You don’t have to spent a fortune to give your home a fresh update. A home that looks expensive feels more luxurious, which can also enhance the sense of well-being, prosperity and contentment for those within it. Give yourself these beneficial lifestyle boosts by upgrading your abode one detail at a time, no billionaire budget required.
Inexpensive, boring cabinets or walls? Not anymore! Upgrade each wall cabinet with crown molding along the top. This trick works whether the cabinets reach the ceiling or there’s plenty of room to spare. This fairly simple, inexpensive project gives the cabinets a custom-crafted look, instantly upping the sense of luxury.
Make a Splash
A backsplash is another easy way to add a luxurious touch to a kitchen or bathroom, and the possibilities are practically limitless. Add patterned contact paper for a simple, removable kitchen backsplash. Or go completely high-end with faux stone tiles made from lightweight “AirStone,” which is made from mostly recycled materials. Arrange AirStone pieces brick-style along the wall area between kitchen counters and cabinets to make your kitchen look like it belongs in a mansion. AirStone pieces can be cut with a masonry blade and are held in place with a polymer-based thinset. Your kitchen looks mahvelous, dahling.
New, modern hardware on cabinets, doors and drawers makes your home look a lot more expensive without much cost. The best part of this upgrade is it works in apartments (as long as you replace the original hardware when you move out). Pick handles, knobs or pulls that match appliances or decorative accents in the room. Go for a hardware style that also looks right for the space; sleek, smooth and modern in a pewter shade looks great in the typical kitchen or bathroom. Be sure to measure the length of the screws and the space between posts on each hardware piece you replace to ensure you buy new hardware that fits. If you aren’t sure what you like, pay a visit to a home improvement store and peruse the massive hardware collection for ideas. To save even more money, upgrade the existing hardware – even door knobs – with a fresh coat of paint instead.
Add the look of luxury to even the most basic sofa, chair or bed by accenting the furniture with amazing throw pillows. Textiles, especially in the easily accessible form of throw pillows, make a huge difference in the look of a room. Mix patterns and solids, along with pillows of different colors, sizes and textures to make the seat (or bed) look absolutely inviting. Your guests just may feel so at home that they don’t want to leave.
Paint it Black
A coat of black paint on hallway- or foyer-facing interior doors instantly upgrades the space, making it look more intriguing and expensive. This works best with furnishings and room colors that pair well with black, such as beige, red, gray or white. If you aren’t convinced black belongs on your interior doors, paint them another color that contrasts – yet complements – nearby moldings, trim and walls. The surprising door color draws attention to the space in a way that makes it seem more exciting and luxurious.
Wainscoting – you know, that decorative paneling that covers the lower half of the wall in some high-end homes – is just the type of thing that makes people think “wow, this place looks expensive.” Instead of splurging on actual wainscoting, fake the look with wood picture frames, chair railing, caulk and paint. Start by tracing a picture frame on paper several times. Then cut out the paper and space the paper pieces equally across the lower portion of the wall. Trace them so you’ll know where to put the frames, then secure the frames to the wall with caulk or construction adhesive. Add a chair rail above the frames, then paint the chair rail, frames and entire lower half of the wall white to finish the faux project. This looks extra stunning when paired with a warm, soft gray on the top half of the wall.
Do-Over for Dingy Floors
If parts of your home suffer from vinylitis – ugly vinyl or linoleum floors – don’t worry, there is a cure. You don’t even have to splurge on new flooring! Use paint to update the laundry room, mudroom, basement or even the kitchen with a fresh new look. Make your floor even more unique and special by using patterns or designs instead of just one solid color.
Clean the floor thoroughly with TSP (trisodium phosphate) or your fave floor cleaner, then apply a coat of all-purpose interior primer. Pick two or more colors of floor paint, then apply a coat or two of the lightest shade. Create a design such as stripes or chevrons using painter’s tape, then paint on the next color, peeling the tape away as the paint dries. For a more elaborate design, try floor stencils. Royal Design Studio has stunning stencils and ideas that will leave you wanting to stencil all the floors in your home.
One thing you’ll never notice in a well-kept luxury home: a sea of tangled cords and cables. Any room looks so much nicer simply by tidying up those electronics cords, including those that dangle from a wall-mounted TV. Install a cable track or hide cables in hollow moldings or mantels. A floating shelf – the type that looks like crown molding – hides cable clutter while adding embellishment to a plain wall. Office supply stores carry cable channels and tubing to tame cords from desk lamps, computer gear and electronic gear sprinkled around the house. Once you’ve wrapped up the cord chaos, the room looks much more managed, like a luxury home should be.
Clear the Clutter
Messy cords aren’t the only thing mucking up the energy in the average home. Clear the clutter room by room, and you’ll soon find your home feeling more peaceful and luxurious. That’s right: good vibes only. Not sure where to start? Begin by picking up every item that doesn’t belong in the room and putting it in one of three boxes: 1) Goes Elsewhere, 2 ) Donate or 3) Unsure.
Flat services can also accumulate a lot of clutter. Go over bookshelves, tables and the mantel, and remove anything that doesn’t belong or that doesn’t have a useful purpose. Once you’ve boxed things up, dust, vacuum and otherwise clean the room, then place the boxed items where they belong. The “unsure” box can go in a closet temporarily. If you don’t use those items within a couple months, it may be time to give them away too.