This Is How You Make Your Home Look Expensive for Less

Updated 05/07/19
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a sleek open plan living room and dining room
Magnus Harding

“Ask 20 different designers what your interior design budget should be, and you’ll get 20 answers,” designer Max Humphrey recently told us. Just as with fast fashion versus designer clothing, furniture and homeware prices of similar styles can wildly vary. Many factors influence the price point of a piece of décor: materials, craftsmanship, the economy of scale… And while we would all like to be able to afford the latest Chloé bag, sometimes the Zara look-alike will have to do.

Because our goal is always to help you make informed decisions as far as your home goes, we looked to our favorite design classics and sourced trendy alternatives that are easier on the wallet. Will you want Danish midcentury originals, or will you be drawn to the budget picks? This is what you’re about to find out. Think you can tell the difference between splurge pieces and more affordable ones? It’s time to put your knowledge to the test.

Last year it was sheepskin rugs, and this year the shearling chair trend is exploding. The original by Philip Arctander is a much-coveted antique, but one of our favorite sites offers a much more affordable alternative.

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Philip Arctander
Philip Arctander "Clam" Chair $14582
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Houzz Lena Sheepskin Chair
Houzz Lena Sheepskin Chair $609
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With the popularity of halogen lighting decreasing, LED lighting is making waves, especially when it comes to task lamps. Here are two LED task lamps we love—with differing price points.

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Pablo Designs Pablo Link Small Table Lamp
Pablo Designs Pablo Link Small Table Lamp $440
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Wade Logan Mauro 16
Wade Logan Mauro Desk Lamp $100
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To the naked eye, these drinking glasses are quite similar, but when purchasing a large set, the price difference is significant. Which one would you choose?

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CB2 Marta Deep Teal Luster Double Old-Fashioned Glass
CB2 Marta Deep Teal Luster Double Old-Fashioned Glass $4.95
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These Mad Men-inspired chairs are incredibly chic, but one is closer to an economy flight to Europe while the other is business class. How do you fly?

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West Elm Bruno Armchair
West Elm Bruno Armchair $719
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One is solid brass, and the other is terra-cotta finished in gold leaf—both will hold your flower arrangement in style. Which one makes your heart skip a beat?

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&Tradition Black Brass True Colour Vase
&Tradition Black Brass True Colour Vase $215
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CB2 Talara Vase
CB2 talara vase $75
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Sleek and sophisticated sofas that show a lot of leg can be found at many price points. But only one is designed and made in Los Angeles. Can you guess which one?

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Stephen Kenn Inheritance Leather Sofa - Black Leather & Blackened Steel
Stephen Kenn Inheritance Leather Sofa - Black Leather & Blackened Steel $9500
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West Elm Origami Leather Sofa
West Elm Origami Leather Sofa $3999 $5999
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These ethereal lamps have an otherworldly feel. The young Danish designer who created the original was inspired by wild mushroom picking in the forest. Which one do you think it is?

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New Works & Signe Hytte Karl-Johan Table Lamp
New Works & Signe Hytte Karl-Johan Table Lamp $295
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CB2 Rosie Smoke Table Lamp
CB2 Rosie Smoke Table Lamp $100
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Affectionately known as the Papa Bear chair, the original design is one of the most iconic Danish chairs of the 1900s. That being said, we have to admit that the alternative, inspired by original Danish designs, has an attractive price point!

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Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair
Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair $12500
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West Elm Niels Chair
West Elm Niels Chair $599 $230
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These two chic marble and brass clocks will help you tell the time, but only one will also help you save money. Which one do you like best?

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Menu Black Marble Wall Clock with Brass Hands
Menu Black Marble Wall Clock with Brass Hands $269
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CB2 Carlo Marble and Brass Wall Clock
CB2 Carlo Marble and Brass Wall Clock $70
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One is an iconic design from one of our favorite Los Angeles–based designers, and the other has a similar look and feel but at less than 10% of the price. What’s your preference?

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Kelly Wearstler Souffle Bed
Kelly Wearstler Souffle Bed $17900
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CB2 Reign Velvet Bed
CB2 Reign Velvet Bed $1299
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We love magazine racks casually placed next to lounge chairs or on desks. One of these was designed in the 1950s while the other one is a new model. Which is your favorite?

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Carl Aubock Magazine Rack
Carl Aubock Magazine Rack $1500
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Anthropologie Saddle Ring Desk Collection
Anthropologie Saddle Ring Desk Collection $128 $118
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Another couple of chairs jumping on the shearling trend, this time with a little less leg and a little more upholstery. One will save you $700. Which one do you prefer?

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Anthropologie Wool Hartwell Chair
Anthropologie Wool Hartwell Chair $2498 $1749
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West Elm Commune Shearling Chair
West Elm Commune Shearling Chair $1699 $1499
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