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25 Designer Short-Cuts With the Biggest Impact

July 14, 2016

Experts share must-try living room ideas on a budget.

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Photo: Lennar Atlanta

Pillow Hack

Cindi MacPherson, co-owner of The Interior Partners in Atlanta, offers this way to save on pillows in a chic living room. Use patterned fabric, which may be more expensive, on the front of the pillow. Then buy cheaper fabric in a solid color for the back of the pillow, which is often hidden on a couch.

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Photo: Terracotta Design Build. From: Terracotta Design Build.

High-Impact Bookshelf

Terracotta Design Build often adds wallpaper to the backs of bookshelves. "It’s a way to give depth and really set off any collection," says interior designer Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson. With wallpaper behind it, even a collection of inexpensive white vases can look amazingly expensive, she says. 

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Photo: Terracotta Design Build. From: Terracotta Design Build.

Fireplace Redo

When redoing a fireplace, you can get a sophisticated look at a lower cost. For the hearth, Terracotta Design Build used 12-by-12 porcelain tile in a dark color that looks like slate, but was more affordable. They cut it into 3- by-12 tiles and installed it in a herringbone pattern. "That’s a great way to get what really is a high-end look and finish for hardly any cost," says architect and interior designer Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson. 

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Photo: SNAP Real Estate Photography, LLC

Tile Tip

This model home’s fireplace is wrapped floor to ceiling in expensive marble. The same clean look can easily be achieved with an inexpensive plank-sized porcelain tile, says Atlanta interior designer Michael C. Morris with Monte Hewett Homes.

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