How to make your living room feel more luxurious - clever tricks to transform your space

Interiors experts share their top tricks for giving a living room the luxe treatment

A modern living room with a grey sofa and plants
(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Creating a luxurious feel in your living room can seem like an impossible task if you’re on a budget. However, there are several tricks designers and interior stylists use to make a living room feel more luxurious.

If you’re looking for to make your living room look more expensive on a budget we've rounded up our very best advice. Quiet luxury continues to be one of the biggest home decor trends and this luxe look is perfect for a living room as a space where we spend a lot of our time, and often welcome guests into. 

Thankfully, nailing the luxury look is not just about what you have, but what you do with what you have, no maxing out your credit card required.

How to make your living room feel more luxurious

‘Making your living room feel more luxurious doesn't mean only using expensive materials; rather, it's about creating an elevated experience that engages all your senses, particularly paying attention to detail to achieve an upscale look and feel,’ outlines Interior Designer Nicolene Mausenbaum at Dezyna Interiors.

We’ve rounded up the top tips from the experts on how to make your living room feel more luxurious, no matter your budget. From choosing the right materials, colours and finishes to paying attention to the little details, there are a number of interesting ways to help transform your living space into a room which feels more opulent.

1. Use a variety of different textures

A modern living room with a grey sofa and plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

‘Fabrics such as wool, linen, cotton and boucle invite an understated, luxurious feel,’ suggests Laura Black, Interiors Expert at Feather & Black. This is because ‘our senses are attuned to our surroundings,’ so by focusing on items and materials that make us want to reach out and touch them, this gives the literal feeling of richness and comfort to a space.

‘Soft furnishings also have a significant impact on the overall feel of a room and are worth investing in,’ says Debbie Leigh, Design Manager at ILIV. By opting for tactile textures that are traditionally associated with luxury, such as velvet and silk, this can ‘add a sophisticated lavish feel to your living room.’

And if you’re on a budget or are worried about mounting costs, ‘there are plenty of cheaper faux materials that look just as good as the real thing,’ affirms Laura Price, Founder and Director of The Home Organisation.

2. Add wall panelling

Arlo & Jacob Hector Large Sofa in Caprini Dragonfly

(Image credit: Arlo & Jacob)

A great way to instantly add architectural shape to an otherwise plain wall or living space is by adding wall panelling. And it’s a lot easier than you might think it is to add wall panelling to your home. You can either attempt some DIY wall panelling or if you’re looking for a fuss-free option, why not fake the look of wall panelling, with wallpaper or paint?

‘Decorative panelling helps establish a more delicate look in homes, adding grandeur to a room and creating a sense of spaciousness,’ admits Zoe Goff, Product Manager and Wall Panelling Expert at Richard Burbidge.

3. Focus on the details

Blue living room with patterned curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC)

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have your home feel more luxurious. There are a number of quick, easy and inexpensive swaps that you can make to completely transform the look and feel of your living room.

‘Consider handles on cupboards and drawers – swap these out for fittings with a more timeless finish in a gold or bronze,’ Contura’s Interiors Expert, Catharina Björkman, proffers. Mirrors can also be used strategically to ‘to add glamour and make spaces feel larger,’ she adds. These small changes can truly make a big difference to the overall look of the room.

4. Create depth with colour

Snug The Rebel 3 Seater Sofa In Spice

(Image credit: Snug)

You may think that a neutral white or off-white living room will exude luxury but all-white living room ideas can often make a room look sparse or even clinical. ‘When it comes to creating a luxurious aesthetic for your living room, ensure you are embracing rich colours with deep tones such as burgundy, browns, navy blue and dark greens,’ according to Nick Drewe, Trend Expert and Founder of Wethrift.

You could even consider painting your living room ceiling the same colour as the walls, to add some drama and flair to the space.

5. Don’t leave walls empty

Pink living room with grey sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC / Veronica Rodriguez)

‘Layers should also be applied to the walls of your living room, and this can be achieved by adorning the walls with artwork,’ Nick reveals. But, thankfully you don’t need to break the bank on expensive artwork.

Instead, ‘take the time to make conscious decisions about what artwork you choose, opting for large statement pieces and frames that will compliment the aesthetic of your space,’ Nick adds. ‘However, be mindful that overly cluttered pieces can often have the opposite effect on the overall vibe of the living room.’

6. Layer lighting

Neutral living room with task lighting on different surfaces.

