Real Estate Brokers & Contractors Say These Cheap Things Make Your Home Look 10x Better

Have a show-worthy home with these affordable fixes.

Written by Allison Bolt
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If you want to fix up your space, it’s best to consult the experts. And that’s why real estate brokers and contractors let Bustle in on all of the things they think make your home look better — and there’s no need to completely tear out your walls, because all of their recommendations are super cheap.

Whether they’re skilled at complicated house projects or staging homes, start scrolling to see how these experts would make all of our homes look 10 times better.


A Modern Glass Bowl To Make Your Fruit Look Chic

New York City real estate specialist Colleen Cassel highly recommends a sleek glass bowl for your fruit because “[it] adds color and is a nice tabletop piece to add in your kitchen.” This bowl is the one to grab because it has modern, wide and low shape that’s perfect for stacking up citrus. If you run out of fruit between grocery runs, you can pop potpourri, flowers, or decorative bulbs in this stylish centerpiece.


These Gold-Tone Coat Hooks To Add Practical, Glam Decor To Your Entryway

“Instead of putting your coats in a closet, hanging decorative hooks made of gold metal,” Cassel suggests. These brass wall hooks are a minimalist option to add that luxurious touch to your entryway. They come in a pack of four, so you can line the wall with these durable hooks instead of buying wall art. Each one can also hold up to 30 pounds, in case you want to hang your bags on this easy-to-install set.


A Chic, Shatterproof Bathroom Set For A Put-Together Countertop

When it comes to making your bathroom feel elevated, Cassel says “plastic canisters in bathroom for Q-tips, cotton balls, and soap adds style and decoration to a small space.” So, pair these durable plastic apothecary jars with your most adorable hand towels, and your bathroom will look so put together. They also have bamboo lids to keep your favorite cotton rounds dry. Plus, this set comes with a toothbrush holder and a soap dispenser, so everything on your countertop matches.


These Fluffy Silk Flowers To Fill Up Empty & Oversized Vases

“Faux flowers add a decorative touch,” Cassel explains. “Flowers bring in color to match your sofa or pillows. Plus you can change them seasonally.” The best part about these silk flowers is how oversized and full they are — so you won’t need a ton of them to fill up a big vase on your coffee table. Available in six colors, these hydrangeas are finished off with a plastic stem to keep them perfectly upright, no matter what vase you pop them in.


This Colorful Candle That Works As A Trendy Decor Piece

Cassel also suggests grabbing a scented candle because they “not only add a nice smell but add a bit of color to a counter.” When it comes to color, this lilac-scented candle adds a pretty purple touch that will work with any season. This colorful wax burns for 100 to 150 hours, and it’s paired with a natural fiber wick. It also comes in a glass jar with a matching lid to make this vibrant candle look even more like a chic decor piece.


A Machine Washable Botanical Shower Curtain That Looks Tidy

“A pretty botanical shower curtain will make your bathroom the best-dressed room in the house instead of just a place to go to the bathroom while looking at your phone,” says Richard Dixon, the founder and business operations head of Team Emergency Plumber.

This shower curtain has plenty of botanical details in 15 different colors, while still being clean enough to pair with your other bathroom decor. It has a watercolor design printed right on top of the machine-washable and waterproof fabric. There are even hidden weights in the bottom, so it looks tidy instead of all bunched up after a shower.


These Cozy Copper LEDs With A Bunch Of Light Effects

Dixon also suggests adding copper string lights around your home because “they light up well around where you put them and keep a soft light for a calm atmosphere.” This particular LED set has a warm white light to make them even more soothing and romantic. The entire strand is a whopping 33 feet long, so they’re seriously versatile no matter where you want to add some cozy lighting. Of course, you also get a remote for so you can alternate between eight modes, such as dimming, fading, flashing, and even twinkling.


A Classic, Oversized Glass Vase To Pair With String Lights Or Flowers

Where to put those string lights? “I use them to build super-cheap 'fancy' lamps by wrapping the entire string of lights in clear glass vases. The finished product is a very lovely and unique lamp,” Dixon explains. This vase is perfect for filling with cozy string lights because it’s oversized and simple enough to display on any table, and the wide shape makes the process of filling it super easy. This unique design also lets you quickly pull out the lights if you grab fresh flowers at the grocery store.


