4 Ways Designers Makes Homes Look More Expensive on a Budget

We asked top experts about how to make our homes look more expensive. These are interior designers' best-kept secrets to an elevated home

Luxe living room with wood paneling.
(Image credit: L.Ercolani; Portrait Communications)

Well-designed homes exude a certain je ne sais quoi - an elusive quality that sets them apart from the rest. Identifying this characteristic might pose a challenge for the average person, as these powerful rules of interior design are often kept under wraps.

Fortunately, we've uncovered some of the secrets that most designers guard closely. Scouring the best home decor stores carefully, there are some easy ways to imbue your home with an expensive appearance. From a quick refresh of the bedding to a flick of a new window dressing, favorite leaders in the realm of interiors share how they give homes an artfully lavish look.

Here are the indoor plants that make a room look more expensive.

How to elevate your home on a budget

Livingetc knows design. We spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, bringing only our edit of the very best to you. Find out more about how we review.

Window Treatments

Striped window treatment.

(Image credit: Tori Murphy; Portrait Communications)

According to Eva Bradley and Alicia Cheung at Studio Heimat, "window treatments have the effect of waving a magic wand." Disguising anything unsightly, "you can hide an oddly placed window or make the ceiling height feel better by taking the curtains all the way to the ceiling."


Navy roon.

(Image credit: Original BTC; Portrait Communications)

Nearly all the experts we consulted emphasized the pivotal role of color in creating a luxurious home ambiance. Interior designer Tom Stringer suggests that one of the best ways to infuse drama and opulent detail is with a dark wall color. 

Wood Paneling

Living room with wood paneling.

(Image credit: Ercol; Portrait Communications)

Wood paneling, often underestimated, holds significant potential. DIY expert James Bryant at Cut My explains, "Adding wooden paneling is a great way to make your home look more expensive. Traditional paneling can add a lot of character to a basic room, providing a cozy Victorian vibe, or try a more modern and chic slat wall." For those with limited space, James recommends, "half-height paneling is perfect for making rooms, entryways, and hallways appear longer than they are."


Layered, textured bedding.

(Image credit: Cathy Nordstrom; Portrait Communications)

Sometimes it's best to return to basics. When it comes to the bedroom, that’s one of the best bedding sets. Eva and Alicia recommend investing in a nice duvet, euro shams, and throw pillows: “They are the top layer of a bed and can really make it feel elevated,” explains the design duo. Mia Jung, Director of Interiors at Kligerman Architecture & Design elaborates, it’s “the layers and the textures that make the bedroom look rich.” 

These rugs will make your bedroom look expensive, too. 

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.