With the apparent shift in us working in our homes more than ever before, even with the easing of restrictions, homeowners and homeworkers are rapidly turning to home improvements to ensure their increasingly frequent surrounding is as enjoyable place as possible to reside. This appears to have increased further with the ending of the stamp duty holiday, reducing the rush to move versus improve. For some, this is simple painting and decorating, replacing worn furniture, and adding a few luxuries. However, for others this is something slightly more dramatic. Major improvements such as extensions, internal renovations, and garden buildings appear to be sharply on the rise.
With this in mind, we collaborated with nine experts to discuss 40 ways that people can make their homes look and feel more luxurious – from affordable finishing touches to bigger renovations and installations. Read on to find out more…
There are plenty of ‘affordable’ finishing touches which can make your home look and feel more luxurious – some of which can actually be free!
Paint a feature wall with a mural – if you’re arty you could paint something more complicated but if you’re not confident with your creativity or you’re short on time a few geometric shapes plotted out and painted in can look amazing to create a designer-looking focal point. Even a simple rectangle that highlights a gallery wall in a bold colour can look stunning.
Cost is a tester pot of paint or two depending on the number of colours you decide to use: can be £1-10.
Art doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can look it – wall art can help to completely tie a room together. Find a statement art piece and hang it on your wall. This will have a big impact. Be sure to choose art that fits in well with the rest of the décor in the room. For example, if your room has a traditional feel to it, an abstract pop-art painting will probably stick out like a sore thumb.
You can find inexpensive, fun pieces at your local charity shops if you keep your eye out. Wall art tends to cost around £10-£100 each on average.
Painting and decorating your home can completely transform the look and feel of your living space. Redecorate using a calm or colourful interior scheme depending on your tastes. If you’re looking to save money, you can choose to paint and decorate the space yourself, in which case, you will only need to pay for the materials such as paint, wallpaper, brushes, rollers, etc. However, many people choose to hire a professional to decorate their home for them to ensure it’s finished to the highest quality possible.
The average cost to hire someone to paint and decorate your entire home is around £1,500-£4,500. The prices will vary depending on the materials you choose, your location in the UK, and the size of your home.
The feeling of space is what everyone wants when they extend but you don’t necessarily need to get an extension to achieve that. You can more affordably expose your timber floorboards and paint them and your skirting, or even your whole wall the same colour.
One of the simplest ways to make your home look luxurious (and expensive) is to just use neutral colours, for both paint and furniture. Lighter colours give a more spacious look than darker colours but whichever colour you choose using the same colour on floor, skirting and walls makes the edges less obvious so the space will look bigger.
The prices will vary depending on what paint brand you use, but to sand and paint your floorboards it will cost around £20 per square meter.
Say no to clutter in your house. Ask yourself do you really need this particular item? When you live in a house for so long, clutter can start to grow without you even noticing. If you can’t throw things away, then look for some chic baskets and bins to help get your clutter organised.
Luxury is all about attention to detail and comfort, and appealing to all the senses is a good place to start – such as scented candles or diffusers. Candles add substance, style, elegance, and class to any space.
Additionally, adding mirrors to your walls can help to improve the feeling of luxury within the home. Not only do mirrors look great, but they also help light flow through the room and can ultimately turn a dull, lifeless room into a beautiful, bright, and inviting space.
Displaying flowers and plants in your room will give it an instant facelift. Plus, plants can make you feel good as well as lift a drab space and create a luxurious and exotic look.
Find a favourite vase and add a colourful bouquet. If you have green-fingered friends who could give you cuttings from their plant, then you can do this for the cost of a bit of compost. A beautiful plant pot can be a lot more expensive than the plant, but you can use a large food tin and paint it with some chalk paint for a lower cost option that looks at home with the rest of your room decor.
You don’t need to worry about using real plants if you don’t have a green thumb, but just try to avoid any plastic-looking fake plants (you’ll easily be able to tell the difference). Costs can range from free to £40, depending on how DIY you go.
While it’s only a very small section of the entire home, adding tableware to your dining space can help to make the area seem much more luxurious. Stylish or pretty glassware and tableware, along with linen napkins, makes a meal more of an occasion.
