Designers Secretly Do These Clever Things To Make Homes Look So Much Better

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Do you ever wish your home just looked... better? While it’s easy to clean up messes, the trick is figuring out why your home doesn’t look as good as it could — even once everything is spotless.

Luckily for both of us, I’ve reached out to a handful of designers to find out what their go-to tips and tricks are when it comes to making a home look nicer. From faux brick walls to easy-to-care-for plants, I’ve made sure that the tips you’ll find below can be used in a wide variety of homes. And besides — who doesn’t love a fuzzy area rug?

Designers do this for a living, so why not check out what they have to say? If you’ve looked for ways to make your home look better, make sure to keep scrolling for more.


Hide Clutter Inside Of This Stylish Ottoman

Chenise Bhimull, an interior designer at ZFC Real Estate, tells Bustle that “cluttered spaces do not look aesthetically appealing.” Thankfully, she also has an easy solution: “I love investing in multi-purpose furniture pieces to save space. For example, an ottoman that has a storage space as well.”

Not only does the top of this ottoman lift up to reveal hidden storage space on the inside, but it also features a padded top so that you can use it as somewhere to sit in a pinch. Plus, the faux leather exterior makes it look way more expensive than it is.


Make A Big Statement With This Small Ceramic Vase

Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest impact. According to Bhimull, “A few statement decor pieces look absolutely stunning. For example, a neutral toned vase on the center table with fresh flowers to add a pop of color.”

With its simple design and high-quality ceramic body, this vase is sure to become a stylish addition to any tabletop or shelf. It works just as well with living plants as it does dry ones — and you even have the choice of three colors: yellow, white, or black.


Save Some Money With Help From These Faux Flowers

If you’d rather not buy fresh flowers regularly, you always can give these decorative faux flowers a try. The petals are made from soft silk, giving them an ultra-realistic look — even up close. And since they’re also UV-resistant, there’s no need to worry about them fading in the sun.


Create A Rustic Vibe With This Bluetooth Speaker

Bhimull also suggests incorporating some vintage items into your home. “I love an overall contemporary space with a few vintage touches to create a warm and rustic vibe,” she explains. “Complementing neutral tones with shades of burnt umber and sienna would give your living space a homey feel. Wooden floors in warm tones with neutral walls and furniture is one great example.”

Speaking of vintage decor, this Bluetooth speaker combines similarly colored brassy details with a retro design, giving you the best of both worlds. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to six hours — and the Bluetooth connection can even reach up to 32 feet away.


Complement Warm Wood Floors With This Neutral Peel & Stick Wallpaper

Choosing the right paint for your walls can be tricky. Luckily, this peel-and-stick wallpaper comes in seven different colors, including a shade of neutral beige. The vinyl material is easily removable, and many reviewers wrote that it’s also “easy to apply.”


Change Up Textures In Your Home With This White Marble Contact Paper

If you can’t quite figure out why your home feels a little stale, Bhimull also recommends changing up the textures to add some character. “I love having a sense of texture in homes to give character to the space,” she tells Bustle. “A focal wall with a touch of natural stone like marble or exposed bricks is one way to add texture in your home.”

The only problem is that exposed brick and natural stone can be quite expensive. Instead, opt for this roll of white marble contact paper. It looks just like real marble — even up close — yet costs a fraction of the price. Installation is also a total breeze since the adhesive backing lets you stick it right into place.


Add Faux Brick To Your Home With This Peel & Stick Wallpaper

If that roll of white marble contact paper doesn’t suit your style, consider giving this faux brick peel-and-stick wallpaper a try instead. Measurement grids on the back help you line it up perfectly, while the tough PVC surface makes it suitable for use as a backsplash, or even inside of humid bathrooms. “I love this contact paper,” wrote one reviewer. “It was extremely easy to install and not as delicate as others I have used.”


Use Small Plants To Add Pops Of Green Throughout Your Home

Joe Human, a designer at Designs by Human, suggests adding small plants to your home. Speaking to Bustle, he says, “I always like to have small plants, flowers sprinkled throughout among my styling, stacked on books or tucked into an etagere on display.”

Not only are these air plants the perfect size for small spaces, but they also thrive when placed into indirect sunlight, which means you won’t need a ton of natural light in order for them to grow. The best part? They only need to be watered once a week.


Decorate With Succulents That Are Simple To Maintain

If your schedule is just too busy to care for plants, this pack of succulents is a smart alternative. You hardly have to water them at all — and each one arrives fully rooted so that they’re ready to be transplanted into a stylish pot of your choice. One reviewer wrote, “These arrived so well packaged and even included a bonus plant!”


