Model Home Tour: How To Make Your Home Look Expensive

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If you’ve ever been on a model home tour you know there are many benefits. The staged spaces are full of inspiration that you can use in your own home.

Model homes showcase the latest and greatest interior design trends from classic layouts to trending furniture styles. The rooms are professionally staged to be inviting and stylish while appealing to a wide audience.

They typically have open floor plans, neutral color palettes, different design styles, and decorating ideas. In this post, you’ll learn 9 benefits of a model home tour and how to use the ideas to make your home look expensive.

These ideas, tips, and tricks from a recent model home tour in Little River, South Carolina will inspire you to create your Designer Home!

Key Takeaways:

  • Find your design style by taking a model home tour.
  • Get decorating ideas and inspiration to use in your home.
  • Learn how to make your home look expensive.

This post is all about model home tour ideas and inspiration.

READ MORE>>> Home Design Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk 2024

model home tour contemporary living room

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Model Home Staging

The first step in designing your home is to find your design style. Model home builders often showcase a variety of design styles, both formal and informal, to appeal to a wide audience.

They often team up with a local furniture store that offers interior design services. It’s a win-win for both.

For the builder, furniture is expensive, and empty homes do not sell as well as staged ones since most people can’t visualize what to do with the open spaces. The partnership helps the furniture store because it’s like having another showroom and brings them new clientele.

model home tour white sectional

Sectional Sofa // Rectangular Cocktail Table // Tripod Side Table // Artwork // Silver Mirror // Round Pillow

1. Model Home Tour Design Styles

This tour features six Chesapeake Homes staged by Seaside Furniture in Little River SC. Each model home had a coastal feel, each one with its unique style.

These spaces will give you ideas and inspiration to create a high-end look for less in your home.

Modern Coastal Design

model home tour white sofa blue pillows

The management office was staged in a modern coastal design style with a laid-back vibe. It featured oversized bench seat sofas, a coastal-inspired color palette, and accents of light to dark blue.

Transitional and Traditional

model home tour fireplace

The second model home was a combination of transitional and traditional design elements. It had beach-inspired artwork in a neutral color palette.

In the upstairs bonus room, the coffee table and side table had an industrial-inspired vibe. It was paired with the printed accent chair for a fun whimsical touch.

Glam Coastal Model Home Tour

model home tour dining room

The third home felt glam coastal on the first floor with chrome accents and mirrored furniture. It had a neutral color palette with pops of navy blue.

On the second floor, the design style was eclectic with a traditional sofa, rustic farmhouse side table, and coastal rattan chairs.

The kid’s bedroom was very nautical coastal with the headboard made of ors, classic wood life preserver, and anchor side table, with rope and fishnet decor.

Eclectic Coastal Mix

model home tour blue sofa

The fourth home had an eclectic mix but the color palette was bright and bold. It had traditional light blue sofas, rustic farmhouse furniture, and a bold teal accent wall.

The upstairs theatre room had an industrial vibe with dark wood and black metal furniture.

Modern Contemporary Coastal

model home tour contemporary bedroom

My favorite was house number five because my go-to style is modern contemporary. It had a neutral color palette with light wood, rattan details, and contrasting black accents.

The sleek sculptural furniture, geometric shapes, and layers of texture gave it an elevated sophisticated vibe. In the upstairs bonus room there were black accents, mixed materials, light driftwood, rope cording, and stone accents.

Transitional Coastal

coastal dining room with coffered ceiling
Coffered Ceiling

The last house was transitional coastal which combines contemporary details with traditional styling. For example, the bookcase with turned wood spindles paired with the thin track arm sofa.

It had coastal details like crab artwork, fishnet accessories, coral reef rug, and shell-printed chairs. There was rustic furniture like a console table with metal wheels.

2. Design Principles in Model Homes

Aside from helping you find your design style model homes are an example of how to use the design principles in your home. Without a strong foundation, your space will look unfinished and off.

Balance and Symmetry

model home tour arch mirror

Model homes are a great example of how to apply design principles in your home. Balance and symmetry make a space feel cohesive and polished.

