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Mixing and Matching High- and Low-End Materials

Homeowners used to spend a huge amount of money remodeling their kitchens and baths. They forked out thousands of dollars updating their living rooms and family rooms. Of course, there used to be a higher return for those beautiful remodels on the resale market. However, that type of thinking is gone with the wind in today’s housing market. Unless you plan on living in your home for ten or more years, you may want to reconsider your next project and take a look at some other avenues that you can take to achieve your goals without breaking the bank. Mixing and matching high-end and low-end materials is one of them.

Inspiration

The best place to start is by looking through magazines and finding the look you want. You can get ideas for innovations and trends in the luxury end of the market yet shop for similar materials in the lower end that will give your room the same type of look.

Sample Living Room

Flooring

  • Low-end: If you insist on having a hardwood floor but your budget is telling you otherwise, use a product such as pergo; you’ll achieve the look you desire, and it’s much easier to keep clean and maintain. You can select higher-end base molding that will withstand high-traffic kick marks and vacuum dings and add a final touch to your floors.

Crown Molding

  • High-end: Don’t cut corners when it comes to your crown molding. How many homes have you gone in where you looked up to see gaps between the molding and the ceiling? It’s not worth it to buy budget molding, such as Styrofoam, and do all the labor just to tear it down two years later because it’s sagging. Cheap, thin wood warps. Buy good quality, high-end crown molding and you’ll thank yourself years down the road.

Window Coverings

  • Low-end: If you want the look of luxurious window coverings without spending a fortune, you can imitate the best. Wood blinds, for example, can be pretty pricey, but if you opt for two-inch slats instead of three inches and choose veneer instead of wood you can save a pretty penny. If you want to save money on drapery, try using stylish sheets. It seems to be a trend these days, probably because sheets are a lot less expensive to buy than buying fabric by the yard, and you can make the curtains yourself or hire a tailor. It’s easy to find beautiful patterns and rich colors in sheets at most any department store.

Sample Kitchen

Cabinets

  • Low-end: You can purchase basic wall cabinets and dress them up with unique drawer pulls or add molding to add interest.

Countertop

  • High-end: Since the kitchen countertop takes a lot of abuse from daily cooking, it makes sense to splurge on higher-end materials such as concrete, stainless steel, or granite.

Flooring

  • Low-end: Here’s a place where you can go budget and still create a dramatic statement. Laminate floors have come a long way and, if you want the look of warm hardwood or stylish stone then laminate will do the trick for a lot less money and maintenance.


Appliances

  • High-end: You don’t want to mess around when it comes to your appliances; they are the workhorse of your kitchen. This is an area where “you get what you pay for” rings true. And, believe it or not, many home buyers actually pay attention to brand names and, while shopping for a home, when they see an upper-end appliance, their over-all perception of the home is elevated.

Faucets

  • Low-end: There are so many options out there to choose from in so many budgets, but if you’re cutting corners here and there and trying to fit high-end where it’s most necessary and low-end to stay on budget, then faucets are definitely a place where you can get great deals.

As you can see there are many ways to trim back by mixing lower-end with upper-end materials without sacrificing your dreams or savings account!

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