Decorators Swear By These 40 Cheap Tricks To Make Homes Look More Expensive

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Just because something looks expensive doesn’t mean it actually is expensive. That’s just one of the many tricks that interior designers use, along with making the most of all the cheap, decorative products you can find on Amazon. But rather than have you pay for a professional design consultation, I’ve reached out to a handful of designers who shared their must-have products — as well as any tips or tricks to make your home look more expensive.

I know what you’re thinking: “This stuff can’t look that good if it’s genuinely cheap, can it?” But it’s not always about adding decor. Sometimes all your home needs is a little pick-me-up around the edges, and these metallic paints can help. Organizing and decorating expert, Michelle Hansen, explains that “using metallics takes your design up a notch, and creates the feeling of wealth.” Or, if you’re looking to decorate instead of upgrade, be sure to check out the decorative vases and curtains I’ve made sure to include — all recommended by professionals.

Even if you’re designing on a budget, there are still ways to make your home look more expensive — and these decorators have some great ideas when it comes to your living room. Keep scrolling for more.


The Metallic Paint That Can Help Restore Antique Furniture

Michelle Hansen, organizing and decorating expert as well as owner of Practical Perfection, recommends incorporating small pops of color to take your decor to the next level. “Using metallics takes your design up a notch and creates the feeling of wealth,” she explains — so grab these paints. Each one has a wax-metallic finish that’s great for stenciling, and they’ll even work great when restoring antique furniture.


This Rug That’s Lined In Fluffy Faux Fur

Andra DelMonico, lead designer at Trendey, recommends using a faux fur rug like this one for pretty much everything. “It could be used next to a bed as a rug, draped over a sofa or accent chair, placed in front of a fireplace, or layered on top of an area rug with a coffee table over it.” And with eight colors as well as five sizes to choose from, there’s sure to be one that suits your home.


These Pillow Covers Made From Soft Cotton Linen

DelMonico also says that you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your living room a refresh. She recommends that “instead of buying all new expensive pillows, you can cover your existing pillow with covers made from luxurious materials” — so grab this pair made from soft cotton linen. The invisible zipper won’t snag on clothes, while the double-stitched seams will help keep them looking great for the foreseeable future.


A Ceiling Light That’s Sleek & Modern

If your light fixtures are looking a little outdated, this Sputnik-style one features a clean design that DelMonico describes as “modern.” The arms are pre-wired, allowing for stress-free installation — and it’s even designed to work with dimmer switches. The best part? It’s available in four-, six-, or eight-bulb designs.


The Tabletop Fountain That Adds Serenity To Any Room

Amira Johnson, an interior designer at Emerald Doors, recommends this miniature fountain by HoMedics that’s available for less than $30. It’ll help create a soothing atmosphere, thanks to the tiered design with subtle lighting. Johnson says, “The gentle soothing flow of water replicates the sights and sounds of a tranquil spring.” It’s the perfect size for your nightstand or end table, making for instant ambiance.


These Mirrors That Reflect The Changing Phases Of The Moon

Looking for an easy way to bounce natural light around dark rooms? Johnson also recommends these moon phase mirrors. Each order comes with sticky 3M adhesive that makes it easy to hang them up, and one reviewer even raved that they “really brought life to my bedroom.” Choose from three finishes: beige, black, or golden.


A Trio Of Paintings That Won’t Break The Bank

Wall art can add a sense of luxury to your home — but they can also set you back a pretty penny. That’s why Johnson suggests grabbing this trio of prints for less than $30. They’re waterproof as well as UV-resistant, which helps keep them looking great when placed in direct sunlight. Plus, there are even more than 10 different designs to choose from.


The Turkish Rug With A Warm, Vintage Touch

Martin Orefice, real estate and interior design expert as well as founder of Rent To Own Labs, says a Turkish rug like this one is an affordable way to add style to bare floors. “It adds a vintage touch that improves the appeal and makes your room look expensive,” he explains. And with its nonslip rubber backing, there’s no need to worry about it sliding out from underneath you.


A Set Of Frames To Create Stylish Gallery Walls

“Gallery walls instantly add an artistic touch to your space and make it look exquisite,” explains Orefice — so grab this set of frames. The varying sizes allow your eyes to travel all over them, giving your walls some much-needed variety. Plus, each one is made from waterproof MDF material.


This Pendant Light That Adds Warmth To Stale Rooms

This pendant light is a great and inexpensive way to see your dining space in a new light,” explains Orefice. He recommends opting “for warm colors like yellow to sketch a vibe of warmth and comfort in your dining area,” he says. And unlike some light fixtures, this one is compatible with dimmer switches as well as bulbs.


These Salt & Pepper Grinders That Pack A Stylistic Punch

If you’re only able to update one room in your home? Ashley Peeling, brand and resident marketing manager of CLV property management group, recommends doing the kitchen. “The kitchen is a key area that you can elevate to make your home look more expensive,” she explains — and these salt and pepper shakers are an affordable way to add style to your tabletops. The coarseness is adjustable, and each one is made from natural oak wood.


