Easy Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive on a Budget

The desire to make your home sweet home look and feel like a million bucks is natural and understandable. Of course, not everyone has a million-dollar budget! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to achieve an expensive aesthetic without spending a pretty penny. Check out our ultimate guide for selecting furniture, décor, and accessories to enrich your space – plus a few things to avoid if you don’t want to cheapen your interiors.

Large format artwork

38 inch Julia Round Dining Table

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have authentic Picassos on your living room wall for your space to look upscale. When done correctly, large-scale artwork makes a bold, sophisticated statement and immediately catches the eye upon entering a room. Rather than cluttering up your walls with several different pieces – or making your wall look barren and drab with a tiny, lonely print or painting – opt for one large, confident piece that ties the room together.

To style large format artwork, you’ll first need to find a big, empty wall! Stuffing a large piece of artwork between shelves, windows, or other framed pieces can wind up making the room look busy and disorganized. Additionally, having too much stuff can cause a space to feel smaller, and there’s nothing posh about that. While it may seem counterintuitive, hanging an oversized piece of art at eye-level in a small room can make the space feel larger than life.

Once you’ve selected the perfect spot for your big piece of art, you may need to reorganize your room around the new focal point: position loveseats with the art in the middle, center your bed underneath it, move shelving to opposite walls, and so on. Keep the rest of your décor minimal to highlight your new pièce de résistance, and enjoy the gorgeous effect it has on the room!

Faux plants

Nothing adds liveliness to a room like a bit of living décor… or, in this case, faux living décor! Placing pops of greenery and flowers throughout your home adds color and texture to your space, and both are key to achieving that lavish look you are after. For anyone with a limited budget and without a green thumb, investing in high-quality fake houseplants is the perfect solution.

When going the artificial route, you’ve got to make sure you’re styling the plants as if they’re real. That means placing them in bright, airy rooms where a living plant could flourish (so no dusty bookshelves in dark dens!). Add a large fiddle leaf fig tree in a sun-drenched living room, a simple succulent arrangement on the dining room table, and a sweet fern on your coffee table. Have fun mixing and matching sizes, and watch your rooms come alive.

To ensure your artificial plants make your home look lush, not low-cost, don’t overdo it with dozens of faux plants at every turn. Dust them regularly, and don’t hesitate to “repot” them in wicker baskets, macrame hangers, and other vessels that match the room’s style.

Floor lamps

When realtors are staging a home for sale, one of the most crucial aspects is perfecting the lighting – and for a good reason! A dimly lit room can feel cramped, while a cozy, glowing room feels inviting and warm. Take a look at luxury home interior ideas, and you’ll quickly note that the lighting is always on point. When it comes to lighting up your own home, elegant floor lamps serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose.

Like with most design elements, variety can add just the right amount of interest and drama to a room, which is why mixing floor lamps, table lamps, and overhead lighting can be so effective. When it comes to placing a floor lamp, consider its purpose; a bright lamp near your favorite armchair makes for a great reading spot while placing it near your favorite painting will make it a focal point. Floor lamps are ideal for illuminating corners of a space that feel dark and untouched by other light sources. Plus, floor lamps’ beauty is that they can easily be moved and repositioned to change the room’s entire ambiance!

Floor lamps are great for adding brightness to a room, but it’s important they don’t detract any style points. When selecting a lamp, make sure it “makes sense” with the rest of your furniture and décor; in other words, don’t throw a dark, industrial lamp into a sunny, farmhouse-style room. Additionally, two-floor lamps used to frame a piece of furniture should match.


If you’re looking for a super inexpensive way to make a room look bigger and brighter, think mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! These are the MVP of the budget-decorating game since they’re relatively inexpensive and have the potential to make a big impact.

For rooms lacking windows, or rooms with a few small windows, mirrors instantly add depth and dimension. (In fact, realtors love using mirrors in home stagings to make homes seem bigger than they are!) Lean a floor-length mirror against a bare wall in your bedroom, or decorate the wall of a dark, narrow hallway with a mirror gallery wall. Hang one large mirror as your dining room focal point, angling it strategically near a window or hanging light fixture to transform the room from dim to dazzling with ease.

While it may seem obvious, when choosing where to hang a mirror, don’t forget that it will reflect whatever’s across from it. For instance, if you place a large mirror in a cluttered room, the mess will seem multiplied. Make sure you’re hanging mirrors in places that reflect something visually appealing or, at the very least, not unattractive.

Area rugs

An expensive, professionally-designed room looks perfectly curated and cohesive. One way to achieve this in your own space is with a striking area rug. A large area rug can serve as the anchor for a room, uniting the elements of the space while serving as an eye-catching focal point. In the time it takes to unfurl a rug, you can turn a hodge-podge of furniture pieces into one living space. This is certainly one of the easiest ways to make your home look more expensive.

There are a few cardinal rules when it comes to maximizing an area rug’s design benefits. First, don’t be afraid to go big! A great rug should be large enough to go under all big pieces of furniture in the room. Second, center a rug in the room whenever possible so that there is equal floor space on every side. Asymmetry can draw the eye for all the wrong reasons. Third, keep your rug clean! A dirty rug won’t do a room any favors!

Finally, choose your rug wisely. For example, don’t place a light-colored runner in a high-traffic area, as it will become dull and dirty quickly. Additionally, ensure that the furniture, décor, and paint color of the room mesh with your carpet selection. Many designers suggest choosing a bold area rug first and using that as your design starting point. However, if you’re choosing a rug for an already furnished room, don’t be afraid to take your sweet time finding the perfect fit!

CredenzasBlack domino chest in living room


Investing in a fabulous credenza can undoubtedly make it look like a top-dollar designer styled your home, but they serve a practical purpose too. Credenzas, or those long, low storage pieces that typically have sliding cabinet doors, are an incredibly versatile piece of furniture. Typically found in dining rooms, credenzas can also be used in entryways, living rooms, bedrooms – pretty much wherever you could use some extra storage! Credenzas minimize clutter by offering abundant storage space, and a tidy home will always look more refined than a messy one.

In order to use your credenza to make your home look more expensive, the key is styling it creatively. Don’t let the top of your credenza become “catch-all” for junk mail and clutter or an empty surface gathering dust! For a sophisticated look, place matching lamps on either end of the credenza, with a piece of art or a large mirror centered in the middle. For a more organic look, use your credenza as a gallery shelf showcasing framed photos and artwork in various sizes. Throw in things like candles, greenery, and vases to complete the look.

Even if you’re using the surface of your credenza practically – perhaps as a bar, a TV stand, a spot for a record player, or a place to store serving dishes – it’s still important to view the space as a design opportunity. A glamorous bar tray, a bowl of lemons, a potted plant, or a colorful stack of books can all be used to turn the credenza into a piece of art. There are endless ways to style a credenza, so get inspired.

Invest in quality

When you’re decorating on a budget, it can be tempting to head to your local home goods stores and loading up on cheap wall décor, accessories, and trinkets to fill your space. While you might enjoy the instant gratification, an abundance of cheap but expensive-looking furniture and décor will quickly make your space feel cheap, too.

Rather than blowing your budget on poorly made and therefore short-lived items, spend a little extra time shopping for quality, gently used items at an outlet store. At CORT Furniture Outlet, you can find beautiful, made-to-last décor and furniture that will make your home look expensive yet easily fit your budget.

Make your home dazzle for pennies on the dime! Stop by CORT Furniture Outlet and discover home decor up to 70% off retail prices! Shop online or in-store for same-day pick-up, and design a space that looks like a million bucks.

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