» Home Your Home Could Look So Much More Expensive If You Try Any Of These Cheap Tricks Designers Swear By Your Home Could Look So Much More Expensive If You Try Any Of These Cheap Tricks Designers Swear By
Contrary to popular belief, elevating the look and design of your home doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Even better, leveling up your humble abode can be done in bite-sized pieces over time — that is, if you have the right guidance and resources to online picks that’ll make a world of a difference in your home for a fraction of the price.
Enter: the experts. From award-winning luxury interior designers like mother-daughter duo Sharon and Sherica Maynard, to founders and CEOs of interior design firms like Cameron Johnson and Dan Weiner, the sage advice below is worthy of a bookmark and some hefty note-taking. Covering everything from the secret power of detail lighting to the illusion of larger windows to create an atmosphere of opulence, there are plenty of tricks in the book that’ll go a long way in the upgrading process.
Paired with the one and only pocket-friendly Amazon, you can get to snazzing up your home with just a scroll and a few clicks. Whether you’re opting for gold accents that look like they cost way more than they do, plush area rugs that transform cold wood floors, or soft lighting for moody nights, this list has everything and more. Complete with five-star reviews from loyal customers, your next home project just got a whole lot easier.
Upgrade Your Pillow Covers To Add Fullness To Your Space
Marco Bizzley, a certified interior designer at
HouseGrail, tells Bustle, “Throw pillows, if chosen correctly, can make your home look very elegant, and they provide your family with a little extra comfort. They also add a layering feeling to your rooms.”
velvet pillow covers from Amazon are the epitome of affordable luxury and somehow come in a gazillion utterly brilliant shades and sizes. Not only do they look (and feel) incredibly plush, but the zipper is discreetly hidden so you’re getting 100% pillow cover with zero interruption. Bizzley also recommends opting for a pillow cover at least 2 inches smaller than your pillow insert, saying that “the plumpness is what creates the expensive look.”
Implement Touches Of Gold For Some Visual Balance
Bizzley also recommends paying special attention to gold detailing to create visual symmetry, telling us “the key is balance.” He goes on to say, “You don’t want to overdo; instead, opt for gold mirrors, gold-legged end tables, or gold picture frames.”
Not only is this
gold-legged round side table the ideal accent piece, but it is the textbook definition of mid-century modern done right. Plus, it comes in an array of four different color combinations including pastel pink, jet black, clean white, and slate gray.
Infuse Metallics Into The Details To Add Extra Dimension
As per Bizzley’s advice, implementing gold accents in your home is the key to design that is both well-balanced and visually appealing. This
gold floating picture frame is a super simple way to personalize your space without skimping on the attention to aesthetic. Available in four finishes ranging from rose gold to silver, this desktop frame also works beautifully to display pressed flowers for a little pizzazz.
Remove Stains On The Spot To Keep Everything Looking Good As New
If you’ve ever spilled wine on your couch, you probably have a pretty good understanding of the importance of working
quickly to make the fresh stain practically invisible. Bizzley recommends taking this approach with any and all stains, as well as practicing regular upkeep to make sure your home looks and feels fresh 24/7.
“Weekly dusting and vacuuming can make your home feel elegant and luxurious. When you see a stain, clean it up immediately to keep them from getting damaged and looking old,” Bizzley advises. To make that prospect more palatable, have a bottle of
Emergency Stain Rescue Stain Remover on hand — this commercial-grade product lifts even the most stubborn stains from most types of fabrics quickly and effortlessly, all without the use of any harsh chemicals.
Let The Light In For A Clean & Calming Ambience
In my opinion, natural lighting reigns supreme and always will. Even Bizzley advises to “allow as much natural light into your home as possible.” Natural lighting adds a gorgeous sheen to any room — especially when filtered through
sheer curtains that are designed to provide the perfect balance of brightness and cover. Sold in over 10 sizes and shades, these low-maintenance panels are the real deal.
