How To Make Your Home Look More Expensive For Cheap, According To Designers

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a personal interior designer to make our homes look perfectly elegant? While that might not be possible, we are lucky to have gotten some advice from a handful of professional designers (including perennial Oprah Winfrey-favorite Nate Berkus), all of whom have given Bustle tips to instantly make your home look a lot better for cheap.

Celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus has amassed more than 1.3 million followers on Instagram, and has spent years giving easy-to-follow design advice, as well as creating his own product lines. He believes that a well-designed home doesn’t have to be expensive — it just has to be true to you: “Great design is all about personalization — your home should tell your story, and the way you do that is through your things.” As far as getting started, Berkus says, “I almost always reach for a neutral color palette, and then bring in lots of texture. Like rattan, woven textiles, greenery and antique pieces with tons of history and patina.”

So, how does Berkus find his best design pieces? “My design teams use dedicated Slack channels to share product selects, particularly if there are one-off vintage items at auction that we are trying to source,” he says. “My job is to know the very best out there, and then having an efficient channel to share information with the teams helps us do the best possible job for our clients.” Berkus also notes that keeping in close contact with the team is a great way to stay inspired.

Luckily, if you’re looking for your own bit of design inspiration, it isn’t necessary to check out (expensive) vintage auctions every day. Simply head on over to Amazon armed with Berkus’ and other professional designers’ tips and discover more recommended items that make your home look more expensive while sticking to a budget.


A Handwoven Rattan Tray That Looks Good In Any Room

Acclaimed interior designer Nate Berkus recommends incorporating rattan into your home for a natural, on-trend look. This round tray is made of handwoven rattan, with raised edges and side handles for easy carrying. Place it on your side table, dresser, or kitchen countertop to add an understated design element to your living space.


A Set Of 4 Rattan Placemats Made From Seagrass

Woven with natural seagrass, these rattan placemats add a natural touch to your kitchen table. The four mats are constructed with metal frames that gives them their rectangular shape (while keeping them from curling up). Not only do these placemats protect your table from heat, but they have a natural look that fits in with both rustic and modern decor.


A Lightweight Blanket With A Woven Diamond Texture

For subtly sophisticated decor, Berkus suggests investing in neutral-colored pieces that have a bit of texture. This woven acrylic blanket features a unique diamond-knit pattern, with soft, frayed fringe on the edges. Available in subdued shades including gray, camel, and navy, this lightweight blanket looks great draped over a chair or couch.

  • Available colors: 7


This Vintage-Esque Coat Rack

According to Berkus, one way to make your home look more expensive is to decorate with “antique pieces with tons of history and patina.” If you don’t have time to hunt for vintage decor at the flea market, this wooden tree coat rack is an amazing substitute. It has a sleek wooden design that looks vintage but at a fraction of the price of a real antique.


These Realistic-Looking Faux Succulents That Add A Touch Of Greenery

If you love the look of lush plants — but don’t want the responsibility of caring for them — these artificial succulents are the way to go. “With the help of indoor planters and succulents, you can achieve the utmost rich and luxurious look in your home,” says Nishtha Sadana, interior designer and writer at The Decorated Life. You get 15 different pieces in this set, which you can arrange together to make a striking centerpiece.


A Trio Of Ceramic Planters For Succulents & Cacti

Of course, you’ll need a dedicated spot for your faux (or real!) succulents, and these small ceramic planters are a chic option that have earned a 4.6-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers. Complete with their own mid-century modern wooden stands, these minimalist planters are ready to be placed on your coffee table, shelf, or counter. Choose from sets of one, two, and three.


This Bamboo Frame With A Sophisticated Gold Finish

If you have any old artwork or pictures laying about, it’s probably time to frame them. “If you have brass or gold-finished frames, it's like cherry-on-the-top,” Sadana adds. This bamboo-style frame is a great way to display them. This sophisticated gold-finished frame has a subtly antique, tropical look. You can set it up vertically or horizontally, with options for placing on a tabletop or hanging on a wall.

  • Available sizes: 4 x 4 inches, 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches
  • Available colors: Gold, Silver


The Ornate Wall Frame That Looks Like An Antique

This gorgeous hand-carved picture frame looks like a real antique, but at a fraction of the price. Ideal for holding 8-by-10-inch pictures and prints, the frame includes a white matte that creates a clean border around your artwork. The museum-style frame features an ornate flower pattern and a brushed gold finish — any artwork you place inside it will instantly look more dignified.

