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8 cost-effective ways to get a high-end home look

By using a small amount in a strategic way, you can get a luxurious look without the expense.

8 cost-effective ways to get a high-end home look

Capiz fixtures


Capiz shell is a designer go-to material for creating a high-end look without necessarily having to spend a lot. Pendants and sconces in this material come in a wide spectrum of prices, so shop around to find an elegant feature for your dining nook. With all the subtle tone-on-tone beauty of the shells, you won’t need an elaborate table setting.

Expansive mirrors

As with art, the impact of a mirror is dramatically increased by increasing the scale. Plus, a mirror won’t overwhelm a space, but will only make it feel more open. Investing in a large expanse of glass will also double the look of all your other investments.

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Tip: One way to cheat on the look of a large mirror is to use smaller glass tiles or sections, which, due to much easier production and shipping, will usually come at a fraction of the price.

Gold accents

Upgrading a frame to an eye-catching gold finish will make it command attention, especially when it’s surrounded by simple white furnishings. As a frame is relatively thin, you can get away with simple gold spray paint, although gold leaf will take the authenticity up a notch. Just a few packets of leafing and an afternoon of DIYing can result in a piece that anchors a whole room.

Tile feature wall

A single full-height wall of tile can have a big impact, whether in a bathroom shower zone or adorning one wall of a powder room. If you have a standard-size shower that’s 60 inches long and a typical ceiling height of 8 feet, then you have a 40-square-foot wall surface to work with. That means you could splurge on a beautiful marble tile at $5 or $6 per square foot and have a stunning feature wall for around $200. Use low-cost tile elsewhere, and you’ll have a balanced-budget project that still looks incredibly high end. A stone hexagonal mosaic floor and simple white walls also follow a balanced approach for a look that’s beautiful, especially when you pair them with a leggy and open vanity to show off as much floor as possible.

Tip: If you shop around, it’s usually possible to find a small amount of beautiful but soon-to-be-discontinued tile at a sale price, giving a high-end effect for a minimal investment.

Marble accessories

In a simple kitchen, a few material choices can really make or break the look. However, this doesn’t mean that all of the luxury has to come from built-in elements. One or two beautiful accessories made from marble (like the cutting board shown here) will make the material feel present in the space even if it doesn’t appear anywhere else.

Tip: Contrasting marble with rich wood and soft, shapely glass helps anchor the idea that quality materials are present even on a quiet countertop.

In a living space, a single slab of tile can be converted to a stunning serving tray with some patience, a drill and a pair of cabinet handles. Or simply treat yourself to a marble server from a favorite boutique. After all, the piece can move from room to room, so it’s really an investment in your entire home.

Finally, bringing out the best in your quality investments demands that you edit out your less-than-favorite items where possible. The less in your space, the more special and curated each piece will feel.

Original story by Yanic Simard for Houzz

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Single-slab backsplash

Using a single slab stone for a big expanse of surface like a kitchen island countertop will put a sizable dent in your budget. But use a smaller shard of a single slab for something like a bathroom backsplash rather than tile, and the unbroken grains will have a powerful effect that says custom loud and clear, while creating a truly subtle and classic look.

Tip: Stone suppliers often have slim offcuts left over from creating countertops that you can snag at a good price.

Large-scale art

When it comes to art, the most dramatic impact always comes from a singular, large-scale piece. Splurging on one painted canvas (or an intriguing print) rather than several smaller pieces can give an entire room a sense of drama and color.

Statement chandeliers

Pendants and chandeliers are a natural focal point, because they float away from the walls and because, well, they are all lit up! Choosing a truly beautiful fixture that stands up to the extra attention can make or break a whole room. Even in an unexpected place like a nursery or laundry suite, just this one upgrade can elevate the entire space.

Don’t discount that expensive material yet. By using a small amount in a strategic way, you can get a luxurious look without the expense.

Buying materials and finishes from big-box stores can certainly save you tons of money on your project. But if you’re not careful, you can also run the risk of creating a space that feels just a bit too generic. That’s why I’m a big fan of buying just a little bit of a high-end material and using it in a way that maximizes impact. The high-low mix can really make your whole home look like you’re living beyond your means — even if you’re right on budget. To make sure your taste for the finer things is satisfied, here are my key ways to splurge.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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