A Beeswax Furniture Polish That Helps Keep Your Home Extra Clean

“Most of the time, our homes appear somewhat ragged and out of date because our furniture is dirty and has obvious markings on it,” Kris Lippi, real estate broker and CEO of ISoldMyHouse, points out. So, he recommends reaching for beeswax, because it quickly fixes up scuffs and discoloration. The unscented beeswax is simply paired with olive oil and carnauba wax, so this non-toxic salve fixes finished and unfinished wood, while leaving behind a water-resistant and matte finish that looks so nice.

As for where to use it around the house Lippi says it “keeps steel appliances fingerprint-free, leather furnishings clean, granite countertops well-kept, glass windows and mirrors stain-free, and wood surfaces rich.” So basically, this works everywhere.


These Wood Repair Markers & Helpful Wax Sticks To Fill In Dents & Scratches

“Additionally, if your wood furniture exhibits obvious indications of wear and tear, you can quickly fix this with what is known as repair markers,” Dixon explains. “These could be used to cover up any dings, dents, and stains on your wood furniture that developed from use over time.” This kit is the easiest option for helping out those extra-scuffed pieces because it comes with six popular colors to match all of your furniture. It has all of the quick-drying markers that Dixon suggests, and they are paired with matching wax sticks in case one of those nicks needs to be filled in.


These Dimmable Under Cabinet Lights With Easy-To-Install Tape

Joe Borress, founder of Tri Star Electric & Automation, recommends adding easy-to-install battery-powered lighting under you kitchen cabinets. “This will be excellent for kitchen counters to aid in cooking prep, and when dimmed at night, it will enhance mood lighting for relaxing or entertaining,” he says.

To make your new lighting setup even easier, these dimmable LED lights have double-sided adhesive on the back, and they come with screws for a more permanent solution. Their compact design and clean white finish will look like they’re built right into your cabinets. You can also tap them to turn them on before dinner prep if don’t feel like using the remote.


These Insulated Blackout Curtains With Dozens Of Color & Size Options

“Adding budget-friendly window treatments will not only enhance the decor of the home but they will also cut down on heating and cooling costs as well,” Borress says. So, go ahead and add these blackout curtains to all of your windows, because this thermal-insulated set actually has three layers to keep the weather out. You can slide them right over your curtain rod without splurging on hooks.


A Cable Management Set That Makes Tangled, Clunky Cords Easy To Hide

“Wire management of extension cords, charging cables and other electrical cords keeps things looking clean and organized,” Borress notes. This cable management kit gives you a bunch of different clips to organize all of those wires, and they even have adhesive on the back to stick them to your desk or hide them behind your furniture. Once they’re all clipped in place, this set also comes with sleek little boxes with bamboo tops to tuck all of it away.


A Fluffy White Towel Set To Make Your Bathroom Feel Clean & Luxurious

Licensed realtor Rupa Kale stresses the importance of “brand new white towels regardless of how lovely your current set is.” Why? “Fresh new towels indicate a feel of cleanliness and luxury,” she tells us. This Hammam Linen towel set makes it easy to swap out all of your towels because it comes with all of the matching fluffy hand towels and washcloths you’ll need to refresh your bathroom. This matching set is also made of luxuriously soft cotton that dries super quickly.


This Cozy Bathroom Mat Set With Extra Absorbency

“You can't put out fresh new bath towels without changing out the rug,” Kale explains. “A nice, big, soft plush mat that is brand new will really upgrade the look of any bathroom. Refrain from making it too matchy matchy and keep it neutral and in the same family. A slightly darker rug is okay.”

Not only are these absorbent bath mats a good contrast to those fluffy white towels, but they also come in a two-pack. They have a plush, absorbent design with a simple striped texture that is chic yet neutral. You can also wash and dry this non-slip set to keep them as fluffy as your towels.


These Flameless Candles That Are So Easy To Style

Kale also recommends these flameless candles made with real wax because, “Candles are a perfect and inexpensive way to elevate the look of any room. Whether it is a bathroom or a kitchen, a candle or two makes a space feel like home.” This nine-piece candle set comes with a remote, so you won’t have to walk around turning all of them on when it’s time to relax after work. It comes with a six different sizes, so it’s easy to style them around your home without them looking exactly the same.


