Make Your Home Look Like A Magazine

Dated: September 22 2015

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Want your place to look like those home design website images you drool over? Of course you do! Problem is, your budget may not match your design aspirations. Fear not! Making your home look high-end isn’t always about spending tons of cash.

It’s a matter oftaking the time and care to arrange things in an eye-pleasing way—and makingsmall, inexpensive updates that have abig impact. In other words, it’s about being sneaky.

Here are a few tricks to pullif you want to add the illusionof luxury.

Build Your Own Samantha Collection modular cabinets

Build Your Own Samantha Collection modular cabinets

1. Declutter

Nothing says “this home ain’t worth much” like tons of disjointed knickknacks, piles of books, and other miscellaneous items that should be tossed or stored.

No, you don’t need to go full Marie Kondo, but going through your rooms and getting rid of anything that doesn’t meshwith your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional.

Walk through each room of your home and edit items. Make some tough decisions. Sure, you love your grandma’s vintage Chinese vase, but does it really jibe with your West Elm look? It might be time to store it or let it live in another room with similar family heirlooms.

Next step: Tackle anystuff that piles up—toys (if you have kids), shoes by the door, mail on the dining table. At the very least, find places for your stuff to live in a more organized way; an upgraded closet with beautifully sorted nooks and crannies looks luxurious. (Pro tip: We love Pottery Barn’sbuild-your-own pieces.)

2. Eliminate grunge

You may not have time for intensive cleaning on a weekly basis, but aonce- or twice-yearlydeep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more luxurious. After all, you rarely see a mansion withdirty baseboards.

Go through your home and search foroverlookedareasthat have becomedirty anddownright gross. You’ll want to pay special attention to thegrouting,says designer Young Huh.

“Having old tile cleaned and regrouted makes a huge difference in having your bathroom look sparkly and fresh,” she says. Best of all: The process is simple and inexpensive.

Get sparkly new floors–minus the refinishing. Try steam cleaning wood floors for an immediate lift to the finish.

3.Add—or rearrange—lighting

Designers use lighting todefine spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand.

Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook,sofas and chairs for company, and a television.Visually differentiate amongtheareas by using different kinds of lighting:Add a table lampbeside your cozy reading chair and sconcesbehind your couchfor conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them. Installing is a relatively simple DIY.

Bonuscheapskate tip: Use warm-colored lightbulbs, Huh says.Cool tones are a “sure-fire way to make your home look down-market,” she says.Daylight bulbs work best for reading nooks.

8-inch fused glass door pulls



8-inch fused glass door pulls


4. Upgrade your hardware

Don’t havea kitchen renovation in the budget? You cangeta similar effectfor much less by swapping out old, dated hardware for new.

Tired of your brushed-steel drawer pulls? Try gold, bronze, or even crystal—or make an adventure of it and scouryour local thrift store for vintage hardware that screams your style.

It’s not hard to find attractive options inany decor style for next to nothing (a drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less). For hard-to-find designs, searchetsy.

Changing the countertop andfaucets is another change that can make your homelook much pricier, Huhsays. If you have thebudget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something freshthat matches your brand-new hardware.

5. Repaint

There’s no simpler way to make an old home feel new than painting.

“This isthe most important part,” Huh says. “Repaint and choose beautiful colors for an instant makeover.”

You can’t go wrong with classy neutrals. Minimalists might love a bright white combined with a bold accent wall; DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woods.

Paint isn’t just for your walls: Addsome color to your front door, window trims, or even the floor, if you’re brave (hardwood can look amazing when paintedwhite).

Family room vignette

Ladybird and Fellow

Ladybird and Fellow

Family room vignette

Ladybird and Fellow

6. Focus on the devil in the (decor) details

Does your home feel a littlemeh—andyou’re not sure how to change it? Tryvignettes—combine decor items (e.g., vases, frames, andobjets) that add visual interestto an otherwise blandarea—perhaps a shelf or console table.

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