50 Things That Make Regular Rooms Look Luxe
Exotic materials, bold art, striking architecture… high-end design has a way of grabbing our attention — and keeping it. So why not channel an opulent spirit in your own home? Though some spaces are blessed with great architectural elements, abundant millwork and natural light, adding the elements listed in this gallery will elevate a home and make a big impact.
Here are 50 budget-friendly ways to bring a luxurious look to your home, from investment buys to smart reno tips. Take your pick to make your home look a little bit richer — and a lot more memorable.
Think of it as artwork for your floor. This contemporary rug by Caitlin Wilson looks like an antique find, and it pulls the room together, injecting life and personality into the space. A well-made rug can last for decades, so it’s also a great investment.
The art in this West Coast condo is well curated, but not all of it comes with a hefty price tag (one piece is by the owner’s teenage daughter). What makes it feel luxe is the way the art is elevated with beautiful picture lighting, meant to enhance the gallery-like atmosphere. Bonus: it looks gorgeous at night too.
Understated pendants and halogen pucks can never hope to pack the punch of a generously scaled fixture. For added impact, think in multiples. In this dramatic dining room, a trio of pendants is balanced by airy glass shades, so they don’t appear heavy.
Not every tile has to be real stone to look expensive. In this case, designer Sarah Richardson had three kinds of budget-friendly square tiles from a big-box store, which were cut in half and then installed in a diamond pattern. The resulting pattern looks incredibly fancy in this condo foyer.
Choosing an iconic wallpaper — like Ellie Cashman’s overblown florals — lends instant cachet to a room. Powder rooms are an economical way to show off an instantly recognizable high-end wallpaper.
There’s a sense of order and calmness that comes from using mirroring elements to create a symmetrical balance. Twin benches, consoles and sconces help frame a stunning staircase.
Elevate a home office with a chair that doubles as modern art. This sleek version looks anything but workaday, and along with a lavender desk, it is a welcome addition to any room of the house.
Drapes that “kiss” the floor look rich and oh so opulent. If the ready-made panels are store bought, adjust the height of the rod so there is no gap between the drapery and the floor. The window treatments will look tailored and more custom.
Adding tape — like this Greek key design or grosgrain ribbon — to drapery is a well-loved designer trick. The materials aren’t expensive, and it adds a polished look to window treatments.
There’s no denying that the impact of white walls has been used by high-end retailers (and art galleries) for years. It puts the focus on the objects inside, makes rooms seem larger and more curated and doesn’t cost more than a few gallons of paint.
This fixture has dropped in price dramatically in recent years, making them much more accessible. This tub stands head and shoulders above a basic alcove tub, so if there is space, take the plunge. Sculptural tubs will make the bathroom look spa-like and refined.
The fiddle leaf fig has been the darling of the design world — and with good reason. The sculptural shape creates major impact — especially when potted in a standout planter — but it’s the scale that makes this tree look expensive.
Fully Tiled Walls
Opting for an entirely tiled wall instead of a traditional backsplash ups the luxe factor in a kitchen — plus, it’s practical too.
Reflective surfaces are a cornerstone of opulent interiors. Mirrored pieces bounce around the light and also appear lighter than air, for a result that looks equally uplifting and posh.
This plush treatment adds plenty of sophisticated comfort to upholstered furnishings, whether it’s a restaurant banquette or a headboard.
Actual panelling adds depth and character to rooms that may be lacking in architectural distinction. The real thing is pricey (no debate about that), but you can mimic the look with applied mouldings. Once they are painted, it’s difficult to distinguish the faux effect from the real thing.
Adding a designer pendant or chandelier to a kitchen is a foolproof way to increase its style quotient (check out online retailers for markdowns if you’re on a budget). Invest in a piece that makes a serious statement, like this glossy Tom Dixon design.
A Moody Mural
A painterly design or pastoral landscape brings instant gravitas to a room, and these days, elegant removable murals are easy to find. Opt for darker, more dramatic tones to keep the look sophisticated.
You won’t regret investing in good quality, high-thread count sheets and shams. Pure white linens will deliver a suite-like vibe and let you layer on color with accent pillows and throws.
Adding a personal touch to linens is a definite luxe touch, especially in a space that’s frequented by guests, like this high-impact powder room. Hand towels aren’t just embroidered with an initial, they also match the playful Scalamandré wallpaper.
A Chaise Longue
A long, elegant chaise instantly connotes languor and luxury. Place one in a principal bedroom, living space or den, then pair it with a small side table to place your cocktail on.
