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10 Inexpensive Tricks To Make Your House Look Expensive

Andrew Dehan6-Minute Read
November 05, 2019

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While there are many reasons why homeowners decide to take on home improvement projects, it mostly boils down to adding value to a home. From fresh paint jobs, landscaping and total room renovation, the goal is to make a home look nicer or more expensive.According to the 2017 TrueCost Report by Home Advisor, homeowners are spending more money on home improvement, with an average amount of $5,157 spent on home projects in 2016 with predictions to spend far more in 2017.For some homeowners, spending an extravagant amount of money on home projects just isn’t a reality. Instead of depleting your savings account or running up your credit card to renovate your home, consider smaller-scale changes that can transform your space.We’ve broken down the top 10 inexpensive tricks to make your home look expensive, with insight from professional home stagers and designers that’ll get you more bang for your buck.

Illuminate With Lighting

Let there be light! An easy and cost-friendly trick to make a room in your home look more expensive is by incorporating lighting pieces that are interesting and expressive.According to Glamour, there’s no one-way to achieve a luxurious glow in your home, but rather to think of lighting as “the jewelry of the room,” accessorizing your space as you would an outfit.Lean toward pieces with an interesting shape, finish or design detail, focusing on attention-grabbing lighting that will make a statement in a room. Arrange the lighting in various heights and bulb sizes to create a dramatic effect that eliminates unflattering shadows.Teris Pantazes, co-founder of, suggested LED lightbulbs, as they are cost and energy efficient as well as long-lasting, eliminating the effort of replacing your bulbs frequently.

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Maximize With Mirrors

Mirrors and lighting go hand-in-hand, as a few strategically placed mirrors, paired with the perfect lighting, can create the illusion that your space is far larger than it actually is. Simply hang your mirror across a lighting source, like a window or lamp light, to create this illusion.

“Hanging a larger-than-life mirror not only increases its functionality, but it also widens the space and makes it feel larger by reflecting the room back at you,” explained Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing.

Maximize this trick by hanging an assortment of mirrors in various sizes and shapes, creating an eclectic and artistic design on your walls.

If simplicity is your aesthetic, a singular, large statement mirror can create a polished and elegant finish on the wall.

Minimize Furniture

When it comes to making your home look more expensive, follow the minimalist approach of “less is more” when decorating your home with furniture and accessories.

“When a house has too much furniture and too many accessories, the space can easily feel small and overwhelming,” said Stephanie Jacobs, home stager and re-designer in Atlanta.

Instead of filling your space with unnecessary furniture pieces, Jacobs says to keep your furniture minimal with items that you need versus those you simply want in a room.

“The best way to begin the process of de-cluttering is to go through each room and asking yourself what purpose each object and piece of furniture serves. If you have extra chairs for seating that no one ever uses, maybe it’s time to get rid of them,” Jacobs explained.

Don't want to paint it yourself?

Find a top-rated painter to help give your home a fresh look on HomeAdvisor.


However, you don’t have to completely clean out your space in order to achieve an expensive aesthetic in your home. By incorporating a few key pieces in a room, you can add to the overall comfort and flow of your home’s design.

For example, hanging curtains near the ceiling will create a luxurious and upscale look in your home, as long curtains will give an illusion that your room is larger.

By placing a few plump throw pillows in your seating area, you simultaneously create a comfortable and stylish tone in your home. Try choosing a few fashionable pillows with fun, but minimal designs.

You don’t need to compromise your budget in order to fill your home with nice décor. Try shopping affordable home décor shops online or in store to achieve the look you’re going for.

Cut A Rug

If you have wood floors, or any flooring other than carpet in your home, adding a rug can make a space feel cozy and inviting. It can also be the finishing touch in your living room or bedroom, adding that final décor detail to pull the room together.

However, make sure your rug is proportional to the space you’re placing it, because  using too small of rugs will make your space look less expensive, and smaller, than it actually is.