Balance is the idea that when you walk into a room everything feels like it belongs. There are three types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

Each type was showcased in this model home tour.


Types of balance

  • Symmetrical Balance: A traditional formal feel with a mirrored furniture layout.
  • Asymmetrical Balance: Informal with similar but not identical pieces, adding interest and personality.
  • Radial Balance: Furniture arranged around a central focal point, like a coffee table.
model home tour sunroom
Radial Balance

Scale, Proportion, Rhythm, and Emphasis

The design principles of scale and proportion were used throughout the spaces. Scale is the size of elements within a design, while proportion is how different elements relate to each other.

Rhythm which is the visual flow and repetition in a room was used in this home office space. The black accents carry your eyes throughout the room while adding contrast to the neutral base. This set of three mirrors is an example of the design principle of repetition.

Emphasis is the focal point of a room which can be an oversized piece of artwork, a fireplace, or an elaborate chandelier.

These are just a few of the design principles and how you can use them to add an elevated look to your home.

3. Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans are popular because they make a space feel larger and more expansive. Model homes are a great resource for different furniture layouts and arrangements within an open floor plan.

Defining Seating Zones

model home tour two chairs with blue chairs

They highlight how to define different areas and create zones. For example using area rugs and furniture to separate the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Aside from the classic sectional arrangement that everyone loves, you’ll see creative ideas for how to use a sofa and accent chairs or two sofas opposite each other to define living areas.

two sofas opposite each other

4. Furniture Layouts

The furniture in model homes is carefully chosen to fit the space and style. You’ll get ideas of how the different rooms can be used beyond your first impression.

Examples include bonus rooms used as offices, game rooms, or theater hangouts. This flexibility shows how to make the most of your space and gives ideas for creative furniture arrangements.

Model Home Tour Floor Plan Layouts

living room with rattan sofa and chairs with yellow cushions

Always measure and do a floor plan before buying any furniture. This way you know it will fit and you’ll avoid returns.

Make sure to grab the PDF download in the description below for a step-by-step detailed guide on how to measure and create a floor plan. 

5. Neutral Color Palette Ideas

Model homes are wonderful for color palette inspiration. Yes, many of the spaces have a neutral color scheme because that’s what is what will appeal to the widest audience.

It creates a blank slate so potential homeowners can visualize living in the spaces with their furniture and decor. The same concept applies to real estate staging or Airbnb design.

To attract the masses you need to depersonalize but still create a space that’s inviting and interesting. When you start with a neutral base you can add pops of color to your decor and accessories.

Model Home Tour With Color

Not everyone wants a neutral color palette. Color is also making a comeback and currently trending which was on display in the colorful living room.

The bedroom design is an example of a color palette created from a printed quilt. The colors were pulled out which you can see in the pillows and artwork.

bedroom with colorful comforter

Artwork is a great jumping-off point to create a color palette as shown in the console table moment. Pillows are another great place to start when creating a color scheme.

A cohesive color palette is especially important in open floor plans and spaces where rooms connect.

6. Layered Lighting At The Model Home Tour

Model homes use multiple sources of lighting to create mood and atmosphere. This includes overhead lighting, recessed lights, sconces, and table lamps. Layering your lighting sources will make your home look expensive and give it a high-end designer look.

Aim to have general, task, and accent lighting. The thing to remember about a lot of the lighting you see in model homes is builder’s buy in built. As you go through the spaces keep in mind you can always change out the lighting for a more elevated look.

Upgrading through the builder wil be an upcharge but this is something you can change later on your own. Remember lighting is like the jewelry of a room and will take a space from ok to FABULOUS!

Creating Mood and Atmosphere

The Chesapeake Homes were full of lighting ideas especially cool table lamps. They had sculptural shapes that looked like works of art.

Adding two table lamps to either side of your nightstands will make your bedroom look expensive. A unique sculptural table lamp will draw your eye in and make a statement compared to a classic traditional one.

model home tour contemporary bedroom

Just remember there should be one star of the show and the rest of the pieces are the supporting act.

