After purchasing a new home with her husband over five years ago, Reichel Broussard found herself with a challenge: balancing a high mortgage with designer tastes.Having worked in marketing and design for fashion and home-furnishings companies, she’d become accustomed to admiring the chic looks of celeb-owned lofts and high-end homes on the pages of glossy decor magazines. Suddenly, she needed to balance her desire for luxe-looking interiors with a real-life budget.
Her solution? Hone her natural talent for finding on-trend styles at last-season prices by scrutinizing high-end designs and then scouring bargain resources to find similar pieces. Not only did her home get the décor it deserved, her blog and design business, Copy Cat Chic, was born.
We asked Broussard, whose Joss & Main Curator’s Collection launched January 6, to share some of her tricks. Here, she explains how to go from wistfully pinning out-of-reach tufted sofas to your Pinterest boards to giving your home a new look in real life.
Budget for the big items first.
Once you’ve determined your revamping budget, plan on picking out the biggest pieces of furniture and decor first–think supremely comfortable sofas and timeless rugs. It’s okay to splurge on the focal point of the room, says Broussard. “I focus on the major pieces first then add in the ornaments that determine the look of the room.” Paint, side tables, pillows, and other accents don’t have to be super high-quality, since they can be replaced over time as trends change, she says.
Pick classic pieces to last.
Create a solid base of furniture that you love and everything else will come together after that, Broussard says. “I don’t go for a particular look or trend. I go for whatever piece draws me in. I ask myself, ‘through the years, what have I always liked? I go for timeless furniture, classic Americana that will stand the test of time,’” Broussard explains. In her Affordable Chic collection on sale now at Joss & Main, the curator hand-picked an array of white, black, and neutral pieces along with bold, colorful accents.
Match moods and looks, not individual items.
The idea of recreating a room from the pages of Architectural Digest may seem intimidating when you’re on a budget, but “you don’t have to copy it to the T, as long as you’re in the same color story or design family,” Broussard says. Pick elements from the inspiration photos you’ve collected—the paint color, the shape and details of the furniture, the tones and textures of the textiles—and aim to find similar, if not exact, matches. Her blog, Copy Cat Chic, frequently highlights “inspired” items that achieve the look of much higher-end finds at a fraction of the cost, and it can be a great place to get ideas.
Reflect the trends through accessories.
To keep your decor contemporary, pick low-cost accents that will bring a pop of style to your home, but will also be easy to swap out when the next hot trend catches your eye. When choosing her delightful baubles and eccentric decor, Broussard says, “I’m looking for original inspiration and what’s hot in fashion.” Graphic-printed pillows, vibrant trinkets and vases, shimmering metallic statuettes and luminaries, and bold patterned rugs can offer high visual impact at a low cost. At a loss for where to start? Broussard suggests dressing the room as you would dress up an outfit: “If you don’t know where to start, look at your own fashion. If you like shimmering, dangling earrings, pull in a chandelier. If you like gold bangle bracelets, pull in ornate golden frames.”
Keep it personal with DIY touches.
To keep your home from looking too much like a showroom, Broussard suggests sprinkling in “personal pieces with more of a connection to who you are.” Reupholster your grandfather’s favorite arm chair in a chic understated chevron print, paint that estate sale find a bold azure hue, or hang vintage family photos on the walls, she suggests. Whether it’s the focal point of the room or a charming heirloom accents, your family and friends—and, of course, you–will delight seeing these thoughtful details. And patience is key: “You want your room to be personalized, and that takes time.” Always be on the hunt for something to add to your space, and your home will continue to evolve with your tastes—high end or low.