How can I make my living room look more expensive?

The living room is the first room that guests step into upon entering a home. It is the place where families gather most of the time. The biggest space in a home that we can decorate.

A living room that looks modern and sleek instantly looks expensive. Magazine-worthy homes, for example, celebrity homes, are not easy to replicate. Majority of the time, the decor comes at a hefty price.

Making your living room look more expensive can cost you a fortune. The furniture, mirrors, rugs.. They do not come cheap. Instead of mass buying things you don’t need or can’t afford, strategically plan how your new buys can further elevate your current home decoration. 

Here are some ideas for you to make your living room look and feel like the next posh place in town.

LUXE IN LAYERED LIGHTING

Price Range: $$$-$$$$

Lights are simply one of the simplest changes to make a place look grand and inviting.

The introduction of lights in modern shapes, with bulbs that can change light tones can instantly add ambience and luxe to a room. Recessed lighting too, helps to add character.

As for modern shapes, we’re talking about the drum or cylindrical shaped ones.

Pro tip: Properly see where the natural lights are coming into your living room. This can help you decide on what other lights you would need to help accentuate.

Another point to take note: all lights should have a purpose. Is it for ambience, for accent or task? 

A living room that has a focal point will be easier to work with!

THE TOUCH OF TEXTILES

Price Range: $$-$$$

Make the layers work for you, starting from the materials that soften the room. The feel of expensive looking textiles starts with the type of fabrics chosen. Like satin, silk, cotton, linen or velvet.

PILLOWS

Swop the old saggy pillows for gorgeous, plump pillows. More does not necessarily mean better. 

It’s good if you have pillows to begin with, get yourself a few new covers of luxe look and feel. 

Pro Tip: To have a pillow look fuller and plump, try stuffing into a pillow cover of 2 inches bigger. Example, use a 26” for a 24” pillow.

Choose those with hidden zippers as they do help in the whole polished look. 

For those of us who have a knack for sewing and knitting, add in more cotton or feathers to puff them up to be beautiful once more. This will save you a decent amount of expenses.

Contrast the colours, but keep them cohesive.

THROWS

Try this too: an oversized throw casually draped on the sofa. You’ll be amazed at how a simple change can elevate the soft, luxurious look.

WINDOW TREATMENTS

The windows of a living room takes up a large piece of wall space. They immediately catch the attention of anyone walking in. Because of its size, it’s an absolute must to dress the windows well. 

Long, layered and flowy curtains that sweep the floor are popular choices for an expensive look. 

Make full use of the large windows by extending the rod beyond its width, by at least 6 inches. This way, the curtains would not cover the sides of the windows when drawn open. Sheers are also excellent because they make a room feel breezy and light.

RELATED ARTICLE: BEDROOM WINDOW TREATMENT IDEAS

Choose the right fabrics! Go for linen, simple romans, light draperies or cotton. These fabrics make the space seem bigger and are just very pleasing to the eyes.

Especially for a living room with low ceilings and smaller windows, opt for sheer-like treatments to avoid further limitation of natural lights coming in.

 

THE RUG GAME

Price Range: $$-$$$$

In reality, not many of us actually have that much luxury of a vastly large living room space. Therefore, we create the illusion of one. A living room that looks airy and spacious gives the air of luxury almost immediately.

The right rugs in the right positions can help us with that.

It’s not really just about buying a large rug. A rug too large might make a living room look empty. But a rug too small will potentially look like an unappealing clutter.

So truly, it’s about scaling up the rug size relative to the sizes of your furniture. This way, visually, it creates this cohesive look.

For a rug to work its magic in the living room, choose a size that is big enough for all of the furnitures’ front legs to be on top of the rug.

Jute rugs are good choices for homes with young kids and/or pets. Besides the excellent texture they produce, they are more durable and way easier to clean.

Whether you are going for jute, modern or persian, Rug Source will have something that suits you. Quality rugs at value price, with 30-days money back guarantee too.

 

DECORATE THE WALLS

Price Range: $$-$$$$

From repainting to putting up a spectacular attention-grabbing art piece, there are many ways to express luxe using your walls.

PAINTING THE LUXURIOUS LOOK

To create an expensive living room look, your walls have to be of the relevant shade. In fact, changing the colour of your walls might just be enough. 

A color that remains timeless is Ivory. It’s off-white with a subtle bit of cream beige, or gold for some, giving your living room the exquisite facelift you need.

The nature of this color makes it versatile enough to integrate with your current furniture shades. Your living room’s textures and layers can stand out better, easily giving the contrast and character. Even the metallic frames and unique shaped items.

RELATED ARTICLE: GRAY LIVING ROOM DECORATING IDEAS

Ivory is meant to keep your interior design clean and your living room look very polished. Couple the Ivory color with rich, bold accent colors like navy blue, olive green, burnt orange or gray.

An accent wall of textured wallpaper works wonders as well!

