use of rich textures, using fabric wall coverings, such as suede or silk – even if it is only used on one feature wall. There are many imprinted suede or faux-leather designs that will add interest and texture to a scheme, while more simple polished plaster or intricate wood panelling will also create an opulent feel. These styles work particularly well in the less-hardworking areas of the house, so try it in bedrooms.
3. Use marble and natural stone in bathrooms
When it comes to deciding where and how to spend your money, I believe the bathroom is a great place to start. Invest in really good marble or limestone for your bathroom walls and floors to give it an elegant, glamorous look that is also on trend. Look out for more affordable options, such as ceramic tiles in a marble or stone-style, which cost significantly less per square metre, but will achieve the same look. What’s more, ceramic versions of natural stone finishes can be much lower maintenance than the real thing, as limestone, for example, needs to be sealed regularly, whereas using a ceramic version does not. Personally, I love marble in a bathroom and it doesn’t matter how small the room is, it looks very chic and won’t date.
For a luxe look, go for marble in the bathroom, or choose marble-look ceramic tiles for a more affordable option (Photography: Celia Sawyer)
4. Go for good-quality doors
Invest in doors that have some serious weight to them, as I’m a firm believer that well-made doors can give your home a total lift. Many people overlook doors but they are hugely important to your scheme when trying to add a luxurious feel. Doors with a bevelled glass inset, in particular, create a spacious feel and can look extremely glamorous when opening into living and dining rooms. Plus, if you’ve extended, adding investment, high-quality bi-fold doors to link the inside and outside spaces will create a modern, light-filled look. My advice – don’t skimp on doors if you can avoid it.
5. Spend on bespoke furniture
Bespoke storage is not only practical, it is also a stylish investment. Designed to your own specifications, built-in solutions will maximise every inch of space, while freestanding styles, such as drawers, can be made to order, and include compartments to suit your belongings. Choose high-gloss woods, mirrored and fabric-clad styles for a luxe look, then finish with handcrafted pieces, such as chrome or gold details.
6. Invest in at least one indulgent feature
One fixture I’d recommend for every home is a fantastic shower head in the master bathroom. If you have the space, a large style with extra features, such as adjustable pressure and powerful jets, will create a spa-like experience at home. There are many on the market at varying expense but if you think about how many times you’ll use it, I’d say it’d be worth it.
7. Don’t overlook lighting
An ever-popular look, an Art Deco-style chandelier will always be on trend. Think lots
of crystal and a beautiful form for a classic, yet modern feel. Consider mood lighting for all your rooms, too. The living room should have practical daytime lighting and dimmable wall, ceiling, table and floor lamps for evenings. I love wall lights – they add another dimension, and are great for focusing light onto accent pieces.
8. Go for built-in designs
Integrated appliances in the home are a hugely important factor when trying to create luxury. If you’re working on a project, think about incorporating a sound system from the very beginning. It may cost but its well worth it as your home becomes seamless with sound. An integrated coffee machine and hot water tap are two must-haves, proving convenience is a luxury in itself. Coffee machines are not a necessity but, if you like coffee like I do, there’s nothing better than making fresh coffee in your own kitchen in the morning, and a built-in machine really looks the part.
9. Remember those finishing touches
I’m a huge fan of flowers – real or faux. There are some amazingly lifelike silk flowers that
you can buy now, which are a great low-maintenance option and add a permanent wow-factor. Choose an eye-catching arrangement, in fresh colours, such as ivory and
green, displayed in a modern vase. For extra impact, look for Perspex vases with lights on the inside. Don’t forget about artwork. Select modern frames with metallic or mirrored finishes.
Celia Sawyer is an interior designer, television presenter and businesswoman. Having set up her self-named design business in 2006, she works with a host of private clients to transform their homes and is also one of the main experts on Channel 4’s Four Rooms and presenter of Your Home In Their Hands on BBC One. A mother of two, she splits her time between a beach-side house in Dorset and London.