  • Available colors: Gold, Black-Gold


Tip: Declutter Your Home To Instantly Streamline Your Living Space

Looking for a simple, cost-effective way to instantly make your home look better? “All you have to do is declutter your home!” says Sadana. “It doesn't cost a penny, so all you have to do is to maintain your surroundings and keep the space crisp and clean for an utmost elegant look.”


A Rustic Rope Basket That Holds Laundry, Blankets & More

Made out of durable cotton rope, this durable two-tone basket provides a place for you to stash clutter, and it’s also perfect for catching laundry, extra pillows, and throw blankets. Measuring 15.8 by 13.8 inches, the large bin seamlessly blends in with just about any decor. With a discreet handle on each side, this basket is easy to pick up and carry anywhere in your home.

  • Available colors: 6


This 3-Pack Of Fabric Storage Bins That Are Completely Collapsible

Another clutter helper, these cotton fabric storage bins are collapsible, so you can easily store them while not in use. You get three bins, each equipped with two carrying handles for portability. The two-toned baskets are available in several different colors, including gray, black, pink, and navy. Measuring 15 inches long and 10 inches tall, the bins can hold sheets, towels, clothes, toys, and more.

  • Available colors and styles: 11


These Brushed Brass Cabinet Handles That Are Easy To Install

Sadana says, “Introduce gold accents — the more golden tints in your space, the better it is!” She adds that the shine can “make your home feel sophisticated and luxe.” One way to do it? Replace your current drawer and cupboard handles with these stainless steel cabinet pulls that have a brushed brass finish. Plus, these pulls come with all the hardware you need to install them.


This Modern Table Lamp With A Metallic Gold Finish

Another luxe-looking home decor item with a gold finish, this table lamp is also fully functional. The basket-style metal base fits perfectly on a desk, nightstand, or coffee table. A sleek fabric lampshade softens the light coming from the bulb, casting a warm glow throughout your room. Easily turn it on and off via the power button on the included cord.


A Pair Of Magnetic Curtain Tiebacks With A Lustrous Woven Texture

Keep your curtains pulled out of the way with these magnetic nylon tiebacks with a woven appearance. The lustrous gold-colored clips can be tied several different ways. Use them on your drapes, sheers, or even your shower curtains — the strong magnets hold everything in place. Just hang the tiebacks on the edges of your curtain when not in use.

  • Available colors: 9


The No-Sew Hemming Tape That Gives Your Curtains A Tailored Look

Yaron Linett, principal designer of Washington, D.C.-based interior design firm Formal Traditional, recommends hemming your curtains to give them a custom-tailored look. This iron-on hemming tape makes it easy to shorten your drapes without any sewing. “If you can find longer panels, hem them to hang between half an inch to three-quarters of an inch off the floor,” Linett instructs.

  • Available colors: White, Black


These Sleek Frames That Make Your Photos Look Put-Together

According to Linett, you don’t need costly picture frames to smartly display your photo collection — you just need frames that match. “Intention is the key to pulling off a higher end look,” says Linett. “When you replace the assorted picture frames with matching sleek black frames, expensive or not, it sends a clear signal that you didn't just use what was on hand.” This set comes with eight frames in various sizes, and you can opt for nine finishes, including black, walnut, driftwood, and gold.

  • Available colors: 9


A Minimalist Magazine & Book Holder With A Triangular Shape

Looking for a way to declutter your space, while also adding some modern charm? “Find all the books and magazines you have lying around and get creative with stacking them different ways,” suggests Hira Sabuhi, founder and architectural designer of Sabui Studio. This minimalist triangular holder has five slots for displaying your written materials with style — place it on your side table or desk.

  • Available colors: Gold, Black


A Trio Of Ceramic Vases With A Rustic Patina

Sabuhi recommends layering your space with ceramics — bonus points for ceramics with patina that “add a lot of character.” You can take the easy route to a well-worn look with this trio of beautiful jug vases from Sullivans. Arrange them together, or place them in separate spots around your home.

