A lot of you ask me what you can do if you have a builder-grade home that doesn’t have much character, so today I’m sharing some of my secret styling hacks when I’m wanting to get a million-dollar look in a home but on a very tight budget.
Because seeing it is believing it, you can see all of these hacks in the bedroom makeover we did for my mother-in-law in celebration of hitting 100k subscribers on YouTube!
Hack #1- Buy the Best Quality You Can Afford
You want to make sure you are buying the best quality you can afford because it will save you money in the long run! For my mother-in-law’s bedroom, we got a gorgeous smoky-toned dresser from Article and a bed with a beautiful tufted headboard from Wayfair. I promise if you walked into that room you would have no idea the furniture was that inexpensive!
Hack #2- Splurge on the Right Things
I truly believe even spending $100 or less on coffee table books can make a space feel complete! I wanted my mother-in-law to have beautiful books in her room, so I gave her some of my favorite coffee table books that will allow her to sit and enjoy her space. You can also save money by adding vintage books from thrift stores!
Hack #3- Shop Target
The night before my mother-in-law’s bedroom makeover, I realized we needed more options, so off to Target we went! I always overbuy and return the other stuff (I guess that’s my other hack!). Some of my favorite Target collections are Studio McGee, Threshold, Project 62, and Magnolia. Maybe one day I’ll even get to have my own collection at Target– a girl can dream!
Hack #4- Add Personality
Any home you look at that has a high-end feel but still feels homey always has thoughtful personal touches that reflect the homeowners. For my mother-in-law, I knew I needed to include the old portraits she has of her parents. These are very sentimental and added such a beautiful personal touch to her space!
Another one of my favorite ways to add personality is by incorporating items brought back from travels (like some of the items Jack pointed out that his mom had purchased when she visited us in Morocco)!
Hack #5- Add Fragrance
No matter how gorgeous your room is, if it smells weird it just tanks the whole thing. Make sure your space always smells great by adding amazing candles like those in the Magnolia collection at Target!
Hack #6- Remove Textured Ceilings
Many builder-grade homes have textured ceilings that make the space feel closed in and dark. Textured ceilings just don’t feel very high-end! They can be very time-consuming to remove, but it makes such a huge difference!
Hack #7- Use a Luxurious Color Palette
Even before I consider what is going into a space or how much money I have, I always start by choosing a color palette. It’s not very nice to say, but some colors just read cheap. It makes such a difference to choose more luxurious colors that will give you a high-end look!
Hack #8- Add a Throw Blanket
It wouldn’t be the House of Valentina without suggesting a throw blanket! I’m sorry, but you need a blanket in your space! I recently found some incredible blankets from H&M Home that I showed in our H&M haul.
Hack #9- Source Affordable Linens
Your bed touches you all night, so it should be totally touchable! Even if I have a big budget, I will always squeeze in a few budget-friendly things like quilted shams from H&M Home, linens from Tuft & Needle, and other bedding from Amazon and Target.
Hack #10- Add Ambiance with Lighting
Even when you’re working on a budget, ambiance is an affordable thing to add. Just open up the curtains and add layers of lamps! In my mother-in-law’s room, we added beautiful bedside table lamps that make it feel like a sophisticated hotel room.
Hack #11- Use Black to Add Sophistication
I knew my mother-in-law’s home was not going to be black and white like our home, but we wanted to use black to make the space feel a little more chic and sophisticated. You don’t need to add a lot of black just subtle hints in items like lamps, side tables, picture frames, and even the legs of a bench add just enough depth to ground the space!
Hack #12- Add Character with Furnishings and Accessories
When you have a builder-grade home, the #1 thing you need to do is add character! For my mother-in-law, I didn’t do my typical tricks like adding trim, limewash, or wallpaper because I wanted to keep it simple. She doesn’t like things that feel too fancy, so we added a beautiful chandelier from Wayfair. I’m still blown away by how much character it added to the space!
Hack #13- Use Printable Art or Prints
In the design world, sometimes prints or art that aren’t vintage are considered a little “uncool”, but I don’t think you need to drop a lot of money on your art to get the same look. In my mother-in-law’s room, the art pieces above her bed are just printouts from Etsy displayed in Target frames!
Hack #14- Add Life with Greenery
Adding greenery will really elevate your space! For my mother-in-law, I simply took a few branches from a tree in her backyard and added them to a vase in her room!
Hack #15- Use Vintage Items
Be sure to include vintage items in your space! You can do a lot with a little even just by adding a few accessories you picked up from thrift stores.
What is your favorite million-dollar home hack? Let me know in the comments!