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How to Make Your Home Look Luxurious on a Budget

October 03, 2023
Luxurious black and white kitchen with black hardware and tiled wall

You don’t have to break the bank to create a home that exudes luxury and style. With some thoughtful design choices and a bit of creativity, you can transform any space into an elegant and well-curated home.

From clever décor hacks to strategic shopping, we’ve put together the best tips to make your home look expensive – on a budget.

Home office study in Terra Plan 7 at The Landing by Brookfield Residential in Tustin CA

Residence 7, Terra Collection, The Landing at Tustin Legacy Community, Tustin, California

1. Declutter and organize

When making a home look more expensive, less is often more. As with every home design project, you should begin with a thorough decluttering. You can check out our blog to learn how to declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed.

We live in a technology-based world, so it’s likely there will be wires in your room. For an expensive-looking home, it’s essential to organize stray cables and hide away cords. If you have a wall-mounted TV, run the cables through the wall and hide any extra devices in a media stand. Choose an all-in-one wireless charging station to easily charge your devices without an abundance of cords lying about. In the kitchen, tuck away appliances you don’t regularly use until you need them. This not only reduces the cords but will also keep your countertops clear.

Clear out unnecessary items and find ways to keep your space organized. Investing in stylish storage solutions, like shelves, baskets, and decorative boxes, makes it easier to hide clutter and keep the room put together. Not only will your space feel elevated and chic, but you’ll also feel better mentally.

2. Use a neutral color palette

Dining and Living Areas Residence 1 Plan, Abbey Neighborhood at Boulevard, Dublin, California

Residence 1, Abbey Neighborhood, Boulevard Community, Dublin, California

Neutral colors, like whites, grays, and muted tones, create an elegant and timeless look in any space. Neutrals aren’t subject to changing design trends and are always in style, so you don’t have to worry about redecorating every few years. The new neutrals for 2023 are deeper, incorporate new hues, and feel elevated, creating a chic space.

3. Focus on a few high-quality pieces

Creating a luxurious-feeling home on a budget means you can’t go all out when adding high-quality materials. Making affordable choices on certain things allows you to invest your budget into pieces that really matter to you. For example, choosing engineered wood flooring over real hardwood may offset the cost of the statement-making chandelier you’ve fallen in love with.

You can also accessorize with high-quality pieces made from luxury materials, such as a marble serving tray or artwork from your favorite artist. This will help your house look more expensive without breaking the bank.

Cozy living room with fireplace at Midhurst Valley by Brookfield Residential

Chorley Floor Plan, 36' Detached Collection, Midhurst Valley Community, Barrie, Ontario

4. Create your own artwork and décor

DIY projects are a great way to personalize your home to reflect your style better. If you have a specific vision for how a room will look when it’s complete, creating your own artwork is an excellent solution if you’re having difficulty finding the right pieces to achieve your goal.

There are plenty of simple and stylish ideas with informative tutorials to help you create stunning pieces and stretch your budget. Taking the time to create a piece that you genuinely like and also fits your space will make your room feel more authentic and meaningful.

5. Add crown molding and trim

Bedroom Plan 3Y, The Villas at Los Coyotes, Buena Park, California

Residence 3, Villas Collection, Los Coyotes Country Club Community, Buena Park, California

Being thrifty is great, but being resourceful can take your home projects to a new level. Taking the time to perfect your painting skills, learning how to use power tools properly, and studying tricks of the trade can elevate your home while reducing your costs.

A board and batten wall is a popular and easy DIY project that adds dimension and interest with less effort than you might think. You can choose a style that best fits your home and get creative with panels, grids, or colorful paint. While wall paneling is the more traditional option, ceiling paneling is another way to add architectural interest and emphasize the height of the space.

6. Choose well-designed light fixtures

Primary bedroom details in Dickinson in the Urban Courtyard Homes at Easton Park in Austin TX

Dickinson Floor Plan, Urban Courtyard Homes Collection, Easton Park Community, Austin, Texas

A dramatic chandelier is the jewelry of any room. A bold pendant light naturally draws the eye upwards, emphasizing the height of the room and making the space feel bigger and brighter. It’s a piece that adds instant elegance and makes the room feel more luxurious.

Wall sconces or stylish floor lamps are also great additions to make a room feel more expensive. If your space already has these, try updating them for a fresh look and feel. Focus on layering all your lighting elements for a well-designed room to meet your lighting needs throughout the day.

