52 Things That Can Make Your Home Look More Expensive
Even on a budget, you can create a home that looks straight out of a luxury magazine.
Treat each room as a blank slate
Take note of the preexisting features in your home you can highlight. Architectural details such as crown molding, wooden beams, hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves, and mosaic-tile backsplashes are all worth focusing on. These details don’t just look expensive; they are expensive. Make them as prominent as possible—keep them clean, clutter-free, and the focal point of the room. For example, don’t splurge on an expensive painting just to have it compete with a showstopping fireplace.
Add a pop of color
“Paint is extremely inexpensive and makes a big difference,” says Keysha Jillian, lead interior designer and owner of K. Jillian Designs, based in Tampa, Florida. “Whether you need to tone down a color or add a bold color to liven up your space, color is great for changing the overall feel of a room.” A nice wash of color might only cost around $31.99 for a gallon. If you’re selling your home, you might want to paint it this color to net an additional $5,000.
Pick towels you’re actually excited to use
It’s time to get rid of those dingy old bath towels—discolored whites and bleach-stained colors make your space look dirty and cheap. “Proudly display crisp white, fluffy towels like the kind you would find in a fancy hotel or spa,” says Drew Henry, founder of design firm Design Dudes. “This will immediately trigger a feeling for your guests, and they will have a more luxurious feeling towards the space.” These towels have great customer reviews and they come in white and 17 other colors. Steal these other 16 decorating tricks hotel rooms use to feel luxurious.
Swap out your throw pillows
Throw pillows are an easy way to accessorize and brighten a room, whether you buy them or make your own. Jillian says homeowners should throw out their older throw pillows and replace them with bright, fuller pillows—or just buy crisp new pillow covers. “Mix and match colors and textures, and blend different groupings,” she says. But more is not better. “There can be too many pillows, so make sure you don’t go overboard.”
If your walls are bare besides the occasional artwork, consider adding molding to the baseboard, chair rail, or ceiling. “It doesn’t even have to be a gaudy, Victorian-style molding—a simple and single-shape, single-depth piece of molding will do the trick,” says interior designer Erica Leigh Reiner, owner of E. Leigh Designs.
Hang art on the walls
From family photos to DIY art, framed works can make a house feel like a home. Before mounting any work, homeowners should figure out where everything should be placed and the proper way to hang it. “Make sure the art you select is the right size and scale for the wall you’re decorating, and remember you don’t need artwork on every empty wall,” says Jillian. “If you feel creative, a great way to get inexpensive artwork is to create your own. Head to your local craft store and you can find everything you need to create a beautiful canvas or framed custom artwork.” Just avoid these 9 common mistakes people make when hanging picture frames.
Accent with accessories
Magazines are a great source of home decorating ideas and inspiration for how to accessorize a room. However, homeowners should expect to shop around for a budget-friendly version of anything they see in a design magazine. “Accessories vary significantly in cost, but if you’re looking for a great deal there are plenty of discount home stores that offer stupendous finds, says Jillian. “My ‘go-to’ store for a lot of home design items (especially for clients on a budget) is HomeGoods.”
Create DIY “built-in” structures
The key to making any piece—from bookshelves to kitchen cabinets look custom is to have them fit into your home perfectly. The easiest way to achieve this look is to have them extend all the way from floor to ceiling. A bookshelf that spans an entire wall will almost always look more expensive than one that stands alone. Luckily, with a bit of forward planning, this project can be tackled in one or two weekends. Save money with these other 11 home improvement projects you can do yourself.
Update old fixtures
A quick and easy way to decorate on a dime is to update old fixtures, especially in the kitchen. Knobs, handles, drawer pulls, and light switch plates are small, inexpensive details that give your home a high-end sheen.
Throw a backsplash on it
A DIY backsplash is great for jazzing up a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room without breaking the bank. This mosaic floor and wall tile backsplash comes with mesh backing for an easy installation. If tiling a backsplash is too intimidating, consider creating an accent wall with bright colored paint.