Tips and Guides

RL Tips: 7 Ways to Glam Up Your Space Within Budget

Mix and match your high-end pieces with thrift store finds and become a mix master


You’ve saved up for the designer sofa, the coffee table, and chairs. Now that you have them, you haven’t added much to it because you’re thinking that you’ll need to spend an arm and leg to accessorize it. But don’t just head out and buy a matching accessory to pair with your set. Learn a couple of handy hints from stylist and designer Pam Tan.

Picks and Styling by Pam Tan. Photographed by Jun Pinzon.

 Read the original article ("Become a Mix Master") in the May 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

1. Bring out all your accessories.

Lay out everything that you have. You may group items that can possibly go together in one area or corner, or simply lay everything on the floor to have an overview of what you have.

2. Decorate with direction.

Decide which area you want to start styling so you’ll be more organized. Start with the easy ones, like layering throw pillows on your sofa, before you start tackling a shelf or a console. Choosing among the many knick-knacks you have for your console, shelf or console can take too much time.

3. For your coffee table, choose something unexpected.

You don’t always have to place a flower vase at the center or pile coffee table books on it. An item that looks good on a console may also suit your coffee table – like this metal horse from Sifra Interiors and Objects. Random items like unused chess pieces can also make for great décor.

4. For small surfaces like a side table, choose a few accessories that give a good impact.

This side table is jazzed up with a handful of items – a table lamp from Dapitan, finials from Kamuning, and a quirky jackstone tabletop décor from Interiors. They may be few but they are unique.

5. When decorating your console, also pay attention to the wall it is leaning against.

Spruce it up with frames, decals, wall art, or other wall-hung décor. These decorative wooden letters and wall hangings from various thrift shops in Cubao give a warm, cabin-like feel, and are a great alternative to framed prints.

6. Play with height, shapes, and textures on your console.

Don’t worry if your choices of accessories don’t work together at first. Mix different objects – frames, small potted plants, tchotchkes of different shapes and sizes. Look at them from afar if they appear balanced and cohesive. Keep moving them around or adding or removing accessories until you get the look and feel that you want.

7. Add finishing touches after you’re done decorating each corner of your space.

Assess if you have spots that look bare. Maybe all you need to do is add an ottoman or a stool. You may also raid your closet for additional pieces.


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