We all know the feeling of flipping through design magazines or scrolling online and thinking, “Why can’t my house look like that?” The answer probably has something to do with a staged design and a million-dollar budget, but that doesn’t have to mean as much as you think it does. You don’t necessarily need a huge salary or savings account to design the house of your dreams. There are plenty of ways you can make your home look more expensive without submitting to insane price tags.
All you really need is a good eye for design and a little creativity. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Use Light to Your Advantage
There’s something about a lot of light that makes a space feel more glamorous. The key is to use the right type of lighting. You don’t want to flood your space with harsh lighting that will cast awkward shadows. Sarah Coffey with Apartment Therapy suggests utilizing three different kinds of lighting in each room: overhead lights, specific lighting (lamps), and decorative lighting (sconces, candles, etc).
Another idea is to install a dimmer in your overhead lights. This allows you to control both the brightness of the room and the overall mood. You don’t even need to hire an electrician to install a dimmer. It’s typically an easy DIY project you can handle in less than a day. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.
2. Clean Up the Clutter
When you look at all those photos of luxurious-looking rooms, you’ll notice they have at least one thing in common: there’s no clutter. Implementing a simple, minimalist design is one of the fastest and easiest ways you can spruce up a room.
You want to showcase a few beautiful pieces in the room and keep focus away from clutter. This is tricky to do when you’re a mom and your kids like to take over the living room. We suggest investing in a few storage containers that are both useful and beautiful. That way you can have things handy for when you need them, but they don’t create clutter in your otherwise well-designed room.
3. Highlight Large-Scale Art
When planning what to hang on your walls, go for large-scale art to make your home look more expensive. You could easily spend thousands of dollars on a single piece of art, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. You’re on a budget, and there are plenty of budget-friendly art options.
Photography and prints are usually more affordable than paintings if you choose to get your art directly from an artist. You can also create your own wall art using photographs you took yourself. Make sure the photo is of a high quality and doesn’t look grainy when you print it out. You want this art to be at least 24″x 36″ so there will be no hiding little imperfections.
Having the photo printed will be cheap, and you could even frame it yourself. If you have a little room in your budget, however, I suggest professional framing. There’s something about a professionally framed photograph that just screams high class.
4. Add Some Green
Fresh flower bouquets and potted plants always elevate a room’s design. They can add a pop of color while also adding variety to the textures in the room. A few strategically placed plants will always make your house look more expensive.
If you’re not confident you can keep long-term potted plants alive, choose hard-to-kill succulents and cacti. A large fern will also look good in the corner of a room, but a dying plant won’t do you any favors.
Potted plants are the more budget-friendly option, but you can also splurge occasionally on fresh-cut bouquets. Get arrangements from the grocery store instead of a florist, and switch them out when they start to wilt.
5. Hang Your Curtains Up High
High ceilings are another characteristic in expensive-looking homes. But if your living room has the standard eight-foot ceiling, you can use an optical illusion to make it look like you have more room. Instead of hanging your curtains in their traditional spot right above the glass, raise them up closer to the ceiling.
Raising your curtains will draw the eye upward and create the illusion that the room is taller than it actually is. When you do this, make sure your curtains are the appropriate length. You want them to fall all the way to the floor.
6. Choose New Throw Pillows
Your budget might not allow for all new furniture, but a few new throw pillows can also work to make your house look more expensive. Don’t be afraid to choose pillows with bold colors and patterns!
You can use your pillows to give your room a fun accent color while also drawing attention to a contrasting texture or pattern. Pillows with a little something extra, like fringe or fluff, can attract attention and add an interesting aspect to your room’s design.
Throw pillows are also great for when you feel like you need a change but don’t have the money or energy for a full redesign. Simply swapping out pillows can give a room a whole new vibe.