Decorating your home to the point it can be called luxurious often seems like a daunting task. Unfortunately, not everyone can have an interior designer make our homes worthy of the pages of the latest design magazines. It might even feel like it would be easier to put off doing it yourself until you have more free time and/or more money.
Luckily, creating your dream home is easier than you think. You can make your home look and feel stylish even on a budget. Keep reading for ways to spruce up your space without breaking the bank or your back. Here are 30 surprising ways to make your home luxurious without much effort.
30. Different Textiles For Dimension
Changing up the fabric and texture of a room adds layers and visual dimension (via My Domaine). Swap out boring, dull pillows for different colors, sizes, and materials for diverse options (via My Domaine). Even if you opt for a monochromatic look, keeping things in the same color family with tiny shade variations can make the room livelier. You don’t even need to commit to bright colors; neutral colors like creams, pinks, lilacs, or bright colors can uplift a room without being too bold.
Fragrances can play a significant part in how we feel at home whether we’re aware of it or not. Our brain can associate certain smells with memories, seasons, or even specific people. Use candles or diffusers to make your home a sanctuary. You can even set the tone in each room by using different aromas. For example, rosemary has an energizing quality, so consider using it in your office to boost concentration (via My Domaine). Jasmine and lavender are both known to soothe tension and promote relaxation, so use those in the bedroom to make it a retreat from daily stressors (via My Domaine). Cinnamon candles can help with mental clarity. Citrus scents reduce stress and elevate mood, while apples can control anxiety.
Instagram would have you believe keeping a clean pantry and fridge is the easiest thing in the world. Though that may not be the case, it’s probably not as complicated as you think it is. You can have your own insta-worthy fridge, too; it’s all about using zones, clear containers, and minimizing food waste. As a first step, clean out your fridge and pantry and give them a good scrubbing. Measure your usable areas and think about what you generally stock in each room (via My Domaine). Then, determine which tools you’ll need to manage your space. Great recommendations include fruit food storage, egg trays, glass beverage containers, crisper bins, and drawer organizers (via My Domaine). You may also want to invest in liners to keep your pantry and fridge clean.
One thing you may notice in most high-end homes is the lighting. You want to layer three types of lighting in any space: ambient, task, and accent (via My Domaine). Ambient lighting is your primary lighting source like overhead lights or natural light. Task lighting is pretty straightforward: it’s usually a lamp or fixture specific to a task like a reading light. Accent lighting can be for overall decors, like sconces. Using these three types of lights strategically can set the tone in each room (via My Domaine). Customize a light fixture or room even further by changing out stock shades on a lampshade for a more personalized option.
You know the saying, “Bathrooms and kitchens sell houses?” It’s not wrong. Make your bathroom more spa-like with a new shower curtain (via My Domaine). They are a substantial visual asset since they usually run about five feet long and run from the floor to the ceiling. In such a small room, they are a considerable element that can instantly refresh the space. There are many options at affordable prices. Use the shower curtain to highlight specific colors or themes in the bathroom (via My Domaine). Alternatively, you can use it as a statement piece and update the accessories in the bathroom to match.
Adding a kitchen backsplash can elevate your space from “meh” to “wow,” but it can be a daunting choice. Kitchen trends are constantly changing, so don’t try to be on-trend. Instead, go with a classic like subway tiles (via Real Simple). Some colors that never go out of trend are classic white, gray, or blue. If that just isn’t you, think about using a peel and stick backsplash (via Real Simple). The added flexibility of changing it on a whim may speak to you, plus the added affordability makes it much more appealing if you wake up and decide it must go one day.
Unique art is never out of style. Finding art that speaks to you can be a fun and easy weekend adventure; going thrifting or creating your own art is a great way to blow off some steam without spending too much money. If you choose to go the gallery wall route, figure out where everything will go. There are countless layouts online that can give you pointers on arranging your gallery. Make sure your art or photos are the right sizes for your wall. Too small or too large can skew the room’s proportions (via Real Simple). A mirror is also an excellent choice for a large wall. Larger mirrors can make the room feel even more prominent (via Real Simple).
23. Invest In Sleek Hardware For An Instant Upgrade
Upgrading your hardware can instantly change the look of your space. It may seem like a small change, but it’ll pack a big punch. Choose hardware that goes with the overall theme you’re seeking. If you are looking for a sleek, modern look, classic metal pulls are ideal (via My Domaine). If you’re into natural elements, mother of pearl handles might be a fun option (via My Domaine). Make sure you’re buying hardware with the same dimensions as the existing hardware.
One way to add quiet luxury to your home is by adding houseplants into your space. Greenery effortlessly transforms each room from a stark slab into a lived-in, botanical dream (via My Domaine). Look for low-maintenance plants that love the shade. Surround your seating areas with plants to create spots that draw the eye. Use living plants like bonsai trees, pothos, or philodendrons as centerpieces, and make a focal point with closely spaced plants (via My Domaine). Plants also improve your oxygenation levels, which in turn reduces your stress levels.
