A TikTok budget-luxury expert who shares viral hacks says avoiding key mistakes will make your home look more expensive
- A budget-luxury expert who makes viral TikToks says key mistakes can make homes look less expensive.
- Clare McLaughlin told Insider that people should avoid buying furniture from a matching set.
A budget-luxury expert who makes viral TikTok videos offering
Clare McLaughlin is a 28-year-old content creator with a Master of Fine Arts degree in interior design, based in New York City. She said she started making TikTok videos about art in April 2020, but turned her hand to
Her account, where she shares home organization and budget-luxury tips, has amassed over 955,000 followers at the time of writing.
McLaughlin told Insider budget
McLaughlin said there are a few things buyers can avoid when improving their home to ensure the space looks more expensive.
Avoid 'luxury signaling,' or products designed to make things look luxurious on purpose
Luxury signaling is a term the content creator uses to describe home decor products that try too hard to appear chic. An example McLaughlin gave was when companies sell "dishtowels with fancy French writing on them to give off a luxe feel." She said that "cheap things made with the intention to look expensive actually achieve the opposite."
McLaughlin recommended opting for simpler designs above all aesthetic distractions. "If you're looking to make your home look more expensive, I recommend sticking with more basic designs that reflect good craftsmanship," she told Insider.
Don't fall into the trap of buying matching furniture sets
While it can be easy to see the appeal of matching bedroom and living room furniture sets, where all the components use the same materials in the same colors, McLaughlin said they don't achieve a "high-end" look.
"Instead, it feels more like a furniture showroom," she said. "I would recommend that instead of looking for matching sets of new furniture at big box stores, try thrifting." She advised looking for antiques because they often cost less and are "usually constructed more carefully than modern furniture."
Try to not use overwhelming colors that clash with each other
Another simple tip McLaughlin suggested for those looking to achieve "luxe" designs in their home is to keep the color palette simple and avoid clashing colors.
Similar to the matching furniture sets, she said subtle differences can be more helpful than having the exact same color throughout. "In my bedroom, I stuck to a neutral color palette of beige and white to make sure my furniture was in conversation with each other — but not saying the same things," she said of her own home.
"My dresser is antique beige. I flanked it with two wardrobes from Amazon which are white; my headboard was a beige and white thrift find, and I decorated with pops of color on the bed and couch," she added.
McLaughlin believes these subtle differences look tasteful as "the room looks cohesive but also interesting."
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