20 Ways to Make Your House Look Expensive on a Budget

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Learn to make your house look expensive on a budget with these 20 tips!

20 Ideas to Make Your House Look Expensive on a Budget

Making your house look expensive doesn’t have to be expensive! With a few clever tricks and some savvy shopping, you can make your home look expensive on a budget.

I’ve gathered 20 budget-friendly ways to add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your home decor and transform your house into a high-end abode. From simple DIYs that make a big impact to statement lighting fixtures, these tips will help you achieve that coveted luxe look you’ve always dreamed of, without expending a small fortune in the process.

So, let’s dive in and explore the many ways you can elevate your home’s style in budget-friendly ways.

When it comes to creating an expensive on budget look, focusing on key areas where you spend most of your time is essential. By doing so, you can focus on sprucing up your home’s key spaces and give it that luxurious flair, no shopping needed!

dining room

1. Focus on first impressions

If you want to make a dramatic impact from the go, focus on the entryway! This space will help you to set the tone and create a wonderful first impression.

One easy and affordable way to do this is by painting your front door a bold and eye-catching color. This can instantly add personality and style to your home, especially if you go with an unexpectedly vibrant shade. Then, you can add a few decorative touches like a bench, a console table, a basket with faux flowers, and maybe a coat hanger or shoe rack.
This will keep everything organized and pleasing to the eye, making it instantly inviting.

2. Elevate your lighting scheme

Opting for warm and soft white bulbs instead of harsh, cool ones can create a more inviting mood and add a layer of luxury. 

Twinkle lights can add a touch of glamour and sparkle to your decor, and they can be draped over curtains, mirrors, or shelves, so they’re a very versatile option. 

Shade lamps are an excellent way to diffuse light and create a relaxing atmosphere, especially in the bedroom or living room. 

If prefer to invest a little more, consider installing a tech-savvy dimmer switch in your main living areas to adjust the lighting and set the perfect mood for any occasion.

3. Upgrade your hardware

To nail the look of expensive on a budget, small details can make a big impact. 

Swapping out old and worn hardware with sleek and modern options can instantly elevate the overall look and feel of your space, giving it a more sophisticated and elegant vibe.

Look for hardware with a metallic finish for an added touch of glamour. If you are like me and you prefer things with a bit of a vintage feel, I highly recommend adding tassels or going for a design with a more Palm Beach Regency vibe, like these ones.

4. Go big with a statement piece


It is crucial to select a statement piece that complements your existing decor while also adding a touch of drama and luxury to your space. For example, a colorful, oversized painting can act as a focal point in your living room, while a sculptural floor lamp can add interest and elegance to your bedroom.

5. Upgrade your bedding

Nothing feels more luxe than a bedroom oozing comfort and a serene aesthetic. 

To get the look, focus on keeping a harmonious color palette. I recommend going for serene blues, creams, and greige hues for contrast or my beloved color combo of white and blue.  Look for soft, high-thread-count sheets, plush duvets, and fluffy pillows to create a luxurious and comfortable sleep space. 

Get the Look: Expensive On A Budget

6. Display fresh flowers

For a more upscale look, bring in some fresh flowers to give your space a more upscale look. Place them in a vase or arrange them in smaller containers and position them on a coffee table, dining table, or windowsill to make them the focal point of the room. 

blue hydrangeas

Play with different flower varieties and colors to show off your creative side and infuse your home decor with a personalized touch!

7. Take advantage of paint

Paint is one of the most affordable and effective ways to transform a room and make it feel luxurious. You can simply update your current walls with the same hue for a fresher feel or you can paint an accent wall in a shade that compliments your home decor color scheme.  For those looking for something more daring, you can create visual interest and depth, like painting a ceiling of an unexpected shade or the trims in a contrasting color.

8. Add decorative pillows

Decorative pillows are an easy and affordable way to add a touch of lush to your home. Choose pillows made from high-quality materials such as velvet, silk, or linen, and look for ones with decorative details like tassels or beading for an extra touch of glamour. You can also mix and match patterns and textures to create a layered and luxurious look. 

9. Add a bar cart

A bar cart is an indulgent accessory that will create the perfect spot to store your drinks and glassware while also giving your space a flair of refinement. You can invest in one like this gold-toned one from Amazon, or go the DIY route and recycle an older piece and turn it into a stylish bar cart as I showed you in this tutorial previously.

