Design Tips, Interior Design

How to Create an Expensive Look for Less in Your Dining Room

I am a firm believer that you can create a high end, expensive look for less. There are places to spend your money, but somewhere that you will often change things up isn’t a very wise place to overspend. If you are like me, I am always changing rugs, pictures, and other home decor items. It is hard for me to justify spending an exaggerative amount on most decor items, well, unless I’m in love with it!

With just building a new home, I obviously wanted to decorate everything right away, but I have had to really budget myself. Although, I have found that over the years, I have always been quite thrifty. I love looking for bargains and look-a-likes of higher-priced items.

As we were decorating our dining room, I noticed even though we hadn’t spent tons of money, it really all came together! I was actually very surprised at how much we didn’t spend. Here are a few things I feel like that kept us from overspending and went into giving us that designer look.

Hang Curtains High

Hanging curtains higher than the window is one of my favorite tricks. This creates an illusion that the room is much bigger than it is. With our dining area, we already have taller ceilings, but I still love the look of hanging curtains high. To me, it looks classy and more expensive, even if you didn’t spend a fortune on the actual curtains or rods.

As I mentioned on our Instagram account, I went with a faux linen curtain. In the past, I have ordered more expensive curtains but I have been just as happy with cheaper ones that seem to be just as good quality. The curtains in our dining room were solely for looks and not function. I added them to bring some texture and to soften up the room. We had no concern with blocking out light or privacy.

Refurbish and Reuse

Always keep in mind when remodeling or decorating a room, look and see what you can use before you start. Refurbishing pieces or reusing pieces can save you lots of money. Sometimes it only takes a cheap can of paint or some out of the box thinking in order to come up with a piece that may look great in a new area of your home.

For our new dining area, we used a couple of pieces from our previous home. We kept the live edge dining table that we loved so much. We weren’t sure it would work for this area but we were determined to keep it. We also reused the metal black cabinet form our previous home. Where we used it in the family room there, we now are using it in our dining area. It made the perfect hutch to store dishes in.

Big Light Fixture

The light fixture is probably our most expensive piece in the room. This is where we splurged a little, but it is very important. My advice would be to save a little somewhere else, like curtains and a rug to be able to spend a little more on an item you want to splurge on.

Although our light fixture is where we splurged, there are many options to go a little less on lighting. If you do choose to go less, just make sure it is big, fabulous, and creates lots of interest. Go big or go home, right!

Big Vase/Center Piece

I also think an important part of a dining area is the centerpiece on the table. I lucked up and found a large cement looking vase at TJMax. My recommendation for a centerpiece is to go simple but again, big.

A large vase with some greenery is sophisticated and very inexpensive. Target, TJMax, Home Goods, or your local Marshalls normally has a wide variety. A simple, textured vase can really go a long way!


Another item that is an essential piece in giving your dining room a designer look is art. Art not only adds some interest and maybe even color to the space, but gives a sense of personality. The artwork is something that can be changed seasonally or often, so I suggest not spending lots of money in this area unless it is one of those, you can’t live without items.

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  • Reply Leslie

    Hey Brooke, I would love to know where you got your light fixture.

    May 5, 2020 at 11:54 pm
    • Reply Henry

      We got it from Troy Lighting.

      May 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    Hey, I love your dining chairs! Could you let me know where they’re from? Thanks.

    June 22, 2020 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    So Beautiful!! What color curtains did you go with?!! I saw the link to pottery barn for them on your insta but was curious if they were ivory? Also what curtain rod/ curtain rings did you go with if you don’t mind sharing color or name of those items as well to complete the look!

    June 29, 2020 at 1:50 am
  • Reply Natalie Hammond-Paul

    Where did you get these dining chairs??

    February 16, 2021 at 1:49 am
  • Reply anna hourriere

    Hi,I Really love the dining chairs and the table, the wood and the designs are beautiful. Where did you get them?

    March 2, 2021 at 9:32 am
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