Sure, we would all love to have a bedroom that looks like it belongs in the glossy pages of a home décor magazine, or pinned on decorating boards all across Pinterest. But for most of us, alas, our budget refuses to cooperate with our lofty dreams. If you fall into this category, don’t give up on creating the bedroom you've always wanted, or at least a close approximation. It is possible to give your room a touch of style that only looks expensive. As with so many other things in life, it’s all about the details. Here are ten ways to add a touch of luxe to your bedroom, not one of which will break the bank (or cost you more in time than an afternoon.)
Cut the Clutter
Okay, this tip is not an accessory or object, but it’s the most important step to take if you want a great looking room. You don't see gorgeous bedrooms on Pinterest that are a mess, right? A dirty or cluttered room will never look expensive—or even attractive—no matter how much you spend on your furnishings. So clean out the clutter. A luxurious looking space has just that—space. Get rid of anything that is not necessary, loved or gorgeous. Pay particular attention to your floors. Expensive rooms are not storage areas for unused exercise equipment, stacks of unread books or folded clothing.
Try a Tray
One of the easiest ways to give your bedroom that special something is to add a beautiful tray to your dresser top or nightstand. It doesn’t have to actually be expensive – find a pretty tray at the Goodwill, give it a coat of gold or silver metallic spray paint, and only you know it didn’t come from a premier shop. Use your tray to hold the otherwise-scattered items on your dresser top, such as jewelry, perfume bottles or small collectibles. Instantly, your bedroom looks a little bit more elegant.
One or two touches of the green stuff are a must in the expensive bedroom. No, not money – living plants and cut flowers. Get out your prettiest vase – if you don’t have one, search the Goodwill or HomeGoods for an inexpensive treasure – and fill it with a fragrant bouquet of cut flowers for your nightstand. You can find budget blooms in your own garden, Trader Joe’s, a local farmer’s market or the grocery store. Now, pot up a lush green plant in a ceramic or metal container. If your thumb is green, try a fern. If not, you can’t kill easy houseplants like Chinese evergreen, pothos or dracaena. Set the plant on your dresser. Not only will it improve the look of your bedroom, it will also help purify the air. What a win/win.
Shine a Light on It
Want a bedroom that looks expensive? Then ditch the cheap ceiling fixture and replace it with a stylish hanging light instead. Small chandelier, pendant or drum-shaded fixture – the choice is yours. Just be sure that the light is in scale to the rest of your bedroom and complements your other furnishings. You’ll probably need to spend at least $100 for a good-looking fixture, but it’s money well spent. Visit Lamps Plus, Target or HomeGoods for a great selection.
Make a Blanket Statement
A thick, luxurious throw blanket adds immediate style to the foot of your bed. Forget about that cheap, microfleece number – that’s great for cuddling on the couch while watching TV, but it’s not going to make your room look expensive. Instead, pick a throw blanket made from fuzzy wool, velour, silk, velvet or even faux fur. Don’t go crazy with pattern – stick with a solid color, an animal print or a subtle design. Now your bedroom is looking good and your tootsies are warmer at night.
Try Crown Moldings
It’s amazing how even an ordinary room takes on an expensive air with the addition of crown moldings. If you aren’t lucky enough to have these already installed, you’ll need to pay a visit to your local Home Depot or similar store. Depending on your level of DIY experience, you can spring for actual moldings that need to be cut, painted and nailed into place, or you can go the easy route with self-adhesive molding that actually looks pretty good from down below. Either way, paint the molding to match your walls.
Give your bedroom impact with a statement piece that says, “Yes, this room belongs to someone special.” That might be a large piece of artwork over your headboard, a fine collectible on your dresser, an antique quilt on your bed, or an area rug that doesn’t take style lying down. Whatever you choose, make sure it reflects your personal taste and style, is large enough to be seen immediately upon entering the room, and is really something great. Again, you don’t have to spend a bundle – scour your favorite shops for a bargain or create artwork yourself.
Raise the Curtains
Small, boxy bedrooms rarely look expensive. If this is your situation, fake a little more space by raising the curtains up high. When the curtain rod is mounted just an inch or two below the ceiling line, and the drapes hang to the floor, the whole room suddenly looks not only bigger – it also looks more elegant.
Level up the Lampshades
Plain Jane, boring lampshades don’t look expensive. Old, faded, stained or fraying lampshades really don’t look expensive. It’s easy to find brand-new, attractive and interesting lampshades at bargain prices, so why not give your bedside lamp an upgrade? For a little touch of luxe, look for a rich-hued shade, a shade with a pleasing pattern, or a shade with metallic accents. Keep the look classic though – while lampshades rimmed with faux flowers, pompoms or decoupage are lots of fun in the right room, they don’t belong in the expensive bedroom.
Change the Hardware
If your bedroom furniture is a decade (or more) past its heyday, or just isn’t especially expensive looking, you have two choices: buy new furniture (the expensive option) or update what you have (the not expensive option.) And one of the easiest ways to add a touch of “expensive” to your furniture without actually spending a lot of money is with new hardware. Replace those dated, ugly or plain drawer pulls and knobs with contemporary, elegant designs. Look for glass or metal hardware that has a bit of pop without being tacky. Screw it into place, and voila! Your furniture just got a makeover, your bedroom just got a little bit richer looking and your wallet wasn’t bruised at all.