How To Recreate An Upscale Look For Pennies

Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
This home in Chicago is by far one of our most impressive in terms of sheer space and total wackiness. It’s made up of six one-bedroom apartments that include among them two cats, a lot of different design ideas, and something close to four rotating tenants, all of whom are friends.
The home is big, beautiful, and intricately detailed, with all kinds of furnishings. So, for this week’s Homepolish post, we wanted to explore ways to bring designer David Hopkins' talent of mixing high and low to your own space. (Except mostly just the low part, because one time he spent all of the money he was saving for a car on a set of chairs.) Read on!
1 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Tiles climbing up the wall make ceilings look higher. The look is easily replicated by gluing tea light holders to the wall with a hot glue gun. If your landlord isn't so DIY-friendly, you can just use removable adhesive putty. Choose glass or ceramic over plastic!

Group them closer together at the bottom of the wall and space them out as you climb higher for a dispersing, space-widening effect.

(Plus, putty is only $4.)
2 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Sparkly holiday lights add warmth and cheer to every space, but sometimes it's hard to justify them year-round. Making them more substantial in weight and width will decrease your guests' associations with Christmas and instead make them say, “What a great idea! Your home is so bright and lovely!”
3 of 8
Twist a set or two of these together and hang them from an eave or in a nook to add some ambiance.
4 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Candelabras are a nice way to add a soft glow and they can be both inexpensive and antique-looking.
6 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
We love those messy, melted candles in old school Italian restaurants, but wax all over your dining table is gross at home. Get David’s look while staying tidy with these crazy-cheap seven-day candles. While David has about 200 on his basement table, ours doesn’t seat 24 people. Five or ten still make a pretty picture and add a soft, romantic touch.
7 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Homepolish.
Dramatic curtains can make a big difference in your room. If dark romanticism is the vibe you’re going for, search for discount fabrics online. As long as they have the right texture, weight, and color they don’t have to necessarily be real silk — though you can find the real deal in surprising places. Tip: Buying them a little long lets them pool on the floor nicely, but don’t try this if you have limited floor space.

You might also try working with a similar color palette and mixing soft grays and cream with dark wood. If you have the leeway, staining a piece of furniture a dark color is actually very simple and inexpensive! All you need is an old t-shirt and some wood furniture you don’t love.

NEXT: An Inspiring Home Makeover We Can't Stop Looking At
8 of 8
Texture adds another dimension to the space and this fuzzy pouf is cute and practical.

More from Home


R29 Original Series