How to Make Your House Look More Expensive On a Budget

September 4, 2015

Did you just move? Bought your first condo? Or did you just move in your significant other? Are you sick of the current way your house looks, but don’t have a huge chunk of change to switch up the decor?

Don’t worry! I have you covered.

Home is decor is such a personal thing. It’s your home. The place that you’re supposed to be most comfortable in. And if you’re anything like me, you long to make it look magazine worthy all the time. I craved the ultra lux, super organized looks that you seen in magazines. The ones that we pin to our home decor boards on Pinterest. The problem is that I travel so often for work, that most of my free time and money are spent on other things.

So I went looking to find ways that I could lux up my place with going over budget or spending more than a few hours.  Are you anything like me?

Want to decorate your fabulous place but don’t know where to start? Have you looked through about a billion design magazines and then thought- I will never be able to afford that! Well, follow along as I show you how to make your house look more expensive on a budget.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget

Good news! Design doesn’t need to mean overpriced. Here are a few small and inexpensive pick-me-ups which can be done for next to nothing and will give your place a whole new feel? Consider the options…

1.   Throw pillows: These can be found at any department store or discount home store. Often found on sale, throw pillows are a great way to put some colour into a space without committing too much to any one design. They are also super cheap, and can give the feeling of luxury when matched properly. This is probably the easiest way to make your house look more expensive on a budget.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, living room design, throw pillows


2.   Bringing outside items…inside: Think pinecones and fallen branches in the winter; sturdy green and fresh cut flowers in the summer. Grab a pile of any one of these items and toss them in a glass jar or vase (go for that scattered, vintage look). If you feel like getting crafty, head to a craft store and pick up some iridescent glitter.

Sprinkle that over your items and voila – something that looks like it came straight from the gift section of your local boutique.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget

3.   Paint: If you do it yourself, this can be one of the cheapest ways to create a drastic change in your home. For big impact, grab a gallon of paint and go at your walls! Or try painting just an accent wall; a gallon of paint is likely all you need. If you’re willing to go a bit further, pick up a stencil, and some contrasting paint colours (or even gold or silver) and create a feature wall. Not only will it add a bit of depth to your space but it looks ultra chic and modern.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, accent wall colour, teal ceiling source

4.   Candles: We associate most memories with scents, so if your place smells warm and cozy, it will likely be reflective of wonderfully warm memories. Candles are also an expensive way to add visual interest to things like coffee/center tables, or fireplace mantles. Find a scent you like, light the candle and relax.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, candles interior design

5.   Rearrange your furniture: This one doesn’t cost a dime! Designers are known for switching up their furniture – from room to room, or just rearranging the same pieces in a different configuration – to keep their home and their inspiration fresh. See if it can work for you too.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget

6.   Create a vertical art wall with picture frames: most people don’t think about using an entire wall when it comes to putting up frames, but you really should. Not only does it create visual interest, but it’s a great way to showcase things that are important to you. I would recommend sticking to black and white images for the ultra modern look.

Also, guess what? Frame are SUPER cheap. You can pick some up at Ikea, or even the dollar store.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, wall gallery, gallery wall


7.   Replace old kitchen hardware: Not screams dated like old kitchen hardware. The good news is that replacing them is super easy and one of the simplest ways to make your house look more expensive on a budget. I’m a fan of brushes nickel as they go really well with my white cabinets, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

Be sure to peruse Pinterest along with few design magazines to make sure you find the right one for your house.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, replace old kitchen hardware


8.   Double stack your curtains: Ok, so this might not be the cheapest way but hear me out. Most expensive homes either spend thousands of dollars on curtains, or get them custom made (my mom had hers made, and I was shocked to see how much they costs!), and I don’t have the money for that- also, I would rather spend the money on travel than curtains.

You know what, though? Using the standard curtains kits, and doubling up on them worked just the same. The panels looked thicker and more luxurious. Make sure that you stick to the same colours though!

How to make your house look expensive on a budget,

9.  Use area rugs: I love the perfect office /workspace setups! So much so that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it And it’s no surprise that one of my favourite things on the images is the use of area rugs. Area rugs are great at adding contrast, visual depth, and warming up a place instantly. The right area rug can also tie all design elements together.

How to make your house look expensive on a budget, area rugs


See it’s not so hard to make your house look more expensive on a budget. Simple tweaks can add up to a big impact even on a limited budget and all in a weekend! Suddenly, your room has personality!


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  • Jacko March 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    This is relaxing looking to me. I’m not a big fan of over cluttered layouts I’m interested in somewhere comfortable enough for me to take a nap.

    Know what I mean?

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

      I do I do! I like naps more than anyone else!

  • Alan March 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm


    These are some very good ideas for people on a tight budget. I agree with Jacko about over cluttered areas but none of these seem to suggest that. Our layout is pretty plain so I think some throw pillows and fresh paint would probably be the best approach in our house and budget.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

      A fresh coat of paint and some flowers do wonders for a space.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor March 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    We painted out whole living room/kitchen/hallway when we bought our condo. I was going to have someone paint it but was too cheap and decided to do it myself. It was a lot of hard work but I’m really proud I stuck with it. I don’t think there’s much difference between my work and a professionals so I saved myself about $600 doing it myself.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:27 am

      I never how expensive house painters were. I have a friend who makes a killing doing them on the side.

  • STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) March 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Very inviting and elegant layout. I liked your suggestions. One that my wife has done was taking some of our travel pictures and converting them to canvas. They are really fantastic and bring back memories from our best trips.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Thats a great idea!

  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals March 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    First line describes me to a “T.” I think #5 is huge – when I was a kid, my mom and I would rearrange my bedroom furniture at least once a year to shake things up a bit!

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:28 am

      I used to do that too, until I got really lazy.