Designers say you're making your home look cheap if you're doing any of these surprising things

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Your home is likely where you spend the majority of your time, which is why you don’t want it to look cheap. The only trick is figuring out why it looks that way in the first place — even after you’ve decorated it from head to toe.

Luckily for both of us, I’ve reached out to several designers who were more than happy to share what they think makes a home look cheap, and how to prevent it. From avoiding matching furniture sets to swapping out builder-grade fixtures with sleek upgrades, each tip you’ll find below can easily be applied across a wide variety of homes. And besides — who doesn’t love a good pair of blackout curtains?

It’s always a good idea to take advice from professionals, so why not see what these designers have to say? If something about your home feels cheap, make sure to keep scrolling for more.

01

Mistake: Decorating with a rug that’s too small or large for the room

Solution: Finding a rug that fits your space

Rugs are an easy way to add warmth to bare floors — but that doesn’t mean any rug will suit your space. Ruthie Staalsen, an interior designer, tells Mic that a frequent mistake is using “a rug that is too small for a room,” which is only part of why this area rug is such a solid choice. Not only does it come in three different sizes, but you also have the choice of four different colors.

02

Mistake: Using faux plants to add pops of green to your home

Solution: Placing these air plants around the house instead

Staalsen also says that faux plants can make your space “look shabby or sparse” — so grab these live air plants instead. They require hardly any maintenance, making them great for anyone who frequently forgets to water their plants. Many reviewers also raved about how they arrived in “perfect condition,” so there’s no need to worry about them being damaged when shipping.

03

Mistake: Letting vinyl blinds cheapen how your home looks

Solution: Switching them with these cordless blinds made from faux wood

If your home came with vinyl blinds pre-installed, Kelly Marohl, the owner and designer of The Greenspring Home, recommends swapping them out with something nicer. “Having vinyl blinds as window treatments can make your home look incredibly cheap,” she tells Mic “Instead, opt for wood or fabric blinds which will give your home a designer’s touch. Even faux wood blinds would make a big impact on how polished the room feels.”

Speaking of faux wood blinds, these ones are currently available for less than $20. They come in dozens of sizes, making them suitable for nearly any window — and you even have the choice of two colors: white or gray. Plus, the integrated valance allows for easy installation.

04

Mistake: Hanging up curtains that are too long or too short

Solution: Using this fabric tape to hem curtains to the perfect length

Finding the perfect curtains can be tricky, especially if your windows are an awkward height that leaves most panels either too short or too long. “One of the worst design mistakes we see in people’s homes is the use of the wrong size curtains,” Marohls tells Mic. “Nothing makes your home look cheaper than a room with curtains that are just too short.” Luckily, she has an easy solution: “If your curtains don’t reach the floor, upgrade to the next length up so that they either kiss the floor, or even pool to the side for a more romantic look. You can also hem them a few inches if you prefer they reach the floor evenly.”

But if you aren’t confident in your sewing abilities? You can also use this fabric tape to shorten the panels. It’s suitable for use on nearly any type of fabric — and unlike some brands, this one won’t leave behind any sticky residues upon removal. The adhesion is also resistant to heat, moisture, as well as the sun’s harsh UV rays.

05

Mistake: Choosing curtains with outdated grommet tops

Solution: Displaying these curtain panels with a modern slip-on style

Now that the bottoms of your curtains are the perfect length, it’s time to fix the tops — especially if they’re grommets. “Curtain panels with grommets almost always look cheap,” interior designer Jessica Welling tells Mic. “A better solution is to buy panels without grommets and hang them using inexpensive metal ring clips that match your curtain rod. This gives them a more tailored look without the high price tag.”

Not only do these curtains come in 14 different sizes, but their modern slip-on tops are also compatible with ring clips. The blackout material also helps shield your home from the sun’s warming rays, which can help reduce your utility bill — and the silky polyester fabric makes them look way more expensive than $38 for two panels.

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Also helpful: Adhering these sleek clips to your curtains

Speaking of metal ring clips, these ones come in eight different finishes to suit any style, from warm gold to sleek pewter. Each one is made from tough metal, making them suitable for heavy drapes. They also have an average rating of 4.7 stars with more than 10,000 positive reviews, so you can rest assured that thousands of reviewers have found them to be more than worth the (incredibly reasonable) price tag.

