Ideal for those looking for a lockdown project and hoping for a future house sale.

We get it. Designing your current home with a future buyer in mind feels somewhat clinical. What’s more, it requires Nostradamus levels of foresight, prediction and planning, not only to envisage the specific wants and whims of your potential buyer, but also to predict the latest interior design trends with precision.

That said, if you’re keen to maximise the potential of your property with a view to a future sale, there are ways to bring that added sense of sophistication and opulence to your home in order to attract a buyer with deep pockets. With that in mind, here are 6 surefire ways to make your house feel more sophisticated, IDEAL for those looking for a lockdown project and hoping for a future house sale.

THINK ABOUT MATERIALS 

The materials you use as part of your home design will have a massive impact on whether or not your home looks more luxurious and sophisticated, and ultimately, the price it commands. 

For a simple change, think about your soft furnishings. Consider upholstering your sofas and chairs. The right material can instantly transform and elevate the seating in your home. Visit a high-end or luxury designer furniture shop to get an idea of the fabrics they – and therefore, you should – use. 

Think beyond the four walls; homes with that elusive air of luxury tend to have high ceilings. In fact, Forbes recently reported that ceiling heights helped seal real estate deals more than almost any other feature. Though we’re not suggesting you magic up an extra couple of feet above you, consider floor to ceiling drapes, which add a sense of luxury to your home even if you don’t have large windows or high ceilings to match.

Instead, the eye will be fooled into thinking you have high ceilings. The fabric matters hugely; think plush materials like silk for summer and velvet for winter. Remember that the key here is to deploy a certain amount of restraint – too much can end up looking gaudy. 

Don’t only fixate on what’s above you. Cast your eyes downward, too. If you’re looking to go all out, then consider making some more permanent changes to what’s underneath your feet. A mixture of French oak hardwood, high-end porcelain tile and wool carpeting is evocative of sophistication, or if you’re channelling a more minimalist design, engineered wood flooring is perfect.

Kitchen countertops are another area where material – both its feel and appearance – really matters. Nothing says luxury and sophistication like marble and granite countertops. All in all, when considering material, it’s all about the tactile and the textured.

UNIQUE STATEMENT FEATURES 

You could also think about adding some unique features to your home that are going to elevate your design in the mind of the viewer. Consider adding Victoria-style moulding to your ceiling; decorative moulding can give your room a high-end look instantly. It also doesn’t cost too much, either. Simple but sophisticated, adding wall panelling is another fantastic feature that can add character to any room.

Unique, custom-made, built-in furniture tends to look more luxurious than free-standing pieces of furniture, too. A bookshelf that spans the entire wall gives a sense of grandeur and intent, and more often that not, will look more upscale than your standard standing bookcases, which sometimes feel like they’re just hastily arranged storage. And within the living room, a 360 degree fireplace certainly pulls people (and potential buyers) into the room.

Introducing statement lighting can also bring a unique, eye-catching touch. Statement lighting can amp up the luxury factor at the flick of a switch, so hang a glamorous chandelier or a unique mixture of ceiling fixtures, and table lamps or pendants. This gives you the opportunity to play around with different lighting and create a different ambience depending on the time of day. Another idea for lighting which will glam up any room instantly is installing mounted wall-hung lights  – as far as we’re concerned, this type of lighting instantly adds the wow-factor to any room.

In the bathroom, a bateau shaped, freestanding brass bath creates a unique, frivolous centrepiece in what is sometimes reduced to being the most functional room in the house.

Introducing statement features which are unique to your property adeptly lifts the feel of the house from standard to sophisticated instantly.

UPDATING OLD FIXTURES & HARDWARE 

If you’re on a budget, one of the easiest ways to make your home look more expensive and appealing is to update old fixtures. This is a more environmentally option, too, which is always a bonus! 

Something as basic as changing the faucets in your home can channel a sense of sophistication. Indeed, an impeccably designed tap in the bathroom or kitchen, burnished, gleaming and standing to perfect attention, will tap into (sorry) that opulent vibe we’re coveting. An eye for elegant yet ergonomic pieces is key here. 

Another oh-so-simple yet effective way to bring sophistication to your home without having to invest hugely is to update the hobs and handles on cabinets, wardrobes, dressers and even doors, making them feel brand new as a homogenous set. Gold and brass hardware is most eye catching here, and evocative of that luxurious vibe we’re coveting. 

A QUICK PAINT JOB 

Another move you can make to increase your home’s overall sense of elegance is to add a lick of paint, making a room look more luxurious and refined via what is, essentially, an afternoon’s work.

Rollers at the ready! ‘Elegant’ walls are often more neutral in their colour – think taupe and greige, ecru and fountain stone, to evoke subtle sophistication. That doesn’t mean that a pop of colour elsewhere in the room won’t bring a certain amount of class to the space. Use a richer, darker shade of a complementing colour to create an accent wall. Not only will this make a dramatic statement, but will also create a sense of depth in the room. 

We don’t think we’re going out on a limb here when we say that few elegant spaces call hot pink, lime green, or electric blue their dominant colour, but something calming as the predominant hue of the space is inherently classy. We love teal, lavender, sapphire or even burgundy to create a mood conducive to cigars, whisky on the rocks and suave, sassy conversation conducted in husky voices. 

Oops, we got a bit carried away there. Must be the burgundy… 

ADD SOME ANTIQUES 

Impactful antique accessories can add an ‘expensive’ air to your home without actually costing a fortune to accrue. Indeed, nothing gives a room a sense of grandeur like an antique item, tastefully positioned with a subtle standing. Think large, decorative, gold leaf mirrors, a few pieces of vintage silver and perhaps a brass table. Solid, wooden pieces of furniture and small scale accessories deployed throughout the home ooze class, don’t you think?. 

So, add a leather umbrella holder in your hallway, a retro radio in the bedroom, and perhaps even an art deco desk tidy in the home office. Though only making a minor impact as a single piece, if you have several nods to antique-aesthetics around the home, the overall effect is one of sophistication. On that theme, why not introduce a vintage rotary phone to the home’s reception area? It’s the small touches, don’t you think?

MANICURED GARDEN 

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or even a small outdoor space, then a manicured garden can go a long way to making your home look more luxurious. An easy way to do this is with a dwarf evergreen garden. 

Yes, dwarf evergreen gardens are actually a thing, and an ideal way to incorporate planting in beds and borders. Although this type of tree bed takes a little while to establish itself, once they’ve grown into their own, they require only a little maintenance, and look sophisticated even in a compact space.

Just ask your local garden centre for ‘dwarf selections such as bird’s nest spruce’; that’s Picea abies ‘Nidiformis to those terminology minded. If you’re after a garden with lots of structure and a particularly well-groomed look, consider planting box (Buxus). This is a compact and versatile evergreen shrub that many landscape gardeners rely on to give that manicured look.

And if you’re keen to go the extra mile to appeal to prospective home buyers, next consider these 7 furniture hacks to make your home look luxurious. Let us know how you get on!