How To Get A High-End Look On A Budget

Hello friends.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and a great weekend.  My Valentine’s Day was super casual and instead of taking me to Jared :), the hubs took me somewhere he knew I’d like even better…antique shopping.  I found some great goodies which I’ll show you tomorrow, but today I wanted  to address a question I get asked a lot–how to add high-end design style, on a budget?

When it comes to design, one thing I know for sure is that most people desire to have a high-end look for their home but want save money doing it. Of course to get a high-style look you can go out and buy expensive furniture, lighting and accessories but when that’s not an option, there are ways to get the look without breaking the bank.

 If you’ve ever wondered what design tricks designers use to achieve high-style, today is your day because I’m sharing NINE Ways To Get A High-End Look On Budget!

High End Look.001

#1   Decorate With Bold Accessories

Bold accessories like large paintings, urns and mirrors will add more drama than smaller pieces.  Larger pieces command attention and provide dramatic impact, and impact in turn helps to create a focal point within a room, giving the room a grand feel. #gobigorgohome

Bold Artwork


tip:  using multiples of the same item can add just as much impact as one single oversized item.

Bold Vases

via Ethan Allen


Beautifully tiled walls are often the signature of a high-end bathrooms and kitchens.  To get the look on a budget, consider tiling just one feature wall from floor to ceiling and use a classic marble style and traditional design layout.

Marble Kitchen Wall


Marble in Bathroom



Think back to Cleopatra days when gold accents where the sign of elegance and beauty.  Not much has changed and one thing is for sure–good design never goes out of style.  Gold details add beauty, shine and can give any room a high-end look and feel.

Easy ways to incorporate gold accents:  Gold picture frames, gold candle holders and gold lighting


Gold Accents



 The simple addition of crown molding can take a room from average to dynamic.  Crown molding adds character and visual depth while making a room feel more expensive and stylish.

tip:  Here’s a great tutorial on how to give standard molding a high-end look.

Crown Molding2



  A frumpy pillow can make a piece of furniture and a room look bad so the easiest way to avoid frumpiness is to use down pillow inserts instead of polyfil.  Down inserts give pillows more loft and fullness and you’ll be able to give your pillows the designer karate chop.

tip:  go one size up on your pillow insert size so pillows plump and full (i.e:  use a 22″ insert for a 20″ x 20″ pillow cover)




 Neutral colored furniture is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Neutral colors can easily mix with other colors and won’t fight them for attention. That makes them ideal for providing a good background, and helps you design a multi-layered look within your decor which always has a more expensive, high-end feel.

tip: by neutral, I don’t mean that we all need to run out and get a white sofa.  To be called neutral, a color should be unsaturated or have very little saturation so black, white, beige, brown and gray are all neutral colors.

neutral sofa



 I could go on and on about why you need window treatments in your home but I’ll keep it simple and repeat what I said in #6 about layers. Window treatments add layers to your decor and layers create a high-end feel.

tip:  trim plain curtain panels with decorative trim to give them even more style.

Curtain Panelsvia

tip:  don’t think you have to have custom drapes made to get a high-end look.  Buy off the-shelf lined curtain panels, have them professional pressed and hang them from  quality rods, hooks or clips.  

Roman shades


tip:  if you need to have straight panels made in a special size, skip the custom drapery house and use your local dry cleaners/tailor who can do the simple sewing for a lot less.

# 8  DIY IT

If you were born with the ‘handyman’ gene or married someone who was, you can get a high-end piece of furniture by DIYing it yourself. Check out this DIY bench (and the savings) from #powertoolsrock

DIY Outdoor Bench



  When I have a client with a tight budget, one of my shopping options is to shop vintage and look for high-end styles at a bargain. Consignment stores and estate sales are a great source for discounted designer brands and also check out manufacturer warehouse stores that might be in your area.

Vintage Lighting


tip:  use antique and vintage furniture to add a unique design statement to your decor.

Vintage Furniture


High design doesn’t have to be expensive or out of reach as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeve. #designtips

Shelly Signature

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    • Hi Amy,
      So glad you liked the post. Love your blog and the projects you create. And thanks so much for sharing the post.


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