6 Affordable Ways to Make Your Interior Design Look Expensive

Published on
April 4, 2023
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You don’t need to blow your budget in order to make a big impact. Inexpensive adjustments, smart choices, and a little bit of elbow grease are all that’s needed to turn any living space into a magazine-worthy interior design.

Bold RM designers know that the foundation of a good interior staging plan is not necessarily to spend as much money as possible on the most extravagant of furnishings. On the contrary, it’s about spending money wisely--focusing on the items and accessories that will really make a house shine.

Whether staging a house for sale or designing to impress friends and family, here are 6 cheap ways to make your home’s interior look expensive.  

  1. Invest on the big ticket items, skimp on the small stuff

Invest in furniture pieces that will stay with you for years to come. Think living room couch, dining table, master suite bed, and large area rugs. These are key items that can elevate a space and add a sense of luxury. A statement light fixture, for instance, creates an elegant focal point in any room. Get the most for your money by choosing materials that are durable and low maintenance. Additionally, try to pick a style that is more classic or neutral. For example, a basic leather couch (of great quality) can work for a Scandinavian design scheme as well as Bohemian. And it can stay with you for decades.

Everything else should be a bargain.

  1. Go for bold decor, but minimal spending

When selecting interior decor, pick accessories that will stand out. Think ornate lamps, big artworks, quirky vases, and intriguing coffee table books--all of which can be bought second hand at your local thrift store. Vintage books and interesting bookends can be used to decorate your shelves. Antique figurines could be displayed on tiny accent tables. Small touches like these add a high-end, eclectic feel at a fraction of the cost.

Spend even less on decor by making pieces yourself. Wall decor could be as simple as framed family photos or a collection of hats. A candle in a glass jar makes for an elegant accessory. And wine corks can be stuffed into any glass container or metal cage as a decorative display.

  1. Hang more mirrors

Mirrors (and they don’t need to be as pricey as this Anthropologie set) instantly change the look of a room. The reflected light tricks the eye into thinking a space is much more spacious than it actually is. You could lean a full-length mirror against the wall for subtle light, or hang a series of hand held mirrors as a statement.

  1. Apply a fresh coat of paint

A simply yet often overlooked solution. Granted, painting does require a few tools and hard work. But the effect is dramatic. Just by painting a room a different color, the entire feel of the space can be drastically changed. You can hide imperfections, create a statement wall (or ceiling), and add dimension. Alternatively, a nice wallpaper will also do the trick with minimal work required.

Consider also updating the upholstery of a worn sofa or outdated chair. All you need is a stapler and fabric of your choice. Even more good news: tutorials are only a Google search away.

  1. Update the hardware not the appliance

You may not even need to buy new furniture in order to make your home look more elegant. Simply change out existing hardware (knobs, handles, drawer pulls, and light switch panels) with a newer model. Brushed brass or copper makes a kitchen feel warmer and more inviting. Sleek metal handles will make a room feel more modern. And quirky knobs add an element of fun.

  1. Add soft furnishings

What makes a resort feel extravagant and fancy? The draperies: Floor to ceiling curtains that elevate the height of a room. Fluffy white towels in the bathroom. Cozy rugs on the floor. One too many throw pillows on the bed. All these soft furnishings really punch-up the elegance factor. As a bonus, they also provide an added layer of comfort, making any room more inviting and any design more practical.

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