10. Switch and outlet cover plates

Another simple and affordable way to elevate your home’s style is to replace your outdated switch and outlet cover plates. You can find a wide range of options online, from sleek matte plates to metallic ones with high-shine finishes. These small details can make a big difference in the overall aesthetic of your space!

Expensive On A Budget Ideas to Elevate Your Home

11. Clean up your metals

Dirty or tarnished metal surfaces can make your whole home decor feel drab. A quick and easy way to add some shine and glamour to your home is to clean up your metals. Use a gentle cleaning solution and a soft cloth to clean your metal fixtures like doorknobs, faucets, and light fixtures. For more tips, click here.

Example of how to clean tarnish from copper featuring a copper flower vase with pink peonies against a classy neutral living room

12. Redesign your furniture arrangement

Sometimes all it takes to give your home an upscale and luxurious feel is to move things around and redesign your furniture arrangement. Start by decluttering and getting rid of any items that no longer serve a purpose. Next, experiment with different furniture arrangements to create a more open and inviting space. There are many different room layouts that you can use as a guideline. Check this post for more in-depth advice.

13. Get your rugs professionally cleaned

Dirty or stained rugs can make your home feel outdated and unkempt. A professional rug cleaning service can help restore your rugs to their original beauty, and this will immediately make your spaces feel brand new and more luxurious.

14. Make your home smell delicious

Scents have the power to instantly create a luxurious ambiance in your home.

There are many affordable ways to make your home smell delicious, from burning scented candles and incense to using essential oil diffusers or room sprays. Think about incorporating scents that evoke a luxurious feel, such as woody scents and white florals, to create a unique and inviting ambiance.

Easy Tips to Make Your Home Decor Look More Expensive on a Budget

15. Elevate your furniture with simple DIYs

Transforming your outdated furniture into luxurious pieces is not as difficult as it sounds, even if you’re a DIY beginner.  

You can whitewash an outdated dresser and swap the hardware for something more modern with a metallic touch and this would instantly change the look. You can also go for something more impactful, like reupholstering a thrifted couch or spray painting a vintage wicker piece.

16. Incorporate metallic accents

Add a touch of opulence with metallic decor. Look for metallic accent pieces such as candle holders, picture frames, or decorative bowls. You can also add metallic accents incorporating bronze lamps, silverware, and chandeliers.

expensive on a budget idea of metal golden accents in a traditional boho living room
@jennymelickimagery

17. Change things up with a privacy screen

Transform your home with a chic and functional privacy screen. You can use private screens as room dividers, to block off an unsightly view, or simply add a decorative touch to a plain wall.  Look for screens made from high-quality materials like wood or metal, or put your DIY apron on them and make one yourself with this easy tutorial.

18. Organize your pantry

An organized pantry can add a touch of luxury to any home, making the whole kitchen area feel more put-together and upscale. To achieve this, start by decluttering and getting rid of any clutter. Then, invest in clear storage containers and labels to keep everything in order and easy to find. Additionally, you can add other decorative elements too, like chalkboards, baskets, or framed art.

19. Invest in quality towels

Towels made of high-quality materials and detailing may seem like a small detail but they can give your home that spa-like feel we all love.
Find towels with a high GSM (grams per square meter) for added plushness and comfiness. The ones I like best are made of Turkish cotton but there’re many options on the market. You can even find pretty styles with decorative borders and monograms to make them feel more luxurious! Like this one and this one.

monogrammed towels hanging from a bathroom bar, how to make your home look expensive on a budget idea.
@lisamhenderson

20. Elevate your home with carefully curated art pieces

Artwork is an essential element to make your home look expensive on a budget. Instead of splurging on expensive original pieces, look for affordable prints and posters online. You can also create your own statement art by framing a favorite photograph or painting a canvas in a bold, abstract style.

The key is to display them in a way that adds to your decor but doesn’t overwhelm it. Go for small groupings of your framed art pieces or symmetrical gallery walls for a more streamlined look.

What are your favorite tips to make a home look more expensive on a budget?

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95 Comments

  1. Ann Cornett says:

    I love these ideas. I do incorporate some of them. I need a beautiful blue color to repaint my front door.

    1. Glad that you found these ideas helpful Ann!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous Janet. Thankyou.

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed this popular article Linda!

  3. Rose Rumping says:

    Wow! Very informative with a lot of information to digest. Your selections are a lot of my favorite colors. Very pretty.

