How to Make Your House Look Expensive in 20 Inexpensive Ways

Whether you're looking to fix up your home to put it on the market or just want to bring some fresh updates to your living space, you don't have to spend a lot to get big results. Here are 20 inexpensive ways to make your home look more expensive.

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light
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Update Old Light Fixture

Bring your lighting up-to-date with a new light fixture. Whether you update your pendant light in the dining room or your lamps in the living room, a new light fixture is an inexpensive way to help you see your space in a whole new light.

Consider these 14 modern pendant lighting trends that will light up your life.

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Neutrals
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Use Neutrals

An easy way to make a space look more expensive is with neutrals. Painting? Try a neutral shade. Looking to replace a couch? Try one with a neutral-hued fabric. Here are 12 hot color trends for bedrooms.

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Built-Ins
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Fake Built-Ins

Fake an expensive built-in look with this inexpensive trick: Use several bookcases to create the look of floor to ceiling built-ins. Do a web search for IKEA bookshelf hacks and you’ll find plenty of ideas to consider. Or build the bookshelves yourself.

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Hardware
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Update Hardware

For a quick and inexpensive way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom, invest in some new hardware. Try a new towel bar with coordinating drawer and door pulls. Install cabinet hardware right the first time with this guide.

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Landscaping
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Add Fresh Landscaping

You don’t have to spend a fortune on landscaping for an expensive look. Invest in some perennials for a flower bed that will come back year after year, along with some new mulch to give your home’s landscape a fresh update. Try these 20 cheap landscaping fixes that look expensive.

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Tile
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Try Tile

A tile backsplash is an inexpensive way to add an expensive look to your kitchen. Try subway tile, which is an affordable option that doesn’t go out of style. This tutorial will guide you through the process of installing subway tile.

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wall
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Add Molding

You can give your plain, boring walls an updated look with some molding. Add narrow strips for a picture-framing look or crown molding for an expensive look with an inexpensive price tag. Follow this wood molding installation guide for perfect results.

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door
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Update Your Entryway

Make the entry of your home a welcoming spot. Whether you paint the front door a bold color, add colorful flowers in planters or a wreath, simple touches go a long way. Here are 15 stunning front doors to inspire you.

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Art
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Go Big With Art

Update your home’s artwork with one statement piece. When you hang an over-sized piece of art by itself, it has a big impact. Look for inexpensive, fun pieces at thrift stores and flea markets. Don’t forget to check out these ideas to upgrade your apartment kitchen.

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Textures
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Mix Textures

By adding different textures to a room, you create a custom (read: more expensive) look. Try adding a Turkish rug with a wood arm chair and metal accessories. Add some throw pillows in various textures such as silk and velvet to round out the look. Check out these 25 trends in home decor.

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History
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Add a Piece of History

Have a historical item you’re proud off? Show it off. It doesn’t matter if you purchased it on a favorite vacation or if it’s a hand-me-down from grandma, give it a prominent spot in your home, displayed in a luxe frame or memory box. Yes, you can politely turn down heirloom items you don’t want. Here’s how.

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organized
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Say No to Clutter

There’s nothing expensive looking about clutter. Start by getting rid of things you no longer want or use and then look for chic baskets and bins to help you get your clutter organized and out-of-sight. Never heard of Swedish death cleaning? Here are 10 things to know.

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Plants
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Display Flowers and Plants

Flowers and plants are an inexpensive way to give a room an instant face lift. Find a favorite vase and add a colorful bouquet or display a lovely potted plant on a coffee table or bookshelf. These are 10 nontoxic houseplants that are safe if you have pets.

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Gold
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Turn it Gold

For a big look that’s easy on the wallet, buy a can of gold spray paint to update the look of picture and mirror frames, trays and vases. This inexpensive idea will add a bit of glamour to any room. Here are 14 ways to embellish your home with metallic paint.

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Gallery
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Add a Gallery Wall

If you see some inexpensive frames you like, buy several and use them to show off favorite photos, your child’s artwork, postcards and menus saved from memorable meals. When you get tired of the art, just swap it out with something new. This is the easiest way to hang a gallery wall.

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bed
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Upscale White

Old pillows and blankets can make a bedroom feel dingy and dull. Brighten up the room by replacing them. Choose crisp white bed linens for an inexpensive way to make a bedroom look luxurious. Freshen your bed linens without chemicals.

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Rug
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Add a Rug

An area rug can transform and pull a room together. You don’t have to pay a lot, but look for rugs that will last even with heavy foot traffic and in colors that complement the space. These are the 11 design rules you should never break.

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Accent
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Create an Accent Wall

Whether you use a bold paint color, wood or wallpaper, bring a drab space to life with an accent wall. For a lustrous look, go for a wallpaper with a bit of shine (but not too much) to create a pricey look with an inexpensive price tag. Here are 15 stunning accent walls you can do yourself.

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Lighting
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Add Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting can help add interest to a space, whether in a bedroom, kitchen, living room or den. The look can transform boring ceilings with a few simple upgrades. Here’s what you need to know to install recessed lighting.

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opening curtains
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Update Window Treatments

Those drab curtains have to go. Bring an instant update to a room with new window treatments—curtains, Roman shades or blinds. Or, if you have attractive window trim and privacy shades of some kind and you like the minimalist look, you can skip window treatments all together. Here are some awesome ideas for window treatments.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.