A LARGE PIECE OF ART

This idea would appeal to those who can appreciate art AND are most willing to spend on a favourite piece (or two). 

Having a large piece of art in your living room is also a chance to portray your personality, which gives a home that lovely touch of you.

However, art, like home decor, is subjective and may come in various forms.

Not all art has to be thousands of dollars and not all has to be in the form of a painting.

Head down to your local thrift stores and you might find large pieces of art that you can hang up on your wall – at value prices. 

Better yet, let your artistic side flow and make your own.

3D Wooden World Map

MOLDINGS

Moldings bring on the class and elegance you need to reinvent your living room.

Easily one of the most effective and doable changes you can do. A highly attractive idea for home owners who love all things DIY. 
The chair rail and picture frame are the usual go-to choices of molding. They are basic and simple, yet their defining lines are enough to add a lot of character to a room.

Rectangular moldings

Doing your own moldings is not a very expensive thing to do, especially when you already have the tools for them. But they do require some of your time and precise measurements. 

Moldings are not limited to just your living room walls. You can add them to your staircase, doors and built-in cabinets too. Remember to keep the look unified throughout.

MIRRORS

Both practical and decorative, a wall of mirrors is the perfect luxury decoration.

Mirrors are another magical thing that are able to seemingly enlarge a small space, visually, by bouncing around more light to the living room.

That being said, knowing the best place for the mirror to work best can help this investment be effective in creating the luxe atmosphere you love. Here are some suggestions to place them:

  • Opposite the living room’s largest window
  • At the end of the hallway
  • Only at the upper half of a wall

Tiled mirrors have a more dramatic effect than a large plain one and they come in various designs.


THE EXPENSIVE LOOK IS A STRATEGIC ILLUSION

Knowing how to spend is as important as knowing what to spend on.

As you can see, the smart way of making your living room look more expensive is through introducing the right usage of items, colors and textures. The change must seamlessly integrate with the current look of your living room (unless you are thinking of a full revamp, that is).

Questions you should ask yourself:

  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • Do I have the right measurements?
  • How will the new investments benefit?
  • If I were to DIY, do I have the time or the skills?

Before you begin spending, pare down your living room. Only have the essentials to stay. 

It’s very easy to accumulate things over the years. Everyone does it. But if they don’t serve you anymore, it’s time to let go.

Paring down is not about being minimal. In fact, it helps you see where you can efficiently maximise your budget to create THAT expensive look. It is a cost-maximising strategy.

Creating your own instagram-worthy, expensive looking living room is not too impossible or unachievable. Plan wisely!

 

** Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which allows me to earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. There are no additional costs to you!

20 thoughts on “How can I make my living room look more expensive?”

  1. Hey Sam, I really learned some cool ideas on how to make the living room seem more expensive and attractive looking. Who isn’t on a budget these days and you have some really great ideas, some low cost.
    All of your ideas are great and they can work to anyones budget. I would certainly start with lighting as you began the article, but reading trough it all I am bustling with ideas now.

    Perhaps one obvious one is to remove all clutter first. You did say to pare back to bare essentials first. I agree. That’s the challenge for any family with the all stuff we accumulate plus if you have children, living rooms can be taken over by children’s stuff. All the pictures in this post looked divine – Instagram worthy as you say.

    1. Hi John,

      Yes, I do believe people are still in the mood to save. But it is indeed still possible to decorate an expensive looking one.

      Thanks, and I’m glad you like the ideas.

      Cheers,
      SAM

  2. I always love your tips and ideas! Pillows are a great way to make a living room look nicer and mroe expensive. Lights also play a crucial role. When you mentioned wall painting I remembed the wall in the living room of a friend’s house. She paid an artist to paint a giant tree of life on that wall and it looks amazing. I think that small murals or even bigger ones also make a nice addition.

    1. Hi Christine,

      I can imagine how beautiful that giant tree of life painting look like. A nature painting can somehow bring life and vibrance to the room and yes, with a nice looking frame, they are the expensive touch a home needs.

      Cheers,
      SAM

  3. Matthew/Deloris padilla

    These are all great ways to turn houses into homes, the furniture and lighting are the most for us the light does ass effect to what is on your walls we have fish tanks on the walls. Above them are light for the plants that we have growing in our front room. This article touched on many things you can change and make look more expensive, lights, rugs, windows.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

    1. Hi Mathew & Deloris,

      Ah, the lights against water surfaces hits a different vibe. Tranquility!

      Glad to know you find the ideas useful.

      Cheers,
      SAM

  4. Hi SAM,

    Your suggestions are excellent to renovate our living room more expensive in an affordable way. I think everyone tight on budget needs to bookmark this post and come back reading. The questions you listed to ask ourselves before renovating are hits in my head because I don’t always plan well before doing the renovation, so I can tell you are giving people value today.

