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Advice for Homeowners

10 Ways to make your Home look more Expensive

By 04/05/2010January 16th, 202043 Comments

Unless you are the owner of a brand new house (even then hopefully you like the finishes), you probably have an endless list of furniture and updates that you’d love to buy ‘right now’ but can’t because it’s not in the budget.

So that’s when you need to be creative and smart with where you spend your money.

Michael Lee Photography

A designer friend of mine once said, “Every room needs at least one piece of ‘bling’ (higher price item—or looks it) that makes everything around it look more expensive”. So here are my 10 tips. . . click here to subscribe to my free newsletter; the April issue will arrive this week and you’ll be able to read the entire article.

Michael Lee Photography

You will also be able to read past articles you missed such as; Lighting 101; Embrace the Dark Side of your House and How to Know if the Tile you have Selected has the right Undertones.

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

Does your Colour Consultant understand Beige?

Atmosphere; The one thing you Cannot Buy

Does your Home have Colour Flow? Take the Toss Cushion Test

If you are new to this blog, click here to see the Best of Colour Me Happy

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  • MzMannerz says:


    I subscribed but could not find the article "10 Ways To Make Your Home Look More Expensive". Could you point me to the link?

    I subscribed using a different email address than the one tied to my screen name below; let me know if this is an issue. Thanks!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi MzMannerz,
    My April newsletter (which will include this article) will arrive in your inbox at the end of this week.

  • Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says:

    I look forward to all your newsletters and I'm especially excited for this one. Quite the tease!

    I just have to say that I love the first photo. That room is fantastic. I'm so digging the blue/turquoise/orange thing and the grass cloth on the walls is such a great touch in that room.

  • ashlina says:

    awesome! will sign up! 🙂

  • Kimberly Grigg at "It's So Fabulous!" says:

    Maria, by now, you may have gathered that I am a HUGE FAN of yours! As a fellow designer, I agree that every room needs at least one piece of "bling", just as your friend mentioned. It is easy to blend in a few less "grand" pieces if you have a strong foundation, or focal point. Thank you for sharing your tips! I always walk away from your blog with a fresh perspective or new "food for designer thought". Stop by my "newly renovated" blog if you have a chance (It's So Fabulous!" at Knotting Hill Interiors). I would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks, again, for sharing your knowledge and perspectives!

  • Struggler says:

    Another great post title, Maria! I'm pretty sure I'm already subscribed, so I'll look forward to reading the full article.

  • Shana says:

    Subscribed:) Your blog is progressing great!

  • Katie says:

    I'm LOVING the orange in the first photo. Stunning. It just goes to show how a splash of colour can take a room to the next level. Love it, love it , love it!

  • Space by Eliana Tomas says:

    looking forward to reading it 😉
    yes, a "bling" piece helps, but colour is the key to achieve the vibe you really wish.

  • Willow Decor says:

    Thanks so much for the refresher! I check out some of the links I missed. I always learn so much here!! Thank You!! Have a wonderful day!!

  • barbara says:

    Good tease. I have subscribed more than once, getting your blog for at least 5 + months, but never see the newsleter. What do I need to do, as it seems I not the only one.

  • Ivy Lane says:

    Looking forward to it! Happy Monday Maria!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Your profile doesn't have a way to reach you so I'm leaving a note here. Please email me and I'll send you a link to read them. I don't understand why you wouldn't get them.
    Sorry about that!

    [email protected]

  • 1x1000 says:

    I am unable to subscribe at the link. Please add me [email protected]


  • Melissa Blake says:

    those are some really nice touches. i especially like the first photo!! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria, I am sorry to be a killjoy, but I don't want to subscribe to any more blogs. I don't read blogs on my email, and I am getting really tired of everyone forcing me to subscribe. I read blogs by clicking my links and favorites and don't fill my small inbox constantly. Why do you force people to subscribe? I don't see that it makes an ounce of difference to you, except for annoying all those who hate subscriptions…and clutter in their inbox. I get about 60 emails a day and have to go on my server constantly and delete or I get a "mailbox full" message as I have exceeded my 15 mB. And I refuse to pay for more when I can read this stuff for "free" on blogs…

    Thanks and sorry for being grouchy about this.

  • Maria Killam says:

    HI Anonymous,

    1. My newsletter comes out once a month, so I hardly think it'll add that much clutter to your inbox.

    2. It's free.


  • barbara says:

    Help !! I apparently tic'ed someone off / or typed something wrong. I just wanted to see the "10 best" and left a comment. NOW I recieve e-mails that are responses to the post ! I'm a reader .

  • Maria Killam says:

    HI Barbara,
    I'm not sure what you mean by tic'ed. I just said to email me with yours so you could get the newsletter? I'm very confused now.

