Making your home look high-end isn't always about spending tons of cash. It's a matter of taking the time and care to arrange things in an eye-pleasing way—and making small, inexpensive updates that have a big impact. In other words, it's about being sneaky.

1. Declutter

Going through your rooms and getting rid of anything that doesn't mesh with your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional.

2. Eliminate Grunge

You may not have time for intensive cleaning on a weekly basis, but a once- or twice-yearly deep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more luxurious. After all, you rarely see a mansion with dirty baseboards. 

Go through your home and search for overlooked areas that have become dirty and downright gross. You'll want to pay special attention to the grouting.

3. Add-or rearrange-Lighting

Designers use lighting to define spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand.

Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook, sofas and chairs for company, and a television. Visually differentiate among the areas by using different kinds of lighting: Add a table lamp beside your cozy reading chair and sconces behind your couch for conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them.

4. Upgrade Your Hardware

Don't have a kitchen renovation in the budget? You can get a similar effect for much less by swapping out old, dated hardware for new.

It's not hard to find attractive options in any decor style for next to nothing (a drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less). For hard-to-find designs, search etsy.

Changing the countertop and faucets is another change that can make your home look much pricier. If you have the budget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something fresh that matches your brand-new hardware.

5. Repaint

There's no simpler way to make an old home feel new than painting.

You can't go wrong with classy neutrals. Minimalists might love a bright white combined with a bold accent wall; DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woods.

 

Paint isn't just for your walls: Add some color to your front door, window trims, or even the floor, if you're brave (hardwood can look amazing when painted white).

6. Focus on the devil in the (decor) details

Does your home feel a little meh—and you're not sure how to change it? Try vignettes—combine decor items (e.g., vases, frames, and objets) that add visual interest to an otherwise bland area—perhaps a shelf or console table.