Luxury Interior Design That Doesn’t Break The Bank

Home is a retreat and for many, that means it should feel luxurious. Of course, not everyone has a budget to match their desires, however, it is definitely possible to achieve luxury interior design that doesn’t break the bank. From small touches to larger elements — pick and choose the tips that will give you the most luxury bang for your buck. And, be sure to start with the room that is the most important to you.

Luxury home decor accents you should look for

But what, you might ask, makes a space luxurious? While it’s one of those “I know it when I see it” things, it is entirely possible to define what elements contribute to making a home feel luxurious. Here are some of the features that luxurious rooms have in common:

It’s All About Comfort

Not surprisingly, luxury is equal parts appearance and comfort. In fact, the dictionary definitions of luxury involve words like sumptuous living, indulgence and comfort. A truly luxurious space can’t just look good:

It has to be a bit hedonistic and feel really good. This is why true luxury does not have to fit within a specific design genre and is not all about opulence, glitz and glam. Spaces can be supremely luxurious without any velvet or crystals when the right qualities are present.

Luxury Involves Customization

Customization means making something fit your specific needs. For a space to be truly luxurious, it has to fit your lifestyle, incorporate elements that make your days and nights more comfortable and as well as look attractive. Any customized elements should reflect your personality in a high-quality way.

All Choices Are Thoughtful

More than any other interior decorating endeavor, creating a luxurious space requires thoughtful planning and careful choices. No element is left to chance or just thrown in as an addition. This doesn’t mean automatically buying the most expensive choice for each item; rather, each piece is considered for its role in comfort and aesthetics and how it works with the room as a whole.

Rich Materials Are a Must

All the fabrics and materials in a luxurious interior are rich in texture, feature fabulous colors and feel like a million bucks — whether they cost that much or not. The texture is also important for creating a comfortable and luxe space.

These textiles can be patterns or solids, neutrals or brights, but when you touch them or sit on them, they feel as marvelous as they look. This extends to finishes and other surfaces too, which again do not have to be glitzy. Plenty of homes are designed with a high degree of casual luxury that has a sense of comfort and ease all its own. At the same time, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sustainable materials in a luxurious space too.

Attention to Details

Details make the difference and that is definitely the case in luxury interiors. Whether it is the detailing on a specific piece of furniture, the curves in some architectural features of the house, or the choice of hardware and fixtures in the bathroom or kitchen, nothing is overlooked in luxury interiors. As we noted before, everything is thoughtfully done, and that includes the smallest of details. As a matter of fact, it is those small details that can turn a room from a nice one into a luxurious one.

Less. Is. More

You might notice that most luxurious interiors have plenty of open space. Furniture is not crowded and the accessories and accents are few and well edited. This is a key feature in upgrading the vibe for spaces large and small. Subtracting before adding is always a good idea. Even rearranging the furniture to create more open space can make a room feel more luxurious. The same goes for clutter: You won’t find it in a luxe interior.

Spa Shower

This might be one of the most inconspicuous ways to add luxury to your home, but a spa-like bath experience is one of the most lavish things you can have on a daily basis. Granted, unless you are remodeling your bathroom, you likely can’t incorporate major Zen elements like a soaking tub, but you can easily and affordably swap out your shower head, or even add some luxe shower accessories.

If it’s matter of just the shower head, this is usually a fairly simple DIY project. This shower from Lixil is made for two and includes handles sprayers along with dual rainfall showers, a sink, bench and a mirror. If you need a plumber, it can still be a great investment because it’s one you’ll luxuriate in every single day.

A fantastic shower is a daily luxury.View in gallery
A fantastic shower is a daily luxury.

Faucets

Yes, the utilitarian faucet you have from the home store works just fine, but installing higher-end faucets can really make a bathroom or kitchen look more luxurious. The gleaming finishes and one-0f-a-kind detailing on more expensive fixtures are very distinctive. Whether you choose a blinged out version like this one from THG or something more modern, there are luxury fixtures that fit every style. If your aim is to make an impression of luxury on guests, install a special faucet in a guest bathroom.

Upgraded faucets make an immediate design difference.View in gallery
Upgraded faucets make an immediate design difference.

Countertops

Even if you’re not remodeling the kitchen, installing new countertops can completely change the feeling of a kitchen. Updated materials and different characteristics can turn a plain kitchen into a luxury design.

This type of granite countertop seems extra posh because of its thickness. The look can be achieved with new materials that are lighter and cost less than a traditional solid stone version.

The staggered arrangement is a non-standard look, which also contributes to the feeling of a luxurious interior design. (Adding LED strip lighting under the island adds a feeling of custom luxury too!) Because countertops are the dominant surface in most kitchens, they have a significant impact on how the space looks.

High-end countertops immediately change a kitchen.View in gallery
High-end countertops immediately change a kitchen.

Freestanding Fireplace

A standard fireplace in the living room is a standard feature, but having one in the middle of the room or in a bedroom or bathroom is most certainly an element of luxury interior design. Innovative technologies have now made it possible to have one almost anywhere in your home, without rebuilding walls or installing expensive ventilation.

New freestanding biofuel fireplaces will emit heat and can be installed in interior spaces to add the look — and the feeling — of warmth. Other new technologies use lighting and water vapor in a sophisticated combination to mimic real dancing flames, but they don’t emit heat and are safe to use anywhere. Best of all, these freestanding units can be moved to another location.

New tech lets you have this in any room.View in gallery
New tech lets you have this in any room.

Surround Yourself with Sound

Surrounding yourself with sound is another one of life’s luxuries that can be affordably incorporated into any home thanks to technology. Gone are the days when expensive sound systems had to be wired into a home, costing tens of thousands.