  • Between you, me and the Fencepost says:

    Or you could have a beautiful expensive piece with the nicest paint colours and then kill the whole room with a huge black ugly shelving unit from ikea and an equally horrible falling apart coffee table. Maybe I should try pass the coffee table off as an antique?. . . xo

  • funcolors says:

    Ooooh, looking forward to the newsletter, MK. Sounds like it's going to be one of those that you print off and keep in a file! Love your newsletters — may be only once a month, but I can so appreciate how much effort and work go into them.


  • chanteusevca says:

    Oh goodie! I am ready to find out what to spend money on and I'm ready to shop for "bling" for every room! It's high time!

  • chanteusevca says:

    FYI – I think what the poster "barbara" did was subscribe to the posts by accident.

  • GlamourandLove says:

    Ahhhh, teaser!!! That's alright! I subscribed! My husband and I just bought our first house so I can't wait for this article because we could use all the help we can get!!

  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    You are a teaser. I signed up for the newsletter last month and didn't get mine 🙁 I REALLY want to know the top 10!! The curiosity is going to kill me!

  • Love Where You LIve says:

    Love-love that orange!!!

  • DesignTies says:

    I try to add a touch of bling to every room I decorate 🙂 And it really doesn't have to cost a lot — I've found some great pieces at HomeSense 🙂

    Love the lucite table in the first picture. I'm trying to find a piece like that to put in our dining room.


  • Maria Killam says:

    HI Everyone,
    I talked to my newsletter company and they said many times if you are not getting the newsletter it might be going into your spam or junk mail, if you have it on a high spam setting. Either change it or check your junk box this week 🙂

  • Pamela says:

    Came here through Penelope Trunk link and love what I see. Am trying to set up your blog in my RSS feed (so I see it on my Yahoo home page) but I can't find an RSS link on your blog and your blog URL is not recognized by the Yahoo RSS feed. Help! Newsletter is OK but I want to see new blog updates on my home page.

  • Screaming Meme says:

    I am in love with your blog already :)…I am so glad I stumbled onto it…:) Hi, Im Meme from Screaming Meme…I want to personally invite you to visit my blog and enter my awesome giveaway…Hope to see you there! Meme

  • traci zeller designs says:

    Can't wait! I, for one, love the bling!!

    I had a problem with not receiving it at first but found it in the Junk folder that I only see when I log on to the web-based server. It didn't even go to the regular Junk folder. So I bet that is an issue for some of the others who have t seen it. Check your spam!

    Maria, I love the newsletter. Thanks for your hard work putting it together.

  • Anonymous says:

    One tip from a decorator friend … don't skimp on drapery fabric. It's better to make lush drapes in an inexpensive fabric than to skimp on the fullness to stay in budget.

    Use the blingy $$$$ fabric where it will look posh in small quantities, like cushions, table runners, or an ottoman.

  • Donna says:

    Hi Maria, I will subscribe now that I know it only comes once a month. What a great idea!

  • hiphousegirl says:

    Hi Maria- I just discovered this post, and now I'm sad that I can't see the rest of it since I'm too late for the April newsletter! Help!

  • SaraSeashell says:

    Hi! Is there a way to get this newsletter as well? I would love this article but missed the April deadline! (I just signed up for the new one.) Thanks!
    ~Sara 🙂

  • Carol says:

    enjoy your blogs
    I started one for myself, but soon decided i wasn't ready for this.
    so maybe in the future. but for now I will enjoy everyone elses

  • Princess Hotcakes says:

    Totally smitten!! We are in the process of closing on a 1986 home (seriously, like in the next 14 days!) and I find your articles extremely helpful and inspiring!! First thing we've committed to is painting the outdated cabinets in a white color. 🙂

    :: Rochelle

  • Natalie - Style Educator says:

    Maria, I think that you are wonderful and I just love your honesty. I grabbed on to you from Angie Cox as I am a personal stylist.
    Is there any chance that you may head down to Australia for a workshop? I am a personal colour expert (contrasts, prints patterns and best colours for people)but when it comes to interior design, I am at a complete loss as so many people have to feel comfort and peace within the one space. I have a family of five and although they know their personal colours, dressing personality, proportions, scale, lines and current trends – I need your advice on things without personality (even thoughI know that you inject this through your colour skills).

  • Barbara@HausDesign says:

    I also missed the deadline but I am very curious about the article…could it be posted somewhere or sent to the email address I included here? thanks so much!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Barbara,
    This is an old newsletter article that can be found in the archives when you subscribe via my website,

    Thanks for reading my blog!

  • Linda says:

    I was not a subscriber until recently but would like to read the articles. Is there an archive? Or do you send them?

    Thank you.

  • Sam12587 says:

    Is there a newsletter archive? I’m curious as I’m on the verge of a new microwave and in a couple years, new stove.

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