  • Available styles: 3


Some Dried Pampas Grass You Can Display In A Vase

Simply place these natural pampas grass stems in a vase, and voilà — you have a unique, sophisticated piece of decor. Dried arrangements are “an inexpensive and low-maintenance way to add volume, color, and luxury to your home,” says Sabuhi. Plus, besides being much easier to maintain than fresh flowers, they last, so you won’t have to keep replacing them. You get 30 stems in a set, so you can get creative with how you use them.


This Contemporary Ceramic Vase That Fits A Variety Of Decor Styles

Nichole Abbott, interior designer at Floor360, loves this contemporary sculptural vase for both modern and traditional spaces. “The white color and earthy texture fits with a rustic industrial look or Japandi or Scandinavian style,” she says. Want to elevate your vase to the next level? Abbott says: “Add a green leafy sprig to add a touch of nature.”


A Pair Of Wicker Storage Baskets With Easy-To-Carry Handles

Made from durable plastic wicker material, these storage baskets like these are recommended by Abbott for holding a variety of household items. They can easily be transported, thanks to the built-in side-handles and front handle, and the angled compartments allow you to see the baskets’ contents all at once. They’re great for the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, adding a natural touch anywhere you place them.

  • Available colors: 3


This Ultra-Soft Rug That’s Made Of Fluffy Faux Sheepskin

Perfect for draping over a chair, laying on a bed, or placing directly on the floor, this fluffy faux sheepskin rug adds a touch of luxury to any space. While this comes non-traditional shades like soft pink and navy blue, Dan Wiener, founder and lead interior designer of Homedude, recommends opting for a subdued shade. “For a sophisticated look, stick with natural colors, such as white, cream, champagne, tan, brown, or black,” he says.


This Eclectic Set Of Throw Pillow Covers

Rather than investing in expensive throw pillows, Wiener instead recommends swapping out your pillow covers: “Try to mix your textiles for an elevated look,” he says. “The changing textures add depth and a custom-designed feel to the room.” This pillow cover set comes with four different designs in a mix of faux leather and canvas materials.


An Industrial-Chic Pendant Light With A Geometric Design

Give your home a distinctly customized feel by replacing the builder-grade light fixtures with ones of your choosing. “You don’t have to choose an ornate chandelier that’s full of crystals for it to look expensive,” says Wiener. “Modern trends embrace high-quality materials and clean design.” This pendant-shaped fixture features a cool geometric design that’s contemporary and chic.


Tip: Deep Clean & Touch Up Your Home Regularly

You can elevate the look of your home without adding anything new — just doing a deep clean or making minor cosmetic fixes can go a long way. “The easiest way to make your home luxurious without spending too much money is just to make sure that your home looks fresh,” says John Kang of New Jersey-based design-build company GoldLeaf Designs. “Steam the carpets and couches, touch up the paint, deep clean any flat surfaces. It helps if you get down to the details, like cleaning wooden door frames and polishing the hardware fixtures.”


This Cleaner That Conditions & Protects Your Wooden Furniture

Revitalize your wooden dressers, tables, and cabinets with this wood cleaner that also acts as a furniture polish. The gentle formula removes dirt and residue, while moisturizing your wooden surfaces. It also protects your furniture from cracks and discoloration over time. Plus, you get a soft microfiber cloth that makes cleaning a breeze.


A Handheld Steam Cleaner For Hard Surfaces & Upholstery

This powerful handheld steam cleaner provides up to 12 minutes of pressurized steam, allowing you to effectively remove dirt and grime from bathroom tiles, ovens, windows, granite countertops, and more. It’s also safe for use on fabrics, so you can clean your sofa and curtains with ease (helpful if you want to reduce dust mite allergy symptoms). The steamer comes with multiple attachments for a variety of household surfaces.


The All-Purpose Cleaning Sponges That Work Like Magic

Made of super dense melamine foam, these cleaning sponges work so well, you’d swear they were magic. Use them on a variety of surfaces, including leather, marble, stainless steel, and painted walls. The sponges lift dirt and grime with ease, and they even stand up to multiple uses. Soft yet durable, the sponges are activated with just a little bit of water.


These Sheer Linen Curtains That Brighten Up Your Space

Susan Peters, Virginia-based owner and interior designer of 9108 Designs, recommends brightening up your living space with some light-colored drapes, such as these linen curtains. “Grab some simple ivory or white curtains — perhaps some in a lovely linen,” she says. They’re sheer enough to let light into your room, while still offering privacy.

