7 ways to make your living room look more expensive

Grey sofa in living room
Grey sofa in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

We all want a living room straight out of an interior decor magazine or boutique hotel, but it can be tricky when you don’t have the luxury budget! 

Luckily, there are some creative ways to make your living room look more expensive without breaking the bank. Not only will these simple ideas give your home an instant touch of glamor, but will also make it feel more cozy, organized and visually appealing. Best of all, you won’t even need to spend a fortune on a complete renovation.

So, if you want to style your living room on a shoestring budget, here are 7 ways to make your living room look more expensive.

1. Add plush throw pillows/soft furnishings  

Modern living room

Modern living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have a sofa, chair and throw pillows that are all in the same fabric and texture, this can often make your room look dull and lackluster. Instead, swap out bland throw pillows for plush, luxurious pillows or even fake sheepskin throws. Mix and match the textures and sizes to add depth and style, and soft, velveteen materials can help to make a living room cozy and inviting.

Plush ottoman storage benches can also work well, like this Yaheetech Storage Ottoman Bench ($57, Amazon) that's functional and stylish. Even if you prefer a neutral scheme, you can add vibrant tones for that touch of luxury. Colors such as teal, cerise, light mustard and smoky charcoal grey can all add elegance to any room. 

2. Large statement rug 

Blue rug in middle of living room floor

Blue rug in middle of living room floor (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, using warm, oversized rugs creates the illusion of a larger space and makes a room feel cozy. Before buying, you'll want to measure so the rug is at least 12 inches from every wall or the next transition space if you have an open floor plan. Rugs are also useful for anchoring furniture from sliding around and absorbing sound in large open areas.

In addition, if you have exposed wooden floorboards, consider getting them re-waxed or re-stained so that they look in top condition. If you prefer investing in rugs, you’ll also need to know how to clean a rug and make it look brand new. 

3. Invest in an oversized mirror 

Mirrored wall in living room

Mirrored wall in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Besides giving the illusion of making a small room look bigger and brighter, oversized mirrors also make a space feel more luxurious. Mirrors are a great way to reflect the natural light across the room, and make it feel airy and more open. For effective results, lean a large mirror against a wall opposite a window so the light will bounce off it. In small spaces, opt for mirrors that go from floor to ceiling to maximize the light. 

In addition, if you want to brighten a dark room, a feature mirrored wall will also do the trick. These are essentially walls cladded with either glass or silver tinted mirrors. More importantly, it will give your blank wall a contemporary makeover, and make a space feel opulent. 

4. Create a feature wall 

White wood panelled wall and sofa

White wood panelled wall and sofa  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have a boring, blank wall or just want to make a statement, you can always paint or create a feature wall. While it’s common for most people to opt for a bold paint color, there are plenty of other designs to consider. 

Textured, graphic and bold wallpaper can really transform a blank wall, and make a statement. Choose from a variety of different options including faux brick to achieve an industrial look, hand-painted, or even luxury suede to add a touch of glamor.   

Or if you want a classic look, wall panelling is becoming more popular, offering a traditional, opulent aesthetic. Typically, these are made from MDF wood, and come in different designs and thickness that look stunning in living or dining rooms. 

5. Opt for metallic accents 

Brass light chandelier

Brass light chandelier (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another quick and easy way to make your living room look more expensive is to add metallic finishes to your living room. Brass, copper, brushed stainless steel and gold accents can all add opulence to the space.   

You can do this through swapping out plug fittings, cabinet handles, door knobs or even light/ceiling pendants and wall sconces. For a more glamorous feel, you should opt with glossy finishes that will also reflect light, making your room brighter.

What’s more, you can find stunning and unique hardware pieces in flea markets or antique shops, to give your home that elegant, luxurious look.

6. Go large on houseplants 

Large plant in living room

Large plant in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another way to make your living room look expensive is the use of giant houseplants or trees. Generally, plants are a great way to bring the outdoors in — especially if you live in an apartment, and can add life and color to your home.

However, if you really want to make a statement, go large with lush palms, bird of paradise, corn plants or olive trees. In addition, place them in beautiful concrete/stone style pots, rattan baskets or tall planters to enhance the decorative feature. 

Alternatively, if you’re not a green thumb or lack the right conditions to grow your favorite plants, you can invest in some stunning fake plants that look just like the real deal. What’s more, you can place fake plants anywhere in the home all year round, without worrying about the conditions, and save money from replacing your wilted plants. If you’re opting for fake plants, you might need to know these 7 ways to make your fake plants look more real

7. Declutter with stylish storage 

Storage stool and basket in living room

Storage stool and basket in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When making a room look more luxurious, we often forget to blend functionality, and practical storage solutions. To avoid cluttered spaces, conceal everyday clutter with stylish furniture such as ottoman benches, blanket boxes or woven baskets. 

Not only are these clever ways of disguising clutter, but can add a touch of glamor to your living room. Plus, if you have cluttered shoes piling up by the front door, here's 7 space-saving ways to organize shoes in your entryway.

In addition, hide those ugly items! Be it charger cables or TV cords cluttering your floor, your smart home devices or unsightly tissue boxes, there are creative ways to disguise ugly items in your home

For instance, reduce cable cutter by investing in cable management tools like this Cable Management Box 3 Pack ($31, Amazon), that ships with cable clips to stick to your console tables or desks. These also prevent trailing cables on the floor, and keep everything neat and tidy. Or you can hide your ugly tissue boxes around the home inside a stylish tissue box cover like this Reviaras Tissue Box Cover ($20, Amazon), for a natural look.  

Not only will these methods help hide unsightly items, but they also can make your space more tidy and aesthetically pleasing — especially if you want to achieve that "Instagrammable" look.

You may also be interested in finding out how to make your kitchen look more expensive on a budget.

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!