Display Your Artwork For A Custom Gallery Wall Effect
Kate Diaz, an interior designer and co-founder of
Swanky Den, gave some genius pointers regarding all things wall decor. She tells us, “Frame inexpensive art or posters, then hang artwork that is out of frame on the wall to create a gallery effect.”
While it sounds too easy to be true, the proof is in the pudding (and the plethora of inspo you’ll find with a quick internet search). This pack of
wooden photo frames comes with 11 assorted sizes so you can mix and match until your inner interior designer approves.
Keep Plants In The House At All Times For Color & Texture
Diaz also suggests to “add inexpensive greenery just about everywhere.” Real or not, plants provide a pop of life in any space and can make the difference in whether an area is vibrant or not. Even
mini potted plants like these go a long way in the greenery game — and they’re available in sets of three zero-maintenance pieces including faux eucalyptus, rosemary, and boxwood.
Prioritize Accent Lighting For A Soothing Effect
Accent lighting is undoubtedly important when trying to put together a space that is well-lit, yet inviting. That’s why Diaz also suggests to “use accent lighting to brighten up the room.”
Sometimes, ceiling fan lights can have a dimming effect that isn’t ideal — but lamps and small lights throughout your place will instantly create an aura that is unmatched. This
dimmable bedside lamp, for example, is warm in light and also practical with four USB ports for convenient charging. BTW, there are three brightness levels and four dimming controls — so you’ve got the whole package here.
Lay Out Area Rugs To Bring Warmth & Definition To Any Room
If you ask me, area rugs are one of those interior details that never fail to make a significant difference because of their plush, yet floor-defining look. Diaz advises to “put down area rugs that coordinate with your furniture.” While the rug doesn’t have to be a monochromatic match, be sure to keep the harmony by taking into account how your current pieces will look paired with the newbie.
vintage-style rug is designed with a universal, simplistic pattern and comes in over 10 tones to choose from so you can get down to the ground details of decor. P.S. shedding is a non-issue here.
Select Light-Colored Wall Paint That’s “Not Too Stark”
Sometimes, the way you feel when you enter a room has a lot to do with the color and light in that space. As warmer shades tend to translate to calm and cozy feels, Diaz recommends to “paint the walls a light color that’s not too stark.” If you’re painting indoors, Boomerang’s eco-friendly paint boasts a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional formulas, with four times less than the competition. The eggshell finish promises a soft sheen that won’t easily show scuffs, and the surface is washable for easy maintenance. You should have full coverage in two coats, and a gallon is enough to handle up to 430 square feet.
Show Your Patio Some Love With Outdoor Mats To Freshen Things Up
Ever looked into outdoor decor? Andra DelMonico, the lead interior designer for
Trendey, tells Bustle, “Making your home look more expensive should also extend to the outside of your home. If you have a porch, entryway, deck, or patio, then you can add an outdoor rug.”
area rug from Amazon is a dream solution to worn-out patio flooring and comes in five hues to pick your winner from. Plus, it’s made of heat-treated fibers for ultimate protection to last through all the summer barbecues. If you’re curious about the power of an outdoor area rug, DelMonico adds, “Using an area rug can brighten a space, add color and texture, and tie the area together.” I totally concur.
Design An Accent Wall With Peel & Stick Wallpaper
On the subject of wallpaper, Delmonico says, “Customized wall treatments are a common occurrence in more expensive homes. You can easily mimic the look with modern peel and stick wallpaper.”
Peel-and-stick wallpaper has had a major moment lately, and it’s definitely clear as to why. This
feather flock pattern paper by Tempaper — which Delmonico recommends — has a ton of character and comes in five neutral base shades so it’s a breeze to coordinate with your home. Who else is ordering several just to test-drive the options?
Invest In Ultra-Long Curtains To Create The Illusion Of Taller Windows
As natural light is a game-changer, it only makes sense that windows play just as big of a part. DelMonico notes, “High-end homes typically have a lot of large windows to let in plenty of natural light. You can fake the look by replacing your current window treatments.”
