Dotted throughout the United States are master planned communities made up of homes that are identical to each other. As each home resembles the one next to it, it becomes more desirable to have an interior that is unique and offers a perception of affluence. We all want to have our homes look like that of high end professionally decorated mansions, but often lack the funds to achieve it. Living in a space that looks expensive and is easy on the budget does not have to be out of reach. Anyone can have dapper dwellings with a few careful considerations.
A space that lacks crown molding tends to look average. The lack of detailing tying the walls and ceiling together gives a space an unfinished cheapened look. For very little money, crown molding applied to the walls provides richness to the space. When picking out molding opt for a wide trim for more impact. In fact the wider the trim the more expensive the room can look.
The toughest decision anytime you decorate can be what color to paint a space. Opting for either a crisp white or high pigment paint in a neutral hue will lend an air of sophistication and affluence to the room. Neutral walls allow for the rotation of accent colors seasonally if desired. Another easy trick that really adds that lux finish to a home is to paint interior doors black. It will instantly give the space an expensive vibe; just be sure to tie the doors to the rest of the décor with other uses of black accessories.
Throw pillows are always a fabulous accessory for your sofa, loveseat or oversized chair. A collection of small store bought pillows appears to be trying too hard and shouts unoriginal and cheap. First, they are not quite big enough to be impactful and are too small to be of any real benefit. Secondly, if the goal is to look luxurious, pillows that any home can have defeats that idea. So ignore the 12-18 inch pillows that you can pick up at the local home store. Opt instead for the larger 22-inch pillow covers and stuff them with 24-inch inserts. The overstuffed pillows offer that luxurious feel you desire.
The options for window treatments are endless and cross many price points. It is best to spend moderately on the best quality you can afford. Avoid flimsy curtains and ones that are unlined, these are two telltale signs of poor quality. Sure, the price might be nice, but you want your room to look elegant and expensive, right? Instead of buying them right off the rack at the local home store, find a selection at a specialty fabric store. Their experts can help you create window treatments with in your budget that will look like you spent a lot more for them. Once you have picked out your curtains, hang them as close to the ceiling as you can to draw your eye up and project the illusion of fullness. Curtains hung just above the window tend to look sparse.
Most tract homes built come with very standard hardware finishes. They are generally cheap, in both cost and appearance. Builders use these bulk items, as they are more cost effective to use, but not always the best for a homeowner desiring a more custom look. Oddly enough, hardware is also not that expensive to replace with more personalized options. Change out the drawer pulls in the kitchen and replace them with more unique pieces. You can find them at any hardware store, specialty shop or even at a flea market. The goal is to locate ones you love and not mirror your next-door neighbors. You can change out the builder’s basic faucet for something more interesting as well. Any good plumbing shop can work with in your budget too.
Just as with hardware, lighting is another one of those builder’s standard accessories that lack personality, character and style. Toss out nondescript chandeliers and ceiling fans; replace them with a unique designer look. There is no need to shop the high-end lighting stores, try scouring a flea market or second hand store for a budget friendly piece. A bargain found on a chandelier goes a long way toward creating that expensive designer inspired look. The right one may even have your friends talking. Add table lamps and floor lamps in each room, too. Lighting of any kind will also create an expensive look and feel.
While wall-to-wall carpet is soft and warm under foot, it is does not lend itself to a lavish look. Hardwood on the other hand provides that classic visual appeal. It seem like a budget buster, but it will last for years making the investment well worth it, especially if you compare it to replacing carpeting every few years. Hard wood comes in many types of wood and some are more luxurious than others are. Opt for a dark wood that will add richness to the space, similar to the idea of painting your interior doors black. You can layer a beautiful area rug on top of the wood flooring to anchor the room and tie design elements together.
Gold often considered synonymous with wealth can actually appear rather tawdry. Gilded frames, gold baubles and brass lighting can be tacky when all used together. The color can be hard on the eyes while trying too hard to provide a luxurious look. Silver, chrome and brushed nickel are easier on the eyes and offer a truly polished look. Trade out those old gold frames for some new silver ones; replace that brass table lamp with a brushed nickel lamp and sell the gold at your next yard sale. Silver will also help to reflect light better than gold will, adding to the look you want to achieve.
Furniture is usually the single largest investment made in a room, but not always an area that one can invest in heavily. Yet, spending on cheap poorly made furniture will cost more in the end. Instead, try shopping secondhand stores, consignment shops and estate sales for well-constructed pieces to be reupholstered. This will give you the opportunity to customize your look for a fraction of what a high-end designer piece would run you without sacrificing any desired quality.
As Albert Hadley once said,” There’s no point in creating something beautiful for someone who is a slob….” He is right. The easiest and least expensive way to make a home look posh is to keep it cleaned. Dust and vacuum weekly, avoid clutter and your home will shine. All of the other touches will stand out and be noticeable. Isn’t that the whole point of a designer like home?
So you can see it does not take a lot to achieve an expensive look. Just follow these tips and tricks and you too can have a great looking home on reasonable budget. How do you give your home a designer look on a dime store budget?
Now you’re ready to give your small living space a personal touch. Adding some color, texture and interest to your basics will keep your apartment from looking like a furniture showroom. Layer textiles such as pillows and throws on your seating. Choose 20- or 22-inch-square pillows that can double as floor cushions. Add wall canvases and decor in bold tones. Finally, the right area rug will warm up your space while adding color and pattern. Below are some of our favorite accent pieces.
We delved into the interior design, looking for features such as hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies and other modern features. We also placed strong consideration on Walk Scores and accessibility to their respective neighborhoods, all to make confident decisions to determine the best of the best. From the wealthy enclaves of La Jolla to the bustling bars of Pacific Beach, we explored 10 of the most popular San Diego neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking to move to the city or just checking out the hot spots, we hope this apartment guide helps steer you to your next home.