How to build a home that oozes luxury but doesn’t break the bank

Jayde Walker (Ferguson)
5 min read

Luxury and elegance in a home is excellent. It’s a sense of charm every homeowner wants to feel when they walk through their front door. A dose of something unique, magnetic and welcoming.

Every year, more planned communities and developments are popping up all around Australia. With properties being built that look identical to the ones next door, it’s become more desirable to create a home that’s exclusive and offers a perception of affluence. But how do you build a champagne style home on a beer budget?

For sale: 18 Monash Crescent, Clontarf, NSW


Building a home is one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life. Throw a strict budget into the mix, and it can be an extra challenging task to build the house you want – and can afford. Hiring a professional luxury home builder, architect and interior designer are all essential parts of the project, but only you can make your new house feel like home.

Want to make sure your home build stays true to your vision without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Choose elegant fittings and fixtures

You don’t have to opt for the most extravagant pieces with a ridiculous price tag to create that luxurious feel. Elegant fixtures doesn’t have to equal the most expensive. One of the biggest home build mistakes is overspending on fittings and fixtures. Instead, be smart when shopping for those shiny pretty things! Be a savvy shopper by looking at renovation auctions, eBay and suppliers for good quality at a great price.

Opt for quality light fittings throughout the house and metal tapware in the kitchen/bathroom. If you want to splurge out a little, get one super fancy lighting fixture as an accent feature in the living room. This way, it’ll draw visual attention and seem well thought out and look expensive.

Tip: You don’t need to buy from expensive showrooms to get those luxurious fittings and fixtures. Still, check out your local kitchen/bathroom stores and showrooms to see what styles they have. Often there’s great sales on previous year models and fittings where you can grab yourself a bargain.

For sale: 1/417-419 Sydney Road, Balgowlah, NSW


Seek expert interior design advice

Interior design is key in creating a stylish, luxurious home on a budget. Don’t be afraid to spend money on seeking expert advice. They will be able to guide you on design strategy and function, concept phase, and assist in evaluating options with your brief.

You can decide how involved you want the designer to be in the process, from the entire project to working within a reduced scope of a room. Investing in this early on will offer a valuable way to plan the space accordingly. It’ll give you access to good advice on spatial allocation and specifications of finishes, fixtures and fittings too.

For sale: 16 Allison Road, Elsternwick, VIC


Luxurious details

Don’t overlook the little things. The small details make all the difference to the finish of your home and its potential to ooze luxury appeal. Features like subtle hardwood finishes, tile selection, benchtops and window treatments go a long way. Hardwood is a smart material choice because of its durability and cost-effectiveness. Achieve a unique look by checking out smaller hardware stores and antique shops for heavy-duty, expensive-looking kitchen drawer knobs and other finishes at an affordable price.

Window treatments can be a budget friendly way to add elegance to your home too. Dressing the eyes of the property lifts the luxury appeal of your interiors and makes the home look well-designed. Plantation shutters, timber venetian blinds and deluxe drapes create a modern, but cosy style.

For sale: 55 Brown Street, Paddington, NSW


In the bathroom, consider tiling full height to the ceiling for an expensive-looking addition. Seeing as tilers usually charge for a full day, this is great value for money. Large gloss wall tiles are fantastic for adding an elegant on-trend detail to your wet areas.

Kitchen benchtops can be where a lot of your money goes down the drain. Granite and stone are stunning – but very expensive. Be willing to look for benchtop alternatives. You can still achieve the same look but for a fraction of the price. Laminate and timber benchtops are cheaper options, where some laminates have a similar look to granite and stone. Timber is a great way to introduce warmth and character to a kitchen.

For sale: 10 Gardiner Crescent, Blackheath, NSW


A heat lamp in the bathroom and a walk-in shower are good luxury inclusions that are kind to the hip pocket. If your budget is tight, consider an off-the-shelf frameless shower screen.

Tip: Luxurious details can still be unpretentious. Simple details do not equate to lesser quality or impact, but instead is a smart way to keep things affordable whilst still having that ‘wow’ factor.

Implement ample lighting

No one likes a dark, dingy home. Ample lighting, both natural and artificial, brighten the home and make it look and feel spacious and inviting. Oyster lights are great for living areas, bedrooms and hallways. Skylights can instantly brighten up a space and are relatively inexpensive to install. The more natural light you can take advantage of too, the more you will save on utility bills.

Tip: Most contractors will install standard lighting fixtures which are mass produced and appear in lots of homes. If you’re after an opulent one-of-a-kind piece for the main living room or bedroom, look at second hand stores for a unique piece for a lot less than the same item would be new. This way, you get the custom high-end look everyone craves, without the high-end price.

For sale: 59 Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW


Embrace trims and mouldings

Mouldings and impressive ceiling trimmings add a classic, stylish old-world appeal to a home. This visual treat adds detailing to the walls and ceiling to tie the two together. The result? A lavish richness to the space that oozes affluence and charm. For very little money you can add interior trim, picture rails, wall panelling, ceiling roses and/or crown moulding to add a decorative touch.

Traditionally, moulding was made from wood or plaster which was quite pricey. Nowadays, lightweight materials have taken over, like PVC and polyurethane, which are more cost-effective and can be easily moulded into different sizes and shapes. Trims and mouldings allow you to be as elaborate as you dare, making them one of the most interesting ways to add character and sophistication to your ceiling and walls.

For sale: 6 Rosstrevor Crescent, Mitcham, VIC


Building an upscale home on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about smart shopping, unique pieces and attention to detail. With the right ideas and inspiration, you can have a luxurious home that looks and feels like a million bucks. But doesn’t make the mortgage payments painful to deal with.

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Jayde Walker (Ferguson)
This article has been hand crafted by lifestyle contributor Jayde Ferguson, Jayde is a freelance writer with a passion for outdoor living and entertaining. With a love for design and all things unique, Jayde provides the Homely team with the most up to date changes in property styling trends.

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