18 Easy Home Upgrades That Will Transform Your Whole Apartment

Leigh Deux

If you've ever looked at a home decor tag on Instagram, you've probably felt the immediate desire to redecorate your entire home. (Personally, I go through this phase every few weeks). Unfortunately, making big changes to your home, whether it's a small apartment or a house, can be a pricey, lengthy, and complicated project. And who really has the time or money for that?! However, giving your home a little bit of an update doesn't have to be an intense change. There are some easy life upgrades for your home that will make everything look more fresh and new — and they don't cost thousands of dollars.

Sometimes, the smallest adjustments can make a really big impact on a specific room or even your entire place. You should focus on upgrades that are multi-functional so that they make your home look good while also making your life a little easier in some way. Whether the upgrade helps get rid of clutter, adds a touch of personality to a room, or makes some sort of daily task even a little faster (or all three!), you want to make changes that are positive and have a purpose. Feeling lost on where to start? Here are some ideas on how to make easy life upgrades in your home that will change pretty much everything.

1. Make Your Bed Look More Luxe With The Right Pillow

Headboard pillows, starts at $179,

A headboard can make your bed, and actually your entire bedroom, look instantly more sophisticated. Unfortunately, they are usually expensive and ultimately uncomfortable (even when they're padded, they're often very hard). However, this doesn't have to be the reality: CEO and founder of affordable home decor retailer, Leigh Goodwyn, suggests turning to headboard pillows to add a design element to small spaces for cheap: "Our headboard pillows are the perfect solution to creating a finished look for a bed in a tight space."

This headboard pillow from Leigh Deux, which starts at $179, is a great option. It's comfortable enough to act as a cushion, and it looks really good. They're also ideal for small bedrooms.

2. Add Plants

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Glass Vase, $16.99, Target

My personal favorite upgrade is simple: buy plants. Lots of plants! I recommend greenery, which tends to last longer and be less maintenance than flowers (if you buy bouquets, you'll be replacing them at least once a week). Succulents, air plants, or some kind of ivy are all easy to grow and take care of, and the touch of color they add to a room is hard to duplicate in any other way. If you can't do real plants, get fake ones. They'll make any room look instantly more bright, and some real ones even help purify the air.

3. Decorate With Items That Have A Purpose

The Sahara Cube, $129,

Decorative pieces are fun, but if they don't have some sort of function, then they're really just taking up space and making things look more cluttered. If your place is small, you should focus on decorating with purpose. also makes what they call "cubes." They look good, and according to Goodwyn, they "can be used as side tables, seating, or a design element at the foot of your bed." These make a great makeshift seat!

4. Utilize Under The Bed Storage

Under-the-bed Rolling Wood Storage Box, $59, Urban Outfitters

Whether you live in a small space or a large home, utilizing all possible storage is the best way to upgrade your place. Using hidden storage makes things look less cluttered and keeps you organized. Underneath your bed can be a great place to start, and a rolling box like this one is so easy to use. Add shoes, clothes, or whatever you want under there to stay neat and put together.

5. Switch Out Your Drawer Knobs

Marais Knob, $8, Anthropologie

Cabinets can easily start looking old and boring. Unfortunately, getting news ones can cost a fortune. Instead of doing that, upgrade the look with new door knobs. They're so much cheaper and can quickly brighten up the space and make everything look a little bit more fresh. They're also much easier to install!

6. Opt For Smart Lightswitches

Switchmate Snap-On Instant Smart Light Switch, $34.99, Amazon

If you want your house to be more hi-tech and cool, the first place to start is with your light switches. Seriously! These Switchmate ones in particular (and many of the other options) work with an app on your phone. From there, you can set up a timer so they go on and off at specific times, and you can also just control them from your phone if you don't feel like getting off the couch. They're also incredibly easy to install. It's definitely an inexpensive, easy upgrade that will make you feel very fancy.

7. Add Mirrors

Uttermost Rectangle Brayden Petite Arch Wall Mirror, $217.99, Target

Want to upgrade an entire room? Add a mirror. It sounds too easy, but it can really make such a difference. Mirrors are known for their ability to make small spaces look larger in a matter of moments, and I also think they add an extra quality of light to a room. They can be pricey, but I find that you can always score good deals like the one at Target listed above.

