Design Lifestyle

How To Decorate Your Home To Look Expensive For Cheap

As a mom, interior design expert, and the blogger behind Design Post Interiors, Beth Barden knows a thing or two about creating an inspiring and functional home. Below, she shares her insight, plus how to decorate your home to look expensive for cheap.

Hi and thanks for welcoming me into Nicole’s beautiful blog! I am so excited to be here and share some of my thoughts on decorating. I am a firm believer that you can make any space pretty no matter your budget. I thrive off of creating spaces that are just as functional as they are inviting and I hope to shed a little light on how to make your place feel expensive with some of my tried and true tweaks! Here are some examples from my house and client projects.

Paint Your Walls

One of the easiest ways to decorate your home is to paint, especially if you venture into textures and pattern. The area over my fireplace always felt blank to me but I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in art. We painted stripes and it immediately became a focal point of the room. When you can’t change architectural details use paint to fake a little interest. [View my living room HERE]

Hang Curtains High

By hanging curtains even with the ceiling (or at least 10 inches higher than your window frame) it immediately gives a room height. Even the smallest spaces can feel grander by just increasing the height of your rod. You can see how I gave my living room height by hanging the rod right under the crown molding. [View my living room HERE]

Utilize Area Rugs

If you have spent any time on my blog you know that I have a serious love for area rugs! I do not feel that a room is complete without one. They add pattern, color, and texture. There are so many great options these days for scoring inexpensive rugs too so you don’t have to wait for your “forever home” to add one to your decor. One of my favorite tricks is layering rugs as well. This is a great way to cut cost also- just put down an inexpensive natural rug and layer your favorite pricey rug in a smaller size! That’s exactly what we did in my client’s library. [View the library HERE]

Use Matching Containers For Storage

Clutter is a quick way to make your house look less expensive. It detracts from any of the hard work that’s been put into decorating so don’t forget design atheistic even when it comes to storage. If you are going to add baskets to hide extra toys or bins to organize your pantry make sure they all match either in color/material or size (or both!) Now clutter is at bay while also looking well-thought out. I even utilized this tip in my mudroom to corral shoes. [View my mudroom HERE]

Change Out Hardware

Most people can’t afford to just change out furniture on a whim but that doesn’t mean you can’t change the look of it with small tweaks. One of the best ways to do this is by changing out the hardware. These knobs are really cool as well as these handles! An old piece can be brought up to date or given a little visual interest with a fresh set of knobs. I even came up with this simple DIY in my guest room! [View my guest room HERE]

Change Out Light Fixtures

Lighting is a close second to rugs! Spending time on these details is what sets a room apart. With so many inexpensive lighting sources, DIY conversion kits, and an abundance of cool options, theres really no excuse for builder basic lights! I love the capiz chandelier in my guest room and wall sconces on my landing! [View our landing space HERE]

Use Vertical Space Wisely

Space-planning is as important as accessories. Don’t just focus on the big areas…small corners can provide the perfect spot for floating shelves or a cabinet for storage. By utilizing these areas you draw the eye up and create more room for interesting accessories and design details! We took this blank wall in our dining room and added storage and display area. [View our dining room HERE]

Add Fresh Flowers

You may have noticed that I also always add some version of fresh flowers or greenery…this is another simple way to brighten up your space and it can be something as simple as a few branches cut from your yard!

I hope that you found some simple ways to make your home feel decorated even if you don’t have tons of money to spend. Take a minute, look around and see if there are some ways you can alter things to feel more expensive, more creative or maybe just more you!

If you want to find more examples of how I implement these tips check out my Home Tour and Portfolio tabs. You can also shop all of my favorite home decor products HERE! Thanks so much for having me Nicole and I hope to see some new faces over at my blog and of course on social media! Come say hi!


Living Room Revamp

I love a clean slate – decorating wise. After leaving our condo last December we decided we were going to sell all of our furniture and start brand spankin’ new. It turned out amazing and just the way I envisioned. It was nerve racking at times going a couple months with no furniture at all. (whew!)

A nightmare at times – but well worth the wait! We wanted to have a room that wouldn’t break the bank TOO much. All of the items are very reasonable & I have provided the links to everything you see at the bottom of this post :)

After only about three trips to Target, 2 trips to IKEA, and 1 trip to Homemakers later, and we have ourselves a modern, classic, black and white living room. Even though the closest IKEA is about 5 hours away – it is well worth it. Their products are stylish AND affordable!

Shop the Living Room Products:

Jonathan Louis Lourdes Sofa

Bush Furniture Black Arrow TV Stand

Threshold Metal Linear Floor Lamp

Table Lamps (Sold Out) – Similar styles HERE & HERE

Sonoma Fret Curtain Panel

Contour Wall Clock

Core Bamboo Tray

Metal Decorative Clock

Ikea Items:

Hemnes Sofa Table

Vittsjo Shelving Unit

Vittsjo Coffee Table

Eivor Throw Blanket

Kvarvinik Grey Boxes

Smarssel White Storage Box

Fejka Artificial Potted Plant

There you have it! Our bright, modern, neutral living room revamp. Thank you so much for visiting. We certainly have things to do yet in the room {I will be sharing our to do list with you soon, starting with throw pillows }

I will be breaking down all the parts of the living room re-do in separate blog posts. There was lots of painting, buying, making, hanging, rearranging, & that all can not be possibly explained in one post.

Crafts Thrifty-Thursdays

Trash Can Cabinet Makeover

Thrift Shopping: One of my favorite things to do. Want to know why? You get to stumble upon amazing purchases like this one and create it however you like. We have been searching for a trash can cabinet for awhile now. We looked at possibilities online and were looking at $100-$150 if we would buy one ready to go. NO THANK YOU. Popped into our local goodwill and look what showed up!! It was perfect for a painting project. $10 is what I snagged it for – which I thought was more than reasonable.

This is the kind of small project that I recommend for newbies because you don’t have much to lose. Find some piece at a thrift store for five-ten bucks and give it a go! If you mess up, you’re not out too much in the piece of furniture itself and the time and materials you’ve put into it.

Here is the step by step process I used to get this look:

  1. I cleaned the entire piece with a damp soapy washcloth and dried it.
  2. I used the color “Old White” by Annie Sloan (One of my favorites.) I put two coats on the entire piece. You could add a third if you really wanted to – but since I was going to put dark and clear wax on top, it didn’t need it.

3. After dry (takes about 20 minutes for each layer to dry) – I used an old rag to apply the dark wax next. On this piece, I went over the whole cabinet. You can choose to JUST apply it to the corners if you’d like as well.

4. Clear wax is next. (This is the fun part). When you use the clear wax over the dark, you can make the dark fade away as much as you like, depending on how much you rub in the clear coat. SO – if you don’t like a certain way you did the dark wax…don’t fret because you can fix when you get to clear wax step! Amazing!

5. I let the wax sit and cure for about 12 hours before moving the piece

5. New pull – I found mine at the local Hobby Lobby. $3