07

Mistake: Relying on cloth-covered bins for extra storage space

Solution: Picking baskets made from stylish cotton rope

A cluttered home can look cheap — but that doesn’t mean that any type of organizer will make it look more expensive. While Welling mentioned how cube-style storage shelves have become incredibly popular, she does admit that “the cheap cloth-sided storage baskets people often put in them look like they belong in a dorm room, not the entryway of a nice house.”

Her solution? She says, “Instead, I recommend spending a bit more for real baskets or wood storage bins” — and these ones made from cotton rope are absolute steals at less than $45 for three. You can fold them up for easy storage just like cloth-sided baskets, yet they won’t lose their shape over time. And with dozens of colors to choose from, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your style.

08

Another solution: Organizing with these rustic baskets made from acacia wood

If those cotton baskets don’t strike your fancy, these acacia wood ones are a stylish (but still affordable) alternative. They’re versatile enough to hold everything from fruit to toiletries — and since they nest inside of each other, they’ll take up hardly any storage space when you aren’t using them.

09

Mistake: Putting up with outdated outlet covers that came with the house

Solution: Upgrading to these covers with built-in LED lights

“Sometimes the most simplistic updates can add a lasting impact to a space,” Kristin Patrician, the owner and principal designer at Dwelling Envy Interiors, tells Mic. “Builder electrical outlets and covers are so dated and predictable. Replacing these items is one of the easiest ways to instantly upgrade your home, giving the entire space a more designer feel and luxury look.”

With that in mind, these LED outlet plates are a definite upgrade to the ones you’ve been using. Each one features a helpful night light built into the base, helping you navigate through a dark hallway at night. And since they also feature dusk-to-dawn sensors, you won’t have to worry about them wasting electricity when it’s still light outside.

10

Mistake: Keeping outdated hardware on your drawers, cabinets & doors

Solution: Swapping your drawer pulls with these stylish upgrades

If your outlet covers are already in good shape, Patrician also recommends taking a look around to see what other small changes you can make. “Giving the hardware around your home a facelift is another simple way to update the look of your home,” she tells Mic. “From doors, cabinets to furniture and more, upgrading hardware around your home is a surefire way to give your home a quick facelift without spending thousands on renovations.”

But if you need ideas? “Lesser thought of items to consider as well include hinges, latches, and door stops.” And not only do these drawer pulls look particularly stylish, but they’re also made from rust-resistant aluminum with a comfortable grip. They also come in a variety of finishes to suit any style.

11

Also helpful: Switching your door hinges with these ones that come in stylish finishes

As for those outdated hinges currently sitting on your doors, these rounded ones have a modern vibe that’s sure to look good in any space. They’re made from tough steel, ensuring that your doors stay firmly in place no matter how often you swing them open. The best part? You also have the choice of five finishes: matte black, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, and satin nickel.

12

Also helpful: Installing a sleek new doorstop with magnetic features

Now that your cabinets and drawers are looking good, it’s time to focus your attention on the stops behind your doors. Not only are these magnetic ones easy to install, but soft-catch technology helps keep your doors from loudly slamming open. They’re also rust-resistant, and many reviewers raved about how well they hold their doors open (thanks to the magnet).

13

Mistake: Not making the switch to LED lights

Solution: Installing these smart bulbs that shine in more than 15 million colors

Whether your home lacks natural light or your lights are outdated, Patrician tells Mic that “poorly lit rooms can really affect the colors of your walls and the overall vibe.” The solution? “Switching out old and outdated fixtures and upgrading your light bulbs to LED light efficient bulbs is an easy way to create an efficient, properly lit, and more inviting space.”

Thankfully, this pack of four smart bulbs is available for less than $35. The downloadable app puts more than 15 million different LED colors right at your fingertips, making it easy to set any kind of mood — and no additional smart hub is required to get them up and running.

14

Mistake: Decorating with sets that match a little too well

Solution: Using this wood lazy Susan to add variety to spaces

While it may be tempting to have everything in your home match perfectly, Patrician tells Mic that the method of decorating has become outdated. “Gone are the days of purchasing matching dining room or bedroom sets. These items when paired together instantly date your home,” she explains. “Instead mix together different textures, wood finishes, and materials for a more upgraded and bougie look.”

Not only is this lazy Susan turntable gorgeous in its own right, but it’s also made from acacia wood, making it a solid pick for creating a display on sleek countertops. And since it’s moisture-resistant, there’s no need to worry about spills ruining its appearance.

15

Also helpful: Adding this olive wood utensil holder to your kitchen

Place this utensil holder on your counters, and it’ll provide some much-needed contrast against marble, granite, quartz, or even tile surfaces. It’s made from solid olive wood, with a burl pattern that’s sure to make it pop no matter where you put it. And if you’re worried about its size? One reviewer raved about how it was able to hold her entire seven-piece utensil set.

