Building a home, renovating, furnishing or decorating are some of the most expensive things in this economy. As much as we’d all like to think otherwise, designing a luxurious house that’s fit for a magazine is incredibly expensive. When you tally up the cost of fabrics, rugs, furniture, and mirrors, your wallet takes a serious hit. You can easily go over your budget if you include in just a few highly sought-after luxury items.
The good news is that there are several relatively simple (read cheaper) things that can be done to achieve a high-end look without spending a fortune. With the right decisions, you can even make your interiors appear far more expensive than they actually are.
We asked our interior designers to share some cheap hacks that can make interiors look expensive; here’s what they had to share:
1 – Bespoke Rug
According to Benjamin, interior designer and business development manager at FCI London, “a bespoke rug that is custom-made for your space will always make a room look expensive – especially if you’re designing an open-plan space; rugs really help define the areas and bring the place together. Unlike bespoke furniture, bespoke rugs can be made at a reasonable price, so you will find many budget-friendly options with good brands like Knot & Loop. If you’re not in the mood for something bespoke, the next best thing would be a neutral rug.”
Ben recently completed a project with Rina Vastu, where Rina designed a bespoke rug to complement the furniture and style of the room:
2 – A Chandelier That Looks Expensive
“Luxury lighting is one of the defining characteristics of luxury interiors because of the polished look they bring, but with the huge range of lighting available these days, you can find many good-looking chandeliers at affordable prices – as long as you have a good eye. I recommend chandeliers for dining areas and living rooms but for the kitchen, it would be best to go for pendant lights,” says Ben.
3 – Add Interesting Wall Art
“Wall art will instantly make any room look more high-end, so whether you’re decorating the living room, the bedroom or any other space, make sure that you add the kind of wall art that instantly catches the eye and makes the room look more interesting,” says Cristina, senior designer at FCI London. “You can either buy a painting or, if you want something more budget-friendly, just choose a high-quality image of your choice from the free stock images available online, get it printed from a good printer in a size of your choice and then have it framed. This is a very convenient and cheap way to add good artwork to your home without spending a fortune.”
Here are some examples from our projects where artwork was used to its full potential:
4 – Use Planters
Fresh flowers have always been popular amongst interior decorators because they add a burst of colour to the room, but they can be a bit high maintenance and not many people have the sort of time anymore. “This is why I prefer to use planters to bring more greenery into the room through either low-maintenance plants like the Snake Plant, Kentia Palm or the Spider plant. Or another option is to go for good quality artificial plants as they look as good as real ones,” says Cristina.
5 – Avoid Matching Furniture
According to Ricardo, architect and interior designer at FCI London, “matching furniture is too overrated and you can create a much better, expensive-looking space by opting for mismatched but complementing furniture pieces. But make sure you have some kind of connection between the pieces; for example, you can have a similar colour scheme, style, theme or any other element that brings the space together.”
Our Redington Road project’s living room, for example, features a sofa and armchair that are very different from each other in terms of style and design but the whole room is brought together with sporadic use of patterns:
6 – Create a Feature Wall
At FCI London, we love creating feature walls for our clients – be it through paint, wallpaper or artwork. Ben recently completed the open plan game room and living room for the Coulins project, where he used a bespoke rug along with a stunning wallpaper to give this room the touch of luxury that it needed.
Of course you don’t have to limit yourself to wallpaper, you can create an equally stunning space with paint. In fact, there’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint and it can revolutionise your aesthetics. Not only will everything look cleaner and brighter but pick a complimentary colour that elevates your furnishings or add a well-considered accent wall and it can change the look and feel of your room entirely.
“Colour is a powerful mood influencer and can dictate your overall experience of a room, so focus on the vibe you’re trying to create and choose accordingly”, is Cristina’s advice.
If you don’t want to paint the entire space, think about highlighting interesting architectural features or be a little daring and just do your ceiling – our article on the best colours to paint your home will inspire you.
Just remember to use an eco-friendly product wherever possible because sustainable décor practices are always worthwhile.
7 – Opt for Neutral Colour Schemes
Considering the latest interior design trends, bright and confusing colour schemes will no longer be popular. If you really want your room to look expensive and timeless, you need to go for a neutral colour scheme.
“Even if you want to add a bold colour, it should be something decent like cobalt blue or burnt orange instead of a bright pink or yellow. But if you want to play it safe, neutral colours should be given preference because they don’t just look luxe but are also easy to upgrade whenever you renovate,'” says Ricardo.
Here are some inspiring shots from neutral colour schemes that our designers have been working on lately:
8 – Enhance Natural Light
Natural light is an asset in any interior design project, so bring it in however possible. Not only will it make your home look bigger and brighter, but it will also lift your spirits, give you more energy and improve your sense of well-being.
Here are some easy ways to do this:
- Open up your window spaces by using lighter curtains and trimming any outdoor plants that might be blocking them.
- Use paler tones on your walls to help bounce the light.
- If you have small windows, install a skylight or some solar tubes.
- Use furnishings that are either transparent or have shiny surfaces – just about anything from doorknobs to ceramic tiles will help lift a dark room.
- Bring in lots of mirrors. Not only will they add a sense of style and refinement, but they’re a wonderful way to make things look expansive and illuminated.
While designing a luxury home can be expensive, there are certain budget-friendly steps that you can take to make your home look stylish. “If you live with what you love, it will never go out of style”, Cristina explains. “So, find things that give you a sense of nostalgia and contentment and your home will always be beautiful and priceless.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How to make your house look worth more than it is?
Repainting is one of the simplest ways to make your home appear to be worth more. Use paint to give a room character and make it appear more expensive. A brand-new coat of paint in a striking colour, whether dark or bright, can make a world of difference.
Make sure the design of your house is unified as well. The sensation of home is elevated in a house that has been built according to a master design, where each room flows into the next. It is important to carefully consider how each space’s colours, textures, and furnishings relate to one another and enhance the experience. The placement of materials and the tasteful use of colour evoke a luxurious environment. Furniture should be both useful and lovely, allowing one to relax in cosy yet visually appealing items. A residence feels pricey when comfort and luxury are combined.
Q. How to make a room look expensive on a budget?
Your décor is the key to making your home appear expensive on a tight budget. Flowers in vases, original paintings, and creative window treatments may all make your home appear more expensive.
Despite the fact that many of us have been spending so much time at home, it seems like we discover something new about our surroundings every day. Changing your window coverings can significantly contribute to a refresh without going overboard if you have a limited budget. Consider your window coverings as a blank canvas for the rest of your room.
Q. How can I make my house look more grand and luxurious?
The addition of quality finishing touches can make your house appear grand and luxe. Consider light switches, sockets, drawer pulls, and door handles. These components are frequently disregarded, yet the ideal design may tie the whole plan together.
Because of technology, there are probably cables in every part of your house, from the TV in the living room to the kitchen appliances to the chargers in the bedroom. A mess of wayward cords, though, will ruin even the most beautiful space. It’s crucial to minimise this source of visual clutter as much as possible if you want your home to look premiumluxurious.
Consider putting the wires through the wall if you have a wall-mounted television or are considering TV wall ideas for a seamless appearance. Then, to maintain the aesthetic of a wire-free space, conceal auxiliary equipment in sideboards or adjacent cabinetry.