If you’re designing on a budget, you may feel at a standstill when it comes to making your space look upscale without spending your every last dime. There’s good news, though! You can achieve a high-end look on a low-end budget by making little changes that have a huge impact. Read on and see how to make it happen!

1. Fake built-ins

You can easily fake the look of built-in library shelves by lining an entire wall in your home with bookcases. Place them directly beside one another, and then add a decorative molding along the top of the entire “unit.” Don’t forget to screw each bookshelf to the wall using anchors – you’ll eliminate the danger of tipping.

2. “Don’t judge a book…”

You’ll never know what treasures you could find inside local shops, so don’t let the outside of a store fool you. Thrift stores and discount stores are great places to find things to upcycle and use in your home, and you’ll save a bundle! Shop with an eye towards how you can transform something from shabby to chic!

3. “Picture framing”

This is a super easy technique where you add a frame to a wall utilizing narrow steps of molding. Miter the corners so they come together nicely, then paint them using either a slightly lighter or darker shade than the wall paint to coordinate. You don’t have to place anything within these frames – they just serve to call attention to different areas of the room and create a unique, timeless look.

4. Mixing high end with low end

You want your big pieces to last – think living room furniture. So spend your hard earned money on these things. Then mix in upcycled items from thrift stores, or projects you’ve created yourself, to get that decorative look you’re aiming for.

5. Ceiling medallions

Another excellent and inexpensive way to add class? Show interest to your overhead areas by embellishing with ceiling medallions. These are lightweight, yet decorate polyurethane ornaments that you place on your ceiling and inbetween your light fixture. They come in different sizes, so choose one appropriate for your room size. They can be painted to match your ceiling, as well.

6. Outdated fixtures

While we’re talking about fixtures, let’s talk about your seriously outdated lighting arrangement. If you can’t stand looking at it, just change it! You can add additional light to the room while instantly updating the entire area just by switching out a fixture for something classic and elegant, or chic and contemporary. Make sure your electricity is turned off when you begin!

7. Quality where it counts

Invest in real wood furniture. It will make a huge difference in the overall feel and look of your home. This is where quality really counts, and where you shouldn’t skimp. Accessories and decor can be bought inexpensively to accent these main quality pieces.

8. Lovely neutrals

If you look at very high-end homes, they always have an abundance of neutrals. This is because neutrals are classic, never go out of style, feel very clean, uncluttered, and calming. Choosing a neutral palette for your own space will have the same effect. Especially when you’re choosing big pieces, such as upholstered furniture, keep the palette simple and clean and then add color and texture with your accessories. Neutrals are a time-tested and proven way to add style to any home.

9. Tile transformations

When it comes to quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to transform a room, tile is where it’s at. Even the cheapest tiles, when properly installed, look clean, new, and bright. Arrange the tiles in unusual ways to add interest. You don’t have to tile an entire room – just try tiling your kitchen backsplash, or the wall your vanity is on in your bathroom. Tile is a great do-it-yourself project with excellent lasting results.

10. Interior doors

Take that flat interior door and add some pizzazz by adding molding, lattice, or patterned painting. Use Pinterest to spark your imagination. You’ll be amazed at just how big a difference some trim and paint will make to a boring wood door!

11. Hardware switch out

Give your kitchen and bathroom cabinets a brand new look by switching out all the hardware. Knobs, drawer pulls, etc. gain a new cohesive look at a minimal cost.

12. New walkway

Instantly brighten the look of your front yard by replacing your walkway with new stone or brick. Make sure that it complements your home’s exterior, and consider planting some new flowers or using potted flowers along the border.

13. Entryway

Creating a fresh, bright entrance to your home will change visitors’ overall impression when they walk in. Painting your entry a dark, subdued color will create coziness. Painting it a bright color will really make it pop! Add some tall plants on either side of the door, and hang a new mirror to add the illusion of space.

14. Learn something new

DIY building or decorating skills are always good to have, so don’t be afraid to learn how to do something. Refinish a solid wood, antique dresser, or learn how to create decorative painted finishes on furniture. Learn how to tile a wall. Get comfy using a hammer and a screwdriver. Learn the basics of sewing. These are all things that will help bring out the chic look of thrift store finds!

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