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How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensively Chic

The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensively Chic

In an era where living spaces have become a sacred retreat, the desire to make your apartment look expensive is more relatable than ever. You may believe that achieving a high-end look requires a luxury budget, but the truth couldn’t be more different. This guide will equip you with 30 secret hacks and a treasure trove of insights to transform your space from ordinary to expensively chic, without breaking the bank.

When you walk into a high-end home, what stands out is not the cost of each item but the unique harmony that exists. It’s the unspoken dialogue between color, form, texture, and light – the core components of any well-designed space. These concepts may seem intimidating, but with a little guidance, you can master them, making your apartment look expensive and feel inviting.

  1. Play with Color Palettes: Color has a profound effect on the mood of a room. Opt for rich, deeper shades or neutral tones for a more refined look. An elegant monochromatic scheme using varying shades of a single color can provide a polished, designer touch.
  2. Brighten Your Room: Harness the power of natural light, a fundamental aspect of biophilic design. Remove heavy drapes, use light-reflecting colors, and position mirrors to multiply the daylight. A brighter space not only feels larger but also uplifts mood, enhancing well-being.
  3. Invest in Thoughtful Lighting: Lighting can dramatically alter the perception of a room. Use a variety of sources like floor lamps, table lamps, and wall sconces. Opt for dimmable lights and experiment with color temperatures to set the perfect ambiance.
  4. Display Roses in a Vase: A timeless symbol of elegance, roses instantly upgrade a room. The vibrant colors enhance visual interest, and their delicate scent can elevate mood. Choose a stylish vase that complements your decor for an added touch of luxury.
  5. Arrange Plants Strategically: Introduce greenery to your space. Arranging indoor plants creatively can boost aesthetic appeal while improving air quality and connection with nature, key aspects of biophilic design.
  6. Incorporate Hanging Plants: Perfect for small spaces, hanging plants draw the eye upwards, giving the impression of height. Their presence can improve mood and focus while introducing a touch of luxury.
  7. Opt for Pet-friendly Indoor Trees: Tall, leafy trees like the parlor palm or money tree can transform a room, lending an upscale feel. They’re also safe for pets and contribute to cleaner indoor air.
  8. Layer Rugs: Mixing rugs of different textures, sizes, and patterns can add depth and visual interest to a room, making it feel warm, inviting, and high-end.
  9. Match Rugs with Decor: A rug that complements your decor brings harmony to your space. It ties all the elements together and anchors your furniture, offering a well-curated, expensive look.
  10. Infuse Essential Oils onto Rugs: A pleasantly scented room feels cleaner, fresher, and more inviting. Essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus can provide a subtle, luxury spa-like fragrance while also offering relaxation benefits.
  11. Decorate with Curtains: Long, flowing curtains add elegance and grandeur. Choose high-quality materials in colors that complement your room. Hang them closer to the ceiling to give the illusion of height.
  12. Cover an Entire Wall with Curtains: This creates a soft, textured wall that adds richness and depth. It’s a clever hack to hide imperfections and bring an opulent feel to your apartment.
  13. Keep Windows Clean: Natural light is a luxury. By keeping windows clean, you’re maximizing this resource, which boosts mood and makes the space appear larger and more welcoming.
  14. Layer Curtains: Layering curtains with different levels of opacity allows for light control and privacy. The layered look also adds a sense of luxury and refinement to the space.
  15. Dress Windows: From Roman shades to plantation shutters, the right window dressing can greatly enhance the aesthetics of your space. They should complement the room’s color palette and style.
  16. Cover Wood Paneling: Wood paneling can date a room. By covering it with a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper, you can instantly modernize the space and make it feel expensive.
  17. Decorate a Large Wall: A large, decorated wall can act as a focal point. Use it to display an oversized piece of art or create a gallery wall of smaller pieces. This draws the eye, creates conversation, and adds a personal touch to your space.
  18. Adorn a Wall Over Your Couch: Hanging a large-scale artwork or mirror above your couch can anchor your living space and give it a well-styled, designer look. It not only fills the void but also creates a visual balance.
  19. Hang Lanterns: Lanterns provide soft, ambient lighting that can make a space feel warm and inviting. Hanging them at varying heights can add depth to your space, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and making it look luxurious.
  20. Display Crystals in Your Home: From rose quartz to clear crystal, these natural elements add a unique touch of luxury to your space. They’re not only visually stunning but are also believed to bring positive energy and promote well-being.
  21. Coordinate Your Furniture: Invest time in planning a cohesive look. Matching or coordinating furniture pieces, from their style to their color and material, creates a unified, designer look, signifying a well-curated, expensive space.
  22. Drape a Throw Blanket: Drape a soft, plush throw blanket over your sofa or chair. This simple addition adds a layer of comfort and elegance, making your furniture seem more luxurious.
  23. Incorporate Textures: A variety of textures can significantly elevate a room. Incorporate different materials through furniture, cushions, throws, rugs, and decor. The mixed textures add depth, making your space feel warm and luxurious.
  24. Focus on Furniture Arrangement: Arrange furniture in a way that promotes easy conversation and a good flow of movement. This makes the room functional, spacious, and comfortable, lending an organized, upscale feel.
  25. Incorporate Patterns: Adding patterns, whether through upholstery, curtains, or rugs, can bring vibrancy and richness to a room. It adds a level of sophistication and creates a visually stimulating space that looks well-designed and expensive.
  26. Create Focal Points: Use focal points to guide the eye and create balance in your space. This could be a large piece of artwork, a unique piece of furniture, or an accent wall. It adds a sense of structure to your space and creates visual interest.
  27. Use the FIFO Method to Declutter: Keep your space clean and organized using the “First In, First Out” method, removing old items as new ones come in. A clean, uncluttered space not only looks more expensive but promotes mental well-being.
  28. Use Natural Materials: Incorporating natural elements like wood, stone, or wool in your decor gives an earthy, grounded feel to your space. Their authenticity, texture, and quality exude luxury.
  29. Experiment with Shapes and Forms: Introduce geometric patterns or curved furniture into your space. These add a dynamic element to your interior, making it look modern and well-styled.
  30. Leverage Shadows and Artificial Light: Lighting isn’t just about brightening a room; it’s also about creating shadows that can add depth and interest. By strategically using artificial light, you can highlight your decor and architecture, making your space look expensive.