  4. Always fun & fresh ideas! I have been following your blog for many years! 🙂

  5. Ruth Newton says:

    These are some great ideas. I love the switchplate covers you chose. They look like an antique from England. Some other thoughts to decorate on a budget is swap decor with a friend or family member. And use spray paint on just about anything to make it have a fresh new look.

  6. Great blog post – so helpful

  7. Kristi Flournoy says:

    I think adding molding in the rooms is another way to elevate the actual worth of the home as well.

  8. Judy Armstrong says:

    Love the Saturday blogs and the way you join together! It makes it like one stop shopping for “all things home” blogs. Keep ’em coming! Like that you have tips for everyone even if we don’t have a fufu decorating style. Thanks!

  9. Barbara Moore says:

    I simply love your style. I always enjoy your suggestions for getting an expensive look for a reasonable price. Waking up to Home Style Saturday every week is just delightful. Hope it continues!

  10. Beautiful ideas!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Great ideas that are easy to incorporate into my home!

  12. Love all the tips you gave today! They make a home that feels warm and inviting, not cold and untouchable. Thanks!

  13. Anne Haun says:

    So many great ideas – thanks Janet.

  14. Joan McCormick says:

    Love your style! I’m inspired by each post and look forward to the next one. My morning coffee, my tablet and my favorite bloggers are the perfect way to start each day. Thank you all the work you put into these posts!

  15. Love your ideas. Thank you

  16. Your style is inspirational and I love reading it weekly. Continue being a beacon for us all.
    Tammy

  17. I love your blog! I have taken so much decor inspiration from it in the time I’ve been following you!

  18. Lovely ideas, thank you.

  19. CHRISTINE says:

    These are great ideas. I will use several of these in my new home.

  20. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas.

  21. Emily North says:

    Such great ideas with something so small as upgrading the switch plates. Even if this are done in just the high traffic areas. I hope your cavalier is doing well! I haven’t seen him in any of your recent post.

  22. Erin Prohaska says:

    Great ideas, appreciate the inspiration! Thank you!

  23. Peggy Wilson says:

    Love your decorating style on a budget.

  24. Paula Kerr says:

    I love your ideas! Great inspiration for me.

  25. Love your style! 🙂

  26. Cynthia Lively says:

    Beautiful photos & design & great tips :-))

  27. Dianne M Kropp says:

    Thanks! So many great ideas, I can’t wait to start.

  28. I’d love to win…thank you.

  29. Thank you, Janet, for this very informative article. I already use a few of these suggestions, and am looking forward to trying some others.

  30. Nancy Wichman says:

    Thanks for the ideas – wish I could have fresh flowers in my house ALL the time ❤️

  31. Tina Sipe says:

    Lovely home and such a beautiful example of your taste! Thank you for sharing your home with all of us!

  32. Such useful ideas with beautiful illustrations of each to put into practice in my home – thank you!

  33. Gay Clark says:

    I never thought about changing outlet & switch covers but now I’m going to do it! Great idea.

  34. Great ideas on updating on a budget. Even pretty switch plates make a big impact.

  35. I look forward to your posts. You always have great ideas and useful info!

  36. I have never thought of the switch and outlet cover plates. You are so right I am now thinking that would be helpful in a few of my rooms. You mentioned the hardware before and that really helped. I’m not sure why it hasn’t occurred to me before, now I know! Thank you.

  37. Pamela Willson says:

    Wonderful ideas! Plan to
    Implement a few of these! Always enjoy the Saturday blogs!

  38. Eye candy for a Saturday morning! Every picture is beautiful. Love Home Style Saturdays.

  39. Cherie w. says:

    Nice focus on not adding more but cleaning, tidying and improving the basics.

  40. Cherie wrona says:

    Nice that the focus is not on adding stuff but cleaning tidying and improving g the basics.

  41. Great tips and I don’t need any special skills or tools either! Thanks

  42. These ideas are wonderful! You are a wealth of designing ideas. The colors are so pretty.

  43. Ellen Sorce says:

    Thank you for stressing that using your senses when decorating is important. Look, listen, smell, feel – all of them so vital.

  44. So many neat and clever ideas
    I love your blue couch.

  45. Laura D. Coe says:

    You always have the best posts! So full of great ideas.

  46. So many great ideas! We are in the middle of a kitchen update and appreciate the reminder to update my switch plates. Even though I subscribe to your blog, I really enjoy reading the HSS every week.

  47. Great tips for elevating our homes without spending a lot of money to do it.

  48. Janet I was traveling from Cape Coral to Delray beach for a wedding and passed thru Miami and thought of you and your beautiful home! your kitchen is just beautiful! I adore your flamingo artwork at your beach house and am always on the look out for similar pictures.