7. Use accent pillows and throws

Accent pillows and throws instantly make a room feel cozier and more luxurious. You can play with colors, textures, and sizes to add dimension. Even if you prefer a muted palette, adding a few hues that are a slight variation of your neutrals will liven up the space.

Buying all-new pillows every time you’re craving a refresh can get expensive. Switching out your pillow covers is a budget-friendly alternative that allows you to change things up every season and keep it fresh all year round.

8. Fool the eye with curtains

Bedroom in the Villas Collection at Kissing Tree by Brookfield Residential in San Marcos TX

Champlain Floor Plan, Traditional Collection, Kissing Tree Community, San Marcos, Texas

Many luxurious and expensive homes have high ceilings with large windows that allow natural light to pour in. Mimic this look by hanging your drapery and hardware as high and as close to the ceiling as possible. This draws the eye upwards and creates the appearance of a bigger space. Allow the fabric to barely skim the floor for a full floor-to-ceiling effect.

9. Visit thrift stores and antique shops

Sustainability is at the forefront of home design, and furniture with character is becoming more important. Decorating with antiques, especially wooden pieces, makes a house look expensive and creates a one-of-a-kind look.

Look for local thrift stores, garage or estate sales, and flea markets, or use your family heirlooms for a more personal touch. Sometimes it just takes a little elbow grease to create a beautiful and interesting piece. If you’re new to upcycling, check out our blog on upcycling furniture for easy project ideas and tips for beginners.

10. Accessorize thoughtfully

Music room detail in Beverly Residence 1 at Eastwood Village by Brookfield Residential in Irvine CA

Residence 1, Beverly Neighborhood, Eastwood Village Community, Irvine, California

Surface styling is an art, so take the time to thoughtfully style each area. Your coffee table, fireplace mantel, or shelves are great spaces to display some of your favorite items. For a more sophisticated feeling throughout your home, try adding decorative touches to typically practical spaces, like the kitchen or bath. Incorporating a few simple yet expertly styled pieces creates a richer experience and luxurious feeling no matter the room.

Flowers and plants are an inexpensive way to give a room an instant facelift. Find a favorite vase and add a colorful bouquet, or display a lovely potted plant on a coffee table or bookshelf. Fresh flowers bring in color and texture, as well as a sense of life. An inexpensive bouquet from the store can be all you need to add elegance. Just choose your favorite blooms and make your own floral arrangement.

11. Don’t forget the details

Bath in Villa Plan 2 at Kissing Tree by Brookfield Residential in San Marcos TX

Villas Collection, Kissing Tree Community, San Marcos, Texas

Finishing touches are a great way to make your home look expensive. Items like door handles, drawer pulls, light switches, and electrical sockets are often overlooked but can pull a whole aesthetic together with the right design. Swapping out your existing hardware with something more modern and chic will immediately elevate the space.

Nothing looks more stylish than a set of matching containers on a vanity or kitchen counter. Using liquid soap in a sleek dispenser or transferring cotton swabs into an elegant container elevates the room’s entire look. It’s an inexpensive upgrade with enormous impact.

An elegant room should be appealing to the senses – including smell. Candles and essential oil diffusers are an easy way to add ambiance to any room with minimal effort. Walking into a clean space with stylish décor and a crisp scent exudes elegance.

Living room in Lyra at Cappella by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Lyra Floor Plan, Capella Community, Calgary, Alberta

12. Fake it

If you don’t have the budget to use the real deal, fake it. Using faux versions of expensive materials, like marble or brass, or mimicking their look, like gold spray paint on picture and mirror frames, is an easy and inexpensive way to add glamour to any room.

Custom cabinetry is another elegant touch but often comes with a heftier price tag. Duplicate a custom look and add architectural detail with fake built-ins created with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. You can change the color for added warmth and drama and style them for even more visual appeal.

Bedroom detail in Terra Plan 2 at The Landing by Brookfield Residential in Tustin CA

Residence 2, Terra Collection, The Landing at Tustin Legacy Community, Tustin, California

Creating an expensive-looking home on a budget requires a combination of creativity, thoughtful design choices, and attention to detail. Use our tips to help you out, and you’ll have a high-end aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Check out the Brookfield Residential blog for design advice, homebuying insights, mortgage tips, and more. You can also explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!