True story, our first property sold for the full listing price during the market dip in 2012. Yep! If you want to learn how to make your home look expensive while keeping your money in your wallet, read on my friend.
You see, as the new buyer anxiously walked through our home, he was picturing himself living in among our carefully curated decor and valued the property as well as the decor at a much higher value than we paid.
Now, I did not feel the need to point out the items I picked up in aisle six at Costco, the freebies from Pottery Barn, nick nacks from IKEA, or scores at Home Goods. He never presented me with a question; hence, no answer was warranted. I think that was the one thing that stood out to me from real estate school – silence is golden.
Blake was a 26-year-old single male professional with no patience for finding a deal or knowledge of how to upcycle furniture. He did, however, appreciate the antique chest that held the firewood and marble top console table in the foyer with a bowl waiting for him to drop his keys in. Those pieces added to the charm to the home and items he knew he could not easily replace.
So, when the new owner asked if he could write us a check for all our furnishings, I placed a price tag that included my time for creating a well-decorated home in addition to the full retail price of all furnishings. Check, please, and thank you.
Table of Contents
A Home Should Be Collected, Not Decorated
By collecting things you love that are authentic to you as an individual, your home will become a representation of your family’s story. Each time you view the framed heirloom family recipe, the plant that was graphed from your friend’s garden or a photograph, you will be filled with gratitude.
We have always described our decor style as eclectic. For two reasons, first, we try to decorate a home according to the style of the property. Forcing the farmhouse decor in a Spanish villa home would be a crime. It will also detract from its beauty and decrease the value altogether.
Second, we appreciate all decor styles and don’t feel the need to stick to one. There are, however, a few decor principles we try to obey so as not to create chaos.
Make Your Home Look More Expensive Where It Counts Most
Upon entering a home, most floor plans have you arrive in the living room. It’s a room that definitely lives up to its name, as it’s where “living” happens. Super bowl parties, late movie nights binging on Netflix, and where you spend a lazy Sunday napping. Come on, you know it’s true.
Don’t worry; you won’t need to dump out your 401(K) to spruce up your space. You could pick and choose which projects to take on within your given budget.
Add Crown Molding
My love for crown molding, base molding and window trim runs deep! Personally, I think it’s an investment not to be skipped. It has a high return on investment since it adds value to the architectural elements of the structure.
If you are not able to afford to put crown molding in the entire house, focus on the main areas of your home such as the living room and dinning room. Molding adds an immediate luxurious effect to any decor.
Since molding is installed in sections, additional rooms can be added in the future if desired but are not necessary. I must add, a skilled craftsman should do the installation.
With seasonal temperature changes, the molding will expand and contract causing faults to be apparent. In other words, shoddy work will look more horrible as time passes. No caulk will cover an abundance of errors.
Think Of Curtains As The Lipstick Of Decorating
To add some luxe to any room, make sure your curtains hit the floor – No high waters allowed!
If you really want to go the extra mile, line all your draperies the same color. Doing so will give your house extra brownie points when viewing your home from the curbside. If you need some guidance on how to find the curtains, you will find this post helpful, Home Curtain Ideas To Try.
Expensive Homes Incorporate Natural Materials and Textures
Choose a variety of wood tones, metals, leather, and woven materials to create both texture and interest.
For example, if you choose a wool blend sofa, toss in both leather and chunky knit pillows into the mix. If you’re an animal lover like me, add a faux-fur blanket on the arm of the sofa.
One of my clients previously worked with a high-end designer before working with me who picked up a faux-fur blanket for $495.00. Since the colors in the throw blanket no longer worked for her décor, I picked a faux-fur blanket that came with a price tag of $24 at Home Goods.
She fell in love with my choice and initially thought it came with a high sticker price – much to her surprise, she learned dupes have their place.
If you are trying to learn how to make your home look more expensive, remember it’s not about price; it’s about choosing items that blend well together. Please keep this in mind so as not to fall prey to bad choices simply because it’s less expensive. You can have both – cost savings and good taste.
