How to Make Furniture Look Expensive – 10 Clever Tips

Want to know how to make furniture look expensive? You don’t need to break the bank to have a home that looks like a million bucks. I’ve been there, staring at my drab, cheap furniture and wondering how I could afford an upgrade. But then I discovered some clever tricks to make my budget pieces look high-end and luxurious. And now, we’re spilling the beans just for you.

Elevate your home’s aesthetic with these 10 simple strategies for making your furniture look expensive. No one will suspect that your stylish space didn’t require a hefty investment. Whether you’re a savvy bargain hunter or just love a good DIY project, these tips will help you create a luxurious living environment without breaking the bank.


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10 Easy Ways to Make Furniture Look Expensive

Want to know how to make your cheap furniture look expensive? We’ve been there.

You’re scrolling through Instagram and see these gorgeous, luxe interiors – but your budget doesn’t quite match your champagne tastes. The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank to get the look.

With a few simple hacks, you can elevate even the most inexpensive pieces to give your space a high-end feel. We’re talking about small changes that make a huge impact.

These are our go-to tricks that we use in our own home (and other homes) to instantly elevate any room. The best part? Most of these are DIY-friendly and use things you probably already have lying around.

Table of Contents:

Use Contact Paper

make cheap furniture look expensive with gold contact paper

This one might surprise you, but contact paper is like magic when it comes to transforming furniture.

We’ve used it on everything from IKEA bookcases to thrift store coffee tables. It comes in a ton of finishes like marble, granite, even gold leaf.

Just measure your piece, cut the paper to size, and stick it on. Instant luxe look for a fraction of the cost. Seriously, it’s one of the easiest ways to hack your way to expensive-looking furniture.

How to Make Furniture Look Expensive With Crown Molding

how to make cheap furniture look expensive using crown molding on mirror

Crown molding isn’t just for ceilings. Adding some to the top of a bookcase or armoire gives it that built-in, custom look – without the custom price tag. You can use crown molding to trim mirrors and windows.

You can find crown molding at any home improvement store. Just cut it to size, attach with some wood glue, and paint it to match. It’s an easy upgrade that makes a huge difference.

How to Make Furniture Look Expensive with Paint

use pretty paint to make furniture look expensive bed with black paint

A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a piece – and it’s one of the cheapest ways to do it.

Whether you go for a bold color or a sleek neutral, painting tired furniture gives it new life. And don’t be afraid to experiment with finishes like high gloss or matte.

Pro tip: Spray paint is your best friend for things like chair legs and hardware. It gives an even finish without any brushstrokes.

How to Update Furniture with Hardware

hardware in kitchen

Swapping out generic or dated drawer pulls and knobs for something more modern is an instant furniture facelift.

This is especially impactful in the kitchen. Changing your cabinet hardware is way cheaper than new cabinets, but it can completely change the look.

We like to mix metals for an eclectic, collected vibe. Think brass and black or silver and gold. It’s all in the details.

How to Make Furniture Look Expensive With Fabric

different swatches of upholstery fabric to make cheap furniture look expensive

Okay, this one takes a little more elbow grease, but the payoff is so worth it. Reupholstering is a great way to rescue a flea market find or hand-me-down.

Choose a luxe fabric like velvet or linen and suddenly that thrifted armchair looks designer. If you’re not ready to tackle a full reupholster, try just doing the seat cushion.

It’s amazing what a square of new fabric can do. We’ve even used old curtains to give a chair a new lease on life.

Add Pillows and Throws to Make Furniture Look Expensive

how to furniture look expensive by adding pretty throw pillows

Never underestimate the power of textiles. Tossing some plush pillows on a couch or draping a chunky knit blanket over a chair instantly makes it feel more expensive.

Mix textures like fur and velvet or patterns like ikat and stripes. Layering is key to creating that rich, collected look.

I always say, splurge on pillow covers and inserts. Down-filled will give you that lush, karate-choppable look. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Incorporate Natural Materials

leather trays luxury look for home

There’s just something about natural materials that scream high-end. Marble, wood, leather – they all have an inherent luxury to them.

Now, I’m not saying go out and buy a marble dining table (though if you can, go for it). But small touches like a marble cheese board or a leather tray can elevate a space.

Even something as simple as a jute rug or a woven basket adds texture and warmth. Mother Nature knows what’s up.

Create a Focal Point

large art work to make home look expensive

Every room needs a star, and creating a focal point is an easy way to add drama and luxury.

This could be an oversized piece of art, a gallery wall, or even a statement light fixture. The key is to draw the eye and anchor the space.

In our living room, I have a huge fireplace mantel with a large photo in the center. It makes the whole room feel grander. Smoke and mirrors, baby.

