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Your home could look a hell of a lot better with any of these cheap, clever tricks, according to designers

Apr 29, 2023Apr 29, 2023

Pro advice that makes it easy to make your place your dream home.

Interior designers are in the business of making your existing space better. That's why I reached out to designers to gather their favorite tips and tricks that make it easy to make your home look a hell of a lot better without doing a lot of work — no contractor necessary. In addition to quality items at surprisingly low prices, products that cleverly hide clutter, and smart visual tricks that make any space look better, these hidden gems are all fast and easy to install and set up yourself.

Kathy Kuo, the founder, CEO, and design expert of Kathy Kuo Home, is a big believer in adding small but luxurious touches. "People overlook the bathroom when it comes to home design," says Kuo. She recommends adding a plush memory foam bath mat to elevate the space. And because it comes in 22 fade-resistant colors (and eight sizes), it’ll be easy to match to the rest of your decor.

By adding thoughtful touches like a coastal-beach-style waste basket, Kuo says you can transform your bathroom into a "true sanctuary." This model has a durable metal frame and two wooden handles and it can hold five gallons' worth of trash (or even books and pillows if you choose to use it for storage instead). And because it's made of plastic wicker, it's waterproof and it won't shed or fall apart. It's available in three colors within the listing.

Kuo recommends adding "luxe towels" to make your bathroom look better and this six-piece set of bath towels has everything you need. It comes with two washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels made of 100% Turkish ringspun cotton. "[This] is the best choice if you want to invest in soft, plush bath linens. [...] it feels luxe and substantial, like a high-quality hotel towel. With each wash it felt fuller and plusher," wrote one shopper.

For an affordable and quick way to give your home a makeover, Artem Kropovinsky, an interior designer and the founder of Arsight, recommends picking up some decorative throw pillow covers "that complement your existing color palette or opt for a bold, contrasting [set] for an attention-grabbing effect." This soft chenille pair comes in nine different colors and several sizes within the listing and these highly rated inserts will fit the pair shown.

"A scented candle can generate a warm, cozy atmosphere in your home," says Kropovinsky. This soy candle comes in 18 different scents including eucalyptus and orange, bergamot and jasmine, and wild lavender. Plus, it has a crackling wooden wick and a burn time of at least 45 hours.

To introduce a "breath of life and freshness into your home," Kropovinsky says it's as simple as adding some greenery to your home. This snake plant is easy to care for — it only has to be watered once every couple of weeks — and it will even remove some pollutants from the air. It's available in several different pots within the listing.

This hexagon wall mirror will do so much more than bring style to your walls; Kropovinsky says that mirrors have the power to make your room appear larger and brighter. "It can bounce back natural or artificial light and give an illusion of extra depth and space," he says. This mirror has a wooden frame and attached sawtooth bracket, making it easy to hang. It's available with four different color frames within the listing.

To refresh the aesthetics of your space without spending much money, Kropovinsky recommends picking up a decorative blanket like this waffle-knit throw to immediately add color, texture, and, of course, a cozy vibe to any chair, couch, or bed. This lightweight option is made of breathable polyester material that can be used all year. Check out all 18 colors within the listing.

While Selena Lewis, the interior designer of Selena Lewis Designs, says that any kind of curtains can add "pops of color and texture to a space while making your room look larger and more sophisticated," she loves velvet curtains in particular. Pick up this two-pack of panels in any of the 25 colors and seven sizes within the listing.

This vinyl peel-and-stick wallpaper can cover 14.5 square feet — but don't restrict this fabulous design to just the walls. "Add it to an old armoire face, a dresser, or on the walls of your builtins," says Lewis. One reviewer wrote, "I was concerned if the wall paper will peel off from the heat in the kitchen whenever I cooked. It hasn't and it's been almost 4 months now. [...] It's thick and sticky enough to stay in place, but if you make a mistake it's easy enough to pull it off and start over."

As easy as they are to install, Taylor Fletcher, designer and owner of Avelon Home, believes that simply swapping in new light switch covers can completely upgrade your space. This three-pack comes in a clean white design (as well as three other colors) that will brighten the walls. Plus, they’re insulated to increase energy efficiency.

Nichole Abbott, a FLOOR360 interior designer says, "A great decluttering tool is a TV wire and cord hider that is applied to your wall and with the cord inside." These paintable cord concealers can hold up to three wires each, adhering to your wall so you have clean straight lines running along your wall and floorboards instead of tangled cords.

"To display your plant creatively, consider using [...] a hanging planter," says Kropovinsky. The ceramic pot is held in place by geometric metal wires that are rust-free. The planter is available in several colors within the listing, as well as a freestanding version. "The mounting screw has a built in cap that perfectly matches the frame. The vase is removable for watering or changing out the plant," noted one reviewer.

If your apartment building doesn't allow you to remove unsightly blinds, Raquel Kehler, a house flipper and interior design creator at, recommends semi-transparent panels like these linen curtains. She says they "let the light through transform[ing] your windows from an eyesore to a focal point." This set of two panels is made of a linen blend that drapes beautifully and it comes in 17 colors and nine sizes within the listing.

Fletcher recommends adding under-cabinet lighting, saying it's "very easy, [and] inexpensive." These wireless light strips turn on when they detect motion, come with a remote, and can adhere to various surfaces so you use them along stairways or other spots around the house. They install via adhesive and use an outlet for their power source, so you won't need to change their batteries.

To free your tub of clutter, this shower liner with mesh pockets will come in handy. Kehler prefers clear organizers like this one so that you can easily see what each section holds. There are nine pockets in total, varying between three different sizes so they can hold everything from a large shampoo bottle to smaller items.

