Q&A with The Real Estate Stylist: How to Nail High-Low Styling

Jul 05, 2021

Have you found an apartment you love, but your interior styling budget isn’t quite aligning with your swoon worthy Pinterest board? Our friends at the Real Estate Stylist are here to solve that problem, providing tips and tricks on how to nail the high-low styling trend.

While we all may long for an unlimited budget when styling a brand-new apartment, after purchasing a new home, sometimes that dream is not a reality. Enter the latest interior trend: high-low styling.

High-low styling is about combining high-end investment pieces with more affordable items to create a home that is equal parts stylish and comfortable, without breaking the bank.

We called on our interior partner from The Real Estate Stylist, Sara Chamberlain, to give us the low down on the high-low styling trend and how you can create a highly personalised space that won’t cost you a fortune.

“It doesn't need to be high end across the board. Some of my favourite examples are low-cost artwork with high-quality framing, statement dining chairs with a lower-priced dining table or high-quality linen with a more affordable bedhead,” Sara says.

Discover more expert tips in creating an interior space that’ll look so good, you’ll want to start showing it off stat.

Start by investing in a hotel-quality sleep

With so much time spent in our bedrooms, Sara recommends first investing in high-quality bedding and linen to make your sleeping quarters not only look luxurious, but also feel cosy and lush when it’s time to hit the pillow.

“Drifting off in hotel-quality sheets is always amazing. Pillows, linen and mattresses should be top notch for your master bedroom, while guest rooms can afford to be more budget-friendly — dressed up with nice linen and cushions for a little wow factor,” she says.

Save your pennies in the spare room

A fold-out sofa is a great multipurpose option for your spare room — not only does this provide a secondary living space, but you can fold it out when guests come to stay. Sara says sofas “don’t need to cost the earth” and there are many ways to up the plush factor without purchasing an expensive piece from a high-end retailer.

“To increase comfortability, feather-insert linen cushions are a great option, especially when paired with a quality throw. A premium rug under a sofa that feels soft under foot is also a worthwhile choice for both acoustics and cosiness.”

Maximise your wall space

Investing in original prints and wall art is important for some, but it’s not essential to nailing a high-low style in your apartment. Sara recommends investing in smaller more affordable works, brought to life through high-quality framing.

“A quality frame will do wonders to whatever you are looking at. Look for affordable photographs and prints of original works, which can provide a style reference without the price tag.”

“For a truly stylish space we recommend steering clear of large mass market prints and canvases — be creative or invest in emerging artists and you will be rewarded with something affordable that people notice, and you’ll love looking at,” says Sara.

Be wary of overdoing it

As with most styling tricks, simplicity is key — particularly when it comes to special statement pieces.

“Whether the piece is large or small, allow it to shine and never clutter it. A simple vase on its own can be very effective and speaks volumes about its value. Less is more with most statement pieces,” Sara says.

Pairing a high-quality vase with a more affordable side table can become a key talking point in your new apartment.

Consider your final design before you begin spending

Budget restrains can make styling more difficult — especially when you don’t plan ahead. Sara encourages working with what you’ve got and upping the luxe factor as time goes on.

“We so often experience homes with unused spaces or unfinished rooms because clients never got around to buying those big-ticket items, like a Persian rug for instance. Make a commitment to enjoying your space early and upgrade when you feel you can — sometimes you might not even need the Persian rug if you have a few duck-feather cushions and a great wine glass in hand!”

Invest in your happiness

Your new apartment is just that — yours — so it’s important to consider what will make you happy. Sara encourages taking time to reflect on where you’ll be spending the most time and starting there.

“Experiencing quality through our senses is how we perceive luxury, so determine what this means to you and invest in those items. This could be quality towels and candles if you love your bathroom, high-quality glassware if you’re a wine connoisseur or a decadent throw if you love to snuggle up,” she says.

Use colour to tie it all together

To achieve a cohesive design, Sara says colour can help to unite much-loved investment items and lower-cost decor.

“If there’s a key colour in one of your statement pieces, repeat that in a subtle way elsewhere in your line of sight. A cushion, throw or even cushion piping can be very effective here.”

Sara reiterated the value of keeping your long-loved pieces in the mix instead of starting from scratch.

“Mixing new purchases with timeless items you have loved for years will not only tie your space together, but it will also give your apartment a personalised touch. Maybe you bought a print in Paris or a vase in a country boutique many years ago, and these rich stories can add both character and charm,” she says.

If you’re looking for the perfect space to experiment with high-low styling, explore our range of properties.