Not all transformative home improvements have to prove costly, in fact, often the simplest of changes can unlock the potential for how to make a home look expensive on a budget.
Similar to how the wrong paint colours can devalue a home the right interior design features can add value and even the smallest of styling tricks can help to figuratively add value, by making a home look expensive and more luxurious.
You don't have to spend big when looking to make a home look expensive, sometimes it's the finer details and small changes that make all the difference. From introducing an array of sumptuous fabrics and reconfiguring the furniture our experts explain how these simple ideas can go a long way to creating a more expensive-looking home.
Home to make a home look expensive: 13 interior design tricks
Making a home look expensive essentially all comes down to how you curate and use the space, to show that every inch of the decor is considered. Whether you want to make a kitchen look expensive or make a bedroom look expensive, it's all about carefully considering even the smallest of design aspects.
From displaying decorative flower arrangements and artwork to introducing sumptuous fabrics, there's an interior design trick to add visual value to any room in the house.
1. Declutter to create a minimalist look
Luxury homes tend to be more minimalist in their design, and the best way to emulate this is by keeping clutter to a minimum, so everything feels more considered and intentional.
“Possibly the most simple and effective way to improve the look and feel of your home is by thoroughly decluttering and organising it," says Juliette Thomas, founder and creative director, of Juliettes Interiors. "Creating the chic designer aesthetic means minimising what is on display and streamlining your possessions.
Spend a day organizing which things you want to sell or donate and invest in some creative storage solutions such as stylish woven baskets, a sideboard, or a chest of drawers. You’ll be surprised at how dramatically different your home feels.
Juliette is the founder of the London-based interior design and luxury furniture retail company, Juliettes Interiors. Juliette has been designing and offering unique exclusive interiors and furnishings since 2005. Juliette’s speciality is the high end luxury residential private customer. Delivering high quality, one-off exclusive designs and projects that just don’t exist anywhere else with a 5-star world-class service.
2. Display flower arrangements
Picture the entrance to any grand establishment, from a country club to a plush hotel lobby and we bet that vision features a display of beautiful blooms. An elegant bouquet is an easy yet highly effective way to welcome a touch of luxury to any interior space.
While fresh flowers are a delight they don't last long, and given the supreme realism of modern artificial arrangements, it makes sense to fake them. "A faux bouquet can add a luxurious touch to your home, adding a beautiful focal point through colour and texture invoking a natural finish to a room," says Olivia O’Reilly, flower enthusiast and founder of Fauxquet.
The quality of faux stems has vastly improved making them indiscernible from their fresh counterparts. Many variations even come with a ‘real touch’ finish, a specialist coating that makes the flower look and feel real – so they look incredibly authentic.
"I have bouquets in different shapes, sizes and colours throughout my home and will often update them with a few seasonal stems to reflect the changing seasons," Olivia explains. "Artificial bouquets offer a cost-effective, low-maintenance option for updating decor and creating an inviting, welcoming space."
From £55 | Add a touch of pretty blush blooms to any room to instantly upgrade the decor with a delicate dose of flowers. This hand-tied bouquet features the most popular of faux stems, showstopper artificial pink peonies with an incredible’ real touch’ finish.
£55 |Orchids are the epitome of elegance, but they can also be a challenge to keep alive and well meaning this artificial plant is an ideal solution. It offers a low-maintenance approach to making a home look expensive.
£55 | Sometimes the most simple arrangements can make the biggest style statement, like this one. Classic and classy, crisp white hydrangeas are ideal for any season, making this faux flower arrangement feel timeless.
3. Introduce sumptuous fabrics
When looking at soft furnishings think of the 'Quiet Luxury' trend because certain fabrics simply look more expensive, such as rich velvets and silk-like textures.
“There are a few design techniques that you can incorporate into your interiors to make your space feel more luxurious," explains Juliette. "One of the easiest ways is to include sumptuous, exquisite feeling fabrics via your soft furnishings and accessories.”
“Velvet and boucle are both great examples of fabrics that can make your home feel more premium. Focus on updating your sofa with a selection of scatter cushions in a variety of tones and shades to add depth and interest, paired with a soft throw in a similar shade or pattern. The same rule can be applied to your bedroom by adding these smaller details to your bed.”
4. Choose a cohesive colour palette
From the best white paint colours to the latest neutral interior paint colour trends for 2024, adopting a cohesive and calming colour palette exudes an interior designer's touch. It's also this reason the Quiet Luxury trend can add value to a home.
One thing you’ll notice about most luxury houses, apartments, or hotels is that they all tend to have a neutral colour palette. Therefore, if you want to create a sleek, expensive look in your home, then opting for neutral colours like white, beige, or taupe is a great place to start.
