How to Make Your Home Look Expensive on a Budget
By Shelley Alexanian
You want your home to look luxe, but your bank account has other ideas. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot to make it look like you did.
With a little ingenuity and these 12 ideas, you can transform your home into a posh palace:
Splurge on Focal Pieces. You may not be able to break the bank on every item in your home, but consider splurging on attention-grabbing pieces. For example, a high-quality leather chair or fancy wallpaper on a prominent wall are good ways to spend money strategically. With these elements in place, you can be more budget-conscious with other purchases.
Layer Rugs. Rugs are a cost-effective way to add warmth and style to a room. To create a custom look, layer rugs beneath a furniture grouping. For example, use a large, rectangular sisal rug in a neutral color as the anchor. On top, place an animal print rug or use a series of brightly colored rugs in geometric patterns to create interest.
Employ Wainscoting and Trim. There's no way around it. Wainscoting, crown moldings and other types of custom trimwork make a home look elegant. Fortunately, they're not terribly expensive to install, especially if you have the tools and know-how to do it yourself.
Use Paint to Your Advantage. Not only is paint affordable, but it is transformative. Simply painting walls a sophisticated color will achieve the high-end look you desire. Paint can also transform thrift-store furniture and decor. With many types of paint readily available at your local hardware store, you can easily alter textures within your design scheme. Use chalk paint to distress a vintage table or a metallic spray paint to refresh picture frames or decorative elements.
Paint Doors. Set the aesthetic from the moment a guest arrives at your house. Paint your front door a color that complements your home’s interior. The door's color will anchor your home's color scheme while adding drama and style to your entryway. Also consider painting the interior doors in your abode a signature color that makes your residence one-of-a-kind.
Opt for Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring. Love the look of hardwood, but can't afford the price tag? Luxury vinyl plank flooring is an affordable alternative. The best part? You can probably install it yourself, which means you don't have to pay labor costs. Vinyl plank flooring can be glued or clicked in place for easy installation. It's also waterproof, which makes it a practical alternative in kitchens and bathrooms.
Layer Lighting. A layered lighting concept will add warmth, depth and glamour to any room. Along with overhead lighting, utilize lamps, plug-in sconces and possibly LED lighting to create a glowing lightscape.
Copy a Look You Love. During your window shopping trips, you've probably discovered furniture, light fixtures or other design elements that are way out of your price range. That's fine! Snap a photo so you can recreate the look for less. A quick search on Pinterest may reveal similar ideas. Or hit the thrift stores and flea markets to find raw materials for your design hack.
Fake It 'til You Make It. Expensive homes often have soaring ceilings. Your home's ceilings may be decidedly lower, but you can make them look higher. Just hang your curtains closer to the ceiling than the window frame. This creates an optical illusion that makes the room seem taller.
Embrace Your Artistic Side. Large-scale artwork is a great way to set your home apart, but it's usually quite pricey. Instead of blowing your budget, make it yourself. Simply buy a huge, white canvas and create a masterpiece. Abstract paintings are good options if you're not artistically gifted; if you have a little talent in this area, you might try your hand at a more contemporary composition. Display your art prominently in your home. When friends ask about it, just tell them you had the piece commissioned by an up-and-coming artist!
Don't Overdo It. Adding too many elements to a room will cheapen the look. If a room appears too cluttered, remove some knick-knacks, pillows or books. Remember, less is usually more when it comes to interior design. You'll end up with a more sophisticated space that feels light and airy instead of cramped and busy.
Camouflage the Television. While the television may play a prominent role in your family's life, it can also detract from your interior design. Hide it in a cabinet, piece of furniture or behind a screen when you have visitors.
Making your home look like a million bucks doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can achieve a high-end look for less using some creativity and these tips.
Shelley Alexanian is spokesperson for Alexanian, a Canada-based full-service flooring and window covering businesses. With several years of industry experience, she is skilled at creating beautiful designs under a variety of budgets. She believes design is at the heart of everything.