If it’s not too precious (and we’re resting on the assumption here that the piece in question isn’t), put some sort of distressed finish on it. Make it look like a French antique, and no one needs to know that it really isn’t.
What you put on the coffee table is as important as the coffee table itself. Pick wonderful accessories, like a few coffee table books and a nice vase, and that cheapo coffee table will suddenly look all grown up.
Mix and match
If you do have a few nicer pieces, spread them among your lower-end stuff. This will give your place a modern and eclectic feeling rather than one that’s cheap and collegiate.
To find those more grown-up pieces to pair with the cheaper stuff, look for vintage furniture. Try your parents’ garage, your grandparents’ attic, estate sales, flea markets, whatever -- anywhere you can find original furniture that will make a statement at a fraction of a cost.
Opt for quality
This goes back to the issue of actually owning cheapo furniture. While it’s totally understandable, it’s not something you should continue to invest in. Live minimally and save your money to invest in pieces that you’ll have for a long time, rather than buying junky furniture just to fill up space.
Don't stop there. Now, learn how to get that four-star hotel look.
Nestpert: Grayson Handy, co-owner and creative director of Prudence Designs and Events and author of the book Flowers for the Home: Inspirations from the World Over