(Image credit: Future)

All too often lighting can be a bit of an afterthought when we design our spaces, but layering your living room lighting ideas can be key to making a living room look luxurious.

‘To accomplish a luxurious-looking room, you need to embrace the whole range of lighting sources available,’ says Mara Rypacek Miller, Managing Director at Industville Ltd. This includes everything from overhead fixtures, such as pendant lights and chandeliers, to table and floor lamps and wall sconces. In most living rooms, a mixture of task and accent lighting works best.

For example, ‘accent lighting can be used to highlight a piece of artwork, plants or architectural features in the room, creating a sense of opulence,’ Mara explains.

7. Opt for floor to ceiling curtains

Light grey curtains in living room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘Window areas are often one of the most overlooked, but their ability to transform a living space into a luxury sanctuary should never be underestimated,’ Nick explains about the importance of living room curtain ideas. ‘Curtains that are short in length, feature outdated patterns or contain excessive frills, can often make a living room appear less luxurious.’

Opting for floor-to-ceiling curtains in opulent fabrics like silk or velvet, and hanging them as high as you possibly can in your living room, can even create the illusion of taller windows. ‘You can also add a sense of opulence to your window dressings by layering blinds behind curtains - this won’t take up space but does frame windows beautifully,’ says Gareth Coxall, Creative Director at Terrys.

8. Source one-of-a-kind pieces

Living room with built in shelving and decorative furnishings, large pink L-shaped sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Not only does buying secondhand furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces stop your home from looking like everyone else’s, but it also allows you to curate your space, much like someone with an unlimited budget could.

‘Look to upcycling or statement second-hand finds to add that wow factor that will infuse the room with luxury without going over the top,’ says Catharina. There’s also the added bonus that shopping preloved or vintage is not only more sustainable, but you may be able to find some hidden gems for a fraction of the price, compared to what they were when they were brand new.

9. Think about how you display your television

Sharps The Home Collection Element In Stone And Light Driftwood

(Image credit: Sharps)

In many living rooms, our televisions can often be the focal point, with our largest items of furniture facing towards it. However, it’s important not to let this area of your living room become a bit of a wasted opportunity. It might be time to consider adding a touch of luxury with built-in cabinets or shelving.

‘A media wall is a great way to add a touch of practical luxury to your living room,’ says Joanna Humphreys, Fire and Stove Specialist at Direct Fireplaces. ‘Adding warmth, style and ambience, a media wall can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere whilst also creating an interesting focal point.’

Even something as simple as camouflaging your TV as part of a gallery wall or investing in Samsung's The Frame TV can add cohesion to the overall look of your living room.

10. Make it clutter-free

Living room with glass storage cabinet next to white armchair.

(Image credit: Future/James French)

And finally, one of the easiest ways to truly elevate the look of your living room is to get decluttering. ‘Part of what makes hotels feel so luxurious is that every item has been placed with purpose and there is no general clutter to be seen,’ Laura, from The Home Organisation, explains. 

‘To get this same effect in your living room, go through the room systematically, separating items you love or need from items you no longer want or can be relocated to another space.’

It can be as simple as tidying away remotes, magazines, cables and toys. Or why not use concealed or hidden living room storage ideas, such as storage ottomans and boxes to keep clutter out of sight.

FAQs

Which materials exude luxury?

‘Velvet upholstery is traditionally associated with elegance and sophistication, so including this in your living room where possible can have a positive effect on the room’s atmosphere,’ explains Olivia Walton, Manager at Bedz4U. So, why not introduce a velvet sofa, velvet curtains or some velvet throw cushions to your living room design?

Additionally, ‘furniture and homewares crafted from natural materials like wood, stone, linen, and wool are more luxurious due to their natural beauty and texture,’ says Tanya Rechberger, Designer at King Living.

What can make a living room look cheap?

Unfortunately a few design choices can actually cheapen the look of a space, instead of making it look and feel more luxurious. For example, ‘low quality, thin, or flimsy looking fabrics and rugs can certainly make a living room look cheap, so avoid these types of materials for your upholstery and decorative choices,’ if you can, warns Nick.

While another ‘major thing that can cheapen your interior design aesthetic is to try and do too much,’ according to Gareth. ‘Narrowing your colour palette down, choosing trends with longevity, decluttering, and opting for quality materials are tactics which can be relied upon to elevate your entire home - not just the living room - without spending a fortune,’ he concludes.

Ellis Cochrane
Contributor

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.


Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.