When you walk through the light, bright and impeccably styled Hamptons Boston 36, the incredible Mosman 56 or the newly restyled Bayside 41 displays it’s easy to fall in love and quickly imagine yourself living there… Only, in real life, could the light grey couch survive the Vegemite fingers of your toddler? Or, will your teenagers have as much respect for the hand woven white rug as you do? Well, they might. Of course, having children, pets or a busy lifestyle doesn’t obstruct the opportunity to have a house as beautifully finished as our display homes. But, what you probably seek is a low maintenance way to make your new home build a haven for you to relax, enjoy and be proud of. The good news is, there are relatively low cost and easy ways to lift the luxury feel of your home without having to hand out white gloves and shoe coverings at the door…
Trying to deck your whole home out to replicate a luxury escape might feel a bit too much, so hone your energy into small spaces you can retreat to that aren’t in constant use by everyone else in the family. Little nooks or multi-purpose spaces, like the front living area in the Sherwood 43 display at Box Hill (pictured), are generally smaller than other rooms in the house, so they’re not only easier to style, they’re also more cost effective to do so. It’s a place to put the books, photos, furnishings and accessories that give you a sense of zen.
Fabrics. Spend a little more on the armchair, the carpet choice and the cushions (i.e. The things that will make you comfortable). Being able to sink into them after a long day will be priceless and you’ll never regret the price. However, this doesn’t mean you need to go OTT. You can find beautiful soft and comfortable armchairs for a few hundred dollars that feel the same as some for a few thousand. Shop around (preferably not online, so that you can get the full experience before you buy), read reviews and you can get great quality for moderate spend.
Little extras that make the space look great, but don’t necessarily contribute to your overall comfort. Ornaments, vases and any other little knick-knacks need not cost you a fortune. You can find bargain gems at budget chain stores, local craft markets, Etsy, discount furniture stores; and, even in your belongings… See if you can repurpose something you already own - it might just take a little gold spray paint to transform an old dated picture frame into a gilded gem.
Using much the same rationale as above, making your bedroom your luxury focus is an easy way to create a space that will not be interrupted by a lot of foot traffic, simple to style and won’t cost the earth. Although our bedrooms are meant to be our sanctuary, very often it instead ends up the dumping ground for laundry and whatever is laying around right before someone announces they’re visiting last minute. It’s a place for sleep and relaxation, but a lot of clutter can make it a hub for stress – so combat that by keeping a designated area away from your room for those ‘quick, throw in there!’ moments (like the laundry) and keep your room as clear and open as possible. Make use of the large windows in our master bedrooms by allowing natural light to flood in, and fresh air. Then decorate with calming, neutral tones and up the luxury with textures, good quality sheets and soft, inviting carpet or rugs.
Sheets. There’s no need to go overboard and pay thousands for sheets that may feel nice, but are too expensive to sleep on and can actually be quite high maintenance. 800 count thread sheet in good quality cotton or bamboo might cost up to a few hundred dollars, but they’re durable and, most importantly, incredibly comfortable. Every night is a reward for your splurge.
Decorative items. Throws, cushions and bedside table additions (including lamps) don’t need to be expensive to look luxurious and serve their more practical purposes. Especially items that don’t get a lot of actual use, choosing a more cost-effective option won’t be a sacrifice on longevity or style. And, best of all, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that still offer a great range of textures and colours that you can create a space akin to an upscale boutique hotel, for a fraction of the price (of decorating, and staying!).
It’s the little things that count in the long run. The features and fixtures in your new build are the accents that make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your home. Your choices of tiles, flooring, drawer handles and all of those small decorative features broaden with our optional upgrades. Deciding to dedicate a portion of your budget to an inclusion upgrade package can make all the difference in how you feel about your home, and the luxury finish you’re after, once the build is finished. Of course, the standard inclusions might match your vision, but if you’re someone after a few more options, upgrades are for you.
There’s no hard and fast rule because building your home is so personal; from your tastes, to lifestyle, to budget, it’s all up to you and what is best for you family. So, make a priority list of areas that are really important to you, and work from there. Maybe it’s taking Evolution, or the Sapphire upgrades will be entirely dependant on this list and what really matters. A small splurge to your biggest life purchase isn’t going to burden your big picture, whereas giving up what you really wanted, or going too far above your budget for the sake of a certain tile colour might not be so wise. Speak to our experts in the Lifestyle Studio about the best choice for you.
From the bottom of your list. Maybe you’d rather upgrade your inclusions than worry too much about moving that wall, or lifting the ceiling. It’s all about priority of what you want, and choosing how to fit that in your budget. If it’s at the bottom of your priority list, it can probably go in the ‘save’ or ‘don’t do’ bucket.
Although important, no we don’t mean your daily serving of vegetables. We’re talking plants. They have an incredible knack for turning a space into a sanctuary, creating an instant sense of calm and, practically, they assist in keeping the air clean and clear. You don’t need to turn your home into a greenhouse, but a few strategically placed, low maintenance plants around your home will make a huge difference to the aesthetic, without having to alter a single piece of furniture.
Well actually, you don’t have to splurge or skimp when it comes to plants. You can get beautiful, easy-to-maintain plants for a great price, you just have to shop around and see what catches your eye. Talk to the experts at your local or chosen nursery to find out what is best for you, your lifestyle and your home. It might be that the most cost effective one is perfect for you. For inspiration on plants that bring instant zen to your home, see our Best Plants and Herbs for Good Health and Fortune.
Photography by Maree Homer
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