Use Lighting to Make Room Look Expensive

lighting in living room to help make it look more expensive

Good lighting is everything. It can make a room feel cozy, sexy, dramatic – you name it. And lighting is the unsung hero of a luxe space. Whenever I walk into a room with just a single light on the ceiling…that screams cheap.

Think layered lighting at different heights. Table lamps, floor lamps, sconces – mix it up. And always, always put everything on a dimmer.

Soft, warm light is the quickest way to make a room feel expensive. It’s all about the glow.

Accessorize with Plants

pretty plant in a vase

Want to know the cheapest way to add life (literally) to a room? Plants.

Greenery and what you show it off in instantly makes a space feel fresh and finished. And you don’t need a green thumb to make it work.

Start with low-maintenance varieties like snake plants, ZZ plants, or succulents. Pop them in a cute planter and watch your room come alive.

For bonus points, mix sizes and leaf shapes. A tall fiddle leaf fig tree next to a trailing pothos is *chef’s kiss*.

Plants are like the icing on the cake – they just make everything better.

For How to Make Furniture Look Expensive – Choose the Right Paint Colors

white on white bedroom with a little brown trim

Paint is hands down the most transformative thing you can do to furniture (or any space, really). The right color can take a piece from meh to marvelous.

But choosing a paint color can be tricky. You want something that will elevate your piece, not cheapen it. Here are my tried-and-true tips for picking hues that scream high-end.

Go for Classic Neutrals

classic neutral paint colors

You really can’t go wrong with a classic neutral. Think whites, grays, beiges, blacks. These colors are timeless for a reason – they go with everything and instantly make a piece look more expensive.

If you’re painting wood furniture, consider an off-white or taupe. It gives that rustic, French country vibe that’s so chic right now. For a more modern look, try a cool gray or a deep charcoal.

The key is to pick a neutral with undertones that complement the rest of your space. If your room has warm tones, go for a creamy white or a sandy beige. Cool tones? Try a stark white or a blue-gray.


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Consider Metallic Finishes

metallic finishes for a luxurious look on night stand

Want to really glam up a piece? Go for the gold (or silver, or copper). Metallic finishes add instant luxury to any furniture piece.

I love a good gold leaf moment on a side table or picture frame. It’s an easy DIY that makes a big impact. You can use actual gold leaf or just go for a metallic paint.

For a more subtle sheen, try a champagne gold or a rose gold. These softer metallics add just a touch of glam without being over the top.

Create a High-Contrast Look

high contrast sofa and throw pillow

High contrast is always chic. Think black and white, navy and cream, charcoal and blush. These combos are classic for a reason – they just work.

For furniture, try painting the body of a piece one color and the drawers or doors another. A white dresser with black drawers, for example, is a showstopper.

Or, go tone-on-tone for a monochromatic moment. A deep green bookcase with slightly lighter green shelves is unexpected and elegant.

The key is to choose colors that complement each other but still have enough contrast to make a statement.

Use High-Quality Paint

sofa with dog sitting on it and high quality paint

Now, I know we’re talking about making cheap furniture look expensive, but trust me on this one – invest in good paint.

Cheap paint can leave brushstrokes, chip easily, and just generally look sloppy. A high-quality paint will go on smoother, last longer, and give you a more professional finish.

My go-to is always Farrow & Ball. Their colors are unmatched and the quality is top-notch. But if that’s not in the budget, Behr and Sherwin Williams are great options too.

And don’t forget the primer. Priming your piece before painting will help the color go on evenly and prevent chipping down the road. It’s an extra step, but it’s worth it.

How to Make Furniture Look Expensive with Simple Updates

Sometimes, the simplest changes can make the biggest difference. These easy updates will take your furniture from basic to beautiful in no time.

Replace Dated Lamp Shades

lamp shade for a more luxurious look

Lamp shades are like the shoes of the furniture world – they can make or break an outfit. If your lamps are looking a little tired, try swapping out the shades for something new.

A crisp white drum shade is always a classic choice. It’s clean, modern, and goes with everything. For a more glamorous look, try a metallic or patterned shade. A black and white stripe or a gold foil can really elevate a basic lamp.

And don’t be afraid to play with shape. A tapered shade on a boxy base or a rectangular shade on a curvy base adds visual interest.

Swap Out Drawer Pulls and Knobs

This is one of the easiest and most impactful changes you can make to a piece of furniture. Swapping outdated or generic drawer pulls and knobs for something more modern and stylish instantly updates a piece.

For a sleek, contemporary look, try a brushed nickel or matte black bar pull. These elongated handles are super chic and work well on dressers, media consoles, and kitchen cabinets.

If you’re going for a more glam vibe, try a crystal or acrylic knob. These add a touch of sparkle and sophistication to any piece. Mix and match sizes and shapes for an eclectic look.

