I know this time of year, we all need as many budget boosters as possible. The holy grail of home design? How to make your home look expensive without the price tag. 💸
I've spent many years mastering ways to produce luxury for less and boosting clients decorating pots. Cost-effective home design (that looks anything but) is about knowing clever hacks knowing where to spend and where to save. Today I wanted to share the many inexpensive ways to give the perception of luxury.... Just in time for next months big event!
My Number #1 Tip To Make How To Make Your Home Look More Expensive? Scale Up.
Your eyes don't lie. They love mathematical problems to solve, and your eyes and brain jump in to want to work things out. You will know when a picture looks lost on a wall, when it's too small and just not sitting proportionally accurate with its surroundings, and it makes you feel a little uneasy and your OCD kicks in a little.
Well, my friend, this is an interior design principle of proportion and scale in action.
One of the biggest tips I can give to give for how to make your home feel more expensive, go big sister. If you're unsure of the size of something, scale it up. Scaling up ads adds confidence to a scheme. Impact and a strong statement will make your home feel more expensive.
If your room feels a little cramped to begin with, and you like to create the perception of roominess, I have an entire post dedicated to faking the square footage, which might be your next read.
Here are some of my general tips for how to make your home feel more expensive. Save this post for later. With so many nuggets of pure gold for how to make your home feel more expensive, grab the cheat sheet with room-specific options for your bedroom, living room, kitchen, + bathroom below. Let's jump in.
4 Window Treatments Hacks To Make Your Home Feel More Expensive
1 - Double Up Your Window Treatments
Double up your window treatments (increase the width by 1.5, 2 or 2.5 x width of the window), without the need to go custom. You could head to Ikea, but double up and use two panels per stack back and this will increase the curtains volume and make your home feel more expensive.
2 - Hang them wide + High!
Hanging your curtains high increases the perception of how high the ceiling is, and positioning them broader than the window will increase the perception of width, making your window feel bigger and more impactful.
3 - Go Full Length
Full-length curtains make a space feel more high-end, polished and luxurious. Puddling curtains on the floor can also be an elegant touch. We usually add 5 inches max to the finished length, but it depends on the desired look, could be a little less.
4 - Layer Up
Layer your window treatments. I love layered window treatments. Here are the steps to create a layered look:
- Recess fit a roller blind so that it’s hidden.
- Purchase a double pole, I love bradley poles for effortless chic.
- Hang two Ikea panels on one pole for your main curtains
- Hang a wide width non-directional voile (say up to 280 wide that you can run horizontally without the need for joins i.e. railroaded)
- Et voila a high-end elegant layered look, without the custom layered up price tag
18 Accessories, Fabrics + Finishes Hacks To Make Your Home Feel More Expensive
1 - A Little High End Goes A Long Way
Use high-end materials where you can. Think about marble, antique gold, leather, crystal, solid wood. They all bring to mind the feeling of luxury and are a great addition in small quantities to make your home feel more expensive. A little goes a long way.
2 - Voluptuous Velvet
Use luxurious velvets for upholstery and soft furnishings. Velvet is known for its smooth texture and elegant look. Velvets made with synthetic materials (instead of natural silk or cotton) are generally relatively inexpensive and more durable. Many companies are introducing intelligent velvets designed to resist liquids, crushes, and marks, but this can often adversely affect shine and lustre. The design style is essential here. I prefer flat velvets over crushed velvets for timeless elegance. Classic never dates, whereas trends do. Crushed velvet is a trend, not a classic.
3 - Mix Up The Materials
Whilst I'm on the subject of fabrics, an easy way to add an extra dimension to your space is to think about mixing up your textiles. Using the same materials for your headboard, curtains and occasional seating will make your space feel flat and uninteresting.
4 - Definitely Down
Always use down-filled cushion inners rather than polyester. They are easier to style and won't flatten like polyester inners—karate chops ready for a styled cushion.
5 - Go Vintage
Buy a vintage rug. So chic. Adding a period piece like this to a space adds an instant elegance and ups the expense factor over a more contemporary graphic motif or patterned rug, a remarkable statement.
6 - Classic + Timeless
Stick to classic designs such as a geometrically precise Herringbone pattern. It is often seen in flooring such as Parquet or LVT or used as a laying pattern in tiles and splashbacks, and it is an elegant and timeless addition to a space.
7 - A Neutral Base
Create a neutral base. Using an all-neutral colour scheme in your home is classy and sophisticated and allows your design choices to take centre stage and have more impact. Less is often more.
8 - Muted Maven
If you're opting for colour in your home, use muted colour combinations. Muted colour combinations are more subtle and less shouty than bright, vivid and saturated colour combos. We all know that subtle is more sophisticated than shouty.
9 - Convincing Custom
Rather than contrasting items against your walls, match items to your wall colour for a custom look and feel. Think bookcases or radiators making them disappear or feel as though they're part of the wall adds a considered and custom feel, upping the feeling of expense. My favourite made to measure furniture without the price tag is Jali.co.uk
10 - Work The Walls
A great way to make your home feel more expensive is to try and make your eyes travel up the walls. Using wall art, hangings, macrame all will help to give the room a little height and the overall finished feel of the space.
11 - Supersize
On the subject of art, if in doubt, go large. You can do this by supersizing your pieces of art or supersizing the frame and mounting. This will make your artwork feel high-end and important.
12 - Decorative Moulding
Add cornice and decorative moulding to a space is instant grandeur. If plaster cornice and moulding is blowing the budget, think about Orac® Lightweight, Polyurethane cornice and decorative moulding, we love WM Boyle. (and Home Design Vault members can grab trade savings here and at hundreds of other suppliers).
13 - Perfect Panelling
Add moulding or decorative wood trim. A design trend all of its own, panelling. Decorative moulding or wood trim can be used to add a little interest and sophistication to your walls. All the rage at the moment and an interiors trend to watch for 2022.
14 - Seductive Scent
Involve all your senses in the room and select a luxurious scent. Scent powerfully affects the ambience and mood of any space and can transport you in an instant to any destination. Reeds, diffusers, candles, essential oils are all fabulous choices.
15 - Go Green
Add flowers + greenery. No room is ever complete without something to feed. Want to stretch the budget? Separate a shop-bought bouquet and create several small arrangements to dot around your home. Careful choice of slim neck vases can maximise the impact of your bouquet and have a huge effect on your home. Take thrifting one step further and head into your garden for foliage and green appeal.
16 - Layer Up Your Lighting
Want to add ambience and sophistication? Then think about all your lighting sources. Don't rely on a single source of lighting in your spaces; you need ambient, task, and accent. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 5 - 7 types in each room, covering the three categories. Looking for affordable lighting ideas? Click here for 7 of our favourites.
17 - Clear The Clutter
Clutter creates chaos. Pare down your possessions to up the elegance in your home, and add some classic chic. A few chic, quality pieces will make your space look more elevated. Struggling with your clear the clutter crusade? Click here to let me help.
18 - Fake With Faux
Choose wallcoverings (bold patterns or textures), and want to elevate further? Choose all walls. If your budget doesn't stretch to natural grasscloth or silk, there are so many gorgeous faux vinyl alternatives to feast your eyes on. Here are some of my favourites:
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