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Follow designers' lead by mixing upscale and well-used furnishings

August 06, 2013

Hardwood FloorsShopping at a variety of venues to combine upscale pieces with those that have value, as well as lower price tags, is a practice of many professional decorators. They know the secret of great design may include putting high-quality wood floors like those in Anderson's Hermosa Plank collection alongside a beautiful used table and re-upholstered chairs.    

A strong sense of style and resourcefulness help professionals and home decorators alike find uses for furnishings that homeowners already possess, according to House Beautiful magazine. In most households, there's already a mix of high-end furnishings and flea market finds that can be used to build a room design.

Mix pieces throughout the home
Beautiful home design with a variety of furnishings doesn't have to stop at the living room. The casual parts of the home deserve the same treatment.

For instance, a home office may be a utilitarian space, but it doesn't have to look that way. Purchasing a desk with simple, contemporary lines from a discount store allows homeowners to splurge on a classy hardwood or fabric-covered chair to accompany it. It should also be comfortable and offer good support. Quality hardware for drawer pulls and knobs can give office storage units a high-class look as well.

In any room, a beautiful window treatment can make the windows a focal point of a room and tie in with the furnishings and color scheme around it.

Valances may be made of wood similar to the flooring, upholstered to go with the main pieces of furniture or treated as an accent. A valance can also be mounted over window shades, blinds or curtains.

Quality matters
Homeowners should invest most of their decorating dollars in the things that will be around the longest. Good quality fabrics and furniture with classic lines will last for many years. Family keepsakes and accessories that are well-loved will usually work surprisingly well with both traditional and contemporary pieces as long as there's balance in the overall look.

One example is to find a flea market bench, side chair or sofa and give it new life by reupholstering it in a high-quality material. Or do the opposite - take an upscale sofa and accessorize it with inexpensive pillows.

In the same way, an inexpensive coffee or end table will look elegant with the right choice of coffee table books or a striking sculpture. A lamp from a second-hand store can be freshened with a coat of paint on the base and topped with a new lampshade.