Rather than keeping all your cables and chargers out in the open, Fletcher recommends adding an outlet cover to your cart so you can keep it all hidden behind your couch or nightstand. The slim cover sits flush against the wall while the three-foot cord gives you three outlets so you can plug in multiple devices.

Kehler says, "Replacing the plastic bottles you get at the store instantly makes these products look high-end while allowing you to be eco-friendly as well." Pour dish soap, liquid bathroom soap, or hand lotion into these glass soap dispensers. They each hold 17 ounces and come in seven colors within the listing.

To bring "visual trickery to your windows," Jennifer Verruto, founder and CEO of Blythe Interiors suggests placing your curtain rods a bit higher than the frame so you can utilize longer curtains, making your ceilings appear higher. This model has a sleek design that is easy to fit into any room and it can hold up to 22 pounds. It's available in three finishes and three lengths within the listing.

"Layers of lighting make a room instantly feel more luxurious, and of course functional," says Chrissy Arsenault, the owner and designer of Live Original Design. She recommends adding a wireless picture light like this model that comes with a remote, has bright LED bulbs that can be switched between warm, natural, and white light, and has adjustable brightness. The light bar attaches magnetically to the holder to easily recharge via USB. It comes in several finishes within the listing.

Fletcher recommends using "stick on remote puck lighting for all of your shelves (decorative pieces, bookcase, closets)," This two-pack of wireless LED lights is completely battery-operated and can be installed with either adhesive tape or screws (both of which are included). They can switch between three different color temperatures and can be turned on and off with a tap.

Whether it's toys, magazines, or random collections of items that pile up, Arsenault suggests hiding clutter in a uniform set of baskets like this three-pack of woven storage baskets. The baskets are made of 100% cotton rope with reinforced stitching and built-in handles. They’re available in tons of colors within the listing.

Abbott says, "Marble looks are very popular with the way they bring a luxury look to any room they are placed in." This marble container with a sealing wood lid can be used to store anything from cotton rounds to salt in your bathroom or kitchen. And thanks to its solid weight, it won't slip and slide on the counter.

For added decor and storage, Melony Huber, a fashion and interior design expert, and the co-founder and design director of La Peony, suggests adding some floating shelves to your cart. This three-piece set is made of wood and durable laminate that enables each to hold up to 17.5 pounds. Use them to keep your toiletries displayed neatly in the bathroom or to hold family photos in the living room.

These wooden plates will be useful at dinner time or when serving guests dessert, and Huber says they work as a beautiful display piece too. The set of four plates "adds warmth to any kitchen plus, they are on trend," she says. The set is handcrafted from solid acacia wood that is scratch-resistant.

Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, an interior designer and hosting aesthetic expert, is here to remind you that your bedroom is an oasis. To keep it looking that way, she recommends picking up a quality duvet cover set. This one will keep your temperature regulated so you can sleep cool throughout the night. The set comes with two matching sham pillowcases and is available in 13 colors within the listing.

Hartman Malarkey says, "Keeping things cohesive makes the space feel put together." She recommends getting "a nice matching set to bring it all together," like this 10-piece matching frame set. Each frame features glass inserts and can be hung both vertically and horizontally. And because it comes in four different finishes within the listing, it's easy to match to any decor.

According to Hartman Malarkey, this tissue box cover "immediately upgrades the look of the bathroom while keeping the essentials accessible." Its chic faux leather is available in nine different colors in the listing and it can be folded down flat to store when not in use. And because it has a velcro belt at the bottom, the box won't slide out if you move it.

Robin DeCapua, the owner of Madison Modern Home, says that while these blackout blinds look expensive, they’re actually surprisingly affordable. "These blackout 100% natural blinds satisfy that need for a custom-designed look while providing great coverage and privacy for your windows," she says. They’re made of natural bamboo and can be used with or without the pull cord. They’re available in several different materials and colors within the listing.

"These flame-free candles in trendy smoked glass cylinders look way more expensive than they are," says DeCapua. You can use the wireless remote to put them on a timer, adjust brightness, and change the flicker mode. They come in a set of three different-sized pillars that look just as good apart as they do together. Several different colors are available in the listing.

Arsenault suggests buying smart light bulbs like these to avoid hiring an expensive electrician to upgrade your home wiring — all you have to do is screw them in and pair them with the included app. They can be controlled via Alexa or Google Home Assistant so you have a hands-free way of turning on the light when you walk in with your hands full, or they can be set on timers, dimmed, and changed in color by using the app.

Arsenault says that cabinet pulls can update the style of your kitchen or bathroom. She recommends a "black or a brushed gold finish [that] will go with most colours or wood tones." Because they’re made of durable stainless steel, they’ll withstand the test of time. Larger (and smaller) packs are available within the listing.

"An oversized rope basket looks attractive and can hold items that are adding clutter to your home," says Abbott. Because this one comes in a ton of neutral colors, it will fit in with the look of your space without overpowering it with its size. Made of 100% cotton, it will allow the pillows or blankets you place inside to breathe.

Fletcher says plug-in wall sconces are "a great way to add elegance to a space as well as lighting up an area that may not be lit well." These sconces come with everything you need to install them, have a gorgeous gooseneck design, and because they are plug-ins, you won't need to hire an electrician.

Susan Hayward, the owner of Susan Hayward Interiors, recommends throwing in some DIY projects to help keep costs down because "most of the cost in a bathroom is labor." Luckily, this matte black towel bar made of stainless steel is easy to install but will make a huge impact. In addition to the matte black option shown, it also comes in brushed nickel and polished chrome, as well as three lengths. "Nice quality, sturdy, and easy to install," wrote one reviewer.