As a bachelor, I spent the better part of my twenties not giving a rip about the interior décor of my apartment.
A few relationships later, I came to understand the value of not living like a pig when it came to impressing women. One former girlfriend gifted me the book on Feng Shui below. And get this, I actually read it!
Granted, there are lots of pictures and helpful diagrams, so that made the chore easier. Before long, I had my college-dorm looking apartment looking a bit more regal (royal?) and welcoming.
Thankfully, I have a real expert in Sandra Moncada to share some of her own tips and tricks for making a small space (like a studio apartment or condo) look spacious and rich, without breaking the bank.
How to Make Your Small House Look Like a Palace in 7 Steps
You may have heard the adage about your home being your castle, but… as you look around your home, it can hardly be called a “castle.” With a limited budget available for decorating, it may feel as though your home is rather drab and unattractive. Perhaps the décor is outdated or even non-existent.
You may think that you need to spend a small fortune on expensive furnishings, artwork, and more to give your space a high-end look, but by following a few helpful decorating tips, you can turn your home into a palace.
1. A Fresh Coat of Paint, Layers, and Textures
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to add class and sophistication to your home. Light neutral shades as well as bolder or darker hues can add drama and flair to your space.
Be sure to invest in quality paint that has a washable finish if you want to keep your new paint job well-maintained in the months and years to come. Choose colors carefully, and consider staying away from trendy colors that you may not want on your walls next year.
Consider painting one accent wall in each room. This can create a visual element of surprise that can give your home extra personality and visually draw attention away from less desirable areas of the room. More than that, an accent wall is visually stimulating and makes a statement about your adventurous and non-traditional personality. It shows that you have spent time and effort decorating your home.
You can also dress up some of your walls with textured materials, such as wallpaper, glass, or fabric. Dress up any empty walls with framed pictures and mirrors. However, remember that all of your decorative efforts should be well-planned out. When you simply toss decorative touches out there, your home decorating efforts may have the opposite effect than what you desire.
2. Do it Yourself!
Keeping your furnishings well-maintained is also important if you want to create a high-end look in your home. Consider restoring some of your older items or even repairing them in different ways. While you could outsource this work to a professional, it is more cost-effective to learn how to handle at least the minimal or less skill-intensive projects on your own.
Lighting makes a bold statement in your home, and it deserves ample time when you are redecorating your home. It affects the ambiance as well as the overall decorative style. Focus your attention as much on the style of the light fixtures in your space as you do on the color and intensity of light. Remember that natural light can also be used cost-effectively to produce beautiful results in your home.
3. Pay Attention to Your Headboard
Another excellent idea is to make a bold statement about your style by dressing up your headboard. If you do not have a headboard, think about making one on your own as a weekend project. Otherwise, you can refinish or existing headboard to improve the quality of your home décor with a bold statement about your sense of style.
If you are trying to incorporate the industrial look in your home, think about asking local factories and businesses if they have any materials they plan to scrap. This may include everything from tubes and wires to industrial furniture and more. Some may even be willing to hand these items to you without cost.
Photo Credit: Pexels.com
4. Focus on Smaller Pieces
For example, adding a few potted plants is a great way to add color to the space and purify the air inside your home. Flowers in vases are an alternative to this that can add color and fragrance to the space. Another idea is to add candles in matching colors to your home.
They add another dimension of color and texture to your space, and they can mask unpleasant smells that can detract from the ambiance in your home. Also, candlelight can improve the ambiance in your home on dreary days and nights.
5. Invest in Statement Furniture and High-Quality Accent Pieces
While you can skimp on some of your furnishings and décor by refinishing old pieces or even with the careful selection of budget-minded new pieces, you also should consider investing in a few higher-end pieces. Every item in your home does not have to cost a fortune, but a few high-quality impact pieces can make a bold statement and can affect how others perceive your home.
When selecting statement pieces for your home decorating efforts, focus on finding quality items that have a timeless appeal. Choose clean, classic styles rather than something that will be out of style within a few years.
The new items should be fully functional so that all space is used wisely in your home, and a larger item may be a more dominant presence in the room. However, all of your pieces should be appropriately sized for the amount of space available in the room.
6. Garage Sales
If you are looking for great ways to save money on classic, period pieces, consider asking an older relative if they have any used furniture that they would like to get rid of. You can also shop at garage sales or use online classified listings to find pieces. Another idea is to shop at local antique stores.
It can take time and effort to find the right pieces to incorporate into your space and even to refinish them as necessary. However, this effort will be well-rewarded when your home takes on an upgraded look.
Choose high-quality merchandise that will stand the test of time. For example, avoid low-density wood pieces that will deteriorate within a few months. You may need to save money to buy more expensive items. However, if higher-end tables, sofas, and other items are too expensive for your budget, consider using upholstery and accent pieces to dress up your space.
For example, you can layer different materials together, such as pillows, blankets, and rugs. This can make a bold statement in your home at a fraction of the cost of buying new furniture.
7. Amazon Echo to the Rescue!
Rather than taking up space with boxy speakers, employ a smart-looking Amazon Echo (Alexa in your abode. It’s a superb jukebox with solid acoustics.)
Your Small House Palace Awaits!
You could spend a small fortune decorating your home (or Airbnb vacation rental) to look like a palace. However, you can see that there are affordable alternatives that can create equally impressive results.
If you are tired of the look of your home and are searching for a budget-minded way to dress up your space, consider implementing each of these tips to enjoy the most affordable results. Remember to choose each item carefully rather than throwing items together without a developed decorating plan.
Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, who often escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan and is also passionate about meditation, Pilates, and beating stress. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about lifestyle improvements, self-development, and stress-relief methods.
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Mrs. Picky Pincher says
Agreed! I’d also say to keep clutter / possessions to a minimum. It’s hard to feel like you live in a palace if you’re wading through a foot of junk.
Ahh, minimalism… I am a big adherent. To me, a palace is where there’s no clutter and a good dose of Feng Shui. Maybe I missed my calling?
Thanks for the tips! Heading to a garage sale is a fun weekend activity. Finding fantastic home decor items for my living room and books for my wife.
Way to go, John! When we end up at garage sales we wind up bringing home toys for the kids. Sigh…
James McSherry says
Good stuff. I recently furnished my new apartment from a second hand op-shop – for a very reasonable sum, including a beautiful solid wood corner computer desk. I got the whole lot for the price of a new kitchen table and chairs. I agree – quality pieces should feature (preferably second hand in my case 😉
All about second-hand here, too. I’m notorious for alley-scouting where people in my neighborhood leave perfectly fine pieces out by the trash.
Right on, good sir! We still have a good number of pieces that are hand-me downs. Of course with little kids, no sense investing in high end pieces you know are gonna get trashed anyhow.
Kate Evans says
Hello Cubert, I love home decoration like this. I am a big adherent. A palace is where there is no clutter and a good collection of house decorating things. This post is really for praise. Thanks and keep posting with us.