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This weekend, I got to catch up a little on my magazine reading. As I opened the October issue of Elle Decor, I was immediately struck by the Ralph Lauren Home spread. Gorgeous! Elegant! But…oh so pricey!
Want to get the look for your own, without spending the entire kids’ college savings fund? Here are some quick cheats to get that glamorous Ralph Lauren look for your home.
Add a rug. Even if you don’t have gleaming hardwoods to showcase, a small coffee table rug on top of wall-to-wall adds depth to an interior and visually anchors your furniture. Color and pattern matter. Choose traditional and muted shades in rich dark reds, greens, taupes, blues, or beiges. No geometrics, Ikat prints, or trendy patterns.
Shine a light. Lighting is hugely underrated as an impactful design element. Have an old brass chandelier you’d love to replace? Revamp it instead. Add a coat of matte black or dark gray paint and some inexpensive shades and you have an updated look that works with the most interiors.
It’s art! Vintage movie star pictures can be found at every flea market in the country. Some are even signed! Add a simple, narrow black frame, plus inexpensive matting and you’ve got gorgeous, conversation-worthy art.
Don’t forget the sparkle. Every Ralph Lauren room has a little sparkle, from the dull gleam of sterling candlesticks, to the rainbow prisms thrown by crystal decanters, glasses, clocks, and bowls. Can’t afford the real thing? Fake it! Silver plated bowls, candlesticks, platters, and more look elegant and cost a fraction of the price of sterling. Ditto with inexpensive, but well designed, crystal.
Accent tables, desks, and consoles. A look I personally love is black painted furniture with the barest bit of a gold accent. Provided that the shape is right, all sorts of small pieces can be painted and the hardware replaced. Thrift shops abound with inexpensive finds just begging to be brought back to life. Make sure pieces are sturdy, sand well, and use multiple, very thin coats of spray paint for the best result.
You’ve been framed! Family photos of important events are treasured keepsakes. Put them on display in leather trimmed, silver, or crystal frames. To avoid a hodgepodge look, keep the frame materials similar, with variation in the designs. Black and white photos, in particular, look chic in any home.
Books. No Ralph Lauren interior would be complete without stacks of vintage, leather-bound books. While real leather-bound volumes may be out of the budget, vintage books are easy to find. (Note: Beware of silverfish, however, and inspect books carefully before bringing them into your home.)
While you’re here, please enter one of our CURRENT GIVEAWAYS:
A Jessie Steele Classic Tote in choice of pattern. Ends 9-15-2014
Framesi BY Hydro-Gel Light Hair Gel. Ends 9-20-2014.
Your guide to a life filled with STYLE! Susan Conforte McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur, Harper’s BAZAAR Style Ambassador, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said… WHAT?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game! the corporate website of the award-winning You’ve been Sentenced! word game.