Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle

Reinventing Low-Budget Luxury

There’s no need to break your bank to live in luxury

We all want to live in a house that looks luxurious. 

In an ideal world, we would all have the expenses to hire a famous interior designer who will make sure we have the most aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and practical home that easily looks like a million dollars. But, we can’t always get what we want so we have to go for other alternatives, yes?

But hey, what does a million dollar mean exactly?

What is luxury?

When we hear the word luxury, we might think of dimly lit chandeliers and oakwood banisters but sometimes luxury is just simplicity and contentment. As long as we feel comfortable in our home, then that is luxury enough.

But speaking materially, luxury is not all about expensive furniture; it is an image. You can buy a RM50,000 velvet sofa, but if your living room is strewn with clutter, it really doesn’t showcase the luxuriousness but instead, it displays the laziness of the homeowner to tidy up. No one glances twice at your expensive sofa if the floor is filled with 2-inches of dust.

So, clear your mind of the common image of luxury filled with chandeliers and gold-rimmed tea cups, because here we will be talking of luxury with simplicity and a low-budget!

Luxury isn’t all expensive

What the inside of our homes look like says a lot about who we are; we are displaying ourselves through space and it is no wonder we are allured to the idea of having a luxurious interior design with expensive furniture and dim lightings. It makes a part of our brain feel privileged and righteous.

Of course, those kinds of luxuries don't come with an affordable price. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy having a luxury home!

A couple of years ago, husband and wife, Azemee Johar and Wany Zabry went viral for their jaw-dropping home renovation. From shambles to show-stopping, Wany and husband had invested almost RM80,000 to renovate an old house to a home with a modern minimalism concept.

The couple had decided to buy a house after having enough of paying RM750 per month for rent for 4 years and a half. The young owner of Kayuwoods (event space decorating), Wany has taken the initiative to buy a house since 2018, when she was only 25 at the time. Lo and behold, her hard work with savings and constant trips to the banks has paid off and she finally bought herself a house!

However, since it was the couples first home, they opted to only buy a secondhand home for the low price of RM160,000. But, what they did to the home has become an inspiration for a lot of youngsters out there to follow in on Wany and Azemee’s footsteps.

The condition of the house pre-renovation / Images via HCL

The condition of the house post-renovation / Images via HCL

Their home really went from “Wow…” to “Wow!”

Get to work!

You don’t just have to sit and wonder when your home is going to look a million dollars, you can get it to look a million dollars for below a million dollars!

1. Bye-bye, clutter!

This first step won’t have you spending money at all. In fact, it will save you from even spending at all on unnecessary clutter. All you have to do is pick up items that clog up space in your home, see if it sparks joy and if it doesn’t? Just throw it out! Seriously, we all know you are not going to reread those old newspapers. Just throw it out or keep it organised!

After you’ve cleared your clutter items, you'll realise how much space you have and then you’ll realise the importance of space planning.

Image via Housewife How-Tos

2. Pull the curtains

As trivial as it may seem, curtains play a huge role in the image of a luxurious home. Most luxurious and expensive homes have high ceilings for more ventilation and natural lighting, thus for homes with a lower ceiling; consider installing a curtain rod as high to the ceiling as possible to create an appearance of a loftier space when you hang your curtains and having it create the image of elegance when it drapes and flows.

Oh, pro tip! Sheer curtains help to soften the light that comes in so layering a sheer curtain and an opaque curtain will really help giving the warmth and cozy environment while still looking expensive.

Image via Bob Vila

3. Wise colour choices

While vibrant colours may make your house seem more fun, it will also make it look like a kindergarten so try and avoid bright colours like orange or pink for the common areas in your home if you want to achieve that luxury look unless it is for a pop of colour. Instead, opt for a modern colour palette: fossil grey, prussian blue, onyx black and of course, the timeless, different shades of white.

Image via Decorilla

The Wrap Up

The conclusion is: You don’t need a million dollars to look expensive. All you need is hard work, creativity and a lot of research on what a luxury home (minus the high ceilings and glass chandeliers) looks like and you’re sure to get the expensive home of your dreams! After all, the sky’s the limit ;-)

If you have any interesting home decor stories, well we want to hear about it! Send us your story at

Cover image via Decorilla

Related Posts