To be extra specific: These
light-blocking window curtains with glowing reviews are *chef’s kiss* for creating the illusion of larger, longer windows due to their super roomy make and length of 95 inches. But let’s refer to the expert: “When mounting your new curtain rod, place it higher on the wall and closer to the ceiling. The curtains should extend to the floor. This creates the illusion that the window is taller than it really is,” DelMonico says.
Install An Extra-Wide Curtain Rod To Make Your Windows Look Larger
Speaking of curtains, what about the rod? DelMonico says, “Buy a curtain rod that is longer than the window is wide. Then buy curtains that are wide enough to extend beyond the window. This creates the illusion that the window is wider than it really is.”
You heard it here first — and what better way to bring it home than this
adjustable curtain rod that comes in bronze, black, and nickel? Plus, there’s a pretty sizable selection of sizes and counts — so you’re 100% covered.
Try Layering Your Lighting To Elevate The Vibes
As you might have figured, lighting plays a significant role in the aura of a room. But have you ever heard of lighting
levels? Lisa Galano, the interior designer and principal of Lisa Galano Design Consultancy, tells Bustle, “Creating lighting ‘levels’ verses just one or two light sources makes all the difference in creating an ambiance/vibe/mood.”
If you’re wondering what this looks like in practice, this
Simple Designs floor lamp is a prime example. Standing tall and bright, this lamp has lights at two levels (one of which can be used as a reading light) and comes in four finishes to match your individual style.
Galano goes on to elaborate, “Overhead lighting like pendants, recessed down lights, or decorative surface mounts
and floor lamps and table lamps create different heights of lighting, which, when also on dimmers, creates a delicious mood.”
Set Up A Dimmer For Mood Lighting To Your Heart’s Content
Speaking of dimmers, the
Kasa Smart dimmer switch is a highly rated Amazon find that has kind of revolutionized this whole mood lighting thing. With Alexa and Google Home compatibility, you can lower your kitchen lights with just the sound of your voice. Magical, I know.
Dimmer switches come highly recommended by Galano as well, her take being that they are “surprisingly cost-effective and allow you to create appropriate mood ambiance.” I trust the expert.
Neutralize Cardboard Tissue Boxes With A Sleek, Minimal Cover
Galano suggests using a
tissue box cover like this one to conceal loud packaging in an otherwise orderly room. Available in six vibrant finishes, this steel holder is the little box that makes a pretty remarkable difference. Even Galano says, “It’s a minor detail, but tissue box covers help elevate an otherwise ordinary utilitarian item. Tissue boxes rarely blend in with their loud patterns or printed text. Whether it’s in your bedroom, bathroom or living room, it’s a very minimal detail that goes a long way.”
Declutter Your Entryway With An All-In-One Storage Solution
When envisioning an entryway, clutter shouldn’t be a part of the equation. As Galano says, “Storage solutions in entryways consistently elevate the initial impression of your home.” This
all-in-one storage shelf is the premier problem-solver with its sleek wood finish, easy-install make, and built-in hooks for dog leashes and scarves galore. There’s even storage space for mail and other important documents. The key here is keeping the grab-and-go essentials tidy and in one place for both practicality and clean design right from the first walkthrough.
Decorate In “Groups Of 3” With Varying Heights
Valerie Ruddy, owner and principal decorator of
Valerie Ruddy Designs – Decorating Den Interiors, tells Bustle the importance of decorating in “groups of three.” She says, “Groups of three items are usually the max and should be of varying size. If your items are all the same height, use some books or a decorative box to elevate one above the rest.”
An easy way to incorporate this design principle? A set of
staggered candle holders, like this one from Melt Candle Company. Made of sturdy iron, the holders have an understated look with a modern matte-black finish. You’ll have to add your own candles, but this set works for both wax and flameless candles.
