A big thanks to Arhaus for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
In all honesty, the word “luxury” is not tossed around all that often at our house (okay, never actually).
Because most of the time, when I’m vacuuming up crushed Goldfish left from Olivia on the living room rug on a daily basis and hunting through local thrift stores to furnish some of our still empty rooms, “luxury” isn’t exactly the word I’d use to describe it.
But when guests walk into our house for cookouts or family reunions or whatever gathering we have happening on any random weekend, apparently that’s the word that pops into their heads. It’s all a trick, but a pretty awesome trick to play. If looks can be deceiving, I guess we’re embracing that around here.
So the other week, Arhaus asked me if I would mind sharing some of my best tips for making a home look luxurious on a budget and weave in some of their gorgeous decor to do it.
(P.S. There’s a big giveaway at the end of this post too, if you want some of it yourself.)
1. Add little touches of high-end materials where you can.
Leather, marble, antique gold, crystal, solid wood- you can find any of it from high-end furnishing stores to yard sales. Just keep your eyes peeled because it’s out there.
I found this solid wood, marble-topped chest for a steal on Craigslist that I topped with this golden Amelie mirror. Add a couple of books, a statuette I found at the thrift store, and some $3 spray roses from the grocery store, and we’re lookin’ mighty fancy.
2. Balance your lighting.
Spread out lamps around a room to make it feel upscale. If you rely solely on overhead lighting, a room can feel harsh and sterile. I love keeping a lamp on our foyer chest to give the space a welcoming ambience, especially during the darker months in fall and winter.
I love how this Lola Teardrop Table Lamp bounces the light around from its crystal base in this space.
3. Mat your photos and go large scale with art.
If you hang a single framed 8×10 on a large wall, it can feel kind of dinky and like it’s floating in space. And then, if you go the gallery wall route and stick multiple small frames on a wall, it can start to feel cluttered and chaotic.
When in doubt, go big. You can print an 8×10 directly from your computer and buy a large mat to place it in a 10×13 or 16×20 frame to make your photo feel high-end and important. If you find a piece of art that speaks to you, go large scale. It’ll make a big impact but still feel calm and streamlined.
This Alaskan Lake 24″ x 24″ Framed Print instantly makes this little corner of our living room feel serene and complete.
4. Stick to classics.
Go neutral in large, difficult-to-update items like furnishings, wall colors, and light fixtures so you can play with colors, textures, and patterns in accessories and accents instead. You can change the entire look of a room for much cheaper and more easily than replacing large items or repainting.
Classic items don’t ever really go out of style, so if you do buy one that is a splurge, you at least can know it will last for years and years to come.
This Amara Blue Square Pillow has a great texture and pattern but can still act as a neutral.
5. Add touches of metallics.
One small accent piece with some glitz can go a long way. Throw in a candle to help bounce some light around. Buy a mirrored tray, add a pair of brass candlesticks, use a silver accent in a vignette, or if you want to stretch what you already own, look through your decor stash and see what you can spray paint instead.
6. Light a candle at the end of a stressful day.
I love lighting a candle on our coffee table or on our kitchen counter after a long, exhausting weekday. It’s a tiny luxury, but it always makes me feel better to cook dinner with the flicker of candlelight nearby or late night binge Netflix on the couch with Robert in our living room filled with a yummy smelling candle.
This cutie Blossom Tealight Holder is probably going to stick around on our coffee table through every season.
7. Go for high contrast.
We’ve been trying out the whole dark darks and bright whites paint scheme in this new house since we moved in, and it’s my new favorite way to make any blah space suddenly feel dramatic for less than $100. Our hallway bathroom, laundry room, and dining room have come to life because of it.
If you don’t want to paint entire rooms but have plain white doors, try painting your doors charcoal or black instead to add something chic to every room. Our living room transformed practically overnight using this trick.
8. Fresh flowers have power.
Now that we have flowering bushes, I love running out into our backyard to snip some hydrangeas or crepe myrtle branches to stick in a vase. My local grocery store usually carries simple flower bundles for less than $5 too, if I ever want a pick-me-up.
I love how unique this Recycled Glass Hang Square is! I placed a thrifted frame around it in Olivia’s bathroom, and it’s become an instantly interesting piece.
Here are some of my other favorites from Arhaus.
To enter to win a $500 gift card, visit Arhaus here and comment back on this post with one item you’d love to have. (Arhaus employees and their family members are not eligible.)
Arhaus provides unique, high quality, well designed home furniture and decor designed globally by skilled artisans and utilizes sustainable materials including recycled natural resources with a long standing commitment to never use wood from endangered rain forests.
No matter if you have $50 or $5,000, it is possible to make your home feel high-end, it’s just a matter of being really selective about what you choose to put in it and seeing the potential that is already there. Home should always be an escape, no matter what your style is, and if you and your family are happy in it, that’s what matters more than anything.
Do you have any tricks of your own that have jazzed up your home? Or have any guilty pleasures to give your ho-hum days a little luxury? Lipstick? Chocolate? Blasting classical symphonic music from your SUV speakers in the preschool line and pretending you’re driving a Ferrari? I get it. 😉