A Double-Sided Cutting Board Made From Acacia Wood

“Having high-end decor in the kitchen makes the space look much more expensive,” explains Peeling. “Especially if you live in an older house or apartment” — so grab this wooden cutting board. Not only is it made from eco-friendly acacia wood, but the natural wood grain gives it a unique design that looks more expensive than it is. Plus, it is double-sided, features side handles, and can even be used as a charcuterie board.


The Backsplash That’s Made For Renters

Not all rental apartments come with a backsplash — but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own. “If you are renting, another great hack is to add a peel and stick backsplash of your choice,” advises Peeling. “The little details in decorating a kitchen differentiate between an average kitchen, versus one that looks high-end.” And unlike some temporary backsplashes, this one is waterproof as well as heat-resistant.


A Set Of Glasses That Add Pops Of Color Everywhere

Looking for table centerpieces that are stylish yet functional? Interior designer Lisa M. Cini recommends using colorful glassware to create your own — and this set in particular is available for less than $30. “The glassware helps create a wonderful display of colors with glass and objects,” she explains. “It is the perfect way to decorate your dining room table, entry table, or fireplace with a bold splash of color.”


These Throw Pillow Covers That Are Soft & Cuddly

If you’re in the market for trendy throw pillow covers, Cini also says that these fuzzy ones are “a great item if you’re on a budget, wonderful to cuddle to, and make a fantastic design statement.” But if that isn’t enough? They also come in 10 trendy colors, ranging from gorgeous blush pink, to a vibrant shade of bright yellow.


A Candle That Burns For More Than 40 Hours

Candles are an easy way to add a soothing ambiance to your home, and this one in particular (also recommended by Cini) is made with 100% soy wax, along with a cotton wick. The result? It produces less soot than paraffin candles, all while providing more than 40 hours’ worth of light. “This Birthday Cake smells amazing,” raved one reviewer. “I like that it burns clean.”


The LED Smart Bulbs That Don’t Need A Hub

Feel like your bedroom isn’t as cozy as it could be? Try switching out your bulbs. “Lighting is key to a state of zen,” explains Cini. “Install smart lighting so that you can create the right mood in your home to relax and be cozy.” Plus, these specific bulbs don’t require a smart hub — although you can add the brand’s Hue Hub for more lighting options. And these highly rated bulbs are compatible with Alexa.


An Elegant Tray With A Trendy Alligator Skin Pattern

With its trendy alligator skin print, this serving tray — which was suggested by Cini — is a stylish addition to ottomans, coffee tables, vanities, or even on the back of your toilet. It’s the perfect place to keep small bottles, as well as serve meals. And if black doesn’t suit your style? Choose from 10 shades, including a metallic silver option.


These Curtains That Add Luxury To Any Room

According to Lauren DeBello, founder and principal designer of Lauren DeBello Interiors, adding curtains — like these ones — can make any room feel more complete. “Window treatments always help pull a room together,” she explains. “When hung at the proper height, they help draw the eye upward and make spaces feel more luxurious.” Choose from more than 10 colors.


A Hardcover Book That Just Looks Plain Good

“Some of my favorite styling items are coffee table books,” explains DeBello. “Simply stack a few on top of a coffee table with your favorite candle and a vase, and you have a thoughtfully styled space.” This book in particular even has helpful advice on how to modernize your home — all while maintaining a laidback vibe.


The Faux Olive Branches That Add Green To Any Room

Always forgetting to water your plants? DeBello recommends these faux olive branches that doesn’t require any upkeep whatsoever. Each branch has four flexible stems, as well as 12 olive fruits. DeBello tells Bustle, “While it's ideal to use real plants and flowers, not everyone has a green thumb, so I opt for faux plants and flowers when possible.”


These Fake Eucalyptus Branches That You Can Trim

If you aren’t into olive branches, Lauren also recommends these fake eucalyptus branches. “Add a few branches to a vase and you have a beautiful, long-lasting arrangement” — and unlike some fake plants, you can easily trim these to fit depending on the size of your vase.


A Pair Of Curtains That Let Light Stream Through

Short on natural light in your home? Karen Gutierrez, interior designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors (MCI), recommends dressing up your windows with sheer curtains — like these ones. “Sheer Curtains will always make homes feel cozy with a touch of elegance,” she explains. Choose from five shades, as well as four sizes.


This Abstract Vase That’ll Look Great On Your Desk

Not only is this abstract vase the perfect size for a desk or bookshelf, but Gutierrez even raved about how its “cool design adds an artistic and elegant touch!” It’s made from white ceramic — and if you don’t have any flowers, you can also fill it with everything from paint brushes to office supplies.


These Gorgeous Peonies Made With Silk Leaves

Speaking of plants and vases, Gutierrez also suggests these faux peonies — and they even come in four colors to suit any style: cream, pink, peach, and blue. The petals are made from soft silk, giving them a luxurious touch that makes them look more expensive than they are. Plus, one reviewer even wrote about how they bring a “freshness” to her coffee table.


