Homeowners who want their property to look more expensive should focus on the real money makers and avoid trying to update everything. Learning that potential buyers will overlook places like the laundry but closely inspect the kitchen and bathroom can help you figure out where to put your renovation dollars.

Most of us “don’t in fact spend all that much time in the bedrooms, and so it’s better to make the most of the kitchen and dining areas and communal spaces. They also happen to be the real money makers when it comes to selling,” says leading renovation expert Cherie Barber.

“Things like internal painting, floor covering, window furnishings, lighting and the kitchen and bathroom make things look pricey,” she explains. “On the flip side, there is no point in focusing on the back yard and left of house – only the front facade, which is the area that adds value.”

“People don’t care about places like the laundry, which many people waste thousands of dollars on. Instead, it would be of far better value to spend just a few thousand on replacing the cupboard fronts in your kitchen or laminating your bathroom.”

“You can transform a whole bathroom and add thousands in value by spending just $500,” she says.

The first priority in making your home look expensive should be choosing the right colors and textures. Cherie advises painting rooms in light colors to enhance a sense of space. “Think about your carpets and drapes and whether these look outdated, and as soon as you fix these, your room will look instantly better,” she says.

Cherie has a number of tricks to improve the look of a room. Adding curtains will create an illusion of depth. Selecting a horizontal tile for the bathroom will make it look bigger. She also has a general theory that shiny tiles make a bathroom look more expensive. “Finally, remember lighting – as many people don’t get this right, and this is one of those things that can make or break a room,” she says.

Correct placement of furniture is key in interior design. “Get the furniture size and placement wrong, and you’re instantly losing value from your home,” Cherie says.

She advises against lining all your furniture up against the wall. “Your entire living room shouldn’t be placed against the edges of the room. “It doesn’t look great from a styling perspective,” Cherie says.

Remember the extra details such as rugs, plants and artwork. “While hard flooring does instantly look more expensive, it can look quite hard if you don’t use rugs throughout,” she says. “It’s like a woman forgetting to put lipstick on her makeup. Rugs are the makeup of your room, and they add a decorative edge to any room.”

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