6 Ways to Make Cheap Furniture Look Designer

Last updated on October 3, 2023

We’ve all been there—dreaming of that perfect, luxurious living space, yet faced with a budget that’s less haute couture and more high street. But, who says style has to break the bank?

Designer aesthetics can be achieved without the designer price tag. From crafty finishes to strategic accessorizing, we’ve compiled a list of ingenious ways to transform your budget-friendly furniture into pieces that exude opulence and class.

Here are six ways to elevate the appearance of budget-friendly furniture to make it look more upscale and designer-like.

Table of Contents

Paint and Finish

Matte Paint Can and Brush for Couch
  • How: Giving a piece of furniture a fresh coat of paint or applying a different finish can drastically change its appearance. Consider using a glossy finish for a sleek look, or a matte finish for a more contemporary and refined aesthetic.
  • Why: High-quality furniture often features impeccable finishes. By updating the finish or color, you’re mimicking the precision and care of more expensive pieces.

Upgrade Hardware

Gold Door Cabinet Handles
  • How: Swap out basic knobs and pulls on dressers, cabinets, and other pieces with higher-end hardware. Look for unique designs, metallic finishes, or artisan-made pieces.
  • Why: Designer furniture often has distinctive, finely crafted hardware. By making this small change, you can give even the most basic furniture a luxury feel.

Use Textiles Smartly

White Sectional Couch
  • How: Dress up furniture like sofas and chairs with designer throw pillows, rich throws, or elegant slipcovers. For wooden furniture, consider adding upholstered cushions or panels.
  • Why: Luxurious fabrics and textiles can add depth, texture, and visual interest, giving a plush feel to even the most basic of furniture.

Add Molding or Trim

decorative trim wood cabinet
  • How: Adding molding or decorative trim to plain pieces, like bookshelves or cabinets, can give them a custom-made feel.
  • Why: These details are often found in high-end furniture, as they add complexity and craft to the design. Adding these can suggest that the piece was more expensive or custom-designed.

Accessorize Thoughtfully

Maximizing Traffic Flow Couch Small Space
  • How: Place curated items on your furniture, like designer books, vases, or unique decor items. The way you stage or style your furniture can have a huge impact.
  • Why: Even a basic piece can look upscale when surrounded by tastefully chosen decor. Think of it as framing a piece of art—the setting enhances the overall impression.

Elevate with Legs

Importance of Couch-to-TV Distance Living
  • How: Replace the standard legs of sofas, chairs, or tables with more decorative or sophisticated ones. Many stores offer a variety of furniture legs that can easily be swapped out.
  • Why: The legs of furniture play a crucial role in defining its style. By choosing more ornate or streamlined legs, you’re altering the entire silhouette and feel of the piece.

When attempting to make cheap furniture look more designer, it’s essential to maintain a balance. Overdoing it can make the piece look inauthentic or forced. Remember, the goal is to enhance the furniture’s innate beauty and not to overshadow it.

Lastly, always prioritize personal taste and comfort over trends. A piece that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle is more valuable than any designer tag.

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