Want to know the design center upgrades that make your home look like a million bucks? I think it’s important to choose upgrades that makes since to you. Ones that you enjoy. You think they look prettier, match your décor style or will actually function better with how you live. But let’s be real, we also want our home to look nice. And we want our home purchase to be a good investment. Or at least look like one. So, as someone who’s literally toured thousands of homes in my lifetime, including several hundred million dollar digs, I’m here to share with you what design upgrades and features make your home look more luxurious. But before we get started, go ahead and join my FREE Decorating Made Easy Challenge. You’ll learn the tricks to easily decorate your home, even if you don’t have an eye for design. Now let’s get started.
Design Center Upgrades To Make Your House Look Like A Million Bucks
- Lighting – if you want your house to look like a million bucks, one of the best things you can do is to upgrade the lighting package. First of all, get rid of those “boob” lights. Now, whether you decide to upgrade your lighting package at the design center or after you purchase, adding ceiling fans or upgrading to more elaborate flush mount lights or chandeliers will make your home look more expensive then what it is.
- Trim – like I mentioned in 10 Things I Wish I Did Differently At The Design Center When I Purchased My New Construction Home post, some trim upgrades can only be made by the builder. Or at least, they’re more cost effective that way since they require a structural upgrade. But most trim upgrades aren’t as difficult to add at the design center or after you move in. Adding wainscoting to your entry way, formal dining room or hallways ads sophistication to a space. I’ve even seen wainscoting and shadow boxes added to the guest or half bath, making them look more luxurious. Add thicker trim around doorways and more substantial crown molding to ceilings will go a long way. Consider adding crown molding in all the common areas of the first floor, including the kitchen, dining room, entry, bathroom and family room. Then continue the crown molding in the upstairs hallway, master bedroom and master bathroom. If you want to get super fancy, you can add wainscoting in the guest and kids’ bedrooms and in the basement. Taller baseboards also make a home look more luxurious. Have you ever noticed that the higher priced homes have taller baseboards? Try adding 10-inch baseboards for a million dollar feel.
- Window treatments – professional window treatments always add to the perceived value of a home. Plantation shutters are a nice upgrade – they add luxury and sophistication because they’re built-in and can be customized to match the trim around the windows. If plantation shutters aren’t your thing, or don’t fit in your budget there are other options. You can get blinds that are high quality faux wood and still have your house looking good. I have curtains in several of my windows. A few things I’ve noticed by touring million dollar homes is that curtains tend to look higher quality when they’re hanging from a thick rod. The thicker the better, and when the curtains themselves have a nice weight to them, you’ve got yourself a million dollar look.
- Built in appliances – a built in microwave is a desirable feature in high end homes. Back in the early 2000s when I purchased my first home, it was all the rage to install the microwave above the cooktop. Now, you’ll see a lot of range hoods above the stove. Whether the same finish and color as the cabinets or metal, there’s no room for a microwave above the cooktop. Instead, you’ll find a built-in microwave installed in place of cabinets. Including this feature in your design plan will add more perceived value to your home. So will a wine cooler, built-in fridge, double oven, warming drawer or mini fridge.
- Wood floors – pretty much everybody loves wood floors, right?I know some people prefer prefinished floors and others (like me) prefer sight finished floors. But I haven’t met anyone yet that didn’t at least appreciate the look of wood floors. So, to add an upgraded look to your house, have wood floors in the common areas of your home. Include them in the kitchen, dining room, entry and family room. And bring it up to notch with wood floors in the master bedroom and upstairs hallway or landing. If you live in an area where tile floors are more desirable than wood floors (part of Florida, Arizona or Texas) then consider upgrading yours.
- Upgraded carpet – so, if you read Top Tips For Making Design Center Choices You Won’t Regret, then you’ll know I have reasons to caution you about upgrading all carpet at the design center. However, just because it’s not the right move for everyone doesn’t mean that upgrading your carpet doesn’t make the house look more expensive.
- Wrought iron stair railing – if you get the chance to tour more expensive (ahem, million dollar homes) in your area, you’ll see that most of them have iron balusters in the railings. I’ve seen this in both the railings for the stairs inside the home and the railings on the deck.
- Speakers in ceiling – speakers and intercom systems are still luxury features in a home. I definitely think this upgrade is easier done before the sheetrock phase. And you might want to consider adding speakers inside your home and on the exterior.
- Upgraded countertops – Just a few years ago, granite was the big upgrade for kitchen counters. Now, there are so many options including concrete countertops, wooden countertops, marble and Corian. What I find that makes the most difference in leveling up the look of your home is that the counter tops stand out. One way to do that is with exotic veining and deep contrast colors. For an extra special touch, opt for granite on the bathroom counters.
- Paint or wallpaper – want to differentiate your cookie cutter home and have it look like a one of a kind, unique, million dollar dream? Then don’t forget to add custom paint. Neutral colors are great since they go with a variety of furniture and decorating styles, but here’s something that most people don’t realize. You can get neutral in any color. You can have a neutral gray, brown, blue or green. So, feel free to get creative with your color choices. The trend that I see in many million dollar homes are custom paint or custom wall papering jobs. Don’t get shy when it comes to paint, feel free to pain the ceiling or trim colors another color other than a traditional white. What actually helps the home look like a million bucks is that the color palette matches the undertones in your fixtures and furniture.
Design Center Upgrades To Make Your House Look Like A Million Bucks
We just went over a good-sized list of design center upgrades that make your home look like a million bucks. And the best thing is that several of these upgrades come in various price points. It’s up to you to decide which ones will work best for you and your family. With that said, if you’d like some more help, tips or pointers, join my FREE Decorating Made Easy Challenge. You’ll learn the tricks to easily decorate your home, even if you don’t have an eye for design.
And please, take a few minutes and leave a comment below and let me know how these tips have helped you.
- Top Tips For Making Design Center Choices You Wont Regret
- Design Center Upgrades You Should Never Get (And Ones You Should)
- 10 Things I Wish I Did Differently At The Design Center When I Purchased My New Construction Home
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