A Showpiece Faucet
A polished gold, warm bronze or modern black faucet will pop in an all-white neutral kitchen — and there are more finish options on the market now than ever before.
Rooms wrapped in grasscloth wallpaper never fail to feel rich and cozy. We particularly love darker tones, like the wallcovering designer Tommy Smythe selected for this handsome den.
An underused niche can become a focal point if you pay careful attention to styling. Compose your display like a curator, and give only your most interesting objects plenty of room to breathe.
Stretching a headboard up towards the ceiling or running it horizontally across a wall are both ways to make the bed a true focal point in a room, and convey a sense of cocooning luxury. This photogenic variation is upholstered in a dreamy print and almost doubles as art.
Make your bathroom feel like a high-end spa by appointing a pretty accent table — like this exotic inlaid piece — with scented candles, brushes, soaps and a vase of fresh flowers.
Dark & Dramatic Color
Deep shades of paint such as navy, emerald green and graphite are handsome choices for a principal bedroom. Here, Benjamin Moore’s Hunter Green makes the room feel particularly luxurious.
A Shot Of Velvet
Plush and enveloping — especially on chilly nights — velvet seating delivers luxury in spades. It’s also a perfect fit with buttery leather upholstery.
Free-floating furniture and shelving can make a room appear larger. There is some labour to affix the pieces safetly to the wall, but the payoff is a sleek, streamlined look that echoes the fixtures found in high-end boutiques and hotels.
A Little Faux Fur
A synthetic throw infuses soft, sumptuous texture into a principal bedroom or guest room. Keep the rest of your linens simple to balance out the look.
Chinoiserie vessels are a decorator classic that combines graphic pattern with artisanal flourishes. Designer Richard Ouellette of Les Ensembliers is a huge fan of ginger jars and notes: “Blue and white china is like a great pair of black pants. You can mix it up and play with it in any space.”
Nothing elevates big-box cabinetry quite like traditional latches, knobs and pulls. These handmade pieces by venerable British kitchen company deVOL are especially charming.
A Tabletop Tree
Forget florals. The most striking entries and hallways make a splash with a sculptural potted tree in lieu of the usual blooms.
Stylish Tea Service
Whether you splash out on a mod designer tea set — like this cool Tom Dixon collection — or pull out your heirloom silver coffee service, a tray of showpiece vessels makes a refined focal point.
Abstract forms look stunning set on mantels, plinths or tabletops. Head to a local art show, studio tour or gallery to pick up an original piece (and, in turn, support the artist who crafted it).
Large-scale prints make a strong, dynamic impression. Invest in a custom frame and high quality matting for a high-end effect.
This hack is an easy way to instantly make bookshelves look high end. This classic decorating move brings pattern and texture to a room and doesn’t require a huge outlay for fabric or ribbon.
An Elegant Bar
A fully stocked bar cart is a classic choice, but we especially love the look of a sleek tabletop setup. Corral mixing tools on a tray at one end of a slim console, and group glass decanters at the other end.
A curving profile on these twin beds perfectly nestles into the space around the window, and doesn’t block the light. Custom details always look more expensive, but luckily, handy types can DIY a headboard.
No budget for thickly veined quartz throughout your kitchen? You can still make a splash by installing a single slab as an attention-grabbing backsplash.
While adding coffers, faux beams or medallions to your ceilings is an extra expense, these kinds of details never fail to elevate a standard space.
A Herringbone Floor
A herringbone or chevron pattern underfoot is a timeless choice, whether laid out in light wood or ceramic tile.
Panelled Vent Hood
Clad your ventilation hood in tidy panelling and paint it the same color as your kitchen backsplash for a seamless look.
Monochrome Done Right
Get inspired by this principal bedroom, where a tonal palette of sophisticated greys gives the space a rich, cocooning appeal.
Installing shutters is another upfront investment you won’t soon regret. We especially love them in an ensuite bathroom, where they provide privacy and natural light.
A Textured Backsplash
A simple way to set your subway tile apart from the pack is by selecting slightly irregular, textured tile with a handmade look.
A Stairway That Isn’t An Afterthought
Luxurious details like a custom railing, high quality runner or statement artwork turn a transitional space into a spot to linger.
A bit of shine brings out the depth of a room’s wall and ceiling colors, making the space feel extra special.
A Furniture-Style Vanity
Hunt for a vanity with turned legs, interesting hardware or a rustic wooden finish to give your bathroom a bespoke aesthetic.
Adding a button-tufted banquette to an eat-in dining area is a simple way to inject both comfort and charm into a kitchen.