Now you can use wireless speakers in every room of the house to create a grand sound scape. Yes, budget-friendly speakers of all kinds are available, but you can also choose speakers that incorporate art. These are the Parentesit modular wall panel speakers from Arper. Lievore Altherr Molina designed the panels that not only serve as speakers, run through a smartphone app, but they also provide artful accent lighting and help absorb noise.

Speakers can be an artful addition to a space.View in gallery
Speakers can be an artful addition to a space.

Elegant Lighting Fixtures

Hands-down, the easiest way to turn a room’s decor into a luxury interior design is by adding stand-out lighting. Traditionally, luxury lighting was almost always considered to be an opulent chandelier — which it still is — but now designers have created many more options that fit into today’s modern spaces.

As much art as they are lighting, designs like this one from Contardi create a distinctive atmosphere and elevate a space from ordinary to opulent. These elegant fixtures can be the centerpiece of a room, or, can define a segment of the space as these geometric lights do.

Lighting is the easiest way to transform a space into luxury.View in gallery
Lighting is the easiest way to transform a space into luxury.

Window Dressing

Drapes and curtains can be a budget-friendly upgrade to turn a space into a luxury interior design. Generous, long and pooling on the ground — these are all characteristics that will make windows feel finished and lavish.

Choosing curtains that are a bit more structured can make them feel custom, even if they are not. Small details like heftier rods and hardware, opulent tiebacks, and lining all make window treatments feel more like a luxury element. If a more ethereal look is your style, then generous and flowing sheer panels can still convey luxury as long as they are very full and wide.

Curtains are a critical finishing touch for a luxury interior design.View in gallery
Curtains are a critical finishing touch for a luxury interior design.

Trims and Moldings

Look beyond the baseboards when you want to turn a room into a luxury interior design using trims and moldings. In fact, adding a crown molding on the ceiling or at the edges of a traditional ceiling incorporates a high-end detail that will not go unnoticed.

Painting the ceiling or the inset section of a tray will highlight the molding and make the room feel tailored. Granted, this is a more traditional style of decor, but the concept still works for upgrading more modern spaces, depending on the profile of the molding you choose: The more ornate the molding, the more traditional the look.

Trims and moldings elevate a space to luxury design.View in gallery
Trims and moldings elevate a space to luxury design.

 A Great Paint Job

Unless it is for an all-white room, few luxury interior designs rely on white walls to create an opulent feeling. Any space is going to feel more sumptuous with color on the wall. It does not have to be bold, but it does have to be integrated into the decor scheme and serve as an anchor for everything else in the room. While wall coverings, especially textured ones, also make a room luxurious, the cost is much higher.

This by Benjamin Moore Paints is a great example of a muted shade that still packs a design punch, even though it works as a neutral. The color is highlighted by the white molding and chair rail and serves to tie the entire space together. It is also critically important that it be a good paint job. A room will never look luxurious if it has messy corners and paint spatters from poor painting technique.

Paint is a budget decorator's best friend.View in gallery
Paint is a budget decorator’s best friend.

Mix, Don’t Match

Look at any luxury interior design and you’ll immediately notice that it’s not matchy-matchy. There’s no bigger sign of a low-cost interior than where the sofa matches the love seat, which matches the wood on the coffee table, which has stylistically identical companion side tables.

The same goes for bedroom sets. The key to a sophisticated and upscale room is to mix pieces that complement one another. Take a look at this luxury interior design. Within the defined color palette, each of the pieces in the living room is different.

The sinuous white sofa has a Victorian silhouette and silver legs, while the upholstered bench is tailored and modern. The coffee tables are a trendy mix of two, one modern and the other with a modern top and traditional legs. The love seat has a casual style. Moreover, the focal point of the room is the black chandelier, which is opulent and far from traditional.

Artfully mixed pieces yield a far more interesting and sophisticated room.View in gallery
Artfully mixed pieces yield a far more interesting and sophisticated room.

Details, Details

The idiom that “the devil is in the details” rings true where luxury interior design is concerned. Some of the biggest differences between luxury pieces and “regular” furnishings and decor are in the details.

Hardware, trimmings, knobs, legs and other peripheral characteristics get more attention in luxury decor. These are also some of the easiest ways to upgrade decor. The quickest and easiest upgrade is to swap out cabinet or door hardware for more luxe, artful versions, like these from Lisa Jarvis.

Anything that looks more custom than what comes from the builder’s store can make a huge difference. The same goes for table bases and legs. Like your furniture but want to add a metallic touch? Paint the legs. Look at each piece in the room and see what detailed changes you can make the space more luxurious.

Details make all the difference and distinguish luxury interior designs.View in gallery
Details make all the difference and distinguish luxury interior designs.

Pick an Investment Piece

Having a stand-out piece of furniture — big or small — can really ramp up the luxury factor and change the vibe of the entire room. If you can afford to invest in a larger piece, do it. If not, a smaller one, like a luxurious chair or extra special side table, can do the trick. Even if new furniture is not an indoor budget, try investing in a top grade accessory.

A really great high-end cushion added to an existing chair can change up the look as can a major piece of wall art or a decor piece, such as a vase or sculpture. Get creative and see where your budget can have the biggest impact.

One large investment piece will set the tone for the entire room.View in gallery
One large investment piece will set the tone for the entire room.

So you see, it doesn’t require a stratospheric budget to create a luxury interior design that wows friends and family and makes your life more pleasant.

It’s a matter of deciding how much you can spend, in which room you want to invest it, and which one these ideas will give you the most bang for your buck, both financially and in terms of daily life.