A fresh coat of paint can make the world of difference in how bright, clean, and generally attractive your home looks, and it’s generally much cheaper and more flexible than wallpaper.
However, walls with different textures or bold patterns are often a feature in luxury show homes, so if you do choose to splash out on a luxury wallpaper, you can always stick to one accent wall or a smaller space like the bathroom to get the most value for your money.
5. Pay close attention to door furniture
The devil is in the detail. It's all too easy to forget the finer details when it comes to decor, but door plates and thoughtful handles can elevate every single door or drawer around the house – making your home look more expensive because it shows that you've invested in the finer details.
Your existing door handles can be upgraded with the simple twist of a screwdriver. “Opt for a material that will suit your interior theme," recommends Paul McFadyen, managing director at metals4U.
"If you like the trending 'Royalcore' theme then crystal-style or dainty brass metal doorknobs work best. For a modern approach, copper and silver both bring the room to life. Using real metal door handles adds real interior value to the room.”
Best brass design
£160 Sold as a pair |Buster + Punch's ultra glam door handle is a best-seller for good reason. Made from solid brass the design features an intricate diamond-cut, cross-knurl pattern on the lever, which is refined by hand.
Best Chrome design
£25 | This Colours Beja door handle design would make for an elegant design for any room in the house. The soft arched shape of the scroll design looks considered and curated, an ideal door handle to replace outdated existing handles.
Best Black design
£17.99 | The sleek Matt Black finish on this aluminium and zinc construction screw-on rose design is ideal for those who like more of an understated monochrome decor.
6. Stage a grand entrance
The entrance hall is what greets guests first when stepping foot inside your home, so making it feel ultra impressive is the key to creating the right first impression. Of course, choosing the right colour idea for your hallway and the best colour for the front door can help also.
Make your hallway feel more receptive and expensive by dressing it thoughtfully and keeping it clutter-free at all times. You can create a more opulent feel by opting for plush carpets and stair runners, statement consoles, and utilizing the walls to display artwork and large mirrors.
To add to the luxe appeal create a signature scent for your home from the minute guests arrive, like five-star hotels so often do. “When it comes to thinking about interior design, it’s common to only focus on the impact a room will have on two of the senses: sight and touch. The smell is often overlooked, but scents can have a subtle yet wonderful impact on the feel of a space,” said the property experts at St Modwen Homes.
"Rotating a variety of best-scented candles and diffusers around your space, or even switching up your scents depending on the season, will change the feeling of the rooms to keep them fresh all year round.”
For those who want a concentrated home scent without the safety hazard of a scented candle, a room diffuser is your friend. With this best-selling product, a glass vessel holds the signature Winter scent which is drawn up into the air by the rattan reed sticks. The 150ml vessel lasts approximately 3 months.
If you prefer your home's signature scent to be one that instantly transports the senses to a faraway destination then the best-selling Seychelles scent reed diffuser has to be the one. Wooden sticks dipped in an essential oil that allows the scent to travel up and into the home 24/7.
Welcome the scent of happiness into your hallway to make your guests feel warmth from the moment they arrive. This uplifting scent will elevate their mood and therefore make the space feel more evocative – leaving a better first impression upon entering the house.
7. Layer luxury with rugs
Adding a rug is one of the most impactful design elements to transform any room in an instant and one that can be done on all budgets. Whether you're looking to inject a pop of accent colour or lift a neutral scheme with a hint of pattern or texture the rug is the most practical way to do so.
"Adding a new rug can instantly transform a room and is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add colour without a large investment," says Punam Chada, Buyer at Carpetright.
When it comes to making a home look more expensive when choosing a rug the key is to go oversized to add a sense of grandeur and seek plush materials that welcome a touch of luxury underfoot. Incidentally, a rug is one of the ways we suggest using the on-trend Pantone Color of the Year 2024 in your home.
8. Switch out light covers for luxe materials
As with your door handles, don't forget about the impact light switches can have on the decor. An easy way to make a home look expensive is to replace any unattractive plastic switches with a more stylish option – whether that's brass, gold, chrome, matt black, or gunmetal grey.
“Switch covers are a very smart and cheap way to upscale your room’s natural decor without causing permanent changes," says Paul. "Most plastic switch covers can be screwed out and easily replaced with more aesthetically pleasing colours."
“Brass and copper plate switch covers instantly bring luxury to a room without costing the earth. You can also opt for silver and gold-plated if you want to go bold with your theme, just don't forget to hold onto the old switch plates as you’ll need to screw them back when you move out.”
£49 | This is one of Punch's best-selling designs and it's easy to see why. The elegant 1G toggle switch is finished in a sophisticated brass. The toggle arm is made from solid brass and features the signature, diamond-cut, cross knurl pattern.