The Coziest Pillow Cover & Blanket Set To Style Your Sofa

“Soft fuzzy pillows and a throw on a sofa in a family room immediately conveys a cozy and warm atmosphere,” Kale explains. The best part about this Mauricio Rubio blanket and pillow cover set is that it comes together, so you know everything will have a chic, matching aesthetic. The neutral colors of this faux rabbit fur set is paired with two different pillow cover shapes and fuzzy texture for extra coziness.


These Artificial Plants For A Bit Of Trendy, Easy Greenery

“You can never have enough pretty plants while staging a home,” Kale says. “Strategically placed small and medium sized plants around the home create an inviting environment.” So, she suggests this trio of artificial plants, because they’re the perfect size for styling with the rest of your decor. Each one has different faux greenery, including a compact snake plant to tuck in smaller spaces. They’re also finished off with trendy cement pots, so you won’t have to search for matching ones.


A Wall Repair Kit With A Super Useful Screen

Matt Stone, the owner of Hometown Painting LLC, recommends grabbing this 3M small hole repair kit. Why? “One great way for homeowners to spruce up their homes is the patch holes in the walls. It is amazing how many holes can accumulate over the years from hanging and moving pictures, to minor dents caused by wear and tear,” he explains.

This all-inclusive set with primer-enhanced spackle and handy tools will cover everything up — even if you change your mind way too many times about where to put that trendy wall art. If there’s a larger hole than one from your picture hanging kit, this set even comes with a durable screen to take care of it.


An LED Light Strip With An Easy-To-Hide Battery Pack

Vancouver real estate agent Greg Covell recommends adding LED light strips around your home. “Pasting them on furniture edges and gadgets gives them a bright glow which makes the space feel even cooler,” he says. “They are very cheap and convenient as you can change lights according to your preference or cover any shape you want.”

This cordless LED light strip is extra-easy to wrap around furniture because it’s 3 feet long and it already has adhesive on the back. There’s even adhesive on the battery box, so you won’t have to try to hide it behind your TV or deal with it hanging under your desk.


A Stain-Removing Cleanser To Fix A Grimy Sink & Countertops

“Sinks are often grubby without us noticing it. But scrubbing down your sink makes the whole kitchen or bathroom feel a lot nicer,” says Jake Romano, manager of John The Plumber. To take care of it, this cleanser works on rust, tarnish, and any other griminess. This stain-removing cleanser also lets you rinse everything off of your sink instead of scrubbing it. After polishing your sink, stick it next to your dish soap because it’s also perfect for cleaning dishes or even your countertops.


These Citrus-Scented Drain Cleaners That Prevent Clogs & Smells

After cleaning your drain with baking soda and vinegar, Romano says, “For a little aroma enhancement, you can pour lemon juice down the drain or a scented enzyme drain stick. This will keep your drain smelling fresh. This works really well for sinks with a smelly overflow, too.”

These clog-preventing drain sticks save your lemon juice, and they’re way less messy to add to your sink drain after washing dishes. Don’t worry — they’ll still leave a refreshing citrus scent behind after you drop one of these slim cleaning sticks right through the sink or tub drain cover.


A Tub & Tile Repair Kit To Fix Every Crack & Chip In Your Bathroom

Romano also says it’s a good idea to grab a tub repair kit like this one if you aren’t loving the look of your bathtub. All of the easy-to-use supplies will work on your tub, bathroom tiles, and even your sink. Plus, this quick-drying set fixes scratches, cracks, and even dents all around your bathroom.

He also has a few tips to make this kit even easier. “You'll need to sand the porcelain around the damage, then scrub it clean. After that, follow the instructions for the epoxy. You may require several coats,” Romano explains.


This Leak-Free Bathroom Drain That’s Made Of Sturdy Stainless Steel

“Many of us have popup stoppers in our bathrooms. And many of us have broken popup stoppers,” Romano explains. “It's super easy to ignore as we don't often need the stopper in our bathroom, but judgy people may judge if your house isn't in tip-top shape. Replacing your popup stoppers are easy and inexpensive.”

