A good majority of us have a budget to go by when it comes to decorating our living rooms. Whatever your style and budget, there are few tricks on how to make your living space look more expensive without having to spend a lot of money.
It’s not about keeping up with Joneses! Everyone is going to spend and splurge their money differently. So whichever decor pieces you decide to invest more in, that’s totally up to you. A designer look from Restoration Hardware involves a lot of expensive furniture! You can still get custom home look without spending a fortune.
What you want is a balanced look for throughout the entire room. There shouldn’t be a noticeable difference in where you spent money and where you’ve saved a bit. Small changes can create a whole new look, that feels designer with a few great design tips.
How To Make Your Living Room Look Expensive
1. Layered Lighting
Creating layered lighting in the living room will make a huge difference.
Lighting steps up the look and feel of your living room immediately. So aside from the ceiling pendant lights in the living room, it’s important to have different light sources. Because we generally use our living room for lots of activities.
So if you only have the one consider adding a couple more lighting fixtures around the space. Look at how the the living room is used or how it could be used. If you have a smaller nook or seating area you could add a floor lamp or table lamps in certain areas.
You could also highlight the main features in the living room. Bring attention to your gallery wall or large piece of artwork with wall sconces. Don’t worry if you’re renting you won’t have to rewire or do any electrical work. You can use plug in light fixtures.
Or if you don’t like the idea of the wire being seen you can check out the wall sconce hack. Light fixtures that have different light settings or dimmer options are great for setting different lighting setups in your space.
Even the lighting from candles changes the mood completely. You can use all or some of these options. Lighting is the most tip for creating expensive-looking rooms.
2. Use Neutral Colours
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in any space. Using neutral colour palette gives an understated sense of elegance to a space. A plain white is a calming blank canvas and it brings more attention to what’s actually in the living room space.
With a neutral colour its easier to bring in colours and patterns without feeling overwhelming. Paint colours like warm whites, creams, beiges, greys and earthy tones will work well for living room walls creating an expensive look.
Using a neutral colour also helps make your living room space feel larger giving it a sense of luxury. To multiply this feeling even more paint your doors and trim all the same colour. This design tip is especially helpful for small spaces on a budget.
3. USe Wallpaper
Wallpapering is another way to go to make your living room look more expensive. Of course there are different price ranges when it comes to selecting wallpaper. Choose a wallpaper design that fits according to your budget.
Peel and stick wallpaper is great option if you’re not wanting to make a permanent decision straight away. A neutral wallpaper that has some texture is a good in between option and will give off a luxe style.
4. Hang Your Curtains Correctly
Putting up floor to ceiling curtains in your living room gives a luxe feeling to the space. Window treatments always finish off a room nicely. As long as the curtains are put up properly. One of the ultimate interior design mistakes if not done right!
Even if you’re going for a simple design style, you can opt for sheer curtains. Sheer curtains are pretty affordable compared to heavy weight draperies such as linen and velvet. Whatever fabric you decide on just hang your rod above the window and close to the ceiling as you can. Make sure you use a good amount of fabric to get a full look.
Hanging your curtain rods higher to the ceiling creates an illusion of higher ceilings. And when it seems like you have high ceilings it makes your space feel bigger. It’s one of the simple interior design tricks that works wonders.
5. An Area Rug
An area rug grounds the seating area and really uplifts the space. So many times we can skip the rug for the sake of expense (so we think). Or we go for a smaller rug just to have something under foot. Even when it’s far too small for the living room.
But including the right size rug in the living room does make a great impact to the room. Vintage rugs instantly add an interior designer feel but can be expensive. Try the thrift store and your local second hand stores for a good deal.
Instead you can opt for natural materials likes jutes, seagrasses and plain wool rugs tend to be more affordable. And using neutral tones to the living room adds a high end look. This is the best way to get good rug that fits the space for your living room.
6. Large Scale Wall Art
Art work can be so underrated when it comes to decorating a space. But a large scale piece of art can work wonders in making your living room feel more expensive. And it’ll be a great focal point as part of an accent wall.
Sometimes one big piece can make a bigger impact than a few smaller pieces, like a gallery wall. I still love a good gallery wall! But go for a single big piece if you’re wanting more of a upscale look to your living room.
And just because an art piece is bigger, doesn’t mean you can’t get a great art piece within your budget. You can make your own abstract canvas and hang it on the wall
Domestika have some great beginner art courses if you feel like you need a helping hand. Or you might have a talented friend you can ask. Then there are the online resources you can buy art from like Society 6 and Minted.