Pop On Some Peel & Stick Backsplash For A Practical Focal Point
It’s time to talk about kitchen updates and there’s
so much ground to cover. Sarah Gaffney, the design and development director for Next Stage Design, tells Bustle, “There are practical updates that can also go a long way in terms of design aesthetics — like updating tiling or faucets. A well-designed backsplash can make a kitchen, just as updated faucets and drawer pulls can work wonders in your master bathroom.”
For a backsplash option that’s incredibly practical yet high-design, this
peel-and-stick backsplash is everything. You can find it in six shades ranging from classic neutrals to cool-toned blues, and each package comes with 10 sheets so you can knock out this eye-catching project in one afternoon.
Upgrade Your Faucets For A Polished Kitchen Look
Per Gaffney’s recommendation, upgrading your sink faucets is a major win in the home interior design game. For a freshly polished look in your cooking space, swap out your staple for this
multi-tasking miracle faucet. Not only does it feature a pull-down sprayer, but it has three water functions so post-dinner cleanup is a cakewalk. The best part is the sleek finish that’ll have you excited to wash the veggies again.
Refresh Your Drawers With Brand New Uniform Handles
Gaffney also suggests upgrading your kitchen drawers with new pulls, and these
matte black stainless steel handles from Amazon are great choices. As minute as this detail may seem, handles get seriously worn over time and a quick switch will work wonders for your cooking quarters. This find comes in tons of counts and three finishes including black, brushed brass, and satin nickel to customize with your kitchen.
Organize Your Spices With A Wood-Finish Rack
three-tier expandable bamboo shelf is the ultimate storage solution that is so versatile it can be used for anything from skincare products to spices. Gaffney is also a huge fan of stocking up on shelves like these, noting, “In the kitchen, these could be spice racks, pull-out storage, and appliance garages. In other parts of the home, it could be built-in bookshelves and cubbies for kids’ rooms.” In that case, I’ll take three.
Maintain Your Utensils With A Handy Drawer Organizer
Going off Gaffney’s wise words, planting organization solutions throughout the home is a one-and-done way to fancy up the place
and help with stress-free storage. This bamboo drawer organizer comes in several size options so you can match to your specific cabinetry, and it’s 100% water-resistant for easy cleaning. The best part is the adjustable compartment dividers that you can switch up based on the size of your trusty utensils. Even your drawers deserve a makeover, dear reader.
Blend Design & Practicality With A Uniquely Shaped Bookshelf
Admittedly, novels strewn all over the house are a
look. The thing is, even the scattered book vibe could use a little order. But who says we have to compromise style? This super retro tree bookshelf displays books, movies, and more with its sturdy make and vintage finish for a warm rustic feel. BTW, I’m giving an A-plus to the pull-out drawer at the base for additional storage.
Open Up Your Space With A Full-Length Mirror
Have you ever wondered how exactly mirrors transform any and all spaces? Joshua Blackburn, the director of design and construction at
Evolving Home, tells Bustle, “Mirrors are inexpensive decor that can make your space look expensive. Create a mirror wall as a decorative statement. The way mirrors reflect light increases visual square footage, making your space look larger than it is.”
Starting with a shatter-resistant
over-the-door mirror is an excellent intro to the world of mirrors as useful decor. This one from Amazon also comes in five finishes, including light wood, black, and white. Now you can check out your outfit in its entirety while also making your room look and feel 10 times more spacious. Genuinely love that for you.
Expand Your Room With Mirrors That Double As Decor
In an effort to follow Blackburn’s advice to “create a mirror wall as a decorative statement” and add a little flair to your walls, this set of
mini sunburst mirrors is an impeccable option. Available in a wide array of colored finishes and styles (leaves and rhinestones, I see you), mounting pieces like these will instantly work to open up your space.
Give Your Home The Designer Look With This Luxury Overhead Picture Light
There’s wall art, and then there’s
well-lit wall art. Sharon and Sherica Maynard, award-winning interior designers, believe in the transformative effect of picture lighting, noting, “Amazon has some great inexpensive options that are plug-in or battery operated that give a very high-end designer look!”