As an experienced interior designer, I have been privy to the transformative power of design. I recall a client, a single mother with a small apartment, who was overwhelmed by the challenge of making her space reflect her style and aspirations. We started with simple changes: a fresh coat of paint, carefully chosen lighting ideas, and the use of patterns and textures. 

By opting for a color palette that incorporated white, we gave her space a sense of expansive luxury. We emphasized her love for nature by arranging pet-friendly indoor plants, layering rugs, and adding essential oils for a fresh, pleasing aroma. A well-positioned mirror amplified the natural light, making the room brighter, more inviting, and, yes, more expensive-looking. Today, her home reflects her personal style with elegance, truly demonstrating the power of evidence-based design.

The science of interior design goes beyond mere aesthetics. Evidence-based design, a concept rooted in psychological and behavioral studies, leverages empirical findings to create spaces that enhance well-being and facilitate specific outcomes. 

Take, for instance, biophilic design, an approach that seeks to reconnect us with the natural world. Introducing elements like pet-friendly indoor trees, hanging plants, or even a vase of roses can not only elevate your design but can also positively impact your mental health. Similarly, concepts of symmetry and asymmetry, employed thoughtfully, can bring a sense of balance, fostering calm and order in your living space.

Even in my own practice, I’ve seen the benefits of these principles. I once helped a client struggling with sleep by adjusting the artificial light in his bedroom, demonstrating the importance of lighting in interior design. Replacing harsh, white lights with softer, warmer hues helped him create a peaceful environment conducive to rest.

In the end, how to make your apartment look expensive hinges on understanding and utilizing the principles of design. Whether it’s color theory or the role of shapes and forms in interior design, it’s about creating a space that resonates with you and feels like a luxurious sanctuary.

Like what you see? Check out my Portfolio & work with me or any Havenly designer, & spruce up your home with Havenly, the platform that has revolutionized online interior design since 2013! Offering online interior design services & home decor from the best online interior designers at an affordable price! Take 25% off your first design TODAY!

1. Cool Things for an Apartment: Elevating Your Space with Luxe Details

Creating a stylish and upscale look for your apartment doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shell out big bucks. It’s all about the subtle, chic touches that can elevate your space and make it feel more expensive. For example, adding layers of lighting creates depth and warmth, enhancing the sense of luxury. Consider installing a combination of overhead lighting, table lamps, and maybe even some strategically placed fairy lights for that cozy, intimate feel.

Arranging plants and flowers can introduce a breath of life to your apartment, with roses in a vase or pet-friendly indoor trees being excellent choices. Incorporating greenery not only enhances aesthetics but also promotes well-being through biophilic design principles. Finally, coordinate your furniture for a cohesive, polished look. Try to find pieces that complement each other in terms of style, color, and texture to create a harmonious space.