Update Curtain Rods

curtain and curtain rod

Curtain rods are like the jewelry of the window world. They can make a big impact on the overall look of your space. If your curtain rods are looking a little lackluster, try upgrading to something more substantial.

A thick, wooden rod in a dark stain adds warmth and richness to a room. For a more modern look, try a sleek metal rod in a brushed brass or matte black finish.

And don’t forget the finials. These are the decorative ends of the curtain rod that add a finishing touch. Choose something that complements the style of your space – a faceted crystal for glam, a simple sphere for minimalism, or a fleur-de-lis for traditional.

Add Glass Tops to Tables

how to make furniture look expensive with glass table top

Want to instantly make a table look more expensive? Add a glass top. This simple addition protects the surface of your table and gives it a high-end look.

A glass top is especially great for a wood table that has seen better days. It covers up any scratches or water rings and gives the piece a whole new lease on life.

Plus, it’s an easy DIY. Just measure your table, have a piece of glass cut to size (most hardware stores will do this for you), and place it on top. Instant upgrade.

Make Furniture Look Expensive By Incorporating Luxurious Accents

textured pillows and throw blanket helps making this chairs look expensive

The devil is in the details, as they say. And when it comes to making your furniture look more expensive, it’s all about those little luxurious touches. Here are some of my favorite ways to add a touch of glam to any piece.

Layer Textured Throw Pillows

different textures of pillows on a wood bench

Throw pillows are like the accessories of the furniture world. They can completely change the look of a piece and add instant luxury.

To really up the glam factor, layer pillows in different textures. Think velvet, fur, silk, and embroidery. Mix and match patterns and colors for an eclectic, collected look.

And don’t be afraid to go big. Oversized pillows make a statement and add drama to a space. A 24×24 inch pillow on a sofa or bed is the perfect way to add some oomph.

Use Natural Materials like Marble and Wood

There’s just something about natural materials that feels inherently luxurious. Marble, wood, and stone add depth and richness to a space that can’t be replicated with synthetic materials.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – marble is expensive. And you’re right, a solid marble table or countertop can be a splurge. But there are ways to incorporate this luxe material on a budget.

Try adding a marble tray to your coffee table or a marble coaster set on your bar cart. These small touches add a hint of luxury without breaking the bank.

The same goes for wood. A solid wood piece of furniture is always going to look more expensive than something made of particle board or laminate. But you can fake it with wood accents.

Try adding a wooden bowl or vase to your shelves, or swap out your plastic picture frames for wooden ones. These small changes make a big difference.

Apply Silver Leaf to Accents

gold leaf mirror on a wall

Silver leaf is like the fancy cousin of gold leaf. It’s a bit more subdued and sophisticated, but still adds a touch of glam to any piece.

Applying silver leaf is a bit of a process, but it’s totally doable as a DIY. You’ll need silver leaf sheets, adhesive size, and a soft bristle brush. Apply the adhesive size to your piece (a picture frame, a vase, a tray, etc.), let it get tacky, then gently lay the silver leaf sheets on top. Use the brush to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.

The result is a stunning, metallic finish that looks like a million bucks. And the best part? It’s way cheaper than buying a solid silver piece.

Mix and Match Textures

combining textures from chair, to throw pillows and throw blanket on how to make furniture look expensive

Texture is key when it comes to making a space feel luxurious. And the best way to incorporate texture is to mix and match different materials.

Try pairing a chunky knit throw blanket with a sleek leather sofa, or a rough-hewn wooden coffee table with a soft velvet armchair. The contrast of textures adds depth and interest to a space.

And don’t forget about the power of a good throw pillow and blanket.

Key Takeaway:

Turning cheap furniture into luxe statement pieces is easier than you think. Use contact paper for a quick facelift, add molding for elegance, and swap out hardware to modernize. Paint does wonders, while reupholstering adds a custom touch. Don’t overlook the impact of pillows, throws, and natural materials. Focal points and strategic lighting elevate any room’s ambiance. Lastly, accessorizing with plants or choosing the right paint colors can transform your space affordably.


There you have it, my friend. 10 clever ways to make your cheap furniture look expensive and elevate your home decor game. From a fresh coat of paint to luxurious accents, these simple tricks can transform your space without breaking the bank.

The secret to transforming your furniture lies in the little things. With a bit of creativity and a few well-placed updates, you can completely change the look and feel of your pieces. So let your imagination run wild and enjoy the process!

Forget hiring a fancy interior designer – with a few simple tweaks, you can make your home look like it belongs in a magazine. The best part? You don’t need a celebrity budget to pull it off. Just use these tips to create a space that’s stylish, comfortable, and totally you. Now that’s worth celebrating!

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