What is it about those homes that look elegant, timeless and well, more expensive? It's really all in the decor. It's not the size of the home that matters, but how everything is presented inside. There are certain elements that are found in the more luxurious, pricier houses that can be implemented into any home - no matter of style or size. You'll see certain characteristics repeated in all the luxury homes that can easily be carried out in your home. Now, short of changing your homes bones - there are certain things that won't be easily changed, like ceiling height and overall footprint - there are many things we can do to trompe l'oeil - or trick the eye.
You'll notice the following characteristics in most of the pricier homes.
Bold. Many of the most luxurious homes are bursting with color. Deep jewel tones and bright citrus tones often scream luxury.
Gloss and Drama. There's something about a beautifully colored room that's painted in a high lacquer that just commands your attention. It's as if the walls are shouting, "Look at me! I'm important!" A gorgeous glossy black door is so much more elegant and sophisticated than one that's matte and in a shade of colonial blue. Yet, that colonial blue becomes elegant when painted in gloss.
Black. Charcoal. Elegant, rich and sexy. Especially when painted in high gloss. Bold. Drama. Commanding. Timeless and classic.
Bright. Use and take advantage of natural sunlight. Don't obstruct those windows. Ever. When hanging curtains make sure that they can be completely pulled aside on either side of the window. Make sure your home is well lit and has ample lighting. Invest in a few additional light fixtures or lamps if need be. Dimmers help set the mood and the tone. There will be times when you'll want a brightly lit home and times when you'll want to take advantage of the dimmers.
Airy. Luxurious homes always seem to have a bright and airy feel to them, even in those rooms painted in darker, bolder tones. Fake a higher ceiling and larger windows. Use mirrors to create space and light. Mirrors, when placed opposite windows reflect that natural sunlight that enters your home and will also create the illusion of a large space.
When hanging curtain Curtains... Whether you're a minimalist or not, there's an appropriate curtain style for your home and window. When hanging your curtains extend the curtain rods well beyond the windows so that when pulled open they'll give the illusion that your windows are larger than they are. Also be sure to hang the curtains right below the ceiling and not just above the window frame. Hanging them higher will create an illusion of height, whereas hanging them down low, will make your room feel shorter. Additionally, there should be enough material for them to sweep the floor. Yes, you want them all the way down to the floor... touching the floor and not practically touching the floor!
Use Metallic (golds/brasses). Just a touch. A little goes a long way. An accent piece, a light fixture, an accessory. Gold pairs wonderfully with bold and dark colors and adds a touch of luxe to your surroundings. Are you the daring type? Try a gold wall on for size. If you do keep in mind that the rest of the room should complement the gold wall. Too much flash and your room will instantly look like trash!
Fabrics. Textures. Prints. Just as the colors are warm and rich, your textures should be as well - rich leathers, velvets, luxurious silks, furs, delicate linens. All these wonderful textures pair well and create depth when paired together. Don't skimp on fabric. Nothing nothing can cheapen the look of a room so quickly as a bad animal print, faux fur or cheap looking leather.
Look up. Don't forget your ceilings. Paint or wallpaper your ceilings. It's all in the detail. Your rooms are like canvasses. Cover them all. Cover them well.
Look down. If you see wall to wall carpeting beneath, rip it up! Rip it up now! Refinish those wood floors so that they shine and stand out on their own. If you don't have wood floors you may want to consider installing them. For those on a budget there are some great looking laminates out there. Or consider painting your floors a fun color or pattern. Layer your floors with lush rugs to add warmth and more texture.
Details. Don't overlook the details. If your walls are lacklustre consider adding moulding - to the baseboards, chair-rail and your ceiling. You'll notice that the high end homes have a great deal of character and the moulding really makes a room feel elegant, classic and historic.
Artwork. Your walls are a canvas. Fill them up. Large pieces, small pieces. Many sizes clustered together. You needn't invest in a De Kooning, Warhol or Chagall. Pick up pieces from your travels, even those of your children can look elegant when grouped in like frames, or stand out singularly in ornate ones. Look to consignment shops for art and frames. Even decorative pieces that can accent your decor.
Books. You'll notice that the loveliest of homes all have walls and piles of books. You'll find books color coded in bookshelves, and art and decorating books piled carefully and purposefully on coffee tables.