    For me, I love lights, repainting the walls, and art pieces. I might start from them. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your kind words (:

      Those questions are really important to ask ourselves and honestly we can save a lot more if we know what we are doing. PLUS we are happy with the results.

      Awesome, go for it!

      Cheers,
      SAM

  5. Hi Sam – These are some great tips for decorating your living room! I liked the ideas you provided, very straightforward and simple but can yield a great transformation. I also appreciated your quote “Knowing how to spend is as important as knowing what to spend on”, it’s so true that many people most likely get caught up in the “what” they want to buy without thinking about “knowing how to buy”. Thank you for sharing your expertise, this was really informational!

    1. Hi Dereck,

      Exactly. Most of us get attracted to what’s on the magazine but forgot how it can really integrate with the current home.

      Only when we purchase things that a home needs to look more expensive, then the results will show itself.

      Happy to know it helped you!

      Cheers.
      SAM

  6. Hi Sam!

    I love these ideas. I’m always looking for new ways to update my furniture and decor to make it more cohesive. I’m a huge pillow person and love playing with patterns and sizes for my couch! One thing I’ve really been wanting is a rug for the living room though. I feel like something is missing and that could be the key to bring it all together. Your tip on making sure it’s big enough for all of the front legs of the furniture to touch the rug is really helpful! I have been struggling with what size to get haha!

    1. Hi Haley,

      That’s nice, pillows are the easiest change to make I feel.

      Yea the rug size does matter! Amazing isn’t it? A correctly sized rug is almost like the final cherry on top. So glad this helped you.

      All the best!

      Cheers,
      SAM

  7. Hi Sam, I love your tips on making the living room more expensive looking. For me, it is very much essential to have a classy and elegant look. I love to mix antiques with modern furniture. We have many antique things, but they can look very classy. Nowadays they are not very much expensive. Sustainability is essential for me, and furniture that doesn’t evaporate toxic chemicals. I make many accessories myself, even upholstering chairs or small sofas. I received many ideas reading your article, and I think I redecorate the walls. We have a beautiful wallpaper on the part of the main wall beside the sofa. The contrast looks great and classy. Wallpaper can completely change a room. I saw in one magazine a wallpaper showing a forest. They placed their sofa and one small table in front of the wallpaper, and it looked like the sofa was standing in the woods, so beautiful! I loved it! I enjoyed reading your article! Thank you very much! 🙂

    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Sounds like you know your stuff! It’s way easier when you know the concept you want, and in your case, the classy and elegant look.

      The antiques will fall in nicely with that concept. And yes, the wallpaper can do a lot of change. That forest look is breathtaking, I imagine.

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

      Cheers,
      SAM

  8. Hi there, Sam. Thank you for this amazing post about how to make living room looking expensive. I love the images you used inside of your blog post. If i could I would just copy some of them -;)
    Especially, what I love is the 3d world map. But agree with you that Ivory is the colour that will never die, I do have a lot of it in my living room. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for reminder on how the LIGHTING and PROPOSITION can help us achieve miracles when wanting to make the living room look more luxurious. Cheers

    1. Hi Julius,

      I think copying them is very possible. Hahaha. The 3D world map is calling me too! I think it’ll be a great living room centrepiece.

      Indeed, at the end of the day it’s all about strategising what we already have.

      Thanks for your sharing your thoughts!

      Cheers,
      SAM

  9. The first impression is the last. The living room must be spectacular as this is the room where one entertains guests. I like your suggestions here to revamp the living room. I would love to experiment a bit with the luxe lights.
    I mean, one should decide which time of day they are mostly spending in the living room. If one uses the living room primarily in the daytime, then the light should be brighter, and if you use the living room mainly in the evening, you can go for light cozy colors.

    I feel the changing color lights may give the best combination.
    What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Arun,

      Luxe lights, when played right, is enough to make your home feel expensive.

      That’s actually a good point you brought out. I agree with you. Having lights that can change the colours will be best! So that there will be lighting options for any time of the day and any kind of mood.

      Wonderful take!

      Cheers,
      SAM

  10. Hi Sam, what a great item, I enjoyed reading and found these ideas very useful. Namely, I equip an apartment of 25 square meters and look for a way to make it look bigger. I knew that the white color of the walls visually enlarged the space, but I completely lost sight of the moldings and ivory color. That’s exactly what I remembered reading your text. Yes, it really ennobles the space and makes it bigger. I will try it. Also, I will listen to your other advice because they are great and money saving. Lights are mandatory, so they give some warmth to the space. Beautiful!
    Overall, I like your way of writing which is dedicated and detailed, as well as your ideas. The concept of the whole site is great and I just bookmarked it.
    Looking forward to the next articles.
    Cheers, Danijela

    1. Hi Danijela,

      Yes, perhaps you might just go for ivory as your next wall colour.

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m glad that the ideas are useful for you!

      Cheers,
      SAM

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