Even if you have a giant bathroom, it always seems like there’s never enough storage or counter space in the bathroom. Countertop storage solutions are usually eyesores that can get just as cluttered as our junk drawer, and the pretty ones aren’t very functional. There is a solution, however: floating shelves (via My Domaine). Use these to show off fancy candles, expensive face creams, and pretty accessories that serve no function other than making us happy to look at (via My Domaine).
Who doesn’t want a movie-esque montage of collapsing into a mountain of soft sheets? When setting up your bedding, think about your thread count; the higher, the better (via My Domaine). Look for wrinkle, moisture, and fade-resistant sheets for an even better upgrade (via My Domaine). If you are happy with the sheets, you have but would still like to change things up, try a set of satin pillowcases. They are ideal for protecting your hair from breakage and split ends, and they are better for your skin than standard sheets.
Rugs can be expensive. Luckily, there are spades of beautiful, vintage-inspired rugs that are affordable, so you’ll still be able to create the look of an expensive antique rug without blowing your whole budget. A well-chosen rug brings the whole room together and sets the stage for the rest of the furniture to shine. It can add warmth, an additional layer of texture and dimension, and different accent colors (via My Domaine). For the best layout, choose a larger rug to arrange your furniture on (via My Domaine). Opt for an area rug, and then you can also layer another smaller rug on top. The varying textures and colors will create a style that says wealth.
Luxurious homes tend to have high ceilings and let in natural light. If your home doesn’t have that, you can still fake it by hanging hardware and drapery as close to the ceiling as possible instead of directly over the window frame. This draws the eye farther up and gives the impression of a larger, airier space (via My Domaine). Sheer curtains soften the natural light and make the room feel cozier, so consider that option if available to you (via My Domaine). Curtains do not need to be expensive; they are often sold in sets of two panels. Just make sure the dimensions suit your measurements and go from there. When you have curtains that cover a floor-to-ceiling length, it will create a more luxurious look.
Changing a paint color is one of the simplest things you can do to change the feeling of a room, whether you are toning a color down or punching it up. Paint is relatively inexpensive and makes a massive difference in perceiving your space. Zillow found that blue was the most appealing color to new buyers and contributed to higher sales prices (via RD). So, if you’re about to list your house, keep that in mind. If you aren’t feeling the blues, maybe go with a neutral palette. Neutral walls are an easy choice because they allow for much more colorful expressions with accents in furniture, rugs, art, and pillows (via RD).
Throw pillows are a simple, easy solution to liven up any living room (or bedroom). You can buy new throw pillows or decorate old ones with covers to switch up the style. You can even make covers yourself if you are a DIY-er. Mixing and matching the colors and textures to change the room’s ambiance or match certain seasons can be an easy way to keep things fresh (via RD). For example, you can use warm pillows like velvet or corduroy in colder months, then swap them out for linens and cotton in warmer months (via RD). Consider a pop of color if you want to brighten up the space.
Don’t settle for a permanent wall design anymore (via RD). Put away that strange geometric print with three different paints for an accent wall that you cannot change easily. Wallpaper is an increasingly flexible and impermanent way to accent an otherwise bland wall (via RD). Though it is typically bold and patterned, it can also be subtle and understated. Use a patterned or lustrous wallpaper for extra dimension or a subtle choice for larger areas you just don’t want to paint. Think about using one giant piece of wallpaper as a scenic mural.
Neutral colors are classic. But sometimes, you just need a pop of color to bring your personality into your space. If you want to keep things tastefully neutral while sneaking in some fun colors, think about using rugs, accessories, art, and plants to amp up the fun factor in your home (via RD). Accessories like colorful lamps, colorful floral arrangements, bright, cozy blankets, or bold window treatments can significantly impact and draw the eye, especially in a neutral setting (via RD). The best part is that none of these have to be expensive – they can all be found at discount home decor stores.
Gone are the days of matching everything. You can get rid of those matching bed sets in your room, and nobody wants to see those matching lamps on matching night tables, either (via RD). Now, it’s all about coordinating. Consider layering textures like leather and wool. For example, certain wood stains and finishes complement each other, like cherry wood and oak (via RD). However, there is a rule to this; either make it an exact match or a real contrast. Aim for three shades lighter or darker as almost-matches never look expensive.
How often do you look at a magazine home and think, “Does anyone actually live there?” Minimalism looks expensive, but it isn’t always functional. The best way to go about it is to leave a good amount of white space on your walls and surfaces (via RD). As they say, less is more. Keep oversized items (like toys or bins) in bedrooms, basements, attics, or closets (via RD). Give everything a home, and make sure never to put form over function. That’s the real key to avoiding a house that looks magazine-worthy but unlivable in reality.