Use These Decorative Books To Hold Your Plants

Letting your small potted plants sit next to each other on a shelf might be tempting — but stacking them on top of these decorative books is an easy way to create some visual interest wherever you place them. Each one is made from fiberboard, with a faux leather exterior to give them a realistic appearance. There’s also a secret compartment on the inside where you can hide small items, including cash, keys, passports, and more.


Make A Stunning Display Using This Bookshelf

Don’t have anywhere to place those plants or books? Not a problem — this ladder bookshelf features four shelves, giving you tons of room for a variety of decorations. Each tier can hold up to 22 pounds. And since the legs are adjustable, you can easily shorten or lengthen them as needed in order to make sure it’s as stable as possible.


Transition From Workspaces To Lounge Areas With These Smart Bulbs

Lighting might not be the first thing you think about when decorating your home — but Tina Delia, the lead interior designer at Delia Designs, can’t stress enough how important it is. “Using multiple light sources allows for a smooth transition from a bright room used to work in the daytime to a sophisticated space for entertaining in the evening, or a dim room for watching films,” she tells Bustle. “Altogether, ambient, task and accent lighting create a visually and functionally balanced room.”

These smart bulbs can easily be used to create ambient lighting. The downloadable smartphone app lets you choose from millions of different colors as well as switch between warm and cool light. Plus, if you pair them with Alexa or Google Home, you can even control them using convenient voice commands.


Brighten Up Your Home Office With This Desk Lamp

This desk lamp is a solid choice for anyone looking to brighten up their home office with task lighting. The brightness is dimmable up to five levels, while three color modes let you choose between neutral, white, or warm light. Plus, its LED bulb uses significantly less energy than traditional incandescent ones.


These Puck Lights Make It Easy To Add Accent Lights Wherever You Want

Since these puck lights come with double-sided adhesive included, you shouldn’t have any problem sticking them wherever you like. There’s no complicated wiring necessary, as each one only needs three AA batteries (which are not included) in order to provide hours’ worth of light. And unlike some puck lights, these ones also feature 16 different adjustable colors, making them a perfect choice when it comes to chic accent lighting.


Bounce Light Around Dark Rooms With This Full-Length Mirror

Is your home a little lacking when it comes to natural light? Delia also suggests using mirrors to help brighten up dark rooms. “Large mirrors are typically the best way to reflect the most light into a space, particularly if you want to make it look bigger as well as brighter,” she explains. And as far as large mirrors go, this full-length one is incredibly affordable at only $60. It’s also made with shatterproof glass — just in case you happen to knock it over. Plus, the sleek black frame is sure to look good regardless of how you’ve already decorated the room.


Group Small Mirrors Together To Brighten Up Tight Spaces

If that full-size mirror is too large for the space you’re working with, Delia also says that small mirrors can be just as effective at bouncing around light: “While a small mirror by itself will not reflect a lot of light back into your room, small mirrors can still brighten a space if they’re placed in groupings.”

Not only are these mirrors already styled to look good when placed together, but the frames are also made from solid, high-quality resin — not cheap plastic. The metallic finish on the frames also gives them a vintage touch, making them look way more expensive than they are.


Organize Random Little Items Into These Storage Cubes

Just because you have a large home, doesn’t mean that you need to fill it to the brim with stuff. “Let the size of your home dictate how much stuff you have, and not the other way around,” Delia tells Bustle. “A place for everything, and everything in its place. Almost a cliche, but still some of the best organizing advice out there.”

With that in mind, these storage cubes provide a convenient place to hide all those random little items that you aren’t ready to throw away, yet don’t have a dedicated place to keep them. They’re small enough to fit under some bed frames — or you can even place them on shelves to help conceal clutter. Choose from eight colors.


Store Spice Bottles In Style With This Rotating Organizer

Delia also suggests finding clever ways to tackle tabletop clutter. She says, “A bit of further suggestion: If you have lots of things in limbo on tables or countertops or the floor and are struggling to find places for them, maybe you need more places. Add in some storage furniture.” This rotating spice rack is a great option. Each order includes 12 empty jars, as well as a set of labels to help you keep track of what’s inside each jar. And since it’s made from stainless steel, there’s no need to worry about it rusting over time.


Tidy Up Messy Pantries With This Over-The-Door Organizer

Speaking of storage furniture, this over-the-door pantry organizer might just be a total game-changer — especially if your pantry is starting to look a little cluttered. The 24 transparent pockets give you tons of space to store dry ingredients, condiments, and more.


Give Plain Rooms A Touch Of Chic With These Wall Sconces

You don’t have to be a DIY expert if you want chic lighting in your home. Brooke Moore, an interior designer for Freemodel, tells Bustle, “A clever design idea that has become more popular recently is battery-operated wall sconces. I have seen them used over nightstands in bedrooms, over sinks in kitchens, over wall art & more.” But if you need a little more convincing, Moore goes on to say, “This is a super easy way to make a room feel more elevated by adding an element of decor and lighting in one without the hassle or cost of any electrical work to accomplish this look.”