Tableware items such as bowls, plates and mats can be purchased in a range of colours, patterns, and styles. Take a look at your space and choose a tableware set that compliments the colour scheme and design of the room.
You can purchase complete sets of tableware for around £18-£80, depending on the design, brand, and quality of the items included.
Window treatments can make a huge impact and a set of custom curtains can set you back a pretty penny, but you can get a luxurious look by layering a blind and extra-long sheers.
Depending on your style and if you need a blackout result you could use a simple plain blackout roller blind, or you could get a more romantic bohemian digital nomad look with a bamboo blind. The key is to hang your curtain pole high up on the ceiling to get the long draping sheers.
A blackout roller blind will cost around £10-15, bamboo roller blinds are typically between £10-20, a curtain pole is approximately £15-£30, and long sheers range from £3.50-£20.
Layer rugs to update your floor. To get a large enough rug you can get smaller (and lower cost) rugs and sew them together or use carpet binding tape.
Small cotton rugs can typically cost around £10 each – however, you might need between 4-6 for a larger space, and possibly want to layer these over a more textured rug like a shag pile (£20), so costs can quickly increase.
When you are looking for cheap and easy ways to make your home look and feel more luxurious, one of the best ways to do this is to upgrade your duvet sets. Good quality bed linen and fluffy towels are also always appreciated.
Grey and silver are in-style right now and having a shine on your duvet sets will make your home look more luxurious instantly.
The prices will vary depending on how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in your home, as well as which brand and size you decide to purchase from.
A great way to make a home feel more luxurious is with an upcycle. You may have a piece of furniture that you’ve had for a while and has simply gone out of style, something you’ve inherited and don’t want to part with but doesn’t fit your decor or you can source something.
A lot of old furniture can have really dark heavy finishes but underneath that can be some truly stunning wood – there are some amazing products on the market that allow you to keep this wood exposed. Adding texture or pattern to part of the piece is another great way to update furniture. Replace the centre panel in a cupboard door with some hessian to contrast the sleek lines of the wood or add a pattern to take your piece up a level. Straight lines or geometric patterns work well, their crisp lines really work to add a sense of luxury.
When you have your piece finished and perfect, staging it and lighting can have a huge impact on its overall look. Remember to add greenery, work in threes with accessories and add height and texture to truly set you piece off, remember don’t be tempted to over clutter it though.
Social media marketplaces is a great place to find furniture at incredible prices and sometimes you can even be lucky enough to find the perfect item for free. Stains and waxes can be picked up from DIY stores for around £10-£20, and good quality furniture paint starts from only £20.
Good lighting is essential and can really make a difference to the look and mood of a home. In particular, having a good light to read by can add another touch of luxury to your home. As well as ceiling and wall lights, table lamps and floor lamps can make quite a design statement, allowing for touches of colour and texture. Built-in LED lighting in areas such as the kitchen countertops can also be a great finishing touch.
The average cost for ceiling lights is around £10-£100 per light fitting, depending on the style and design that you choose. Table lamps tend to cost around £10-£80 on average, standing lamps are around £50-£150, and built-in LED lighting tends to cost around £100-£300.
Brightening up your home with an LED neon sign is a great way to add a little luxe to your space without spending too much money. They look great in any room of the house and come in various colours and styles.
Adding a simple neon word sign onto a fun, wallpaper-covered wall is a great way to make your space look and feel more opulent, or turn your home bar into an opulent oasis.
Choosing items that may feature a bit of “bling” or “frosting” (as they say in Essex) can give that glamorous luxury feel. Also, metallic finished – such as chrome and rose gold – can also add that touch of class.
If you already have picture frames, mirror frames, plant pots, trays, and other bits and bobs and don’t want to go out and buy all brand-new items, then turn them gold. This is a big look that can be easy on the wallet. Buy a can of gold spray to update all these items and you will instantly add a bit of glamour to any room.
There are some easy and incredibly affordable ways to update furniture, and a simple update of handles is a quick and inexpensive update which can have a huge impact. Black hardware is replacing the typical chrome finish we’ve all been used to for so long, and gold or brass coloured hardware has also made a real revival and is bang on trend. Likewise, a rich brass or worn antique handle can really add depth and warmth and really change the feel, or you might be tempted with some stone knobs that can add some great texture.
