How to make your home look expensive on a budget

Like most homeowners, you probably have a limited interior design budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a luxurious, expensive-looking home that you’re proud to show off to guests. To make your money go further, it’s important to get your priorities straight and have a clear goal in mind. Ensure you spend your dollars where it counts with these tips to easily create a high-end look on a budget.


Expensive-looking homes always have a cohesive style from one room to the next. Whether you want a rustic feel or a clean, contemporary look depends on your preferences – but the key is to commit to the same style throughout your home. A unified look makes your decor appear well thought out and deliberate – like it was planned by a professional.

When selecting your style, take your neighbourhood and the overall design of your home into account. A fresh, beachy look can suit a coastal home well, but might seem out of place if you live near the bush. Likewise, a rustic, farmhouse style might clash with a contemporary house in the middle of the city. Choosing decor that works with the existing bones of your home often means you can achieve the look you want while spending less.

If it works for your preferences and personality, a minimalist look is a fresh, modern choice that’s easy to achieve and suits many homes. You won’t need to buy as many items, making minimalism kind to your budget. At the same time, clear surfaces and uncluttered rooms look sophisticated and create the illusion of more space, which is associated with wealth.


Home decor magazines are full of expensive decorative items that could just as easily have been found in a thrift store for a few dollars. If you’re willing to do the legwork, you can gather a beautiful selection of items on a budget. Whether it’s a vintage-looking jug or stainless steel candle holder, the trick is to style it well. Many items might not look like much on their own, but by grouping them together you can create an arrangement that looks intentional and stylish.

So make note of displays you like in high-end furniture stores or images you see online, and copy them at home. One easy guideline to remember is that odd numbers are often more visually appealing – so group three or five items together rather than even numbers. You should also aim for a variety of heights – such as candles of different sizes, or a tall lamp grouped with a mid-sized plant and a small ornament.


A mix of many colours is hard to pull off and can easily look tacky. But a neutral palette with a few pops of colour will make your home look like it’s a high-end hotel.

Lighter colours create the illusion of more space, helping your home seem more expensive. So choose a pale neutral tone such as white or cream as a base, such as for walls, rugs or cabinet doors. Then choose one or two colours to use as accents, such as with cushions or art. Some colours naturally seem more high-end. For example, metallic shades such as gold and copper can look expensive if used sparingly.


Look for classic furniture that won’t date quickly, especially for more expensive items such as your sofa. That way, you won’t feel the need to replace it after a season when the trends have changed.

Classic-looking accessories can also be found cheaply, while still appearing expensive. No one will be able to tell whether a simple photo frame or a neutral cushion came from a cheap department store or a high-end furniture designer. When you find these cheap but expensive-looking items, consider purchasing them in bulk to help create a unified look throughout your home.


Having a focal point in a room helps make it look professionally designed. This could be a feature wall or a large piece of art – anything that catches your eye as soon as you walk in.

These statement pieces are a good place to splurge if you can afford it, because they’re high impact. Plus, your guests will be too busy admiring the focal point to notice that your other accessories are from the dollar store.

However, statement pieces don’t need to be expensive. If you’re artistic, you could try creating your own abstract art. You could also keep a lookout for eye-catching pieces in second-hand stores, or display beloved items or family heirlooms you already own.


High-end homes always have a variety of textures to create a feeling of comfort and opulence. Layer different fabrics, such as a woven blanket over the foot of your bed or textured cushions in the living room, or display a variety of plants, from large, smooth leaves to spiky succulents.

Adding details to your home itself, such as elegant cornices and skirting, makes rooms look well finished. This also means you can spend less on decor to create the look you want, because the house itself already looks more expensive.


Having a variety of lights makes your room look like an expensive hotel, and avoids the harsh look of a single overhead light source. Add lamps and candles at different heights around the room for a plush effect. You can also use mirrors strategically for a luxurious look. Mirrors reflect the light in a room, helping create the illusion of more space as well as more sources of light.

At Toro Homes, our streamlined process makes it easy for you to create your dream home. Our team of experts will guide you through every step, providing advice and answering your questions along the way. Get in touch today to take the first step towards your perfect home.


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