  • Available colors: 12


This Framed Bulletin Board For Holding Small Posters & Photos

When Peters was in a pinch while decorating her daughter’s bedroom, she discovered that a large framed bulletin board made a great base for the posters she already had. “It turned out really cute — it looks like a framed collage of small posters,” said Peters. You can do the same thing in your own room — this elevated cork bulletin board has a smooth linen surface and a classic cream-colored frame.


A Versatile Lampshade That Goes With A Variety Of Bases

Instead of buying a whole new lamp, you can get creative with the lamps you already own. “Rethink old lamps by changing their color and adding a unique lampshade,” says Peters. This linen shade comes in black and white, with a semi-sheer design that allows just enough light to shine through. Pair it with a metallic base for a sophisticated look.

  • Available colors: Black, White


A Soft Microfiber Duvet Cover That Comes In Vibrant Shades

Throwing in a splash of color when decorating is an easy way to bring the whole room together. “Adding a pop of color whether through blankets, vases, or wall paint can also do the trick because a well-decorated house automatically looks more luxurious,” says Peters. This microfiber duvet cover is available in several vibrant shades — including eggplant, sage green, and teal — so you can liven up your room with a unique hue.

  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Available colors: 14


This Set Of Colorful Ceramic Flower Vases

Another way to add vibrancy, this trio of matte ceramic vases can be displayed together or separately — it’s entirely up to you. Each one is a different eye-catching shade, allowing you to place a pop of color on your shelf, nightstand, or coffee table. Add a few dried flower stems and you’re all set,


This Minimalist Lamp That Fits On Your Nightstand

“Changing out your lighting to something more modern isn’t super pricey, but it can make your home look updated and more expensive,” Peters explains. This lamp’s narrow design makes it perfect for placing on your bedside table. The tall, square lampshade creates an ambient glow, filling your room with warm light. It’s an affordable way to give your room a relaxing vibe.


A Geometric Area Rug That Instantly Transforms Your Space

Want to transform the feel of your home without a major renovation? Kathy Kuo, CEO and founder of Kathy Kuo Home, believes it’s as simple as switching out your rug. “Whether you decide to pick a bold pattern or a soft and cozy sheepskin, a rug is an easy swap or addition that will make a space feel new and fresh,” she says. Available in a wide range of sizes, this square cotton area rug has a neat geometric pattern that instantly perks up your room — plus, it’s available in eye-catching colors.

  • Available colors: 6


These Ceramic Coasters That Look Like Real Marble

Besides utilizing color, adding dimension is another surefire way to freshen up your space. “This can be accomplished by varying the textures you use in your home,” says Kuo. One of the textures Kuo likes best is marble, and these budget-friendly ceramic coasters have the look of real marble. They’re also super absorbent to soak up condensation, and the cork backing won’t scratch furniture.


This Flax Linen Table Runner With A Worn-In Look

Another texture that Kuo recommends for your living space is linen. Perfect for a farmhouse-chic dining room, this handwoven linen table runner adds a French-country touch that pulls everything together. It’s available in a wide range of stripe variations, ranging from tan to black to brick red. Even on its first use, the runner ahas a worn-in, naturally faded look.

  • Available colors and styles: 28


Some Fuzzy Pillow Covers Piled High With Faux Fur

Fur is another of Kuo’s favorite textures for updating a home, and these plush faux fur pillow covers are incredibly soft, adding a unique texture to your couch or bed. They’re also reversible — one side is piled high with faux fur, while the other features a cozy sherpa material. Choose from a range of subtle shades, including taupe, cream, and dark gray.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 8


This Self-Adhesive Wallpaper With A Unique Crane-Inspired Print

“Wallpaper is also a great option if you want to add a pattern or something fun that goes beyond regular paint,” says Kuo. This peel-and-stick wallpaper makes application a breeze, and you can remove it any time you like. Available in soft colors like blush, denim, and chalk, it features a unique crane print, and you can even use it to line your bookshelves, drawers, or stairs.

  • Available colors: 6


A Très Chic Coffee Table Book About Parisian Colors

Kuo says, you can “add culture to your space by adding coffee table books from your favorite travel spots, hobbies, and fashion.” This coffee table book — Paris In Colorfeatures gorgeous images of the City of Lights, with an emphasis on the shades that give the city its signature character. From rich reds to soothing greens and blues to sunny yellows, this book is a delight to look at.

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