13 Cheap, Easy Ideas to Make Your Bedroom Look More Expensive

updated Oct 6, 2022
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While it would be nice to loaf around the house in a silk robe and slip into 1,000-thread-count bed sheets, a super luxe bedroom is not in the cards for me right now. But luckily, it’s easier and cheaper than you think to “fake it ‘til you make it” when decorating a bedroom.

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12 Cheap Ideas to Make Your Bedroom Look More Expensive

Sometimes all it takes is a really great candle or one of these other smart and relatively inexpensive design tricks. Below you’ll find a handful of tips to take your sleep space to the next level with as little effort—and cash investment—as possible.

Credit: Mel + Mario

1. Upgrade Your Hardware

Think of hardware like jewelry for your bedroom. In the same way, a big pair of earrings or a statement necklace can perk up a plain outfit, a new set of knobs or pulls on, say, your nightstands or dresser can refresh the whole room.

By switching out standard hardware for something a little more visually exciting—from copper handles to crystal knobs and beyond, you can add an extra touch of luxury to your space. Check places like Zara Home, World Market, and Amazon for inexpensive, stylish options.

2. Zhush Your Pillows

Plump, over-filled pillows are the gold standard at fancy hotels, so bring that same look home. Overstuff your decorative throw cushions, so they appear high-end. Stylists do this by buying inserts that are slightly larger than whatever their pillow covers are. So if you have an 18-inch square pillow, for example, buy 20-inch inserts.

When you’re ready to replace your sleeping pillows, look for ones that are as thick and lofty as you can find. And don’t skimp on the number of them, either. You don’t have to go crazy piling sleeping pillows on, but hotels usually dress their beds with two pillows per person.

Credit: Chinasa Cooper

3. Bring in a Tray

Trays instantly class up a room, especially when they’re filled with special trinkets. If you’re planning to put one on a vanity, you can stock it with pretty perfume bottles, favorite creams, and jewelry. If you want a small tray on your nightstand, all you need is a candle and maybe a carafe-and-water glass combo.

4. Make a Blanket Statement

If you can’t afford new luxury bedding, don’t worry. Focus on your throw blanket instead. A big chunky knit throw placed across the foot of your bed will take the focus off a tired duvet or comforter.

Credit: Kim Lucian

5. Add Some Texture

Textural elements can make a bedroom feel layered and visually rich. Try a faux fur throw on a side chair or a sheepskin rug on the floor by the bed to cozy things up a bit. Bring in rattan baskets and look for a fun woven light fixture if you’re into a boho luxe look. You can also sneak pom poms and tassels into the mix on embellished blankets and pillows. All of this will make your space more exciting and inviting.

6. Style Your Nightstand

Don’t let your nightstand devolve into a junk drawer that’s basically on display. Regularly empty your drinking glasses and clear things like hand creams and dogeared paperbacks off its surface. To make your room feel more glamorous, put in a real effort to style out your nightstand. Choose a cute lamp, add in a plant, and think about hanging something small in the empty wall space behind the tabletop. 

7. Upgrade Your Mirror

If you still have the plain mirror you got during college, it’s time for a change. Try an antique-inspired brass mirror or something curvy that will open up the room. You can also find a model that has a shelf, so you gain a little vertical storage space out of your purchase, too.

Mirrors can be expensive, so start your search on Craigslist, at a flea market, or at a garage sale. You can find something great secondhand. For best results, be as specific as possible with your search terms on online marketplaces. And know that if you find a shape you love but hate the finish, a can of paint is all you need to fix that.

Credit: Viv Yapp

8. Fake Architectural Features

If you rent and can’t make permanent changes to your space or own and just don’t want to take on a massive project, fool-the-eye paint treatments and decorative finishes can make your room’s architecture look much fancier than it actually is. Make faux wall paneling with washi tape or paint a half wall that looks like wainscoting. These kinds of design tricks are quicker and cheaper to execute than you might expect.

9. Update your lighting

Forget the “boob” light fixture that often comes in a builder-grade bedroom. Replace yours with something a little more swanky, like a drum-shaped pendant, sputnik lamp, or small chandelier. IKEA has a bunch of inexpensive but trendy lighting options, so start your search there.

Credit: Lana Kenney

10. Raise the Curtains

Make your room feel bigger by raising your curtain rod two to three inches below the ceiling line. Your room will feel loftier, and your windows will seem larger, making the space, on the whole, feel much more elegant.

11. Showcase a Special Piece

You probably have at least a few hobbies, and with those interests comes stuff. Leverage decorative collections and any special pieces, like an acoustic guitar, for example, as wall decor, and your space will look instantly bespoke. An unintended but nice side effect of this decorating move? You also get things off the floor, so your sleeping area will look less cluttered for it, too.

12. Work a Wall Hanging

No budget for a fancy headboard? No problem. If you find a tapestry or vintage textile you love, that’s all you really need to make the space above your bed look pulled together. Just be sure your sleeping pillows are firm and full enough, so you can still prop yourself up in bed for reading.

Credit: Sandra Regalado

13. Put a (Faux) Sheepskin on It

If you feel like your bed frame or headboard is a little lackluster, do the same thing you would to an older sofa or dining chair: Throw a fuzzy sheepskin on it! Not only will layering add visual interest to your bedroom furniture, but it’ll also add some plus coziness, too. When you want to really shake things up, look for a faux hide that’s bright and colorful—not cream or gray.

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