How to Make Affordable Decor Look Like a Million Bucks

How to make affordable decor look like a million bucks | Design tips from Waco's best designer Lesley Myrick

Once the major furniture and lighting pieces are in place, I recommend that clients reserve about 20 to 30% of their overall budget for styling at the end of an interior design project.


Sounds like a lot, right? But a room that isn’t styled and finished right just feels…unfinished. And who wants to invest many thousands of dollars in beautiful new furnishings just to have the room feel incomplete? Styling is super important, and it is possible to do it on a budget and still get kickass results. Here’s how to make affordable decor look like a million bucks and stretch your decorating dollars even further:

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, I’m Lesley Myrick. I’m an interior stylist, and I transform boring beige spaces into kickass colorful homes with an offbeat edge that are livable, delightful, and a little unexpected.

Today I want to talk with you about how to make inexpensive accessories look like a million bucks.

Accessorizing. This is one of those things that people sort of neglect to understand how important it is to really fully finish out a room with accessories. It’s easy to blow your budget on beautiful furnishings, and rugs, and lighting, and not leave 20 – 30% of your budget for styling. Now, that might sound high, but trust me, rooms suck up things. You want to make sure you have enough room in your budget to buy the great hardcover books, and vases, and pillows and throws, and tableware and things that are really going to make a room feel complete.

You can invest in a beautiful room, but unless you take it to this finished level it’s always going to feel like it’s lacking.

Now, once you get to the styling stage you’ve often invested a great deal in the big, meaty pieces for your home and don’t necessarily want to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on accessories. So what do you do?

I actually have no problem shopping box stores and larger retailers to find great pieces. And here’s the secret: when you do it right, those inexpensive accessories can mix and match with your antiques and your investment pieces and the larger pieces you love, and they can look like a million bucks even though they didn’t cost anywhere near that.

What I like to do to finish out a room is to focus on table lamps and decorative accessories from these lower-end retailers. And it’s not about just getting the cheapest there is – it’s about buying the best quality you can afford but at a lower end.

One thing to avoid is small accessories and decorative items in super bright colors. They tend to look cheap and you can spot them from a mile away. I like to stick with natural materials like brass, wood, or metal, and accessories that are in neutral, white, or black finishes. Those tend to look the most expensive and the most high-end even if the price tag isn’t that.

It’s totally okay to have some inexpensive accessories with a higher-end room.

I think that mixing and matching really gives it character and personality and actually keeps the room from feeling too stale. And as always, look for the best quality you can afford within your budget. It’s not about having the most, it’s about having fewer, better things that you absolutely love.

So there you go! A few styling tips on how to finish out and accessorize a room without breaking the bank.

If you liked this video, I’d so appreciate if you’d share it with someone who would find value in it. And leave a comment on YouTube below this video – I would love to hear from you.

Want more awesome design tips and inspiration to break out of a “blah” home and let your rad self shine? Get my FREE guide, “Bring Personality to a Boring Space” right here. 🤘