Co-founders of a Hong Kong-based interior design firm, Panthera Interiors, Rachel Lee and Nim Lidman talk us through the key insights on how to create a beautiful home and look glamorous on a budget. 

Launched in early 2020 by Rachel Lee and Nim Lidman, Panthera Interiors was established at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recognising the resulting rise in online services, the dynamic duo filled in the gap for affordable online interior design services with their expertise. Not to forget – with most people staying at home, the ongoing pandemic offers a fresh opportunity for many homeowners to redesign and develop their homes into more unique spaces, both independently and with the consultation of an Interior Designer. Rachel and Nim share 7 useful tips on how to curate your home more to look glamorous on a budget, as well as insights into 2021 Interior Design Trends to watch out for. 

1. Warm Tone Lighting and Custom Shades 

“The first thing I notice, even from the outside of an apartment is the lighting. If you want to make your home look more expensive, you will need a warmer tone. Warm tone lighting is a lot more forgiving to imperfections than cool tones: it makes a room come together. Cool tone lighting stays very harsh and you can see walls and their texture very clearly. Warmer lighting softens everything,” says Rachel. She also suggests to get some custom shades for your lightbulbs – it changes the whole perspective of your home.

7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Glamorous on A Budget Panthera Interiors Voyage Alpin

Panthera Interiors “Voyage Alpin” Concept

2. Fresh Flowers 

When people think of fresh flowers, they immediately think they need to go to a florist and get them arranged, but that’s not really true. Rachel explains, “There are so many DIY videos on YouTube teaching us how to make our own arrangements.” She suggests incorporating your arrangement with a nice vase and some ribbons to make it look expensive. She further enhances that, “It takes a bit of trial and error to get everything right.”

Choosing the type of flowers is a very important process, as well. She says, “If you have potted plants, then all you have to do is water and trim them occasionally.” These are easy ways to make your home look glamorous on a budget.

3. Accessorising your Home

The team’s third tip is accessorising – which goes hand in hand with adding warmth to the home. Rachel explains, “This isn’t an expensive process, but, it’s important you purchase quality.” They recommend Zara Home, H&M Home,  or a long-time favourite AMARA

“Additionally, we personally believe that gold is a really nice way to add a bit of glam into your home. I’d say soft furnishing is also key. Throw in some textured cushions if you need to. Lastly, make sure everything that you have is an accessory that you actually love because if you don’t, it’s just clutter.”

4. Matching Sets for your Essentials 

Rachel and Nim’s next tip is buying matching sets for all your essentials – whether it’s soap containers, toothbrush holders, or anything else you need. “Things that come in sets look more expensive, chic, and deliberate.” Matching sets don’t have to be expensive – Amazon is a popular and affordable option to look glamorous on a budget.

5. Housekeeping

No matter how nice your home looks, if you don’t look after it, it just ends up looking a bit overrun, says the team. “Making your home look nice takes work, however, the smallest effort pays off. Puff up your cushions, fold up your bedsheets. These things don’t cost any money but immediately make your home look cleaner, neater, and ten times more elegant. Got a stain on a rug? Fix it! Don’t let the dirt build-up,” says Rachel. You don’t notice things when you see them every day, but when someone else sees them for the first time, it’s these things that they notice that you don’t normally. Spoil your home to some candles – it makes a difference.

7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Glamorous on A Budget Panthera Interiors Panthera Luxe

Panthera Interiors “Panthera Luxe” Concept

6. Incorporating Different Textures

Wood, rugs, metal accessories – incorporate different textures into your home. “The first thing to add is a rug! I believe that ties everything together. Try and match your rug to your other furniture and take it from there. When it comes to accessorizing, make sure everything has meaning and that will stop you from going overboard.”

7. Save Your Money by Using An Online Interior Designer

In Hong Kong, it’s expensive to hire an interior designer. Rachel says, “Both Nim and I are qualified professional interior designers. Rest assured that our work is at the same level as you would get from a traditional interior designer. We offer different packages, suitable for you. Our average timeline for projects is only 2 weeks from start to end. We are able to work with your budget and preferred sourcing. Every single piece that we select is carefully chosen to ensure you get the best.”

7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Glamorous on A Budget Panthera Interiors African Landscape

Panthera Interiors “African Landscape” Concept

Key Interior Design trends to look out for in 2021:

Velvet! They enhance richness to your home. Additionally, Rachel and Nim mentioned that eco-friendly and sustainable furniture is another trend to watch out for. And not to forget, rattan. It’s traditionally found in light ashwood and can be put on furniture.

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