Luckily, these wall sconces only need two AA batteries (which are not included) in order to work. They also feature a six-hour timer, allowing them to turn off automatically to help the batteries last longer. Choose from three finishes: rustic grey, antique grey, or rustic brown.


De-Clutter Messy Wires With These Velcro Cable Ties

Messy cables “can be so distracting to the eye” if they’re out in the open. Luckily, Abby Feltner, the junior commercial designer at the design studio Metal + Petal, has a solution — “To collect cords and keep your styled space clean, we recommend using zip ties and velcro to keep them secured in their hiding spaces.”

Whereas some cable ties are too small to use with bulky wires, these ones are extra-long and feature Velcro running all the way down the shaft so that you can easily adjust how tightly they fit. The best part? Each order comes with 80, which means you should have enough to tackle that blob of wires behind your television, as well as any stray cables hanging behind your home office desk.


Make Plain Posters Look Nicer Inside Of These Wooden Frames

“Think big in art,” Pamela Hope, interior designer of Pamela Hope Design Interiors, tells Bustle. “While a gallery wall full of small pictures can look cool, a large, attractive piece of art in a contemporary subject with pleasing colors always elevates a room. Art pieces in the 3-by-3-foot to 3-by-3-foot can fit on many walls and their size will impress. If your ceilings are short, select a vertically oriented painting or print to draw the eye upwards.”

Luckily, these frames come in dozens of sizes to fit nearly any piece of art or poster you can find. They’re also made from real wood, with strong magnets at the top and bottom that help keep your art firmly in place — so there’s no need to puncture your pieces with nails or thumbtacks.


Illuminate Dark Corners Using This Floor Lamp

If the lights in your home are looking outdated, Hope recommends giving them a much-needed upgrade. “Whether it’s a cool new lamp or you decide to replace that old ceiling fan with a chandelier, a great light fixture will instantly upgrade your décor,” she explains. But if you aren’t sure what type of lighting to look for? Hope also says that “floor lamps are especially cool since they basically serve as furniture too.”

Not only is this floor lamp available for less than $30, but it also features a second, smaller lamp attachment with a conveniently flexible gooseneck. The dimmer switch lets you adjust the brightness up to three levels — and it even has an extra-long power cable so that it’s easy to use with distant outlets.


Vary Up The Textures In Your Home With This Wooden Pedestal

Varying up the textures in your home may sound difficult at first — but according to Carissa Byrne Hebert, interior designer of CBH Interiors, the trick is to “Mix many different material types and textures in a room – such as wood, metal, luxe fabrics, and stone.” It’s that easy.

If you need examples, however, consider adding this round pedestal to your living room or bedroom. It’s a cute place to keep a potted plant, or even showcase picture frames and candles. Choose from three finishes: natural, white, or black, as well as two shapes: round or square.


Add Style To Tables With These Chic Marble Coasters

Whereas some coasters are only printed to look like marble, these coasters are made from 100% solid marble stone, making them great for switching up the textures on your tabletops. Their natural cork backing also helps prevent scratches — and at 4 inches in diameter, they’re large enough to fit nearly any glass, mug, or cup.


Group These Throw Pillow Inserts Into A Set Of Three

Whether you’re hanging art on your walls or dressing up your sofa, Hebert has a solid piece of advice worth listening to: “When in doubt, remember the rule of three – three frames on wall, three vases on table, three pillows on a sofa.”

Thankfully, these fluffy throw pillow inserts come in a pack of four, which means you’ll have an extra one leftover that you can use in your bedroom, or just save for safekeeping. And with an average rating of 4.4 stars, it’s clear that they’re also a total hit with reviewers.


Stuff Those Pillow Inserts Into These Soft, Stylish Covers

Now that you have a set of fluffy throw pillow inserts on hand, it’s time to stuff them into these stylish covers. They’re made from 100% velvet — and since the zippers are hidden, it’s less likely that they’ll snag on your hair when you’re trying to relax. Choose from six sizes, as well as eight different color combinations.


Showcase Your Favorite Memories Using These Picture Frames

Not only are these picture frames great for showcasing your favorite memories, but each order also comes with three — so you shouldn’t have any problem arranging them in an eye-catching way. And unlike some frames, these ones feature sleek glass fronts that make it easy to see your pictures in high definition.