7. Model Home Tour Design Trends

Model homes are full of the latest design trends in furniture and decor. This model home tour had the following on display:

  • Arch details have a moment in architecture, furniture, and decor which was in the mirrors and table lamps.
  • Caning and rattan are popular materials in the coastal design style which was in the chairs, sideboards, nightstands, and accent chairs.
  • The laid-back California coastal style was on display in the oversized deep sofas and sectionals.
  • Mixed materials are trending which are in rope and wood furniture, stone and wood tables, and wood with metal console tables.
  • Another trending material is bone inlay, which was in a coffee table and side table, for color, pattern, and dimension.
  • Mixed metals are a great way to add warmth and interest to your design which was in the modern contemporary kitchen.
  • Black and white is a classic timeless look that’s currently having a moment in furniture, accessories, decor, lighting, and so much more.
  • Organic shapes in mirrors, vases, and table lamps add movement and flow to a space.
  • Sculptural furniture with geometric shapes and interesting silhouettes add an updated look to your design.
kitchen with mixed metal
Mixed Metal Trend

8. Decorating Ideas From The Model Home Tour

Model homes are full of decorating ideas. If you’ve ever walked into a space that feels off and incomplete chances are it’s missing decor and accessories.

They’re the finishing touch that makes a room feel complete. Accessories are used to add personality and style to a model home.

This can include artwork, throw pillows, rugs, and decorative objects. When it comes to decorating less is more so layer in pieces with intension so you don’t overwhelm the space.

console table foyer

The Decorating Rule Of Three

ProTip: Use groupings of three elements in different shapes and sizes for interest.

Our brains are naturally drawn to odd numbers. Threes are particularly pleasing because they create a sense of balance and completeness.

They also tend to be more visually interesting than even-numbered groupings. When looking at the decor in model homes you’ll get inspiration on how to use coffee table books, vases, bowls, boxes, pillows, throw blankets, and so much more.

Decorating With Intension

Acceessories are an inexpensive way to add a pop of color in neutral spaces. Just remember the design principle of repetition and add the color in three places for it to make sense.

This model home had so many creative ideas for how to style accessories in your home. From stacked frames on a shelf, to ways to display greenery on the wall, layered accessories, creative mirror arrangements and so much more.

model home tour home office

They used beach-inspired touches without them screaming coastal. That’s a designer skill you can learn and master with practice. These tips will help you decorate your home with intention and style.

9. How To Make Your Home Look Expensive

We have learned so much from studying the details of this model home tour. You can now take these ideas and inspiration to make your home look expensive. These designer tips and tricks will help you get started!

  • Fifth Wall– Designers don’t forget about the fifth wall as we saw in the coffered ceiling and tray ceiling details.
  • Molding- Crown molding, board, and batten patterns, and creative picture frame molding will all add an elevated look to a room.
  • Oversized Artwork- An inexpensive way to make your home look high-end is with large oversized artwork. Add it over a console table, fireplace, nightstand, or any empty wall. Shop HomeGoods for affordable options.
  • Window Treatments- Floor-to-ceiling curtains draw your eye up and make the walls appear taller. You can get the look for less by adding a border at the bottom of curtain panels.
  • Greenery- Adding greenery will make your home look expensive while bringing the outdoors in.
  • Mirrors- Using mirrors in your design will make a room feel larger and reflect light.
  • Texture and Pattern- This can be added in through rugs, throw blankets, pillows, upholstery fabric, curtains, furniture, and decor. It’s especially important in neutral color palettes so they don’t appear flat or boring.
  • Statement Piece- A decorative console table, mirror, headboard, printed chair, colorful artwork, bar cart, or any other piece that draws your eye in and commands attention can be used as a statement piece.
bedroom with box molding on wall

That’s A Wrap!

Model home tours are a wealth of inspiration and practical ideas for designing your home. Whether you visit in person or view them online, these tours showcase creative ways to make your home look like you hired a designer.

By applying the design principles, staying updated with trends, and thoughtfully arranging furniture and decor, you’ll create a beautiful and expensive-looking home. It just takes a little time, patience, and practice. Remember Good Design Takes Time, Don’t Rush The Process!

This post is all about model home tour ideas and inspiration.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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