In full transparency, this remote control
wireless picture light is one of the most stunning pieces I’ve ever seen. Fully adjustable with a plethora of dimming and brightness levels, this flexible overhead lamp shines a soft spotlight on your favorite works of art. An immediate add-to-cart.
Amp Up The Ambience With Soft Cabinet Lighting
Even cabinets need some luminescence, and the difference is pretty major. The Maynards tell Bustle, “Not only do they provide great ambient lighting but are functional as well because they are essential task lighting for prepping food prior to cooking!”
Aside from adding a touch of bright to the space underneath your cabinets and shelves, these
LED light strips are ridiculously simple to install with an ultra-durable adhesive backing. Believe it or not, just one pack is enough to revive the darker areas of your home.
Add A Dash Of “Whimsy” With Some Fun Flower Vases
Ashley Berdan, the interior designer and founder of
Ashley Berdan Design, raves about this glass bubble vase by Pearlead. She tell us, “A fun, bubble ball vase is a unique addition to a room. If you want to add whimsy to your space while still having a sophisticated look, this hand-blown amber glass vase will do just that.” This vase is the gold standard for creative home pieces. Made with a quirky bubble-ball design, it’s available in three shades including olive, clear, and amber. Who says a nicely decorated home can’t have a little fun?
Texture Up Your Living Room With Knitted Throws
Berdan also has a tip for infusing that coveted comfy-cozy feel into your quarters. She tells us, “To add dimension to your sofa, drape a knitted blanket over the corner seat. By adding texture to a room, it makes it feel warm and cozy. By draping a blanket over a sofa or chair, it’s not only creating warmth but it’s practical!”
knit blanket with fringe comes in a range of shades from bold to neutral. Plus, the thickness and knit texture makes for the perfect mix of elements. ICYMI, texture = really cozy.
Deck Your Walls Out With Molding Trim For An Element Of Character
If you’re looking to spruce up your bare walls, there’s no need to fret. Andrea Schumacher, owner of
Andrea Schumacher Interiors, tells Bustle, “Transform your walls and add molding! This can be as simple as updating baseboards and adding crown molding throughout the room.”
Whether it’s genuine molding or a
peel-and-stick trim like this breezy-install option from Amazon, the effect is still significant. Schumacher goes on to say, “Take it a step further and create a wainscot molding, or go floor to ceiling with panel molding. This really gives a room depth and character. It’s the details that make a home feel curated and not cookie cutter!”
Silk Or Satin Pillowcases For A Touch Of Luxury
By now, the impact of textures has been rightfully emphasized — and there’s more. Sarit Marcus, the professional interior designer and founder of
Minted Space, lets us in on a secret: “Focus on textures that add richness like velvet, velour and silk. These luxury textiles can be found at reasonable cost.” In fact, you can even find a satin pillowcase on Amazon of all places. This vegan silk cover earned high ratings from customers for its luxurious feel and wide range of shades for the ultimate personalization experience.
Upgrade Your Old Furniture By Refurbishing & Reupholstering
Marcus also emphasizes the importance of upgrading your furniture, telling Bustle, “Refurbish and reupholster old furniture — not only is it a more sustainable option, but refurbished furniture is a great way to make something uniquely yours at a fraction of the cost.”
Professional reupholstering and refurbishing can be pricey, but it’s cheap and easy to upgrade your existing pieces (or any thrift store finds) with the help of this
wood finish restorer. The penetrating formula blends out minor imperfections and removes fading, heat marks, and water rings — all without stripping the wood. It comes in popular wood shades like cherry, walnut, and oak.
Make Your Home Inviting With Wall Art That Adds Depth
Marcus also notes the necessity of wall art and where to buy it on a budget, saying, “Art pulls a room together. You can find plenty of inexpensive art online or at home goods stores.” For decor that packs a punch for half the price of typical wall art, this
three-piece set is unbeatable. Printed on canvas and available in four size options, you can’t go wrong here. Plus, you can get choosy with your favorite artwork since there are eight stunning art options from abstract mountains to vivid florals.
