Home Decor DIYs: Making Luxury Affordable

Decorating you home can be pricey, but doing it yourself can cut costs.

Accent Pillows

Sweater Pillow Covers

Pillows are one of my favorite type of accents (much to the chagrin of my boyfriend, who constantly questions the need for extra pillows). For me, accent pillows not only enhance any living room, den, or bedroom, but they are easy to change and facilitate naps. However, pillows and pillow covers can be quite costly, especially those made of higher quality fabrics. Although you can sometimes find a good deal at discount home good stores, they rarely have the size or color you’re looking for.

Pesky months have destroyed countless sweaters, cashmere ones nonetheless, which pushed me to think of a creative solution for their rebirth. I couldn’t stand the thought of getting rid of a good sweater but was also not about to wear a hole-filled top (à la Regina George) to work. Solution: use the remnants of my sweaters for pillow covers.

Lux Version: Kenneth Cole Chunky Knit Square Throw Pillow

36799042264668pTo make my version:

  • Cut and sow desired sweater pieces together
  • Make sure you sow the side you want displaced facing one another (inside), so that the seams are on the inside
  • Once you have sown together three edges, flip the fabric inside-out and place pillow inside
  • Finish sowing the final edge

I have found that there is usually only enough sweater for one side of a cover, but you can use multiple sweaters or purchasing extra fabric for the back side.

Canvas Pillow Covers

I am also a big advocate of using unconventional fabrics and have toyed with converting canvas tote bags into pillow covers. Because recyclable bags have come into style, many boutiques and companies have started offering canvas totes – often for free, or for a nominal fee. However, although cute, I’ve found many tote bag too small to actually fit groceries. Similarly, like most of you, I have amassed quite the collection of canvas bags and can part with a few. This canvas tote-to-pillow cover is one of the easiest DIY projects I have done, with little sowing and no sowing machine needed.

Lux Version: Custom Perennials Marseille Cabana Stripe Pillow Covers


To make my version:

  • Cut the handles off of the canvas tote (the cuter the better)
  • Insert pillow
  • Add buttons on one side of the opening
  • Slice holes the width of each button diameter on the other side of the opening
  • OR, simply sow the final edge opening after pillow is in

Painted Dresser

Finding a quality dresser is no easy feat; I have been battling quasi-functioning Ikea pieces for the past few years. So, when we finally purchased our first home, I decided it was time for a real dresser. Only problem was the real dresser price…in came my affinity for arts and crafts. We purchased a used (discontinued) Thomasville dresser for around $200 at a local used furniture store. My main criteria was sturdy, and while I got what I wanted, its façade was incredibly dated. I decided to paint the dresser a fun color since most of our home is covered in some sort of beige hue.

Lux Version: Harbor Blue 5-Drawer Dresser from Crate & Barrel


To make my version:

  • Make sure to clean and sand the piece before you start painting. A mild sand is all that’s needed to ensure the new paint sticks to the grain
  • I was not a fan of the original knobs, so I removed those as well and covered the holes with wood putty so that I could use some single pronged knobs
  • I used paint with primer so I only had to apply two coats of paint




After (I have yet to settle on a knob that I love, but am quite pleased with the final painted product.)

Clothing Rack

I fell in love with the idea of a free standing clothing rack ever since it dawned on me that the cute boutique look could be duplicated at home. However, at a few hundred dollars, this piece was way out of my reach. Luckily, my dad was in town one weekend and helped me piece my dream rack together.

Lux Version: The Emily and Meritt Wardrobe Rack from PB Teen the-emily-meritt-wardrobe-rack-o

To make my version:

  • We purchased piping from home depot, 3 equi-length pieces. You can fiddle with the sizes depending on your desired measurements
  • Cut one large piece of wood for the base; approximated 8 inches longer than the length of the top pipe for extra length on each side of the legs
  • Purchase two floor flanges to anchor the pipe to the wooden base
  • Purchase two elbows to connect the three pipes
  • Assemble the pieces to make a squared C shape to affix to the base
  • I wanted wheels on my rack, but you can purchase feet instead of a wooden base

Additional Tips for Home Décor DIY

1) Getting quality hardware pieces can spruce up any piece. Instead of completely tossing a less sophisticated item, consider re-vamping it with new knobs; handles or accessories. If you’re looking for an even less expensive alternative, consider updating the accents you currently have with paint or gloss.

2) Metallics are all the rage. Updating an accent or full furniture piece with metallic spray paint can add and instant face-lift to any home good.

3) With Halloween just around the corner, consider spray painting your pumpkins or gourds to make a more stylish and sophisticated entry or center piece.

4) Painting an outdated lamp base or inside of a lampshade in a metallic shade can also add a touch of glamour to any home.

Don’t discredit craigslist, flea markets or garage sales – they often have quality pieces at a fraction of the cost!