5 fail-proof ways to make your home look more expensive

Try these tips for upmarket style.
MAIN BEDROOM Tie it all together. Shades of pink, green and white in an artwork by Anna Rodman work wonderfully with the'Carnival' blind in Magnolia Rose from Above & Beyond Shade Solutions. A 'Petal Dome' pendant by Bisque Traders ties in with layered bedlinen from Adairs, No Chintz and In The Sac, as well as the 'Georgia' rattan bedhead from Adairs.

Have you ever wondered why high-end homes always look so great? Sure, some of it does come down to a generous budget, but that shouldn’t stop you from making your own home your haven. There are plenty of affordable changes you can make to your home that will make it feel luxurious and magazine-worthy. 

Don’t believe us? Here are five fail-proof ways to make your home look its best.

1. Keep it clean and tidy

Without care, your home looks unloved and unkempt. It’s a tall ask but if possible, keep your home tidy at all times to give the impression everything is where it should be, has been carefully selected for the space and purchased.

At the very least, invite friends over regularly so prompt a quick whip through to clean and tidy for their visit – then enjoy the rewards yourself when they’ve gone.

A white living room with a timber coffee table, grey sofas and open shelving.
The owner of this historic home in Brisbane opted for an all-white colour palette she could regularly update with pops of colour in the form of accessories and art. (Credit: Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
Need some cleaning inspiration?

2. Stick to a colour palette

Once you’ve chosen your colours for decorating, stick to them. Work from a mood board and add your products, paints and purchases as you go to ensure everything works beautifully together. This will keep your look as streamlined as possible and result in a more luxurious look.

A blue antique Moroccan shelf with a tropical artwork hanging above.
“I loved the unique design and mint colour,” says Sue, who renovated not one, but two cottages on the Sunshine Coast. All of the other accessories complement the bookcase’s colour, including the Tropical Paradise artwork by Margery Dennis. (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

3. Authentic style over fast fads

A unique interior that reflect the thoughts, passions and interests of its inhabitants will always be more stylish and interesting than a home decorated according to a fleeting trend. That means boldly decorating your home with items you genuinely love, rather than things social media or even your favourite designer declares are currently in vogue.

If you’re not sure how to develop your own interior design style, head to Pinterest and start saving a bunch of pictures that stand out to you. Once you’ve spent a few minutes doing that, take a look over the images and look for similarities between them. Are they all brimming with colour? Do they all feature wallpaper? Maybe all of the images feel cosy and inviting.  An exercise like this will help you feel more in touch with what you like, and inspire your next home styling moves.

A guest bedroom with green floral wallpaper and timber bed.
“Mixing contemporary and antique pieces adds to the character, charm and depth of a home,” says Tori, the owner of this stunning 1920s cottage in Brisbane. (Credit: Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

4. Make everything count

Make sure every item on display in your home means something to do. If something in your room is non-essential or doesn’t fill you with joy, edit, edit, edit and pare things right back.

For a more expensive look, create vignettes with your belongings by styling them together in groups, rather than having things strewn around.

This classic Federation cottage is home to Dusty Luxe founder, Jackie who says decorating should reflect your own tastes. “I’m a big believer in filling a home with things that evoke memories,” she says. “They give the home a unique character.” (Photography: Alana Landsberry | Styling: Corina Koch)

5. Hang art on the walls

One thing that takes an ordinary house and turns into something with personality and flair is art. While you can purchase an original or a limited edition print from an artist or gallery, there are so many affordable treasures to be found on the second-hand market. When selecting artwork, trust your instincts and, when in doubt, refer back to your design colour palette and mood board to keep the look of your home consistent.

In the main bedroom of a renovated cottage in Avalon, a large artwork by Anna Rodman hangs above a rattan bedhead from Adairs. (Photography: Brigid Arnott | Styling: Lisa Hilton)

Frames can be matching or eclectic – either works just fine. Odd numbers work best in a row, or for larger collections, work with a grid style or create a gallery wall. Renting? No problem. Adhesive hooks have come a long way since they were first introduced and will keep even large frames securely attached the wall (just don’t make any of these common Command Hook mistakes). 

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