For your kitchen, why not change your handles to something more tactile, or get a new towel bar in your bathroom that coordinates with your existing drawers. You can find pulls from as little as £5, or take a look on social media marketplaces and you might find some for free.
You can make your home look and feel much more luxurious by simply adding some furniture to each room. Comfortable sofas and chairs finished with cushions and throws, as well as having somewhere to put your glass down, are key.
Take a look at your furniture and highlight anything which is excessively worn or tired looking. For a lot of people, corner sofas are the hallmark of a luxury living room and improving your coffee table in the living room is a sure-fire way to give your home that luxury feeling you are looking for.
Purchasing a sofa, bed frame, mattress, TV stand, and some other pieces of furniture that can help to make your house look more like a home, and you can furnish an entire one-bedroom property for as little as £1,500.
Throws are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to add a touch of luxury to your home, whether that is in your living room or bedroom. Replace sad skinny cushions with lovely plump ones, if you’re not vegan then feather filled ones are the best and get a size slightly larger than the cover. You don’t need too many cushions though so pick two or three favourites and get rid of the rest, or rotate them.
Grey is a colour that is on-trend right now, and when you look at many luxury homes, it’s hard to ignore the splashes of grey they have around the home.
If buying new windows are too expensive, you could always paint uPVC window frames or doors yourself. Popular colours include Anthracite and Agate.
There are lots of specialist paints that will cover up the existing colour and you could probably do your whole house for about £200. In addition, there are lots of companies who will come and spray your existing windows and doors for a more professional finish. This costs about £700.
If you have an underused loft conversion, you can create more space by way of incorporating a walk-in wardrobe to really give it that premium feel.
A well-designed (and maintained) outdoor area to entertain is always an asset with a huge variety of outdoor garden furniture and fabrics, it can be the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outside. Weeding the front garden and tidying up any shrubs with a bit of pruning will also upgrade the look of your home and if you don’t like doing this yourself then you could have a gardener regularly do this for you for a couple of hours a month.
A gardener will cost in the region of £150-£200 per day, and many local gardeners will offer an hourly rate for regular customers, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on landscaping for an expensive look – investing in some perennials for a flower bed that will come back year after year gives your home a fresh look outside.
Another upgrade for the front of your home is to build some housing for your wheelie bins. A timber store looks so much better than having them all on show – treat it with a good quality and long lasting eco wood protector to avoid the need for regular maintenance.
A timber store will cost between £300 – £1,500 (depending on if you get something off the shelf in a DIY store, or get one made for you), and a good quality and long lasting eco wood protector will likely cost about £70 for a tin, plus a paintbrush.
If you have more of a budget to play with, then there are various renovations and installations which can add a more premium look and feel to your home. In many cases, these changes can also add value to your property.
If you’re looking to impress visitors and feel better as you arrive home the driveway is an impactful place to upgrade the look of your home. Driveways come in many styles, such as block paving, gravel, and tarmac, and the prices will vary greatly.
Remember that increasing the size of your driveway does require planning permission and any materials should allow water to drain through or run off into some soft landscaping. Alternatively, lining your driveway with Buxus plants and white pebbles give that luxurious feel too and can be cheaply obtained from popular DIY stores.
On average, you can expect to pay around £2,100-£9,000 for a new driveway in the UK. The prices will depend on the size of the driveway, the location of your property, and the materials used. Resin bound recycled glass allows water to percolate through and can be used to refinish an existing driveway to update it – this costs around £40-£65 per square meter.
If you’re looking to impress visitors and feel better as you arrive home the driveway is an impactful place to upgrade the look of your home. Driveways come in many styles, such as block paving, gravel, and tarmac, and the prices will vary greatly.
If you want to improve the look of a particular room, adding new flooring may be a perfect choice. This is especially true if your flooring is quite old, worn, or outdated. A popular choice at the moment is parquet flooring in grey.
The average cost of installing new flooring is around £400-£1000 per room. The price you pay will depend on the type of flooring that you choose, the size of the room, and your location in the UK. If you want to save even more money, you can install the flooring yourself as long as you have the knowledge and experience needed to do the job well.