7. Moulding Details
Using architectural details such as crown molding makes a big difference in creating an elevated look.
Architectural features such as panelled walls and board and batten details are an inexpensive way to add character to the living room. You can choose a more decorative ornate detail or a simple modern profile. It’s up to you whether you go to the full wall height or just half way up with the detailing.
There are so many different designs styles you could try out with decorative moulding. Details like this create a custom look and a luxurious living room space. There’s also peel and stick moulding available for those who are renting!
8. Try A Different colour: Black
Sophistication and elegance are just a couple of the many words associated with the colour black. Black is the fail safe when it comes to fashion. And is becoming more popular in interior design too.
There’s plenty of amazing inspiration using black for living rooms and other spaces. If your feel like going black in the living room is too dark for you or there’s not enough natural light, use black as an accent colour.
You can use black in furniture details for a luxury look. A black matte for light fixtures or a metal finishes in furniture like your coffee table or a side table.
Design styles like Japandi and the Scandinavian look is well known for using black accents. You can try painting the interior window trim black. Or picking out things like black curtain hardware and decorative accents.
Using a dark colour like black to contrast a light colour creates a more luxe look.
9. layers & Textures
When it comes to layering your sofa, use different textures and patterns for the cushions.
Mix in large scale throw pillows with smaller ones. Play with the colours, materials and patterns to add interest to the design scheme. Mix and contrast leather, velvets, linens and other fabrics to get that layered designer look.
If you’ve gone with a neutral colour scheme on the walls, the soft furnishings are going to be the main colour focus. You can layer in a couple of throw blankets on the sofa too. The soft furnishings give the cozy feel to the space as well as make it feel a bit more luxe.
Get good quality pillow inserts so your cushions look full instead of falling flat.
10. Plants & Florals
Adding in some natural elements is an easy way to elevate your living room. Think about the different heights and shapes of the leaves you can use.
That doesn’t mean you have to have plants in every corner of the living room. A strategically placed faux tree or some floral arrangements will take up living room up a couple of notches.
Floral arrangements needn’t be expensive. The cheapest way is to cut some fresh flowers from your garden. Or you can use faux flowers for longevity. Little things like decor really make a big difference.
11. A Decorative Mirror
Using a decorative mirror is another way to make a great focal point in your living room. Of course prices for mirrors vary widely on size and finish. But using a statement mirror is always something to keep in mind.
It can be a large floor mirror or a smaller mirror to go over a mantel piece. Mirrors also help by making your living room feel larger by bouncing around the natural light in your room.
12. Antique Pieces
Nothing says custom like a one off antique find!
To find great pieces you’ll have to be willing to do some hunting. Search anywhere from Facebook Market, Ebay, flea markets, car boot sales and estate auctions. Because when you find a antique piece that you can use in your living room its worth it.
Don’t be afraid of mixing new furniture with the old. It creates elegance, depth and interest. You’re not likely to find your antique piece in anyone else’s home and that alone says expensive.
Finding a good antique piece can mean smaller antique decor pieces as well to use in styling your home.
13. Switch Up Your Hardware
Changing small pieces such as your hardware can make a home feel custom. Light plates, door knobs can all be switched out easily. And a small detail that all adds to the overall look of the room. Brass, black or copper finishes are a great for a luxe look.
If you have built in storage, cabinets or a media unit you can change the hardware on those items too. Anthropologie always has beautiful and unusual hardware in stock or you can try your local hardware stores.
14. Room Layouts
The easiest way to get a high end living room look it to look at your room layout. Make sure you living room isn’t overcrowded with stuff and your furniture layout makes sense. You can always remove a couple of items into another room if needed.
You don’t have to go minimalist your living room should always be cozy and comfortable. But you can try re-arranging your living room furniture to see if that makes a difference for the better.
15. Styling Displays
Styling always adds personality and interest to any space. For an expensive look style areas like your coffee table and console tables with a less is more approach. Make it practical but beautiful. Try using the rule of three for styling your main pieces.
Those are my top tips on how to make you living room look expensive. Remember it’s not always about how much money you spend but the atmosphere you create to achieve that look or feeling.
I’m sure you’ll be able to find at least a couple of design tips that suit your budget to elevate your space. I hope you found the tips helpful!