Elevate Your Bookshelves With These Styling Tips
A few well-placed knick knacks can take your shelves from snoozy to super.
We hope you find a product you love in this article. Just so you know, purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.
When I moved into my first solo apartment, I was more concerned with finding the right bed frame, dining table, and couch to make it comfortable and chic that I let the small things slide. Over time, I started to wonder why my place still didn’t feel quite right—like something was missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.
Over time, I started to accumulate things like vintage coffee table books, vases, and throw pillows that added texture. And then I realized: As it turns out, the best way to make your home look more expensive isn’t by swapping out large-format furniture for pieces that are double the price. Instead, it’s all in the details. Here are five easy ways to make your home look more luxurious.
One of my absolute favorite ways to elevate the entire vibe of any room is by switching out the often-outdated or sterile lighting fixtures for pendants, chandeliers, or sconces that match my taste. Typically, I look to vintage sellers and antique sales for pieces with character, but I also love browsing the usual suspects like CB2, Lulu & Georgia, and West Elm for fixtures that are super simple to swap out. This flush mount from CB2 replaced the circular one that plagues every apartment built in the ‘80s—and it looks worlds better.
Even if you didn’t spend $$$ on big-ticket items like your couch or coffee table, you can still make spaces feel more elevated with smaller items, like this side table (pictured here). I found it in the returns section and was able to score an extra 30% off thanks to a tiny, almost unnoticeable scuff on the side, and it still looks more expensive than the functional side-table-desk I had in its place.
I didn’t have a TV in my last apartment, but when I moved into my new one with my partner, I knew he’d want one in the living room. Instead of arguing about it, I resolved to find a way to hide it that wouldn’t cost an entire paycheck: with a room divider. This white-washed wooden style from Home Depot cost about $250 and it’s easily movable depending on what I need it for. Sometimes, it’s a background for outfit videos or moonlighting as decor in the corner; other times it serves its original purpose—but it always gets me tons of compliments.
Even if your budget is small, it’s still possible to upgrade your space without spending much money. The key here is to look at the details around your place that we tend to accumulate over time—the books on your shelves, the candles on your bedside, or even the photos you display—and think about them holistically. I prefer to get some of these at antique stores so they feel really special, and there’s something about a diffuser that feels way more expensive than a heavily branded candle.
Lastly, think outside of furniture and tsotchkes: Even if your couch is a hand-me-down, you can still elevate it without going through the trouble of reupholstering it with soft textures like blankets or throws. This weighted blanket from Bearably is hefty enough to be functional, but the thick-knit texture makes it feel luxe.