Tips and Tricks for a Luxurious Looking Classroom (on a budget!)

Who says you should have to pay an arm and a leg for luxury?! Since we spend so much time in our classrooms, it helps to have a nice space for you and your students. In this post, I am offering seven tips and tricks for a luxurious looking classroom on a budget.

Photo Credit: The Engaged Classroom on Instagram

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Social media has really changed the game when it comes to how teachers prep their classrooms for back-to-school. Our visually stimulated society wants everything to look lush!

So here are some easy way to achieve that goal for your classroom this year.

1-Create a Uniform Style with Like Items and Colors

My first tip for having a luxurious looking classroom without breaking the bank is to create a style in your classroom with like items or colors.

An example of how to create luxury through similar items is to choose an “anchor” color in your classroom.

For example, my favorite anchor color is black because it goes with everything! 

So all my bulletin board background is black with pops of bright colors around it. I have also purchased inexpensive black rugs with bright colors from various places.

Photo Credit: Hollie Griffith, click image for her blog post about this classroom decor

That way, when I find items from thrift shopping or I get hand-me-downs, the black brings all of it together so it looks more luxurious.

-Tanya G. Marshall–The Butterfly Teacher

Coordinating around a “like” color gives an impression of unity in a space. (Ok, now I’m sounding like an interior decorator! Thank HGTV for that!)

When there’s a united look across areas of your room, it makes your classroom feel fancy!

You can create a look of luxury in your classroom with the simplest items that don’t cost much, just by having similar shapes, colors, and designs. 

2-Less is More For a Luxurious Looking Classroom on a Budget

Tip number two for a luxurious looking classroom on a budget is to declutter! 

Yep, it costs nothing but a little elbow grease and some time.

Do you really need 4 long tables plus 10 bookshelves, plus 50 set of library books for your kiddos? Are you truly going to use all 79 of those floor pillows for flexible seating?

When you already have to account for student seating and other real essentials, all the extra fluff only makes your class feel cramped.

Clutter instantly decreases luxury and comfort for ANY space!

Here are some organization posts for you:

simple organizing hacks for teachers
I put a pretty “skirt” around my teacher table to center supplies during busy teaching weeks.

So roll up those sleeves and take a good hard look at your stuff. Weed out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary for you and your students’ success. 

Less “stuff” opens a space and that will make your classroom appear bigger and more luxurious. 

3-Invest in Good Labels

My third trick for making your classroom look luxurious on a budget is to use nice labels for everything throughout your classroom. 

I used the word “invest” but honestly, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortunate. 

I use my DYMO Label Maker and I purchase white and clear labels.

If there’s anything that I do not want the label tape to ruin, I just cut out a small piece of scrapbook paper to place on the item I’m labeling, then put my clear label on that. 

Coordinating labels makes a space feel put-together. Organization is always in style!

So adding labels to things in your room will give the appearance of quality and lush. 

4-Remember the Rule of Three

My fourth tip for having a luxurious classroom on a budget is to decorate and arrange items in groups of three. 

Hanging or arranging items in groups of three is another one of those Chip & Joanna Gaines tips I learned from watching HGTV!

interactive bulletin board
I put our classroom theme in a set of three for symmetry + character education! Click the image if you want these letters too.

It’s a design principle that impacts the space and energy in a room. I’m sure you don’t want me to get all “feng-shui” on your here, but trust me–grouping decor in odd numbers WORKS!

Your classroom will feel more spacious and put together using this decorating tip.

back to school bulletin board
Get this bulletin board set HERE or by clicking the image.

Of course, groups of three aren’t just for your wall decor.

As you can see, I put the same classroom theme of “Play Nice, Work Hard, Stay Kind” on a bulletin board.

Using black bulletin board letters anchors all the bright colors, but at the same time, it makes them stand out more.

Seeing groups of three creates a look of balance, which elevates your classroom decor.

Give it a try with your bulletin board and wall decor next time!

5-Spray Paint is Your Friend

My favorite way to make my classroom feel more luxurious on a budget is to repurpose things I already have using spray paint! 

A few years ago, I needed some new literacy center containers.

So I created some teal and black containers by repurposing my Folger’s coffee containers! Once I cleaned them out carefully using Dawn dish soap and lemon juice to remove the coffee smell, I then spray painted them. 

I added my labels (remember tip #3) and oooh, la, la!…my classrooms have containers that feel instantly nicer in quality without spending a ton. 

You can also use spray paint on thrift-store finds like photo frames, coffee mugs, and storage baskets. 

Spray-painting things for classroom use gives you control to add that extra pizzazz! Plus, it keeps items uniform, as if you bought things in sets.  

6-Put Plants Around Your Classroom

My final tip for creating a luxurious looking classroom on a budget is to put plants around your classroom. 

Before you moan and groan about how you’re not a green thumb and you don’t have time for taking care of plants, hear me out.

Plants bring an element of life to any space that can lift the mood dramatically! They create the cozy feeling of “home” in your classroom.

Photo Credit: Creative Teaching: Click the image to see more

Most classrooms are full of natural light and the type of florescent lights that plants love. That should help keep those babies alive. 

PLUS, students love taking care of plants just as much as they do a class pet. And trust me, taking care of plant is waaayyy less maintenance than taking care of guinea pig. #BeenThereDoneThat

If plants still aren’t your thing, there are many beautiful artificial plants that will achieve the same feel of luxury in your classroom. 

The Dollar Tree (aka The Teacher Mall) has tons of gorgeous artificial plants that can be added to really inexpensive containers that look sleek and will make your classroom look great. 

Or you can just have beautiful plant themed decor on the walls and bulletin boards!

You don’t have to incorporate all these tips at once. But I hope you found something helpful to beautify your classroom this year.

Which one stands out the most to you? I would love for you to share it with me in the comments section! 

The Butterfly Teacher

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