Sophisticated Home

Last week, I had the opportunity to share with our local newspaper our thoughts on what makes a home sophisticated and how can you achieve such a look on a budget. I wanted to open up that conversation for you all as well because I think this whole idea of creating a sophisticated space without breaking your budget is interesting!

Question 1: What are some of the “sophisticated” looks in homes today, and how can you create these looks on a budget?


Wall Treatments

  • Whether it be a board and batten feature, the infamous “shiplap” wall, or bringing texture through your paint, completing a wall treatment can exponentially scale up a space without having to break the bank. In several of our projects, and in our current home and previous, we have created a faux shiplap look that was a fraction of the cost of using traditional tongue and groove shiplap boards. Underlayment, often used for flooring, is the material that we used. It comes in 4×8 ft sheets, but the friendly folks at Home Depot will gladly cut the board down to 6, 8, or 10 inch runs. So, as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars creating a focal wall, you can be all in at around $50 for a fun shiplap wall!

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  • This is probably not the most professional way of doing things, but if you live in a home that is a bit dated, and there is existing wallpaper, sometimes, painting over the existing wallpaper can be an inexpensive way to create and add texture to your walls! In our guest bedroom, the existing wallpaper had a floral print. I was not a fan of the wallpaper, but I felt that the pattern of the florals could be a beautiful accent if covered with a more sophisticated color. Therefore, I painted on top of the wallpaper, and the texture that came through was better that I envisioned!

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  • Dressing up a table can add a totally new element to a room. I love incorporating live greens and florals to a dining room table to go with whatever season we’re in or to dress up the area. The best part about this is that most of the time, I will go in my backyard to chop greenery which is absolutely free. Sometimes I will buy flowers or other floral pieces to create an arrangement, but even still, this is a small way to add character to a blank slate.

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  • Lighting can make or break a room, in my opinion. You can have a beautiful space, but if you walk in , and the lighting is dingy and depressing, it completely eradicates the warm, inviting look you may be striving for. If you’re wanting to switch out light fixtures on a budget, don’t be afraid to bargain shop! I love going to local bargain stores or thrift stores and seeing what can be repurposed or given new life to. Also, check out Facebook Marketplace. I once lucked out and bought a chandelier that retails for over $900 for less than $100! If you like your current fixtures, try switching out the bright white light bulbs for warmer bulbs with yellow or amber undertones.

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Question #2: Are thrift stores and yard sales still a good place to find items that you can upscale to look high end?


Absolutely! Like I mentioned before, I’m always looking for furniture, lighting, etc. at bargain stores and thrift stores! You have to have a vision for what certain items could be, but if you’re willing to put in a little effort, you can save mega money and still have pieces that are beautiful and sophisticated. For example, this dresser was a thrift find. It was older, with sun spots and outdated hardware. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware completely transformed the piece, making it look brand new. I also love looking for accent chairs. This old rocking chair was a Peddlers Mall find for $10!

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Question #3: What other tips do you have for homeowners in recreating this look on a budget?


You have to have a vision! Don’t automatically assume that you can’t have a beautiful home because you are not rolling around in money. The truth is, most of us aren’t! Anyone can create a space that they are proud to call their own. Use your resources… Pinterest wasn’t created for nothing! As you visualize your space, think of what your ideal look would be, then start researching and brainstorming of how it could be created for less.



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