New windows and doors will increase kerb appeal to your home, and as homes get older, the need for replacing windows and doors becomes even greater. They’re something you’ll see every time you arrive home, so not only will you get the visual benefit, but they’re likely to get you a higher rating in an EPC if you ever sold your house, which is ultimately adding value and reducing your monthly utility bills (and also better for the environment).
One of the easiest ways you can add luxury to your home is to replace your windows and doors for a more luxury style or material! Another way to make your space look bigger is to extend your views – you can do this by extending windows down (so you remove the wall below the window and drop the sill). This gives you a window that can come down to the floor or closer to it so you can get more natural light in and enjoy more of the view to outside.
The average cost of replacing all of the windows on your home is around £3,000-£8,000. The prices will vary depending on the types of windows that you choose, your location in the UK, and the size of your home. If you drop the sill down below 800mm you will need to use a slightly more expensive laminated or toughened glass to meet building safety requirements – this can cost £1,000-3,000 to do depending on the materials used and the size of the window.
A well-designed kitchen with quality fixtures and fittings and a practical working layout is always a pleasure to cook in. A great update if you couldn’t afford a whole new kitchen would be to change just the cabinet doors – these are readily available from many high street retailers and local suppliers.
At this stage it would also be advisable to change your door handles and knobs. Also, you can have old laminate worktops ‘clad’ in solid stone, so you get a really luxurious high-end feel without all the disruption. By using these methods, updating your kitchen might cost £1,000, roughly.
If you can afford a whole new kitchen this would be a great addition to your home. It’s typically the place we spend most of our time and is the main selling point prospective buyers look at when considering moving home.
From kitchen worktops to kitchen cupboards to a new sink and appliances, renovating and updating your kitchen can drastically improve the feeling of luxury within your home. Branded appliances, an open-plan design, and a separate kitchen island can all make a big difference. Nowadays, having an instant hot tap to exclude a kettle also adds that extra factor.
With payment plans common now, this kind of drastic change is more affordable than you think. The average cost of a new kitchen installation is around £5000-£30,000. The prices will vary depending on the style and design of your new kitchen, your location in the UK, and the size of your kitchen space.
It is worth spending on quality fittings be they traditional or modern in style. Nowadays, having TVs on walls in bathrooms also adds that extra factor. Also, if predictions are correct, it won’t be long until we see the return of the Avocado bathroom suite.
The average cost of a new bathroom is around £3,000-£6,000. However, if you’re looking for a basic bathroom with basic fixtures, fittings, and décor, you can expect to pay around £1,500-£2,000. The prices for a new bathroom will vary depending on the size of the room, the fixtures and fittings that you choose, the décor that you choose, and your location in the UK. If you want to save money further, you may also choose to install some items yourself or decorate the room yourself. However, it is recommended that you choose a professional plumber or electrician for certain items unless you have the relevant experience and knowledge needed to carry out this work safely.
Homes that are a comfortable temperature are definitely luxurious as so many homes have spaces that feel cold and uncomfortable. You can get this by adding underfloor heating and insulation to your ground floor. Once you get rid of the radiators you also gain more space so this can have the additional benefit of making your furniture arrangements easier as well as visually making your space look bigger.
It’s possible to retrofit underfloor heating to extend your central heating system and replace radiators and this costs typically around £60-100 per square meter, depending on your existing flooring. For most homes the ground floor is the last place that is not insulated, but if your roof and walls are not yet insulated it’s a good idea to look into upgrading those too.
Renovations can be costly, and extensions can be among the costliest alterations you can make to your home. Definitely if you have the budget and planning permission, extending your property to have a large open plan kitchen seating area creates the divide space from your lounge. With stylish and practical design, it will be the space where everyone congregates and enjoys family and friends time.
A single-storey extension will usually cost around £1,000-£5,000 on average, two-storey extension is around £1,200-£7,000 on average. Side return extensions are usually in the range of £1,500-£2,500, and glass extensions tend to cost around £1,350-£4,000.
Not only would converting your loft or cellar make your home more luxurious, but you would also make your home more functional. You can convert a loft/cellar into a bedroom, home office, gym or yoga studio, or anything else that suits your fancy!
