I'm an interior designer. Here are 10 ways to make your home look more expensive for cheap.

  • As an interior designer, I know a few simple, cheap ways to make your space look expensive.

  • Incorporate the three tiers of lighting and a mixture of luxe textiles into your space.

  • Most importantly, remember that any space will look best when you keep it clean and decluttered.

Hang curtains that go all the way to the ceiling.

Ochre sofa and curtains in living room
Curtains can elongate a wall.Viktoria Lytvyn/Shutterstock

Hanging curtains closer to the ceiling and letting them graze the floor creates an illusion of height and grandeur.

The trick elongates the visual lines of your walls, so your room feels more spacious and the windows appear larger. You don't even have to break the bank on window treatments. Ikea is my go-to for affordable curtains and rods.

Be sure to utilize mirrors.

mirror on armoir with two paintings on the wall
Mirrors can add a lot of depth and light to a space.Shutterstock

Mirrors are your secret weapon for adding depth, light, and sophistication to your space.

Large, strategically placed mirrors can reflect both natural and artificial light, making your room feel brighter and more spacious. They also create intriguing visual layers and a sense of opulence.

Consider placing mirrors across from windows or adjacent to artwork to amplify their effect.

Always have three tiers of lighting.

bedroom decorated with bulb lights and red bedding
Ambient light includes fixtures that hang from the ceiling.Africa Studio/Shutterstock

In order to create an inviting atmosphere, you should utilize three tiers of lighting: Ambient, task, and accent. The three tiers of lighting force the eye to travel up and down, creating the illusion of a larger room.

Ambient lighting includes overhead fixtures such as chandeliers or recessed lighting. Task lighting is essential for functionality and aesthetics and can include elegant desk lamps, reading lights, or under-cabinet kitchen lighting. Finally, accent lighting highlights architectural features, artwork, or decorative elements.

To tap into each lighting tier, consider plug-in wall sconces, picture lights, or well-placed floor lamps that create drama and focus.

Decorative molding isn't just for palaces.

Decorative molding along ceiling in home
Decorative molding instantly makes a home look fancier.Pavel Adashkevich/Shutterstock

Decorative molding can be an inexpensive way to add architectural charm to your space and make a huge difference.

There are even budget- and renter-friendly ways to add molding to your space, like peel-and-stick wall panels. Add crown or panel molding to any space and you've instantly elevated your room's style.

Don't pass up your local discount store.

Thrifted wooden chest with glassware on top
Thrifted, well-made furniture adds elegance.Nana_studio/Shutterstock

Thrift stores can be a treasure trove of budget-friendly and vintage decor that comes with a rich history and unique character.

Incorporate these items into your design to infuse your space with a sense of narrative and individuality.

Each piece tells a story and brings an authenticity that's hard to replicate with brand-new, mass-produced items. In my opinion, that's a true luxury.

Upgrade your frames.

Artwork in gold frames in home
Well-made, ornate frames make any art look like a masterpiece.Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

You can make almost any print look like a masterpiece by showcasing it in a chic, well-chosen frame.

I recommend downloading free public-domain art online, having it printed out (I find that this usually costs under $10), and heading to your local thrift store to find ornate, expensive-looking frames.

Nothing says luxury like a well-framed piece of art.

Layer your home in luxe textiles.

Blue couch with pillows of different materials and a throw blanket
When your eyes have a lot to explore, the room becomes more visually appealing.Oscar Wong/Getty Images

Draping your furniture in luxurious textiles like velvet, silk, or faux fur adds warmth and oozes sophistication and comfort.

I recommend mixing textures to add depth and visual intrigue to your space. This prevents the room from feeling flat or one-dimensional, which can often be the result of using only a single texture or material throughout.

When you combine different textures, your eyes have more to explore.

Make the switch to high-quality hardware.

Dark-blue kitchen cabinets with gold hardware
Brass hardware screams high quality.Tony Anderson/Getty Images

Upgrading your cabinet knobs, handles, and faucets with high-quality hardware can make a significant difference in the perceived value of your space.

Opt for timeless and upscale finishes like antique or brushed brass, matte black, or polished chrome. These small details can instantly modernize your kitchen or bathroom.

Give your space some green elegance.

plants filling a room with hammock and window to the left
Plants make almost any space look fresher.Shutterstock

I think houseplants are the ultimate affordable luxury.

Lush greenery adds an air of freshness and sophistication to any room. They're natural mood boosters and can transform your home from a boring space to a tropical oasis.

You need to clear the clutter.

Soft-sided organizer cubes should be left in the dorms.
Get some affordable organizers to help store your items.Ellen Reidy/Shutterstock

The most cost-effective way to make your home feel more expensive is to declutter.

A clean, organized space instantly always looks more polished and elegant. Even if you decorate well, it's not going to do much for your space if everything is hidden behind last week's laundry.

The more floor space you have, the larger the room appears. Remember, it's not about how much you spend, but how cleverly you style your space.

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