Opulence is the essence of high style, but not everyone can afford to build and decorate a lavish space. Fortunately, lush finances are entirely unnecessary to achieve an affluent look in your home. With these simple and relatively cheap improvements, you’ll be sitting in the lap of luxury in no time. You can also keep an eye out for lower home equity loan rates to really zone in on keeping costs low when looking to upgrade your home.
Natural light is the most beautiful and economical way to brighten a space, and big windows basically scream modern luxury. However, not every room and hallway in your house is going to share a wall with the outside, which means you can’t include natural light everywhere using windows alone. That’s where skylights come in.
You can place skylights anywhere in your house where wall windows might not be: kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and even closets. You’ll save energy (and money) by eschewing electricity during the day when sunlight can shine in, and if you opt for insulated window panes, you can be sure heat won’t penetrate to make your home too warm.
More expensive varieties come with fancy features like remote controls for opening and closing and bad-weather sensors to close and shade the windows when rain clouds form overhead.
2. Painted Doors
For this magic act, all you need is a can of dark-colored paint and a paintbrush. After a few hours spent meticulously painting your doors front and back — voila! — you’ll have transformed your home into a magnificently opulent space.
For reasons unknown to most designers, darker doors, especially in a generally light-toned house, drip with extravagance. Generally, this trick only works on interiors, but even the least expensive, flat-panel doors will transform a space when they are painted dark in contrast with white molding and light walls.
3. Granite Counters
No matter what discount cabinetmakers tell you, most people can tell the difference between nice quality countertops and the cheap stuff. If you furnish your kitchens and bathrooms with low-end laminate, the rooms will turn out looking undeniably cheap; plus, they won’t be able to handle nearly as much wear and tear. Granite countertops may not come cheap, but they are worth the price for their durability and incontrovertible richness, both in color and style. You can get inspiration for your granite counters by viewing beautiful granite projects of the past.
4. Architectural Molding
Take a second and imagine the most grandiose house you’ve ever seen. More likely than not, that house boasts some elaborate architectural molding. Most houses contain molding in baseboards, but in reality, the feature can exist anywhere to decorate and protect architectural elements. For example, crown molding hugs the junction between walls and ceilings; corner guards protect wall corners from chipping; and chair rails horizontally stripe walls to prevent scrapes and bumps of chairs.
In most cases, wider and taller moldings make rooms look richer, but there is such a thing as too much molding. In particular, you should avoid overdoing moldings in short, small rooms. Still, molding is inexpensive and easy to work with; there are a variety of molding projects you can accomplish with a little material and a lot of creativity.
5. Wood Floors
Even the plushest carpet and the richest tile simply can’t match up to the elegance of wood flooring. Wood effectively balances a deluxe look with warmth and friendliness, making it an ideal choice for homeowners with expensive tastes but practical sensibilities.
Unlike granite and its copycats, wood floors are virtually indistinguishable from high-quality fakes like laminate, and usually, the faux-wood is more forgiving of wear and easier to care for than the original. You can easily complete an entire room in inexpensive false-wood flooring by yourself in an afternoon or two.
6. Big Decorations
Big and bold is beautiful in an expensive-looking way. Instead of adding delicate touches around your home, make statements with oversized decorations. Consider adding the following to your décor:
- Huge pillows. Decorative pillows that are smaller than 18 inches look mass-manufactured and cheap. Opt for larger pillows, or make your own to suit the style of your sofa.
- Large planters. Adding some growing green things to your space is a good idea, but you can make the plants shout richness by putting them in gigantic pots and planters.
- Great art. You are awed when you visit an art museum and see a painting consume an entire wall — and you can create the same awe-inspiring effect in your home with large works of art.
Which of these simple home upgrades would you like to give a try?