8. Throw Some Rugs Down

Andover Mills Frieda Area Rug, $16.99, Wayfair

Rugs can give a pop of color to a room, and they're also really handy in hiding dust and dirt. They also just look really nice, and of course, they protect your floors. This is another easy upgrade that can instantly change the look of an entire room, so why not try it out? Whether it's a small area rug or something larger, the options out there are endless. I like the prices at places like Wayfair.

9. Use Baskets As Decoration

Lucy Woven Laundry Basket, $79, Urban Outfitters

Woven baskets are a personal favorite of mine. They look very cool and trendy when used as a piece of decor, but they can also hold stuff in a nice way, which is really ideal. I like a big woven basket so that you can really get some items in there without them overflowing. This one is actually technically a laundry basket, but trust me: no one will be able to tell the difference.

10. Get A Diffuser You Can Control With An App

Aera Smart 2.0 Home Fragrance Diffuser, $179, Amazon

A super easy way to upgrade your home is to make it smell amazing. Who doesn't love that? You could do candles, of course, but a smart diffuser is kind of the best idea ever. You can control it with an app on your phone and set it on a timer. So, maybe you want your place to smell great when you walk in the door. Set up the diffuser so that it turns on 30 minutes before you get home. The smart function makes it really easy to use, and it's also a good conversation piece.

11. Put Dimmers On Your Lights

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch Smart Remote, $25.24, Amazon

Another way to upgrade your light switches is to add a dimmer. Being able to control the light in the room is great way to add ambience and save on electric. This switch also looks very hi-tech and fancy, and it's only $25!

12. Get A Duvet That Does The Work For You

The Hayes Nova English Grey Duvet Cover, $139-$179, Crane and Canopy

Making your bed every morning is one of the best ways to keep your bedroom looking clean and put together, even if the rest of it is a little cluttered. Unfortunately, making your bed perfectly is annoying. So, as someone who does make her bed every morning, I have to suggest this Crane and Canopy duvet cover. It is a life changer. The folded over white part? That's built into the duvet cover, meaning your bed always looks good without you having to nail the perfect fold. Seriously, I just pull this up to my pillows, smooth it out, and my bed is made. Definitely an upgrade worth spending money on.

13. Buy A Floor Pouf

Mistana Diana Pouf Ottoman, $122.99, Wayfair

If you live in a small space, chances are good that you need more seating for guests. A pouf is a great option. It doesn't take up as much space as furniture, and it's also incredibly to pick up and move wherever you need it. It adds a bit of a boho touch as decor, and it's also comfortable to sit on. And when you don't want it adding to the clutter, just pick it up and put it in a closet.

14. Add Cozy Blankets To Your Couch

Amped Fleece Throw Blanket, $44, Urban Outfitters

Blankets make any room look cozier and feel more comfortable — plus, they're obviously just fun to wrap around yourself. They make an easy upgrade because they can act as decor while also being something you'll actually use. Personally, I always keep blankets on my couches, thrown in a very haphazard, "I studied the Pottery Barn catalog to figure out how to lay this down" way, you know? Anyway, any time guests come over, they rave about them. See? Easy upgrade!

15. Hang Unique And Personal Photos

Canvas Prints, starting at $30,

One really personal way to upgrade your home is to add more photos. It's fun to go to someone's house and see all of their personal pictures, and for you, it's just a nice way to remember good memories. They also look good. If you're sick of frames, I highly recommend Canvas Pop: You just send in a photo, they do the work for you, and you've got a gorgeous, personalized print on your wall.

16. Install Motion Detector Lights In The Hallway

Mr. Beams Motion Sensing Night Light, $19.69, Amazon

Of course, you can put these motion lights anywhere, whether it's a hallway, kitchen or bathroom. If you, like me, do not like walking through the dark, add these. They go on as you walk by, so they don't eat up your electric bill, and they look very cool. These are also stick-on, meaning they're really easy to "install."

17. String Up Some Lights

Starry Fairy Lights, $17.88, Amazon

Want inexpensive ambience? Hang up string lights. They give a soft, dreamy light to any room they're in, and they make everything look extra cozy. They're so easy to use and play around with too.

18. Add Soft-Closing Hinges

Sugatsune Lid Stay Soft Close, $19.87, Amazon

This might sound like a random, boring upgrade, but trust me: it's pretty magical. Soft-close hinges, whether on doors or cabinets or boxes, are great. They eliminate slamming, something you never knew you didn't need, and they just make everything feel smoother. They're a really nice, inexpensive touch to your home that will make you feel a little fancier.