Trade Up For Super Fluffy Bedding That’ll Give Your Room A Plush Look
There’s something so satisfying about a
fluffy comforter and the effect it has on the room as a whole. Cameron Johnson, the founder and CEO Nickson, an interior design firm, tells Bustle, “Buying bedding like a comforter a couple of sizes bigger creates the illusion of making the room/bed look more expensive.”
Available in every bed size and an impressive range of colors, this Nestl duvet cover is like sleeping in a bed of buttery-soft marshmallows. Comfort aside, the sheer fullness of this find creates a vision of elegance and is the definition of high-quality comfort. The time for flat bedding is officially over.
Toss Some Faux Fur Throws Over Your Seating For Serious Grandeur
On the topic of opulence, Johnson also says, “Invest in a luxury throw blanket. Placing it on a couch, at the end of your bed or even on a chair, definitely evokes luxury in any room.”
Ultra-plush and unbelievably fluffy, this
faux fur throw is the wallet-friendly (yet totally premium) option for tossing something soft over the couch. This one also comes in four sizes and a wide array of colors that can complement a living room in seconds. Something to snuggle in and make the room look more luxurious? I’ll take it.
Spruce Up Your Space With Bright Florals To Give A Boost Of Elegance
Lynn Stone, an interior designer for
Hunter Carson Design, is a devoted fan of flowers. She recommends always having them on display in your home: “From your yard, from Trader Joe’s, this is one of the fastest, most affordable ways to make your home elegant.”
If you’re more of a zero-maintenance plant parent, these
faux flowers are the next best thing to revive your place. Available in several arrangements from blush pink to wine red, it’s completely up to to you how you want to design your florals. Regardless, elegance is a given.
Opt For Monochromatic Design To Simplify Your Colorway
Stone also notes the importance of monochromatic color design. She tells Bustle, “Going for a monochromatic look in different textures can read more elegant. The sum looks more than the parts. So if you choose ivory for a bedroom, you can do a boucle chair, a linen bed coverlet and a sheepskin accent pillow.”
This two-pack of plush
sherpa throw pillow covers offers geometric detailing and a touch of softness. The set is hypoallergenic, machine washable, and the perfect match for a luxe ivory bedroom aesthetic.
Color-Block Throughout Your Home For Aesthetically Pleasing Organization
For smoother mornings picking out your outfits and an overall tidier home or closet setup, Erica Thompson, and interior designer from
Organized by Design, recommends color-blocking. She says, “Color blocking makes a space feel visually pleasing and instantly elevated. There’s something dramatic about putting items in color order. You can take this approach in the closet, on a bookshelf, in your linen closet. In the closet, uniform hangers instantly take the space from chaotic to merchandized.”
Starting with the closet,
monochromatic hangers immediately add a sense of order to your wardrobe that may or may not be chaotic. These nonslip velvet hangers from Amazon have a full-rotation hook and keep your clothes intact with their velvety soft lining. Oh, and you can pick your favorite from a wide range of over seven shades.
Trade Out Boxes For Clear Apothecary Jars To Get That Clean Hotel Look
Thompson also suggests tossing out the original containers of your cotton balls and cotton swabs for clear jars. She goes on to say, “When you decant everything from detergent to rice, it gives your home a tailored, polished look. It’s like taking your home to the spa: It looks curated and cared for. And these jars are not expensive!”
This three-piece set of
clear plastic apothecary jars from Amazon is an ideal sub-in for glass if you want something less prone to breakage. As an Amazon’s Choice find, these jars are complete with easy-grip lids and a gorgeous crystal-clear finish. Pop in anything from cotton pads to candy and prepare to be amazed at the difference a simple container can make.
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This article was originally published on
Feb. 26, 2022