Want your place to look like those home design website images you drool over? Of course you do! Problem is, your budget may not match your design aspirations. Fear not! Making your home look high-end isn’t always about spending tons of cash.
It’s a matter of taking the time and care to arrange things in an eye-pleasing way—and making small, inexpensive updates that have a big impact. In other words, it’s about being sneaky.
Here are a few tricks to pull if you want to add the illusion of luxury.
1. Declutter: Nothing says “this home ain’t worth much” like tons of disjointed knickknacks, piles of books, and other miscellaneous items that should be tossed or stored. so as a first step declutter the rooms and get rid of anything that doesn’t mesh with your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional. Walk through each room of your home and edit items. Make some tough decisions.
2. Eliminate Grunge: You may not have time for intensive cleaning on a weekly basis, but a once- or twice-yearly deep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more luxurious. After all, you rarely see a mansion with dirty baseboards. Go through your home and search for overlooked areas that have become dirty and downright gross. Get sparkly new floors–minus the refinishing. Try steam cleaning wood floors for an immediate lift to the finish.
3. Lighting: Designers use lighting to define spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand. Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook, sofas and chairs for company, and a television. Visually differentiate among the areas by using different kinds of lighting: Add a table lamp beside your cozy reading chair and sconces behind your couch for conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them. Installing is a relatively simple DIY.
4. Upgrade your hardware: Don’t have a kitchen renovation in the budget? You can get a similar effect for much less by swapping out old, dated hardware for new. Tired of your brushed-steel drawer pulls? Try gold, bronze, or even crystal—or make an adventure of it and scour your local thrift store for vintage hardware that screams your style.It’s not hard to find attractive options in any decor style for next to nothing (a drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less). Changing the countertop and faucets is another change that can make your home look much pricier, Huh says. If you have the budget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something fresh that matches your brand-new hardware.
5. Repaint: There’s no simpler way to make an old home feel new than painting.You can’t go wrong with classy neutrals. Minimalists might love a bright white combined with a bold accent wall; DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woods. Paint isn’t just for your walls add some color to your front door, window trims, or even the floor, if you’re brave (hardwood can look amazing when painted white).
6. Focus on the devil in the (decor) details: Does your home feel a little meh—and you’re not sure how to change it? Try vignettes—combine decor items (e.g., vases, frames, and objets) that add visual interest to an otherwise bland area—perhaps a shelf or console table.