Who doesn’t want to associate coziness or softness with their home? Fabrics like velvet, velour, and silk feel and look luxurious, especially in jewel tones and paired with neutral colors (via RD). You may have heard of ‘hygge,’ the Danish concept of coziness that promotes warmth and comfort (via RD). For example, sweatpants are the epitome of hygge, especially if you’re curled up in them by a fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa in your favorite mug. The design does not need to be perfect; that’s the whole point of having personal items.
The most critical step in updating your space is determining your color scheme (via HGTV). Factor in things like natural lighting, things that won’t change (flooring, for example), and items you’ll be keeping. Decorate from dark to light vertically and start with the house’s formal areas (via HGTV). Use the color wheel to find colors that complement and contrast. Whatever you do, make sure you showcase your own style and not try to emulate something else – that won’t feel authentic. Paint shades that seem trendy include sage green and other soft shades, along with mauve or blush shades for bedrooms. Beige and tan are always in style as well.
One way to make decorating easier for yourself is finding the most prominent pattern in the room and choosing a color scheme (via HGTV). Choosing too many statement pieces can overwhelm a space and confuse the eye. Thus, try to have one or two showstopping pieces in each room and use the rest of your decor choices to highlight those pieces (via HGTV). One or two focal points are manageable for our brains and can still allow us to appreciate the beauty of everything else in the room.
8. Consider Foot Traffic When Establishing Your Floor Plan
The term “circulation” refers to the movement through, around, and between furniture. People follow the route as they move from one place to another in their homes. When determining your furniture layout, make sure to give yourself room to move around your furniture instead of just measuring whether they fit. You don’t want a room to feel crowded; a room with proper circulation feels comfortable (via My Domaine). Ideally, you should have about four feet between more oversized furniture items and about a foot and a half between smaller furniture pieces (via My Domaine). Not only that, but a room looks more luxurious if you don’t have the furniture pushed up against the walls.
Your entryway is the first thing people see, so make the first impression count (via My Domaine). It should be welcoming and well-lit. Consider adding a mirror, a sparkling chandelier, or a vibrant area rug. This is one area that bold color may be a good idea to make a striking impression off the bat. Maybe a sculptural light fixture is more up your alley if a chandelier isn’t your style. Add a table or dresser with some storage to display additional eye-catching decor like photos, lamps, vases, or a floral arrangement (via My Domaine).
Hallways often get the short end of the decorating stick. You may not think of it when you’re making your home over, but it deserves attention. Making your hallway more inviting will change the mood of your home and make you happier as you walk through it. You could paint or wallpaper it a different color, hang some fun art, or even add a small bench to create a reading nook (via My Domaine). Put up some mirrors for an eccentric funhouse effect, change out your light fixtures, or even style it with shiplap (via My Domaine).
5. Invest In Smart Storage Solutions For An Instant Upgrade
Storage is always sought after, even in the most spacious of homes. Consider both functionality and flexibility when determining what you need for storage (via My Domaine). Don’t buy anything before you know exactly what you need, or you run the risk of making do without it really working for you. If you live in a small space, outfit your room with hooks and open shelving (via My Domaine). That way, you can create a specific drop zone or “mudroom alternative” that works for you and your family. Utilize hidden storage and vertical spaces like behind doors and along walls.
Bookshelves offer endless styling opportunities. They can be color-coordinated or organized by size. You can try stacking some of them horizontally, alphabetically, or by genre (via Oprah Daily). You can separate hardcovers and paperbacks and incorporate objects like vases, photos, and baskets. Keep your room’s color palette in mind and add a healthy mix of wood, glass, and metal for a fun variety of materials (via Oprah Daily). Look for inspiration online with sites like Pinterest. A great tip is to take a photo of the final product once you are happy with it so you can return things to their place when they get out of sorts.
You may or may not be familiar with the rule of threes in design. It states that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing to the eye than even-numbered groupings (via Talie Jane Interiors). Three seems to be the magic number, but odd numbers generally seem to be effective. The rule also pops up in other aesthetic fields like graphic design and photography, so it’s definitely been proven (via Talie Jane Interiors). Our eyes have to move around and move with odd numbers, so our brains work harder to recognize and experience the visual pattern.
Natural materials like reclaimed wood, marble countertops, and wicker chairs are investment pieces that will prove more durable than fast furniture that will break down quickly (via Vogue). These investment pieces will stand the test of time and can be used repeatedly, especially if you take good care of them. There’s a reason we seek out antique furniture and love when your grandma hands down her good china cabinet. If you want to make your home look more luxurious, opt for natural textures (via Vogue).
Keep in mind that decorating is a process (via My Domaine). Creating a space that you love takes time, so don’t rush into anything. Layer your pieces into your home as you find them (via My Domaine). Don’t pressure yourself into buying things you aren’t happy with just because you think you have to. Of course, you want your space to be finished, but breaking the process into a smaller set of choices will make it much more fulfilling and easier in the long run.