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If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that renovating your house is an expensive undertaking. It’s a huge investment to make, so we really can’t blame you if you’re tempted to cut corners and skimp on your home renovation. But as they say, ‘you get what you pay for’! How can you get away with minimising your reno bills without making a home look cheap?

We all want our homes to look good and to make an impression. But getting that look of luxury doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. It could be something as simple as swapping out a pricier material (like parquet floors) for a more affordable alternative (like wood-like vinyls). But if you want to go a step further, these tricks can help make your home look like a million bucks at a fraction of the price.

#1 Your material palette can make your home feel ‘rich’ in textures

A common mistake is to focus too much on making a home look good. But what about your other senses? When designing your home, you want to engage your sense of touch as well. One of the most obvious (and yet underrated) ways of making a house feel like a home is to focus on the textures you use in the interiors. Yes, smooth walls, blank floors and plain surfaces run the risk of making your home look boring. On the other hand, wood grains, cement screed and brushed metal all bring visual interest without taking up too much space.

A diverse material palette can make your home look more exciting. Nowadays, there are plenty of options that you can choose from, all of which won’t have to exorbitantly raise the budget. Laminates come in many varieties like ones that look like wood and marble; brick-like panels are cheaper and more practical for your walls; and homogeneous tiles can replicate almost any flooring material you can think of.

#2 Layering your lighting can make a home more sophisticated

Many homeowners aren’t aware that lighting plays an incredibly important role in dictating how a home feels like. You can spend a lot of money on renovation, but without the right kind of lighting, everything will go to waste when it’s nighttime and you flick on the light switch. In fact, even the most boring of interior designs can look extra interesting with the right lighting.

Track lights, spotlights, ceiling lights and the occasional floor lamp can all work together to create the right mood of sophistication. In the above home, a cool blue-tinged accent light combined with warm downlights on the ceiling give the room personality. Some tricks include throwing light to highlight the more unique areas of the room, adding colour to influence the mood and using spotlights to emphasise a design element or specific focal point.

#3 Emphasising the abundance of space is a luxury

Let’s face it – we tend to over-design our homes. We can’t bear to see a bare wall or a corner of the room that doesn’t have a ‘purpose’. Instead, we push up furniture against every edge of the room, hang artworks and posters that we don’t really care for, and buy decor items to display on every flat surface. Even if the concept of minimalism doesn’t appeal to you, learning to appreciate ‘emptiness’ simply means that you can afford the luxury of space.

This is especially true in Singapore, where space is a precious commodity at a time where homes are getting tinier with each iteration. When renovating your home, you might want to consider cutting back on a lavish feature wall and over-the-top carpentry and allowing your home to bask in the beauty of minimalism.

We’ll be the first to admit that an all-white interior can easily look boring, or worse yet, cold and uninviting. It’s a safe and traditional colour choice (your parents’ home, for example, probably has white walls and floors) but when done right, can be breathtakingly impressive. The monochromatic home is much more difficult to pull off than you might think. It requires a heavy hand when it comes to the curation of materials and furniture, and restraint when it comes to decorating.

If you’re planning on a white-on-white theme for your home, we suggest upping the sense of luxuriousness with subtle details. Try adding classic panelling on the walls or choose a richly thick shag carpet. When you’re successful, your home can look cultured and classy.

#5 Paying attention to textures like polished surfaces can improve the aesthetics

Glossy and highly-polished surfaces tend to make a home look high-end. Sparkling chandeliers, wall-to-wall mirrored panels and shiny floors are some ways to make your home look more expensive. They can also be practical additions to a home, as they can make a space look bigger.

If you’re thinking of having reflective surfaces at home, just make sure that you balance them out with matt and organic materials. If you don’t want to look like you’re living inside a mirror ball, contrast the mirrors and gloss with wood textures or cement screed.

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