When you’re placing furniture on top of the rug, ensure that the rug extends a certain amount of space with each type of furniture. For example, dining room chairs should have three feet behind each chair and furniture should have at least the two front legs sitting on the rug.

Fresh Paint Job

While painting the walls of your home may be one of the more expensive and time-consuming tasks, there are a few things you can paint in your home that will give new life to your existing furniture and appliances.

Start by revisiting the older pieces in your home. Do you find you’re stuck with cabinet colors that contradict your kitchen’s color scheme? Grab a fresh can of paint and try painting them a neutral shade, like grey.

Apply the same concept to any other outdated pieces in your home. For example, Amy Bly, a professional stager from Great Impression Home Staging and Interiors, recommended painting older wood or unattractive furniture with easy-to-use chalk paint, in shades of gray or white.

Don't want to paint it yourself?

Find a top-rated painter to help give your home a fresh look on HomeAdvisor.

Install Molding

If you consider yourself or a friend to be particularly handy, installing moldings or trim in your home is a great way to make your space look more expensive and polished.Crown molding can be installed for very little money if you do it yourself. It’s can be the perfect finish to a larger room in your home, creating continuity between wall and ceiling. While white looks best for a clean and polished look, you can also add a pop of color to a room by painting your molding.You can even add molding to your baseboards, ceiling beams, columns, ceiling medallions and chair rails, but the key is to not go overboard. Pick subtle areas in a larger room in your home to add molding.

Upgrade Hardware

You don’t have to drop thousands of dollars on a total kitchen renovation project. By simply switching up the hardware finishes in your kitchen (drawer pulls and knobs) you add elegant details that are sure to stand out in your kitchen.

“This is one of my go-to updates with staging and redesign: Giving a kitchen, bathroom, or outdated piece of furniture a totally new look,” said Jacobs. “It’s something the homeowners can do with minimal costs and elbow grease.”

Jacobs suggested to look for stylish and inexpensive pieces, found at most bulk hardware stores. You can also stop by your local hardware store, flea market or antique shop for expensive-looking knobs and pulls that are elegant and unique while still affordable.

Get a professional opinion.

Find local interior decorators to help on HomeAdvisor.

Use Fresh Flowers And Greenery

Stop and smell the roses by incorporating fresh flowers and greenery into your home.

Flowers are an easy and inexpensive way to add a pop of color and texture into various rooms in your home. By adding a decorative vase, filled with store-bought or local garden flowers, you add a level of hospitality and comfort to your space.

Since the cost of buying fresh flower arrangements can add up, try your hand at arranging your own bouquet from grocery store flowers. Not only is it easy and inexpensive, you’ll be able to show off your amateur arrangement skills to your friends and family.

If you’re looking for more neutral colors in your home, try buying greenery, which not only allows more decorative opportunity, it’s also pretty easy to care for – even if you don’t have a green thumb!

Curb Appeal

Put your best foot forward by incorporating a few quick and cheap updates to the outside of your home that will reap the biggest impact.

For example, painting your front door with a bold color will give your home a “signature look,” says Monica Higgins, former licensed real estate agent turned construction manager. Not to mention, painting your door a bright color will add new life to your home using far less money than it costs to buy a new door altogether.

Don’t stop at the front door! Installing large or unique house address numbers is another inexpensive way to add value to your home. Higgins suggested an elegant finish that complements the exterior color palette and fixtures of your home.

Low Cost, High Impact

Shelling out the big bucks on home renovation and improvement can be a pressure point when you’re trying to add value to your home. But you don’t have to empty your savings account to make your space look expensive.

By incorporating these 10 easy and inexpensive tricks into your home, you’ll reap a large impact that’ll transform your space.

Don't want to paint it yourself?

Find a top-rated painter to help give your home a fresh look on HomeAdvisor.

Andrew Dehan

Andrew Dehan is a professional writer who writes about real estate and homeownership. He is also a published poet, musician and nature-lover. He lives in metro Detroit with his wife, daughter and dogs.