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11 ways to make your home look more expensive

By Rachel Wallace
… without blowing your budget.

Looking for savvy ways to take your home to the next level? Turns out you don’t need to blow your budget for a home that looks expensive. Instead, focus on a few key features and products that will add value and win major style points.

1. Add moulding and panelling

If you’ve got plain walls, you can add interest – and value – with moulding and panelling such as wainscot. “It doesn’t even have to be a gaudy, Victorian-style moulding—a simple and single-shape, single-depth piece of moulding will do the trick,” says interior designer Erica Leigh Reiner, owner of E. Leigh Designs.

2. Hang art on the walls

Got a bare wall? Take it to the next level with a piece of statement art. “Make sure the art you select is the right size and scale for the wall you’re decorating, and remember you don’t need artwork on every empty wall,” says Keysha Jillian, lead interior designer and owner of K. Jillian Designs. “If you feel creative, a great way to get inexpensive artwork is to create your own. Head to your local craft store and you can find everything you need to create a beautiful canvas or framed custom artwork.” Click here to learn how to hang a gallery wall.

3. DIY your own custom fittings

Built-in structures look expensive, but it’s a look you can easily create yourself. Head to Ikea and invest in a few Billy bookcases to fill an entire wall. Use a height extension and take it to the ceiling.

4. Replace tired cushions and worn towels

Think about the luxury items you’ll find in an expensive boutique hotel, like plump cushions and immaculate plush towels. “Proudly display crisp white, fluffy towels like the kind you would find in a fancy hotel or spa,” says Drew Henry, founder of design firm Design Dudes. “This will immediately trigger a feeling for your guests, and they will have a more luxurious feeling towards the space.”

5. Replace fixtures

Upgrade your flatpack kitchen by swapping cheap fixtures like knobs, drawer pulls and handles for designer finishes in handmade leather, ceramic and metal materials.

6. Highlight architectural features

Look around your home for pre-existing features such as moulding, exposed beams, custom built-ins and ceiling roses. These are items that add value to your home. Use lighting to showcase the feature, and keep the surrounding areas clean and clutter-free.

7. Add a large rug

Transform an ordinary room and anchor your furniture with a large rug. “Area rugs help ground furniture groupings, define rooms, and add more interest to an area,” Jillian says. “It is recommended that all of your furniture sit on the area rug, but at the very least, make sure the feet of your furniture are touching a portion of the rug.”

8. Use neutral walls

Nothing turns off a potential buyer than a glaring statement wall in your personal colour preference. Play it safe and stick to classic colours such as beige, gray, white and off-white. Not sure which white paint to use? Click here.

9. Use big mirrors

Create the illusion of space with some strategic placement of mirrors. You can double the size of your space with a large mirror, and it will also introduce more light into your home.

10. Add a statement piece

Upgrade your home by splurging on one two ‘hero’ pieces, such as a grand dining room table, statement chandelier or a designer-style rug. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money – just be clever with your purchases and when in doubt, go big.

11. Use stone benchtops

If you’re going to spend any money, add value to your kitchen by replacing cheap benchtops with real stone, such as Carrara marble or granite. Look around for bargain opportunities. You can sometimes find a great deal on a real stone top at your local stone yard, in the remnant section!


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