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

2. From Modest to Majestic: How to Make Your House Look Expensive on a Budget

When it comes to interior design, small changes can have a big impact. A fresh coat of paint, for instance, can instantly refresh a room, making it look cleaner and more refined. Stick to a sophisticated color palette of neutrals or cool tones for a modern, upscale look. If you’re feeling a little daring, an accent wall in a bold color can create a striking focal point.

Next, think about your windows. Clean windows not only let in more natural light, making your space look brighter and bigger, but they also provide the perfect opportunity to hang beautiful curtains. Dressing your windows with layered curtains can add a sense of elegance and depth. Lastly, cover unsightly wood paneling with modern, chic wallpaper or paint to give your home a luxurious touch without breaking the bank.

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

3. Sophistication on a Shoestring: How to Make a Cheap Apartment Look Nice

The key to making a cheap apartment look nice lies in maximizing the potential of what you already have. Start by decluttering your space. Use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method to remove any unnecessary items. This opens up your space, making it feel bigger and more luxurious.  

Next, pay attention to your walls. A large wall over your couch offers an excellent canvas for a statement art piece, a gallery wall, or decorative mirrors, which not only serve as decor but also reflect light and make your space feel larger. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of textiles. Layering rugs or adding a throw blanket to your couch can introduce texture and warmth, making your apartment feel cozy and inviting.

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

4. Living Large: Secrets to Making Your Living Room Look Expensive

Transforming your living room into an opulent oasis starts with the basics – the furniture arrangement. Create a focal point – be it a statement sofa, a fireplace, or a captivating artwork – and arrange your furniture around it in a symmetrical or balanced asymmetrical pattern for a visually pleasing setup. 

When it comes to decor, choose pieces that add a touch of elegance and personality to your living room. Displaying crystals can create a unique aesthetic while providing a conversation starter. In terms of lighting, incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lights to create depth and warmth. Finally, introducing patterns through throw pillows or rugs can elevate the design, making your living room look chic and expensive.

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

5. Modern Magic: Transformative Techniques on How to Make Your Apartment Look Modern

Achieving a modern look for your apartment involves striking a balance between contemporary design elements and your personal style. Begin with a clean, neutral color palette as a base. This serves as a canvas allowing the decor pieces to take center stage. Natural materials such as wood, stone, and plants not only keep the space grounded but also introduce elements of biophilic design, promoting a sense of well-being. 

Next, pay attention to the shapes and forms in your apartment. Geometric patterns and sleek lines are hallmarks of modern design, so incorporate these into your furniture, decor, and architecture where possible. Symmetry can help create a harmonious, balanced look, while asymmetry can add an unexpected, dynamic twist.

Lastly, remember that a modern apartment is not just about appearance but also about functionality. Embrace minimalism by decluttering your space and cleverly organizing your belongings. This will create a feeling of openness and tranquility, essential to modern living. And don’t forget to bring in plenty of natural light through clean windows and mirrors, which further enhances the modern aesthetic.

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

Final Thoughts

Designing a space isn’t just about choosing trendy decor or coordinating colors—it’s about creating a personalized, inviting atmosphere. How you make your apartment look expensive is not only tied to the price tag of the items you bring in but also how you arrange, coordinate, and blend these pieces in your home. 

Use evidence-based design principles and consider how lighting—both natural and artificial—can enhance your space. Whether it’s the glow of the morning sun streaming through clean windows or the soft luminescence from a strategically hung lantern, good lighting can dramatically elevate your apartment’s look and feel.

Adding elements of biophilic design—like hanging plants, pet-friendly indoor trees, or even simple roses in a vase—can breathe life into your space, making your apartment not just a place to live, but a place to thrive. The beauty of natural materials like wood and stone can add texture and a luxurious feel to your home. 

Meanwhile, layering rugs with different patterns and textures, covering an entire wall with elegant curtains, or dressing windows in a creative manner can enhance the harmony and balance of your space, making it feel cozy and thoughtfully designed. You can also make a room brighter by playing around with color palettes, reflecting your personal style while simultaneously opening up your space.

Consider the potential of shapes and forms in your interior design. A well-placed throw blanket, a strategically hung piece of art, or an intriguing arrangement of furniture can create an interesting focal point that adds a sense of movement and dynamic opposition to your living room. Symmetry brings peace and order, while asymmetry can add a modern twist. Always keep in mind that your space should reflect you, so infuse your personality into it.

Decluttering is another important aspect. Make sure you follow the FIFO (First-In-First-Out) rule and maintain a neat and organized space. Not only does this make your apartment look larger, but it also has positive effects on your well-being. Emphasize shapes and forms in your home decor as well. 

