One of my favorite things on this planet? Decorating a house on a budget and making it look like you spent a fortune. Here are 14 ideas to make your house look more expensive.

house look more expensive outdoor porch

Hello rock star.

How is your spring going? I hope it’s just like mine.

Full to the brim of projects.

I was looking back over the last couple of years and I couldn’t believe all the projects that we’ve finished. And the best part? In typical Thistlewood fashion, we finish everything on a budget with creative solutions to challenging projects. We have children in college and not a lot of money left over for “new” anything.

So instead?

We improvise.

And just between us? Improvising is my favorite. It’s how to get creative with the dollars that you have to create the look of expensive projects without breaking the bank.

So just in case you needed a few project ideas for your spring and summer?

Here are 12 ideas to make your house look more expensive.

how to make your house expensive concrete porch

12 Ideas To Make Your House Look More Expensive

1. paint a concrete porch

This is one of my favorite DIY’s we did at the house.

It’s so cute that it makes me smile every day and you can recreate the look of expensive tile for under $100.

This is what the porch looked like before.and what it looks like now and how we painted it.

how to make your house expensive columns

2. disguise those metal columns

These were what the columns on our back carport have looked like for their entire lives.

If you’ve ever priced columns, you know it’s SO EXPENSIVE to remove them and add new ones.

So instead?

We came up with this solution.

house look more expensive transom

3. make a transom out of windows

This is a DIY from the farmhouse. I wanted a custom transom for this space. And then? I priced them. YIKES. We make this one out of a window we found in the trash. You can see the DIY transom how-to here.

how to make your house expensive copper roof

4. paint a faux copper roof

See that little roof on the side?

It’s just ordinary metal.

But now we’ve transformed it and made it look SO MUCH cuter with a little copper.

You can see the entire before and after here.

house look more expensive house numbers

5. write out your house numbers

Why just add your address when it can be even cuter?

You can spell out your number with letters instead of digits.

See the entire how to here. turning-a-bookcase-into-a-built-in

6. make a built-in out of a standard bookcase

Built-ins can be so expensive. We have a space upstairs that I wanted to turn into a reading nook. We had these standard bookcases and I had a vision to turn them into built-in. See how we transformed the space here.

7. Painting brick

We transformed the front of our house by painting the brick.

This was one of the most popular posts of the year and one of the most cost-affordable ways to update your home that looks like you spent so much money to transform it.

See how we painted it and a little before and after here.

8. Paint a garden shed

This was another one of my most popular projects for 2019.

We updated the garden shed in the back of the yard with paint.

See the before and after and how we did it here.

9. update your baseboards

I just shared this project with the office update. It’s an easy way to turn standard baseboards into ones that look like they belong in a mansion in Newport (can you tell I’ve been listening to historical fiction?) In case you missed it, you can see the entire project here. plate-rack

10. Build a plate rack

I’ve had these in my last two houses and it LOVE them so much. All they take to build are some 1″ x 2″ and some picture frame molding. See how to build a plate rack here.

11. how to create built-ins from kitchen cabinets

There’s a landing at the top of the stairs that didn’t really have any storage or really even a purpose. So these built-ins were added from kitchen cabinets. You can see the entire project here.

12. add molding over your windows

One of the easiest ways to make your house look more expensive? Add molding. Over the doors, around ceilings, windows, and kitchen cabinets. Here’s how our kitchen cabinets were extended all the way to the ceiling and disguised the extension with a little molding.

In amazing news?

Your house is already amazing.

It’s yours after all.

These are just some simple and creative ideas to stretch the budget to make your projects even more affordable.

And now?

Happy spring(and may it be full of projects). 🙂 PS You can see tons more ideas on my Pinterest projects page here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I love them all. Some would never be feasible for me but I still love them all. Thank you for the inspring thoughts.

  2. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    Love these ideas! I learned from my mom (out of necessity) that the most frugal solutions are usually the most interesting because they're creative. You're full of great solutions, Karianne! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Good Monday Morning, Thank You for some great ideas. I love the built ins! I hope you had a most wonderful Easter with your family.

  4. Image for Leisa Haynes Leisa Haynes

    Read every single article and loved everything! You are a painting master for sure! Keep it up...however I don't know how many projects you have going! LOL From your friend across the Red River

  5. Image for Dee Dee

    I loved revisiting each of these again, so many amazing ideas that truly were transformative! I love it it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to do and I could implement some of those things in my own home as well. You are always full of the best ideas!

  6. Image for LORRI LORRI

    Love these ideas... so many are doable😁 Of course they are because you have done them all ! It just takes time, money and a handy person. Thank you for all these awesome ideas.

Comments are closed.