A Throw Blanket Made From Soft Faux Fur

If your couch looks a little bare, Gutierrez also recommends draping this indulgent throw blanket across to give it a little warmth. It’s made from soft faux fur — and both sides are absolutely covered with it. “So, so soft,” raved one reviewer.


The Throw Pillow Covers That Ooze Texture

Decorating your home with a variety of textures is an easy way to keep the design interesting. But if you’re in need of suggestions? Gutierrez recommends these wavy throw pillow covers. They come in more than 10 colors, as well as seven sizes — and reviewers loved how soft the velvet feels against their skin.


These Decorative Pillow Covers With Cute Pom-Poms

If the previous pillow cases didn’t suit your style, Gutierrez suggests checking out these pom-pom ones. They come in even more colors, and their hidden zippers won’t snag on your clothes or hair while you’re napping. Plus, the soft velvet material is fade-, as well as stain-resistant.


A Unique Vase That Stands Apart From The Crowd

Dala Al-Fuwaires, owner and principal designer at House of Form, suggests using stylish vases — like this one — to add elegance all over your home. “Even if you live in a small space, vases come in all sizes and can be used in almost any room,” she explains. The matte finish looks great with all types of greenery, and you can even use it as standalone art — no plants necessary.


This Book With The Complete Louis Vuitton Fashion Catwalks

Still on the hunt for a good coffee table book? Al-Fuwaires recommends this classy one with the complete Louis Vuitton catwalk fashion collections. “This Louis Vuitton book can be aesthetically pleasing sitting under a TV, on a nightstand, or open on a coffee table,” she explains. “The color and contents of this book feels luxurious, but doesn't break the bank!”


These Candlestick Holders With A Rustic Touch

Regardless of what season it is, these candlesticks can help give your space an ambient, rustic warmth. The varying heights help draw your eyes upwards — and Al-Fuwaires even says that “these modern candlesticks tie in old and new.” Plus, the wide base helps prevent them from tipping over when lit.


A Pair Of Curtains That Reviewers Can’t Get Enough Of

Not only have thousands of reviewers left positive reviews on these curtains, but Al-Fuwaires also recommends using them to help make your rooms feel taller than they are. “Incorporating long drapes is an easy way to make a space feel completely different,” she explains. “Replace those old blinds with flowy drapes and the room will feel taller and brighter!” This set from Amazon Basics is available in several lengths and patterns so you can find just the right look for your space.


The Terrarium With A Stylish Golden Frame

Joshua Blackburn, the director of design and construction of Evolving Home and professional decorator for Blackburn Construction, suggests using this terrarium as a table centerpiece. Add your own succulents for a hint of green, or even place a candle inside for some chic lighting. Choose from two finishes: gold or black.


These Containers That Help You Organize Your Pantry

Michele Vig, owner of Neat Little Nest and author of the book The Holistic Guide to Decluttering, recommends using these food containers to organize your pantry. The lids are airtight, helping keep the contents inside fresh until you’re ready to cook — and they work great with everything from brown sugar to cereal.


A Small Bookshelf That Takes Up Hardly Any Room

Vig also suggests using this small bookshelf to help yourself stay organized. Stack them together to create larger units — or, you can even buy them in different shades to keep all your belongings sorted using a color-coded system. Plus, it was “very easy to put together and sturdy,” according to one reviewer.


The Modern Mirror With A Helpful Shelf

Farris Wu, founder and CEO at DecorMatters, suggests hanging up this mirror to help bounce light around dark rooms. It also features a helpful shelf at the base that’s perfect for toiletries, while the bronzed frame gives it a modern feeling that looks more luxurious than it costs.


A Chandelier That’s easy To Install

If you’re still looking for chic lighting, Wu suggests taking a look at this chandelier. Not only did reviewers raved about how it’s “easy to install,” but many also wrote about how it works perfectly in their walk-in closet. The best part? Unlike many chandeliers, this one is available for less than $30.


These Aluminum Shower Shelves With Gorgeous Gold Finishes

Alena Capra, interior designer and Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer (CMKBD) at Alena Capra Designs, suggests adding these aluminum shower shelves to your bathroom. Aside from the luxurious anti-rust golden hue, they’re easy to install with the included adhesive.


These Throw Pillow Covers That Feel Like Soft Velvet

Capra also suggests adding these throw pillow covers to your home decor. They’re made with polyester but feel like soft velvet, and the zipper is hidden so that you can relax in total comfort. They’re also available in well over 20 colors and various sizes, and over 42,000 customers have given them five-star ratings.


These Faux Orchids With Soft, Silky Petals

These faux orchids were also recommended by Capra, and they’ll add some floral decor to your living space. The pedals are made with silk, and the flower itself is based in a a sleek ceramic planter. They’re also available in pink and purple-red. One customer wrote, “This is really an exquisite item, top quality, beautifully made and vastly exceeded our expectations.”

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