Different shapes can not only make the design more appealing but can also create different moods and evoke various feelings. Displaying crystals in your home or using essential oils on rugs can be a unique way to enhance the aesthetics while also boosting your mood.

To conclude, the real secret to making your apartment look expensive and feel luxurious lies in the details: carefully chosen color palettes, clever furniture arrangement, creative layering of textures, and thoughtful inclusion of natural elements, along with an optimal use of light and shadow. 

It’s about transforming your apartment into a home that feels welcoming and personal, rich in style and character. It’s about making your space feel like it’s been curated, not just decorated. So let’s start transforming your apartment and create an environment that is not only visually appealing but also enhances your well-being. Happy decorating!

Make Your Apartment Look Expensive – FAQ

1. What are some budget-friendly tips on how to make my apartment look better?

When making your apartment look better, consider focusing on lighting, and decor and adding personal touches. Using mirrors can create a sense of space and reflect light, making your room appear larger and brighter. Incorporating plants can add a natural element and promote a relaxed feel. Additionally, simple and inexpensive upgrades like new throw pillows or a stylish rug can significantly improve your room’s look. 

2. How can I use interior design principles to make a small apartment look expensive? 

Use principles like balance, rhythm, and emphasis to make your small apartment look expensive. Opt for a consistent color scheme with one or two accent colors for a cohesive look. Use vertical space for storage to keep clutter to a minimum and make your apartment feel spacious. Also, invest in quality, not quantity—choose fewer but better-quality pieces to create a luxurious feel.

3. What elements should I focus on to make my room look expensive while on a budget?

Concentrate on the decor, lighting, and color palette. Create a focal point in your room—an art piece, a stylish lamp, or a statement furniture piece can do the trick. Use ambient and task lighting to add depth and make your space feel cozy. Stick to a neutral color palette for a sophisticated look, and add pops of color with accessories.

4. Can you give me some ideas on how to make my house look expensive with a minimalistic approach?

Minimalistic design is about simplicity and functionality. Start by decluttering your space—every item in your house should have a purpose. Stick to a neutral color palette and add interest with textures and shapes. Choose furniture with clean lines and create a sense of luxury with high-quality materials and finishes.

5. Are there any quick fixes to make a cheap apartment look expensive and inviting?

Absolutely! Swap out standard light fixtures with stylish alternatives, add a fresh coat of paint in a modern color, replace the hardware on cabinets and drawers with high-end-looking options, and use curtains to add depth and luxury to your rooms.

6. What are some ways to make my apartment look luxurious without major renovations?

Introduce luxurious textures through throws, rugs, and pillows. Install good lighting—layered lighting can instantly boost the luxurious feel of any space. Display art or curated collections to make your space feel personal and well-curated. Also, maintain a clean and organized space—it’s the simplest way to make your apartment look luxurious.

7. Can you suggest some do-it-yourself projects that can help in making my place look expensive?

DIY projects like painting your walls, creating your own art pieces, or updating your furniture with new upholstery or a coat of paint can be cost-effective ways to make your place look expensive. You can also consider DIY home decor like candle holders, flower arrangements, or decorative trays to add a personal touch to your space.

8. How can I make the interior of my college dorm room look expensive and well-designed?

Use space-saving furniture like a loft bed or multi-functional pieces. Add a rug to create a cozy feel and to break up the standard-issue dorm room flooring. Incorporate lighting like string lights or a stylish desk lamp to make your space feel homier. 

9. What are some cost-effective ways to make my home feel more expensive?

Invest in large-scale art; it can add sophistication and an expensive look. Layer your lighting using a mix of floor lamps, table lamps, and pendant lights. Stick to a cohesive color scheme throughout your home for a streamlined look. 

10. How can color palettes and textures contribute to making my apartment look luxurious and well-curated?

Color palettes and textures are key to creating a luxurious and well-curated apartment. A consistent color palette throughout your space can evoke a sense of harmony and balance. Neutral colors often evoke a sense of luxury, but you can also choose a palette that reflects your personal style. 

Textures add depth and visual interest to your space. They can make a space feel more inviting and comfortable. Incorporating a mix of textures — in your furniture, decor items, and even your walls — can make your space feel more expensive. Think velvet throw pillows, a shaggy rug, or a leather ottoman. 

Remember, making your apartment look expensive doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. It’s about making thoughtful design choices that reflect your personal style and create a space that feels luxurious to you. Happy decorating! 

How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks
How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive: 30 Secret Hacks

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

Click here if you want to learn more about Havenly or book an interior designer and get 25% off your design package if you click here!

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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