6 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Look Luxe for Less

Give your home an upscale look, even on a slim budget, with these clever DIY home decor ideas.


I'm Jeanette, a DIY enthusiast and creator behind Snazzy Home. I love to decorate with industrial elements in a classically-styled backdrop with a touch of farmhouse thrown in.

My grandfather was an antiques "picker"—he loved to repurpose items back to their original glory. He'd sometimes refer to his creations as "snazzy little things," so naturally I had the perfect name for my blog. For a while, I didn't realize then how much influence he had on my ability to see the beauty in what some would consider junk. I'm so honored that Better Homes & Gardens chose one of my projects, the DIY dog crate cover shown above, to feature in the January 2017 "I Did It!" section of the magazine. And my sheltie, Buddy, made his debut as well. What a thrill!

My own DIY journey began in 2012—I was a single parent living in a brand new builder-grade home. The housing market had just started to rebound and my circumstances forced me to keep an open mind and improve my home on an extreme budget. As for my DIY skills? I'd consider them "developing" at best.

Fast forward to today, where my passion is sharing affordable, high-impact projects that I've tackled to make our home look luxe for less. The best part? A DIY newbie can do them, too!

1. Add Wainscoting and Trim

Pergo wainscoting foyer reveal by snazzylittlethings.com
Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

I wanted my home to make a good first impression, so I focused on the foyer during my first year of DIY projects. After painting the walls a moody color, I craved the classic design elements found in my previous 1930s-era brownstone apartment. When I built this house in 2005, I knew that I wanted to add crown molding and wainscoting one day. This foyer wainscoting project significantly upgraded the overall appearance of my home and it only cost about $750 (the alternative to doing it myself would have been to pay a builder thousands!). This project is how I got hooked on power tools—they're not nearly as scary as they seem.

Check out this DIY wainscoting tutorial

2. Paint Doors With a Fresh Hue

Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

Interior and exterior doors can be used to anchor a color scheme or create even more drama and contrast. My front door was not immune to change during the foyer upgrade project, and choosing a dramatic, modern black was such a good decision. Eventually, I painted all of my interior doors a darker color as well. If black isn't your preference, go for any color that complements your aesthetic. After all, it's just paint!

Learn how to paint a door black

3. Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinetry

Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

In addition to a fresh coat of paint (another easy swap!), your cabinetry might need a little embellishment to enhance its aesthetic. In my case, I added box trim before painting our oak paneled cabinets a crisp white. I followed that with more trim at the ceiling and the bottom to close any gaps and make the kitchen look totally custom. Then I added new hardware and even removed some wood panels and replaced them with faux leaded glass. As you can tell, it was a process that evolved over time. Adding wreaths during the holidays made the cabinets look even more luxe for less!

How to upgrade your kitchen cabinets

4. Curate and Collect Meaningful Decor

victorian table chalk paint snazzylittlethings
Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

Mixing older collected pieces with new decor is a fun way to add sophistication and character to your home. Many of the antiques I've rescued and repurposed have since become my favorite pieces in my home. It takes considerable time to curate a special collection, but the payoff is gorgeous and it demonstrates a well-thought-out space.

Find thrifted home decor ideas

5. Be Resourceful

Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

Being thrifty is great, but being resourceful has saved me thousands of dollars. Honing your painting expertise or learning how to repair broken furniture are both valuable skills. Learning to decoupage has even enabled me to create my own art. Although it might not be an expensive masterpiece, it can certainly be made to look that way. It's worth it to push yourself out of your comfort zone to learn a new skill to create decor with a high-end look.

How to make your own wood trim.

6. Choose a Versatile Wall Color with Staying Power

Pergo Flooring Dining Room Transformation View from Living Area by SnazzyLittleThings
Photo Courtesy of Snazzy Home.

One of the questions I'm asked most often is, "What color is your wall paint?" I'll let you in on a little secret: It has been the same color for ten years. Wall color was a huge decision for me from the outset and, other than a few touch-ups, I've had no reason to update it because it works so well in our space. It's a warm tone during some seasons and cool in others. I can get funky and add crazy patterns and textures, or I can buy trendy chairs, art, or pillows to give my rooms a new look. It's fun knowing that I can change my rooms simply by swapping out a few accessories.

Check out this dining room

DIY projects reward those who are patient, and I'm glad that we took this longer road when making our house a home. Tastes and styles change, and I firmly believe you need to live in a space for a while before your vision becomes clear. We could have hastily made decisions five years ago that we might have regretted later. Each project was done purposefully and we were careful to match our unique tastes. We now can say that our home has evolved into exactly what we want.

I hope you will visit me at Snazzy Home where I share our latest creations, including free art downloads, furniture plans, and DIY tutorials.

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