Adding A Luxe Look For Little Money

I have never decorated, flipped or remodeled for a clients(s) who has not placed a budget in play.  Same goes for the projects we do here at Places In The Home.  An extra penny here and an extra dime there adds up to budget busting dollars. Cost is the four letter word I hear most from project start to finish. If you believe that, I’ve got a Louisiana bayou to sell you.  All kidding aside, it is a known fact that for most of us the price tag heavily factors into the decorating we do and the decorative accessories and home decor accents we purchase in the pursuit of prettying things up around the house.  When the desired outcome is the look of luxe but the moolah to advance full sticker price ahead is not in the cards, these tips for adding a luxe look for little money do the trick.


Table Lamps

I love, love, love the instant chic factor a decorative table lamp lends to the ambiance of a space.


Finding luxe look for little money table lamps is a home decor store or online retailer visit away.  I always suggest selecting a table lamp rich in classic style, one that will stand the test of time and trend.  Do not buy into the fallacy that an inexpensive item will invariably look cheap or a quality appearance can only be achieved by spending big bucks.


Optical Illusions

Installing curtain and drapery hardware at the ceiling or molding line creates a visual illusion of height.


Take the luxe look for little money concept to the next phase with inexpensive drapery trims and decorative drapery medallion holdbacks found on sale or clearance.



Wallpaper Lined Drawers, Shelves & Bookcase Backs 

Okay, you’ve selected a killer designer paint color for the exterior of a fabulous 3-drawer chest, linen armoire or bookcase.  What about the drawers, shelves and bookcase backs?


Add a luxe look for little money to drawers, shelves and bookcases with discounted, discontinued and wallpaper closeouts.  I recently lucked up on a wallpaper clearance sale, and two double rolls for under $10 later a drawer lining plain to polish project awaits me.  Lined drawers, shelves and bookcase backs offer up a stylish follow-through.  It’s all in the details.


ABCs of Affordable Accessorizing:
Art & Antiques, Bric-a-Brac, Conversation Pieces

It’s not how much an accessory cost but the look it affords.  An inexpensive piece of art, antique accessory, bric-a-brac or whimsical objet d’art piece can easily offer a luxe look when dramatically displayed.  A good eye paired with decorating determination will invariably spot a diamond in the rough.  To guarantee a luxe look result, place a piece above, atop or beside an ebony console or chair.  The color black is classically timeless, adds drama to the spaces it graces, and is considered a premier foundation and/or accent color in interior decorating.

Southern Style ShowhomeTraditional Home Southern Style Showhouse Family Room by Lance Jackson and David Ecton, Parker Kennedy

When I was in the initial buying stages for Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors, a local flea market dealer invited me to stop by to shop her inventory.  I did, and the first item I spotted was a small framed oil painting.  The subject of the painting slips my mind, but the frame was the diamond in the rough.  I could not believe how little the dealer was asking for the piece.  Maybe I need to add the words “or how little” to it’s not how much an accessory cost but the look it affords.  Dave the Builder panned the painting and the frame, but I knew it had the potential to be a beauty.  I scooped up the painting, and with a simple cleanup and quick application of matte spray paint proudly added it to the inventory, displaying the piece in a dramatic focal point feature.  The painting sold within one day of being at the shop.


Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers drench a space in color, fill it with fragrance and enhance the surroundings with pervasive beauty.

flowers-antiques Veranda

Gather ye your Mason jars, dollar store containers, crystal goblets, Chinoiserie (SHēnˌwäz(ə)ˈrē) vases (since we’re talking luxe let’s pronounce it vahz, darling), watering cans, vintage crocks and antique teapots and fill them with blooms, stems, vines and/or branches from the garden, field, florist or local grocery flower department.


Sage & Co.

Adding a luxe look for little money is a high-end priority for the decorating within budget minded.  The only thing expensive is the look.

Love your style!

What Items Make Your House Your Home?

Past the design, past the paint, past the walls and windows- what items make your house your home?  Creature comforts, particular points of decorative interest, memorable mementos, and those I love my  _______________ gotta haves tend to go a long way in making the daily life lived within your home a little easier and a little prettier.  It dawned on me the other day I favor certain items over others when I clean, cook, compose, create… you get the idea.  I position certain accessories more front and center than others when company is coming.  These items run the gamut of detail.  Some perfectly nail the details of our personal tastes and others make it a beautiful, easy and convenient day in the neighborhood. Far from mere decorative objects, everyday favorites and go-to items, these items all have one thing in common- they’re all things house that make a home.


The big blue dutch oven  

The ooh la la factor is alive and well and cooking comfort food in French blue fierce style.

blue cast iron dutch oven



A great pillow

A great pillow can help to remedy the nightly flop, flop, flip, flip of discomfort. A rested house is a happy house.

bed pillows



A scented but not too scented candle

Summer Sorbet by Aromatique is my all time favorite scented candle.  It’s fresh and light just like summer and sorbet. Chamomile Tea by Circle E Candles is a little heavier scent, but my goodness it is pleasing.  My must have kitchen candle is hands down Fried Green Tomato.  It’s the candle scent that brings the most “what is that fantastic scent” comments.

scented candles



Dried or fresh, flowers are one of the quickest ways to bring the colors of the season to the table in any space.

Setting the Entryway Tone | Ty Pennington




Modern accessories can, and do, live well with antique, primitive and vintage pieces. Pairing the unexpected is a trade secret worth sharing in the quest to combat boring cookie cutter decors.  Remember this caveat- accentuate the mix and match, eliminate the mish-mash.