Make Your Sofa Cozy With This Throw Blanket

Your sofa may be soft, but is it as comfortable as it can be? If not, Hebert has a suggestion: “Make your sofa instantly cozier, throw a blanket over the back cushions, then layer a large pillow in the back and a slightly smaller pillow in front.” And since this throw blanket comes in more than 25 colors, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits the colors in your living room. The best part? It’s made from soft fleece, making it suitable for cool winter nights as well as warm summer days.


Use A Large Area Rug To Make Your Room Look More Finished

If something about your home feels unfinished, it could be that you need a large, eye-catching piece to pull the space together. “Adding a big statement piece to your decor can add some impact and make a space feel more finished,” Karen Rohr, an interior designer at MCI, tells Bustle. “In general, it's large, eye-catching, and different from everything else in the room.” But if you need ideas? Rohr goes on to explain, “It could be a piece of furniture, like an oversized armchair or a dramatic mirror. It can also be something more unexpected, like a vintage rug. No matter what you choose, the key is to pick something that you really love and that reflects your personal style.”

With seven colors to choose from, this vintage area rug might just be the statement piece you’ve been looking for. The medium-height pile won’t obstruct doors from opening, yet still feels comfortable underfoot. It also comes in more than 10 sizes, making it suitable for nearly any space.


This Mini Lamp Adds A Pop Of Color Wherever You Put It

Even though Rohr says that “accessories will help make the space feel finished,” you still want to be careful not to add too much. “While it may be tempting to fill the room with as much furniture as possible, in reality, less is often more,” she explains. “A few well-chosen pieces will make the room feel inviting and comfortable while leaving plenty of space to move around. Throw pillows, rugs, and lamps can help to add color and personality to a room, and they can be easily changed out if you want to refresh the look of the space.”

With its mini globe-shaped base made from sleek ceramic, this table lamp is sure to stand out no matter where you put it. And at less than $15, you can easily grab more than one without breaking the bank. Choose from eight colors, including a rich shade of orange that’s almost guaranteed to look good with warm floors.


Hide Unsightly Cables Inside Of This Sleek Box

“There's no better way to make your home look beautifully tailored than hiding cables and visual clutter,” J.R. Coffin, an interior designer at Studio Den Den, tells Bustle. “With the increasing number of chargers and cables we all have now, having a good cable management system is a must” — and this sleek box more than fits the bill. Three entry points give you options when threading wires through, while the curved ends and polished lid help it blend into your AV equipment. Choose from two colors: white or black.


Make Short Ceilings Feel Taller With Floor-To-Ceiling Curtains

Short ceilings can make any space feel claustrophobic. Thankfully, Coffin has an easy fix — “Even if you're not a fan of window treatments, hanging full-length sheer curtains 6 to 12 inches above your existing windows makes the room feel much taller and gives the space a calming airy feel.”

Since these curtains come in 14 different lengths, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the perfect size for your home. Each order includes two panels, both of which are made from 100% soft polyester. The best part? You also have the choice of 14 different shades, ranging from soft white to bright pink.


Add A Touch Of Glamor With This Modern Chandelier

Amanda Oninski, an interior designer at FLOOR360, suggests swapping out old fixtures with a stylish chandelier. “An ornate chandelier is the perfect design focal point for your kitchen or dining room,” she tells Bustle. “With a metallic finish, it lends a glamorous element to any room.”

Not only is this wired chandelier incredibly affordable, but it also comes in two finishes: gold or black. And if you aren’t sure whether either of those will look good in your home? Oninski says it isn’t a problem: “Don’t worry about matching the metal to your other finishes, mixing and matching metals is a popular current design trend. Whether used as a main light source or as a secondary light, it will add a touch of drama to your space.”


Use These Small Vases To Add Plants Throughout Your Home

Looking for cute ways to put flowers on display? Oninski suggests grabbing “a set of glass vases with real flowers or fake sprigs and stalks.” She continues, “Place them in your breakfast nook or coffee table to let nature be the star of your space. Group a set of three vases in varying sizes, shapes, and finishes.”

These vases are a solid choice — and not just because you’re getting six of them for less than $25. Each one is made from sleek glass, with a thicker base to help keep them stable when filled with taller flowers. Or, if you’d prefer more colorful vases, they’re also available in four colors: blue, yellow, grey, and green, as well as a multicolored option that includes all four shades.


Greet Guests With This Sleek Entryway Table

If you have space for an entryway table, Oninski tells Bustle that it can help “set the design tone for your home,” as well as help “declutter and style” your space. She recommends that you “find a narrow table to place against the wall, one with shelves for storage baskets will add to the functionality of it.”

This table in particular is small enough for most entryways, and even has a second shelf where you can place storage baskets. The frame is made from sturdy metal, and the four footpads on the bottom can even be adjusted to make sure it sits evenly.