  49. Congratulations on 400 posts! I would love to upgrade my bedding but unfortunately, our 60 pound boxer sleeps on our bed! I love your ideas and hope to incorporate some!

  50. Fabulous post with great suggestions. Love, love , love the Saturday series. Congratulations on hitting this milestone! Please keep up the great work. Thank you😊

  51. All of those were helpful hints to elevating one’s decor. I have been curating the art in my home for several years now. Different home required different art-in size, color ways, and subject matter. I am trying to add more metallic accents but thrifted brass is getting hard to find!

  52. Great tips. Love the gold tone bar cart and very reasonably priced.

  53. I painted my new front door red! The biggest statement piece in my living room is my 9′ long fireplace. It used to be red brick and the mantle was only 7″ deep. It was extremely boring! A simple framework of 2×4’s, MDF paneling, and molding gave it depth, and covering the hearth and the edge of the firebox with marble-looking tile gave me the traditional look I love. It was a simple cosmetic fix that completely changed the look of my living room.

  54. Christine says:

    Great ideas. Thank you. I have done some of these already but I found a few more ideas I can use in my home.

  55. Beautiful photos illustrating your points! Like the idea of upscale towels for public areas.

  56. You ALWAYS have the best, simple ideas for “refreshing” a home and I just love the pictures you use to illustrate your ideas!

  57. I love the idea of luxury towels. They give the place a refresh and feel great also.

  58. Robin Pavia says:

    I love the Botanical gallery wall!

  59. Some great ideas–flowers always!

  60. Ingrid Mc says:

    I just love the name of your blog and find so much inspiration for my own FL beach house!

  61. Wonderful ideas. I really like your beautiful flower arrangements. And your kitchen re-model is stunning.

  62. Heidi Webb says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. It helps me so very much. The post today is very beautiful.

  63. Thanks for your idea of displaying similar size art work. I will try it with 8 prints I have .

  64. Elaine McKinnon says:

    I love the pantry!

  65. All very good ideas. When I saw your green entryway, I admit I do think twice or thrice before making a decorating decision after leaving our “forever home” and downsizing. I need to get rid of the thought, “will this affect the resale value of my home in the future?” Who cares? That may not be my problem 😉

  66. Laurie Wagner says:

    Changing out the switch and outlet covers made a huge difference! Great idea!

  67. Love all of your ideas. Your pantry is fantastic. Thank you for all these great ideas and for sharing.

  68. Budget friendly tips always welcome & I will never argue with beautiful fresh flowers!

  69. Gail Prowant says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for all your hard work.

  70. I enjoyed reading this post and is filled with wonderful ideas!

  71. Thank you for the great tips. Love your style and so enjoy reading your blog.

  72. Kim Sweeris says:

    Beautiful floral pillows!

  73. Congratulations on 400 episodes! That’s a lot of work and much appreciated by many viewers . Thanks for all you do.

  74. pamela smith says:

    I love these ideas! I have incorporated a few of them. One of the first things I did when we moved into our home was to paint the front door a bright turquoise. I love it!! It looks so inviting. Congratulations on 400 posts!!

  75. Thanks for so many great ideas!

  76. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  77. Your house is beautiful!!!

  78. My favorite idea was paint the door which I can’t do because of the HOA:( Thanks for so many other great ideas!

  79. Cindy Molleur says:

    I love to browse specialty fabric stores, however, I’m not crazy about the price per yard in regards to doing a large projects.
    So, I purchase less that a yard, which will do 2, and I recover dining chair or bar stool seat cushions. I also get 5/8 yard and make beautiful throw pillow covers. It’s a win win in my book. Thanks for reminding us of areas to not overlook.

  80. Thank you for the great ideas.

  81. Love all the examples you gave. Very easy to see and replicate!

  82. Very informative and full of pretty things.

  83. I’m all about saving money! Thank you for the tips!

  84. Love your ideas. Especially now when we are trying to stretch our decorating and food budgets!

  85. Joanne W. says:

    Wonderful post and great tips!

  86. Pamela Burger says:

    As always, great ideas.

  87. Great ideas and tips. Thank you.

  88. I like the pantry idea and may try having my rug cleaned professionally.

  89. I cannot pin your posts. Is there a reason why?

    1. Diane, there is a collage style pin at the bottom of the every post that you can pin for your reference. Hope that helps!