Feb 22, 2012 / 7:00 am
Live Like a Millionaire, Even if You’re Not
by Sam Shakura
Cher and I, at Rock House of Design Inc., have been privileged to work with monstrous budgets, international zip codes, high profile clients and celebrity icons.
If there’s one thing these tycoons, moguls and divas have in common, it’s their unapologetic attitudes towards fabulous living. They understand the value of loving their homes as sacred sanctuaries and they guiltlessly indulge in using the precious china for every-day meals. They surround themselves solely with things that they love and they design their homes as much for their own hedonist pleasures as they do for entertaining others.
Now, I know what you’re all saying… ‘If I had deep pockets, I’d live fabulously too!’ But you don’t have to be a millionaire, to live like a millionaire! We’ve learnt some pretty awesome tricks for ‘living rich’ without spending a ton of money, and we truly believe that everyone, from all walks of life, deserve to love the life they live and live in a home they truly love.
No self-respecting millionaire would be caught dead surrounded in clutter and mess.
Each room should be spotlessly cleaned, glass should sparkle, metals should twinkle and not one speck of dust should be found (like the cleaning staff has been through this room daily). If you can’t afford a maid, get out your elbow grease and treat your home to a thorough Spring cleanse. Get rid of everything that’s no longer working, past its due date, doesn’t turn you on when you look at it, or has out grown you.
If you don’t love it, or use it regularly, is it worthy of taking up that much space in your beloved sanctuary? Millionaires know the value of giving back to the community, so follow suit and donate your clutter to charity.
Luxurious rooms and the most talented designers know how to mix up styles, look at your inspiration (shelter magazines) and you’ll probably note that there are both modern and traditional pieces in those incredible rooms.
The Rich & Famous love investing in special one-of antique pieces, whether to sit right at home in their traditional spaces or to be juxtaposed in their contemporary houses. This look is affordably achieved by refurbishing an old, rusted, piece of ‘junk’ chair or cabinet. Simply repaint and then wax for an antiqued effect.
Millionaires love their extravagant libraries and top designers adore using gorgeous coffee table books to help elevate smaller accessories, tie in color palettes and help establish the mood of the space when designing quality rooms. You’ll only need to invest in three large hardcover books to have a sufficient stack so look for books with themes of architecture, luxury lifestyle, travel or art with colorful book sleeves that relate to your living room palette.
Fake it till you make it with sensual textures like faux fur, velvet and silk – even if it’s only a small item such as a toss pillow or throw, these textures connote instant pleasure and blissful high living.
Stock your kitchen with only white serving ware and dishes, like the top high-end restaurants do. Keeping this uniform color palette will not only look classy, it’ll save you money when one item breaks or gets lost – you won’t have to replace the entire set! This way you can also mix and match styles and brands as you come across items on clearance.
For special dinner parties, it’s easy to toss in gorgeous antique salad plates or champagne glasses with 24 Karat Gold rims because everything looks good with white! Check out thrift stores, pawnshops and flea markets for a set of glasses or plates to mix in with your inexpensive white serving pieces.
If the thought of weekly spa visits gives you budget nightmares, turn your bathroom into a personal spa. Don’t have an in-house masseuse? How about a massaging showerhead?
From a pulsing blast to a soft rain shower-like mist, you can have what you need, when you need it. Spritz essential oils in your shower, which will smell heavenly in the steam. Invest in two thick, luxurious towels and for an extra $5-$10, have them monogrammed with your initials or ‘estate name’ (ie: give your manor a title like “Cindy’s Castle” or “The Rock House”).
Have candles and expensive organic bubble bath beside the tub, ready to go, for an impromptu relaxation moment. Don’t forget the iPod station for instant zen.
Fresh Flowers scream luxury, but big bouquets from the florist can be quite pricey. Check out the floral arrangements at your favorite grocery store, which are always substantially less expensive or opt for a single stemmed rose – which looks just as glamorous, especially in your master bedroom or powder room. Potted Hydrangeas are another frugal option, as they can stay beautifully in bloom for months indoors with a little TLC.
No luxury home is complete without expensive artwork. If you can’t afford an original Basquiat or Picasso, lay some canvas on the ground, pull out your paints, and play! You’d be absolutely astonished at what fabulous abstract art you can create on your own. Just invest in the stretching and framing of your canvas, and no one will ever guess you did it yourself!
No matter your net worth, your nest can look and feel as opulent as you want it to!
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