Reach for this leak-free popup drain anytime yours is acting up because you won’t even need tools to swap them out. This one also stands out because it has a built-in anti-clog basket to avoid a grimy and clogged sink. It’s also made of anti-cracking stainless steel, so you won’t have to change out another broken drain for a long time.


A Soft-Closing Toilet Seat That Always Looks Clean

To make your bathroom feel cleaner, Romano suggests taking a look at the toilet set. “You can replace toilet seats for cheap that will not look disgusting to anybody that lifts the seat up,” he says. “Additionally, you can buy cool seats that close softly or have a nicer appearance.”

This toilet seat adds an expensive-feeling detail because it has a slow-closing design. It won’t slam closed, and the secure design means you won’t have to tighten it all the time. Plus, it’s even chip-resistant and stain-resistant, so this bathroom upgrade will always look new and clean.


A Durable Kitchen Drain That Looks Sleek & Shiny

“If you have a rusty drain in your sink or bathtub, it looks pretty unappealing. This can be easily fixed by replacing the drain or stopper, which is fairly inexpensive,” Romano says. So, reach for this stainless steel drain that’s perfect for updating your kitchen sink. It has a strainer basket to catch food that looks way nicer than adding a bulky removable one to your sink. Plus, this drain is durable enough to hold up to all of the post-dishes every night.


This Matte Stoneware Dish Set To Make Your Dinner Table Look Striking

Andre Kazimierski, the CEO of Improovy Painters of Riverview, says, “You'll want to invest in small touches like adding some color with curtains and cushions or new crockery to brighten up your dining table.” To start with the table — this sleek dish set is the one to grab because it has the trendiest, most striking matte black finish, and it’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Each of these ceramic dishes has a lighter rim for a handmade look that adds style and contrast to your table.


A Patterned Lampshade That Still Creates A Soft Glow

“New lampshades and mirrors will instantly bring light into any room, and wall hangings, artwork, plants, or extra rugs can all help create the inviting atmosphere you desire,” Kazimierski says. This lampshade is super unique because it works as a lighting upgrade and art. The metal design has a tree pattern with plenty of delicate cutouts to let the light through and cast the pattern on the wall. Don’t worry — the gold finish inside of this frame ensures that this unique shade still creates a cozy and soft glow.


This Live Plant In A Chic, Easy-To-Style Pot

Andy Feiwel, a real estate agent with Compass in New York City, highly suggests live plants because “Live plants give an apartment the feeling of HOME and make the space feel alive as opposed to sterile; I always employ this when I am staging a listing as well.”

This live snake plant is the perfect option because it comes in a minimalist and neutral pot that will work on whatever piece of furniture gets the best light. Not only is this plant compact enough to put anywhere, but it also helps to purify the air in your home.


This Frameless Irregular Mirror That Doubles As Art

“Another inexpensive item with a large impact are mirrors,” Feiwel says. “Recently I have become a fan of mirrors that have organic/non-symmetric shapes that can be placed above entryway tables instead of pictures or artwork.”

To get that organic-shaped mirror look, this mirror has the quirkiest irregular circle shape that looks so trendy. It’s completely frameless, to add to how modern it feels on your wall. There are also two different hooks on the back, so you can style the unique shape however you like.


A Storage Ottoman That’s Comfy Enough For The Living Room

“One of the easiest things you can do to make you home look 10x better is to utilize stylish 'hidden' storage. Clutter makes a home look crowded and low-end,” says Rick Berres, owner of Honey-Doers Remodeling. “Some examples include a stylish ottoman that opens up and has space inside for extra blankets and other clutter, large decorative cabinets or hutches, small built-in shelves disguised as picture frames, and large decorative baskets with lids.”

This roomy storage ottoman has a faux-leather finish, so it simply looks like a stylish ottoman hanging out in your living room. There are handles on the side that make it easier to scoot this lightweight and tufted ottoman in front of your sofa for movie night, and it can double as a stool that holds up to 250 pounds on top.


A Large, Adorable Cotton Basket That Has A Lid To Hide Untidy Blankets

If the faux-leather look doesn’t go with your sofa, this breathable woven basket with adorable stitching details is the perfect hidden storage option. It has a matching cotton lid on top, so it will still hide all of your blankets or stray remotes inside, and the dual-tone colors look so chic.


