10 ways for your home to look more expensive
There are quite a few ways to make your home look and feel classy. I have listed 10 ways to make your home more expensive – but don’t let them limit you. There are many more ways to up the ante in your home’s appearance. Having your home look more expensive (like what you wear – on a future post) does not mean you need to cut quality nor become a “looks snob”. Making your home look expensive is meant to add to comfort and also be easy on the eyes. If your thoughts of looking expensive are on the same train of thought as my own I’d love to hear your thoughts.
1) Clutter looks cheap and it does not make your home look more expensive:
As is often the case in our Society we collect a lot of bric-a-brac and small items that is often for our love of collecting or the look or sentimental reasons. While our decor need not look like it is straight from Home Beautiful an overall assessment is called for. Have a friend give an overall assessment of your “small decor” challenges. For a large collection of items – consider placing them in well styled glass cabinets. If you are from an older generation such as Baby Boomers who often had collections of small ornaments – do remember that one day someone else will be responsible for down-sizing. Give them an easy task.
Have dual purpose items that hide other items which you might need every so often.
- a coffee table with drawers
- a dining table with drawers
- an ottoman,
- a blanket box used as a seat also
- a slim vertical slide out cabinet for laundry or kitchen
- If you use cubicles for storage – consider baskets that hide away what you have stored.
2) Use large decorative items rather than smaller:
If you have decor items – such as pictures and images or statuettes and busts etc – aim for larger. This means you will also have only a few well chosen items for placement. Consider (if you have a few) – changing your decor seasonably rather than having the items out all at once to make it over-kill.
3) Coordinate your colors as you learn:
While the use of colors is both easy on the eye and classic – you can use patterning in your color palette in a way that brings it together.
Some colors that are “rich” are the jewel tones of emerald, ruby, golds, sapphires for example which can work with the neutrals and other bright colors such as blues, yellows, black, white. I use my eye for what goes together well since there is apparently more than one color wheel of “colors” which can be confusing.
A soft color palette such as any choices of soft pinks, sage green, pale yellows, light apricot for example can be heightened with enlightening deeper colors of any 1 or 2 of reds, orange, blue, grey, white and black. Start collecting examples of color palettes that may catch your eye on my Home Decor boards on Pinterest or start to make your own boards of colors that “speak to you” . White seems to go well in choices of decor – often not on the walls which may add sterility rather than richness. Better to have white items within walls. I have lived in homes with sage green, mid to pale apricots, pale yellow, white, latte, off white. The most “feel good” colors were pale apricot and pale yellow. They enhanced our moods. Thus a “feel good” feeling adds to “richness” in another dimension.
4) Don’t buy items you aren’t prepared to pay top dollar for:
I make no apology for buying pre-loved and second hand items. It is my principle wherever possible to keep items from landfill (the computer I’m typing on is in it’s 7th year!) But – a big one – do be careful that you look for quality items when buying pre-loved. Often you can find that some pre-loved have idiosyncrasies you weren’t prepared for – but show why the other person sold it. So prepare yourself well for looking for what you want and be prepared to be patient.
I have been without tables and chairs for a few months! I passed up an item a few weeks ago that was meant to have been purchased at AU$2,000.00 or USA$1,450 new. On inspection the table was not only veneer but was also fairly chipped. The chairs were very grubby. The person said that it could be re-stained which was not the case with veneer.
Meanwhile I stumbled across a painted Colonial setting (not what I was looking for – I have a penchant for natural timber) painted over in white and very solid seats to sit on. The setting also had an extension in the middle and the store people could not work out how to open it and said it was broken. We purchased it for $40. The date on the back of the furniture was 1989 and was made in Yugoslavia for Sidex for an Australian (possibly through USA – International) branch. A good quality timber find with the chairs so sturdy and all the timber good in the table as well. I thank God for his faithfulness since sometimes although we have a big prayer to ask for what we want.
5) Items that make your home look more expensive:
- Mirrors – the right type can add volume to your home and have a special place. If you are unable to place them on a wall – consider purchasing a half buffet or cupboard and have a mirror resting on that. The biggest you can get the better.