Family pictures

Displaying pictures of family members frames the personality of our lives and offers a daily pictorial retrospective.  Memories light the corners of mind and bookshelves.

foyer chandelier


Reliable appliances that get the job done right the first time

A cook,  baker or homemaker is only as good as the appliances he or she uses. Of all the appliances in my get the job done inventory, I would hate to do without my Electrolux vacuum cleaner(s).  I’ve got four, yes four of them.  File this under if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Electrolux vacuums


Two of the models are no longer in production and are used for parts. The other models are for finish jobs on installs and for everyday chores around the  home base that is Places In The Home.


Show off  individual style and house to home personality through collections. Place, hang, vignette- pick your display preference and do your collected treasures proud.

showhouse traditional entry
It’s show and tell time, friends!  What items make your house your home?
love your style

Baby Boomers: The Age of Aquarius Aging At Home

The John Tesh Radio Show has a feature I really enjoy listening to.  Intelligence For Your Life factoids are entertaining and educational tidbits of information on everything from diet to affairs of the heart(physical and emotional).   I was especially interest in a particular segment I heard this week.  Baby boomers are those of us born between1946 -1964.  It is estimated baby boomers  have  40+ trillion dollars to bring to the economic table.  To further educate you on the numbers, Baby Boomer Magazine  reports boomers have more discretionary income (wealth) than any other age group.  Boomers control 70% of the total net worth of American households, own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations, and account for 40% of total consumer demand.  Home furnishings and home improvement considerations for aging at home process is on the mind of baby boomers.

John Teshvia

Back to the Intelligence For Your Life factoid.  It really grabbed my attention when the subject of boomer style was addressed.  According to the factoid, styles will change to accommodate the tastes of baby boomers.  In regards to fashion, expect to see more flats, longer skirts, and stylish scarves for year round wearing.  Scarves are a hot fashion trend with boomers and the reason is fashionably obvious- a scarf covers a multitude of wrinkled sins on aging necks. Plastic surgery proves a difficult option for the neck area, hence the stylish scarf.

As I digested this interesting info, I took a quick mental roll call of some famous boomers besides Dave the Builder and yours truly.

Brad Pittvia

Denzel Washingtonvia

Bill Gates


Johnny Deppvia

Good looking bunch, wouldn’t you say?  The boomer generation will not take growing old sitting down, turning down the music or looking nothing but fabulous in the process. The age of Aquarius is aiming to be the age of active with attitude and agile ability.

Oprah Winfreyvia

Wolfgang Puckvia

Jody Fostervia

Madonna via

I would be remiss if I did not give thought to the influence and impact baby boomer consumers will have in the interior design and home accessories market. Construction, kitchen and bath and appliance professionals are paying close attention to the concerns of aging boomers.


grab barBathroom fixtures such as grab bars and faucets offer decorative options, plainly stating the obvious message the new age of aging conveys.  Simply put, Institutional design need not apply for the job.  Every aspect of  home construction is taken into consideration in the aging process.  Aging stylishly is as important as aging gracefully to the boomer generation. The look is as important as the form and the function.aging at home


We all want to be stay at home boomers.  What I mean by that is we want to be able to live in our own homes that are built, remodeled, or modified to stylishly and comfortably accommodate our concerns and needs as we age.  Decorative interior task lighting, non-slip hardwood flooring, door levers and scaled down furnishings are some of the options being marketed to boomers as the trend dictates.

Kelsey Grammar Dr. Frasier Crane


As boomers scale down to smaller square footage homes, furniture size and placement becomes a factor.  Furniture designers are responding by reducing the length and width of sofas, end tables, and decorative accessories. Speak loud boomers… they’re listening.




Warming Up The Place For The Season

Home decor treasures that reflect our interests and individuality celebrates personal style.  I appreciate all styles and tastes in the realm of home design and decor, but I marvel when it is a reflection from the mirror of the lives lived within.  I like putting things here and there that unmistakably show my personality- the treasures, trinkets and trash. Treasures, Trinkets and Trash was the name of my grandmother’s antiques shop, and a term I use quite often. Great term!  One of the best parts of September is updating and displaying  fall home decor accessories.

A mid-afternoon editing session spent rotating out spring and summer accessories welcomed in fall and a walk down memory lane.  Accessorizing for fall is a great way to warm up a space.  I always like to “promote from within” by swapping things around and staging areas with items I currently own.

The pair of blue Dalmatians are a part of our family.  I purchased the pair from a small antique shop in Knoxville, Tennessee years ago. I love them almost as much as I love Tennessee.   What’s better than two pieces of blue and white porcelain?  Three pieces, of course!  Enter the Blue Danube pitcher.

Antique books make a stately decor statement.  I picked up Cimarron and Madame Bovary at an antiques auction.  Like many items purchased over the years at auction, the books never made it to the shop.  My maternal grandmother surprised me one birthday with a 1936 first edition;second printing  hardcover version of Gone With The Wind.   It is a treasure for sure.

My dear neighbor friend knows how I love frogs.  He picked this bronze beauty out at market in Dallas especially for me to add to my collection.  Acorns,pine cones, turning leaves, berries and one lone cotton stem capture the look of fall in Louisiana.

The music box is a cherished Christmas gift from my son.   In one of the images above you can see the antique sterling silver rattle my grandmother gave our son when he was born.  I’ve never grouped the two together until today.  As I grouped them together,  I wondered why I never made the connection before.  That’s the great advantage to editing from within our homes-everything old has the decoratively ability to become new again with a little imagination and styling. 

Is this not a sad face only a frog lover could love?

Seasonal colors and textures weaved throughout a space is a simple way to transition decor from season to season.  A coffee table styled and accessorized with mementos,  a cozy vignette, or a plush throw draped over a fireside chair will easily introduce the look and feel of the season to a space.