£7 | Easy on the eye but also easy on the budget. This Arlec Rocker 10A 1Gang 2Way light switch is for those who want a more modest Matt Black finish that doesn't stand out, especially when used on darker walls.
£85| Set the mood in style. Satin Stainless Steel by Heal's + Hamilton will not only elevate the look of the room it can also help to filter the light levels to help create the ambiance we have already talked about.
9. Make lighting choices more considered
A household oozes more grandeur when there's an ambience in the air. “The quickest way to update any space, on a budget, is to switch up the lighting," explains Rohan Blacker, founder at Pooky.
"Not only is lighting one of the most important things to consider from a practical perspective, but it can change the feel of a room." It's therefore imperative to avoid common lighting mistakes if you want to make a good impression.
A more considered lighting scheme adds a layer of soft elegance to any room and any decor scheme. "Layering is key, adding a simple table lamp with a decorative shade not only provides a decorative flourish but also introduces softer low-level light which makes a room feel cosy and more intimate.
"Similarly, wall lights are a great way of adding softer light whilst highlighting architectural features, which helps to create zoning. Combining these with a dimmer switch offers more control so you can create the right atmosphere.
Don’t be afraid to go big with your lighting design choices either. Large-scale pendants and chandeliers command attention and can often actually make a space look larger and more luxurious, and happily, both are key lighting trends in 2024.
Rohan Blacker, founder of lighting emporium Pooky and Sofa.com, is an all round interiors obsessive. Above all Rohan is a passionate believer that the right light lifts lives.
10. Conceal wires and pipes
Exposed wires and pipes are sure to spoil the aesthetic of any room and although you aren’t able to paint over them or add any permanent fixtures, you can still get the polished look with cheap and easy hacks.
For wires look to hide them away in affordable storage boxes that are specially designed with cutout holes to thread wires into to hide and conceal electrical boxes and plugs.
Alternatively, for any unsightly radiator pipes or the like, try using lookalike metal covers. “No matter if you want a brass, steel or bronze theme, it's very easy to get the polished look for your appliances and pipes by using metal-look plastic covers and pipe collars so your appliances look more expensive," explains Paul, "and they cost very little to buy online.” For instance, we've found these Amazon Radiator Pipe Sleeve Covers and Pipe Collars in Chrome Effect for £4.25.
11. Rearrange furniture
A highly cost-effective way to improve the look and feel of any room is to reconfigure the furniture layout to ensure you're maximising the potential of the space – ideal for adding a sense of grandeur.
Altering the positioning of a sofa or chairs, and arranging artwork to create new focal points is an easy way to fashion an expensive-looking space without spending a penny. In a bedroom moving the furniture might feel more restrictive, due to space, but simply pulling furniture away from your walls can create a better sense of flow and make it feel more interesting.
A central coffee table is synonymous with expensive-looking homes because it provides a focal point to position furniture in a more formal drawing-room setting. A coffee table also provides the perfect place to display your expensive-looking flower arrangements and coffee table books.
12. Add window treatments
Windows look lost without curtains, even those with blinds don't feel as well-dressed when they are not layered with the right window treatments. Even if the curtains are purely decorative in addition to working blinds or shutters they help to welcome a touch of opulence, especially in rich fabrics such as velvet or silk.
“Curtains and blinds can make a significant impact in any space (without breaking the budget)," explains Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains.
"Why not opt for some bold curtains to frame the window and don’t forget to go full length. If they are simply 'dress' curtains you can have fun with colours and patterns and then take them with you when you leave. If you have an existing blind, don’t be afraid to hang sheer curtains in front to layer the effect."
13. Hang artwork purposefully
There's no denying that artwork helps to dress walls, but how you place it and where can also be an easy win for making your home look expensive. Whether the art in question is a priceless piece from an art gallery or a bargain from TK Maxx, make it feel more expensive by giving careful consideration to how you hang it and light it giving it more prominence.
“Expensive homes tend to focus on minimal decor with statement pieces, such as one large piece of artwork," agrees Johanna "and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Use what you already have and get rid of any decorative items that either don’t match your home or simply that you don’t like anymore."
"Opting for one big piece of art for your wall is a great way to express opulence," explains Terry Fisher, a property expert of leading home buying service WeBuyAnyHome. "Try to find one that fills 70 per cent of the wall space. But if this isn’t quite in your budget then get some matching frames and make a mural of smaller artworks." Make use of picture rails to add an extra touch of elegance to your chosen artwork.
Of course, these are merely the interior design tricks we recommend for making the decor feel more expensive but if you are looking to make your house exterior look luxe perhaps for selling if you're thinking of moving home in the new year, there are also easy ways to make your house look expensive from the outside too.
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Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 22 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of womanandhome.com, she has spent the last 17 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.
A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interior trend forecasting events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.