Using Art To Elevate Your Space
I choose the photo below to illustrate the power one piece of art can have on a space. This room has no drapery or rug; however, the art pulls the room together. It even gives a false sense of feeling finished.
Do you need to purchase expensive artwork to make an impact?
Not at all, we have begun to curate a collection to provide our readers with options to incorporate art into their homes WITHOUT going broke. We even have digital images that you can purchase for a few dollars and have printed on your own.
Canvas paper prints can be purchased and framed to your liking. To give the prints, a more luxe feel add a mat before framing.
How To Use a Rug To Make Your Space Look Expensive
Finding the right area rug can make or break your décor. Basically, you need to determine two key things: the right rug size and how to properly place your rug.
Don’t worry I got you covered in this department when ready jump on my post What is the right size area rug for a living room? The principles of that article apply to almost any room and you will learn a few tricks to make even your inexpensive rug look good.
Understand Proportion and Scale
The words scale and proportion are used interchangeably; however, they have different meanings.
When speaking of scale, this refers to the relation of one object to another. As an example, the standard heights for countertops are scaled to fit or work for the average person.
Proportion refers to a more general relationship in size between several objects. An example of this would be the recommendation of a coffee table is about two-thirds the length of the sofa they are set next too.
The photo below shows the sofa being the wrong scale as it clearly does not fit in the space. The proportion of the lighting fixture is too small for its intended use.
Keep Your Decor Cohesive
The photo below shows a busy design done correctly. Why? A few reasons the designer stuck to the color pallet, use rugs to separate the spaces in the open floor plan, and used one accent color – yellow.
Having a clear vision of your end décor goals will allow you to keep in control of your décor. Creating a mood board can be extremely helpful. Here’s How to Create a Mood Board and How To Avoid Decorating Mistakes.
How To Properly Use Lighting
Here’s a fantastic and inexpensive way to create some severe ambiance and make any room look luxurious – add some dimmers. I know that’s probably not what you were expecting, but everything looks better in romantic lighting.
You can also add different light sources to create more complexity in your design. Of course, having the right color bulbs is a must.
You should look for warm white light bulbs with a kelvin range of 3,000 to 3,500. These bulbs produce a more yellowish-white lighting which is warmer and more flattering. Bright white light bulbs are known to be colder due to their blue tones
By far, your dining room is one of the most critical rooms to get your lighting correct.
For my blog post – How Important is Dining Room Lighting? I interviewed a restaurant developer. She shared a few helpful tips which anyone can apply to their own spaces, including proper height, style, and sizes to make your fixtures work in your décor.
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It's All In The Details
After all the hard work is done of painting, finding the right furniture pieces, and hanging up curtains are completed, now it’s time to put the icing on top.
It’s all in the finishing details. Arranging a few well-chosen objects is an insider trick of the trade. This is how you can make your home feel expensive, even with inexpensive items.
A small plant, a candle, or books is sometimes all it takes.
Focus on one or two areas to layer and add a few touches. In general, bookshelves, coffee tables, nightstands, and mantles are the go-to places.
As you can see, how to make your home look more expensive is easier than you think. Keeping your home organized and tidy, always makes your pad look more polished.
Lastly, it’s not about how much you spend, but more about knowing how to pick pieces of furniture that complement each other. To recap what was discussed in this post, see the outline below.
For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.
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|How To Make Your Home Look Expensive|
Install crown molding. If on a limited budget, focus on the main living areas only.
Make sure all draperies hit the floor.
Learn the art of layering and grouping small details.
Incorporate natural materials and textures.
Incorporate some art. Purchase inexpensive prints, enlarge them with mats, and finish with a timeless frame.
Roll out a few rugs. Use them to separate spaces in open floor plans.
Find furniture pieces that are the right scale. Decorate with proper proportions.
Make sure your design is cohesive and blends well together.
Aim for soft or warm lighting bulbs with a range of 3-3,500. Max of 4,000 kelvins.
Add a few simple details to complete the decor. Less is more.
Just a friendly remember - a neat, organize, and fresh smelling home always looks more expensive.