Ultraluxury: How to Get It on a Budget

An ultraluxury apartment may not fit your budget right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t live like you summer in Ibiza and winter in the Rhone-Alpes. Read on for tips and tricks that can help you turn your simple home into your very own palace.

An ultraluxury NYC apartment may not fit your wallet or bank account now (or ever), but that doesn’t mean that you need to live like a pauper. Whether you’re on a tight budget, are fresh out of grad school, or are simply frugal, it can be pretty frustrating flipping through the pages of Dwell or Living Etc. It’s easy to get lost in thought wondering if you’ll ever get your home to look even remotely like the stunning residences in those pages. You love your life; you just want your home to reflect how good you feel on the inside. Good news: You can. If you’ve got royal tastes and a decidedly non-royal pocketbook, you can still make your apartment look like a billion.

Go Second Hand

Craigslist here in NYC can be a virtual gold mine. You may not have $10,000 to get a brand new Viking six-burner range, but you can probably find one for a fraction of the price if you look hard enough. We live in NYC, so our version of Craigslist is usually chock full of jaw-droppingly amazing deals and steals on things like high-end ranges and pricey kitchen cabinets. People doing high-end renos in their homes or companies going out of business or in the process of upgrading often simply donate their older appliances and furniture or unload them on Craigslist.

This is where your sleuthing skills come in. Download the Craigslist app and set up alerts for words like “Viking” or “Sub-Zero” on your smartphone, so that you’re notified whenever someone lists an item you’re looking for. You have to be quick on the trigger; nothing is more heartbreaking than finding out the Smeg 50s retro style fridge that someone was getting rid of for $500 was sold while you were “thinking about it.”

In addition to Craigslist, there are also companies like Kitchentrader.com (formerly Green Demolitions) that sell used high-end appliances and furnishings donated by luxury homeowners who are renovating their digs. As on Craigslist, you need to move fast if you want to score the best deals.

Pay Attention to the Details

Ultraluxury homes are finished down to the smallest details. The faucets are gorgeous and pristine. The wall colors are high quality, rich, and full of depth. There aren’t any broken kitchen cabinet knobs destroying the sight line. Take the same sort of care and attention to detail in your own space. Give your entire space a fresh paint job with the highest quality paint you can afford; it’s a difference you’ll notice immediately once the job is done. Replace dingy old faucets with stylish new ones.

Don’t Go Cheap

A home filled with cheap, throwaway furniture is not going to look high end at all. Luxury furniture shops like Restoration Hardware and ABC Carpet & Home are always having sales. Sign up for newsletters so that you’re fully aware of when your favorite “wish list” stores are ready to slash prices. Scour thrift stores as well as shops like the Salvation Army store and consignment shops for unique pieces at amazing prices.


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