- Cushions & throw rugs – choose carefully the colors – remembering – if you choose a main color such as blue or burgundy for example – have different shades of that color in other items outside of cushions or your throw rug choice to bring in some unity including some neutrals or colors that blend in well..
- Tassel Curtain Tiebacks – choose a color that goes well with your curtains. This is a good time to use gold ones if that blends in well.
- A Terrarium with plants – whether naturally green snippets or cacti & succulents to make a beach scene.
- Fresh flowers or fresh greenery. Have a unique vase – choose clear, white or black – but mostly let simplicity rule for a good dose of nature. Remember minimalism is now incorporating greenery – you don’t need to have flowers – which opens up a wide variety of decoration opportunities.
- A centrepiece using twigs, bark, stones etc. You can also put the twigs in one of your vases.
- Have bowls of fruit in unique containers – whether glass, wrought work, timber, china..
- Don’t go past some old books – not only for interests sake but as something of value
- An item of hand-made pottery
- An over-sized clock
- An ethnic treasure that gives a sense of uniqueness.
- Don’t go past items in timber. Look for items that blend in well with other pieces that may be purchased at different times. Keep a mental note of what you have so you can make your eclectic type look like it was meant to be there. If you get it home and it doesn’t seem to fit – put it on the wait list. Wait to sell it and wait to get a new piece!
- A stained glass lamp
- Have good place settings – even if you aren’t having a meal – have them set out.
6) Buy Statement pieces
This can be:
- Your dining suite
- Your living room rug
- Reading chair or chairs.
- A coffee table with unique turned legs or made with unusual artistic flair
- Your curtains
There are many images online with photos of homes to get you inspired.
7) Incorporate textures and quality finishes:
- Cushions need not be satin finishes only. Bring out textured finishes while still having a uniformity of color
- Consider a marble topped kitchen island trolley or a mortar and pestle. A lazy Susan or a small lamp table in marble add a touch of the expensive too. These quality items can be had new for a reasonable price.
- Take into your home vintage pieces within your kitchen or living area. With careful selection you can come across many quality pieces.
- You can incorporate a metal look with brass planters or some small pieces of silverware.
- Have a jar with “mirrored” accents ie like mirrored furniture – but in a small piece
8) Be prepared to compromise:
Maybe you have double brick walls that cannot be changed. Maybe your windows are small and do not let in enough light. Maybe you are in a rental and cannot paint white walls or hang up canvases or pictures. There can be a number of reasons that may limit you from carrying out your plans. Don’t let that stop you from working at things from another angle.
- If you have white walls – consider over-head lamps at night time or a small lamp with a colored shade that sheds a romantic glow so you need not see what is around you.
- If you cannot hang any pictures up – look for an easel or two to hold some favorites. Consider wall hangings with quality imprints or wording and use stick ons to hang them. Having the wall hangings in a velvet material is a good choice.
- Consider a high planter table in timber, metal with glass or something unique. Then on top put a high plant. Consider an Aspidistras which not only looks attractive (is good for air quality) but has the name “cast iron plant” for good reason.
- You may want to do some DIY projects to get the look you want – but make sure you have attention to detail – so that it looks a quality piece and not a child’s project.
9) Keep your home clean.
You may do all the right things to make your home expensive looking with quality. But if you don’t keep it clean it gets you back to point 1) – it is rather like clutter. Dust bunnies, grime and the accompanying fine level of dust over things. Let it sparkle and it will be like an efficient maid has quickly and efficiently quickly worked her magic. Work yours!
I have had model behavior by a mother of many children. She didn’t have a big budget but our house was super clean. This always made us feel our place was rich!
10) Don’t forget the outside of your home:
It isn’t a great thing if you want the inside of your home to look expensive and with quality picks if you neglect the outside.
- Weed driveways and garden beds
- Have a spot for flowering bushes – even if you don’t have time for flowers to grow.
- Keep shrubs and trees pruned neatly.
- Sweep and clean regularly
- Clean your windows for that extra sparkle outside.
Well there you have it – my list of things to make your home look more expensive. But most of all I want you to think of your home as a gift to invite friends and family to – to enjoy your work of art. Plus to make it a home not just a house!
Updated June, 2019
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. I enjoy learning and am a “forever student”. I would love to hear about you and what you have experienced – that one or both of us may learn.