There are various types of loft conversions to choose from – the average cost of a basic loft conversion is around £15,000-£20,000, whereas a dormer loft conversion costs around £30,000-£60,000. Similarly, a hip-to-gable loft conversion costs around £40,000-£65,000, and a mansard loft conversion costs around £45,000-£70,000.
If you think back to your view of luxury homes from when you were a little younger, hidden rooms were likely to up there. Whatever your style and whatever your budget, there is a hidden room for everyone – you can add hidden rooms into your space in a very delicate way. For example, perhaps you could hide a study behind a bookcase, or (if you have the space and the cash) hide a basketball court behind a wall.
If you’re looking to make the outside of your home appear much more luxurious, then a new roof is the way to go. This is particularly true if your old roof is quite old or has a lot of damage.
The price of a new roof will depend on the materials used, your location in the UK, and the size of your roof. On average, you can expect to pay around £5,000-£10,000 for a new roof in the UK.
Natural light is the key to having a home look and feel luxurious – we have seen an increased number of visitors from new build enquiries to property renovators looking to improve the lighting and space in their homes. Installing rooflights are an effective way to bring in more daylight and they also extend your view to the sky, so you get a space that feels both more spacious and brighter. Walk-on rooflights are a great option for installing over a cellar or basement to add a lot of natural light and ensure useable space above.
There are various different types of rooflights, and the prices vary depending on the type that you choose. On average a new rooflight will cost around £1,000-£3,000 depending on the size of the rooflight, the material of your roof, and how much structural work is required to form the new opening in the roof.
Bi-folding doors are easily one of the most luxurious (obtainable) items you can have installed in your home. Bifold doors are a great way to add more light and a clever way to create the feeling of more space as they are a seamless connection with the outdoor area whether open or closed.
If you have a door to your garden and there’s some additional space either side of these doors, then you’d be well served adding bi-folding doors into your space. It will make your home look more luxurious, feel more luxurious and it will also improve the resale value of your home should you ever decide to sell up and move on!
Big bi-fold doors are fashionable and look great when they’re open, but for most of the year in the UK we don’t open them and then they have a lot of frame to window, which spoils the view and reduces the amount of natural light coming in. Instead, consider large panels of glazing and one large glazed opening door so you can get the indoor-outdoor feeling but can also enjoy an uninterrupted view of the garden for the majority of the time when the doors are not open. A fixed panel also won’t fail and need maintenance like an opening panel will.
The price depends on the size of the panel and material of the frame. Typically for an aluminium frame sliding folding door each panel costs £1,000-£1,500 and are commonly around 3-5 panels. Instead the larger fixed panel will cost less both to install and to maintain long term, with the added advantage of being better at retaining warmth in your home during winter months.
Installing smart home tech is a hugely popular thing to have and can make any home feel that extra bit special. There are numerous ways to incorporate this, from Alexa-enabled devices, good quality sound systems, full-blown cinema rooms, and whole-house solutions. Examples also include heating and lighting controls, security controls, door access and intercom controls, and multi-room audio installations.
There are many different options, and you can choose from basic home automation with smart tech to very advanced smart tech. Since there are so many different options, the prices can vary drastically. You could pay as little as £400 for a simple DIY smart tech installation or anywhere up to around £150,000 for a custom advanced smart home system in a large house.
Security is one of the luxuries – CCTV now is so advanced even down to the quality of the images. It costs around £575 just for 2 cameras and the recording box.
Log cabins in gardens to have as either gyms or office space are now hugely popular, especially due to the pandemic. Working from home is a lot more common now, so a garden office can be a great selling point. It goes one step further than just a simple office in the house and works as an extra living space. It also helps people have a better work/life balance since it’s separate from the actual house. A garden office might be a bit more expensive than putting a desk in a spare room in your house, but it can really add some value.
Garden offices can come in all shapes and sizes, and the prices start from around £10,000 and can go up to around £30,000. The price will vary depending on the size of the garden office, the materials used, and your location within the UK.
If you are looking to make your home look or feel more luxurious in 2022, we hope these suggestions inspire you on what is possible, no matter what your budget!
With thanks to the nine experts who gave their views for this article, including:
*The cost estimates given are illustrative only and can vary depending on quality, location, and specifications