This Peel & Stick Brick Wallpaper That’s Durable Enough For The Kitchen

“Another quick way to make your home look better is peel-and-stick brick or tile,” Berres says. “You can use this cheap option to make an accent wall, spruce up a bathroom or add some pizzazz to your kitchen.”

For the stick-on brick look, this trimmable wallpaper has a brick print for a go-to neutral that works all over the house. Available in brown, red, gray, and blue, this peel-and-stick solution also has a waterproof finish, so you can apply it to your kitchen backsplash or even in your bathroom, like Berres suggests.


These Chic Privacy Shades With Zero Annoying Adhesive

Jason Ault, real estate expert and consultant at Element Home Buyers, recommends sticking privacy film on your window. “This purchase holds aesthetic value and also maintains your privacy. It’s ideal for people who want to let natural light into their homes without worrying about privacy,” he says.

Not only does this one let natural light in, but it also has a rainbow-like finish to fill your space with a ton of colorful light. These UV-blocking sheets are also covered in intricate shapes for a stained-glass look that feels so expensive. Plus, they’re adhesive-free, so you can pull them off to wash the window and pop them right back on.


These Chic Matte Black Handles With A Reversible Design

Ben Neely, president and owner of Riverbend Homes, points out how important it is to swap out the door knobs in your house for a more luxurious feel. His tip? “The heavier the hardware the more expensive it will feel”

This matte black door handle definitely has that sturdy design Neely recommends, and the geometric shape makes them look seriously modern. It’s also completely reversible, so swapping out all of your interior doorknobs isn’t a complicated process. Plus, the screws match to make this door upgrade extra chic.


This Updated Bathroom Set That Won’t Bend Under Your Favorite Towels

“Updating bathroom hardware is another great way to update a space,” Neely says. “Most towel bars and towel rings have the same general sizing as well so you should be able to find updated bathroom hardware that will fit the existing holes in your wall.”

You won’t have to track down a matching robe hook for your towel bar because this bathroom accessory set comes with all of the bars and rings your bathroom might need, available in six finishes. The stainless steel is rust- and even bend-resistant, so you won’t have to swap out all of your bathroom hardware again for a while.


These Neutral Wall Lights With Plenty Of Cozy Settings

“People often overlook the importance of lighting and how it defines a space,” says Keith Melanson, the founder and CEO of Renos Group. “You should add layered lighting, such as plug-in sconces, low hanging lamps and some chic table lamps to a room, all for well under $50, and make it feel like something out of a movie. Having multiple light options will give your room multiple looks which means you can practically redo your room just by changing which light you turn on.”

These wall lights are so on-trend with their neutral shades, and they even come with warm, natural, and bright white lighting options. It’s also not a huge deal to add these LED lights because they simply plug into an outlet, and the switch sits neatly against the wall.


A Chic Table Lamp With A Unique Geometric Metal Base

To take care of the table lamp Melanson suggests, grab this lamp because the hollow design won’t look too bulky on your nightstand. It has a gold-tone, black, or rose gold finish and crisp white shade to make it a chic option that’s still simple enough to pair with your other lighting.


This Oversized Canvas Art To Add Easy Color To Your Wall

“If you want to make your home look more expensive, the best way to do it is to use a bold piece of art to hang up on your walls,” Melanson tells Bustle. “Larger frames of any painting or larger prints on a wall will look better than two or three frames that you use to cover up space since it gives an illusion of luxury.”

Not only is this canvas wall decor large enough to swap out your gallery wall, but it also adds a bunch of texture to the room. Plus, it’s completely frameless, so you won’t have to worry about matching a frame to your coffee table or living room furniture.


A Picture Light That’s Slim Enough Blend Into Your Gallery Wall

If you love smaller pieces or your gallery wall, Melanson says “you can simply get a picture light! This sits above your art pieces and resembles a museum or art gallery, making your decor seem purposefully curated and expensive.”

This swiveling picture light is perfect for a gallery wall full of tiny frames because the compact design won’t overshadow all of the delicate pieces. This LED light also has a brass finish that will look so chic with whatever frame colors you have going on.