16

Mistake: Decorating your walls with signage

Fix: Creating a stunning gallery wall using these frames

“Whether they are hung on the walls or placed on a shelf, signage of any kind can instantly cheapen a home’s appeal,” Patrician tells Mic. As for what to hang up instead? “We suggest removing any and all of these signs, and focus more on adding items that provide a more personality such as artwork or framed photos.”

Not only is this set of seven picture frames available for less than $40, but they’re also the perfect alternative to tacky signs. And with four finishes to choose from (black, blue, walnut, or white), you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your home’s current color scheme.

17

Tip: Pick one type of style for your home — and then stick with it

There’s nothing wrong with having an abundance of ideas — unless you’re decorating your home. “A mish-mash of styles is something I see a lot in homes, especially when someone's decorating their home for the first time,” Sarah Bowen, a UK-based interior designer and the founder of Spruce Up, tells Mic. “First-timers often have so many ideas about different styles - they want to try a bit of everything. But when rooms all showcase a different style, you destroy all sense of flow between spaces.”

18

Mistake: Hanging up signs with “decor phrases”

Fix: Choosing art that doesn’t use any words

According to Bowen, “Decor phrases zap all personality out of a space, making it feel basic and generic.” The solution? “Instead, I recommend choosing a wall print or art piece that shows your personality, elegant candles, or vases with dried flower arrangements.”

With its gorgeous wood frame and dozens of sizes to choose from, this magnetic frame adds a touch of class to any poster or piece of art. And since it uses magnets to hold onto your art instead of pins, there’s no need to worry about creating any unsightly holes.

19

Also helpful: Decorating with LED candles that cast a romantic glow

As Bowen mentioned, candles are a good option for decor (instead of signs with phrases) — and these LED ones are affordable alternatives that look just as good. The bulbs flicker just like real flames, making them look incredibly realistic — and each one provides up to 150 hours of light using the included CR2032 batteries.

20

Also helpful: Displaying these ceramic vases that are available in bright colors

Made from high-quality ceramic with a smooth, eye-catching finish, these vases are a solid choice if you’re looking to showcase some dried flowers (as Bowen mentioned), or even just add a delightful pop of color to a room. Or, if the colors don’t suit your style, you can also grab them in a chic shade of cream white.

21

Also helpful: Filling those vases with dried flowers

If you don’t already have dried flowers to decorate with, this bundle of pampas grass is an chic choice that won’t break the bank. They’re 100% real, and can easily be fluffed up simply by leaving them out in direct sunlight. Plus, you can even trim the bases to fit smaller vases as needed.

22

Mistake: Leaving cable clutter out in the open

Fix: Hiding it inside a cable box

Unsightly cable clutter can be difficult to hide, especially if it’s sitting out in plain sight. Luckily, Andra DelMonico, the lead interior designer for Trendey, has a solution: “A simple cord cover organizes and hides the cords to give your home a more elegant and clean design.”

This cable box in particular features multiple slats on the back where you can thread wires through — and they’re wide enough to fit nearly any type of wire, from thick HDMIs to thin lightning chargers. You also have the choice of two colors: black or white.

23

Mistake: Leaving builder-grade fixtures in place

Fix: Upgrading to customized fixtures that suit your style

There’s nothing wrong with using the fixtures that came with your home — but if you want to make it look more expensive, DelMonico suggests replacing them with ones that suit your style. “When homes get built, the builder purchases fixtures in bulk to reduce costs and maximize profits,” she tells Mic. “They tend to be boring and basic fixtures. Leave these in your home, and it cheapens the look and feel of the home. Replace them with a custom piece of your choosing, and you instantly upgrade the look and feel of your home.”

But if you aren’t sure what should get replaced? DelMonico suggests that you “Go beyond just the light fixture, though.” She continues, “Change out the kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures. Replace the door handle hardware also” — and this door knob is a good place to start. It’s designed to fit nearly any standard-sized door and features a rounded steel faceplate that’s built to stand the test of time. Pick from three finishes: matte black, satin nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze.

24

Also helpful: Protecting your walls from those brand new door knobs with these shields

Now that your door knobs have been swapped out, it’s time to grab these silicone shields. They cushion the impact against your wall whenever your door swings wide, helping keep it safe from damage, as well as reduce that loud banging sound. Plus, the adhesive backing allows for stress-free installation.

25

Mistake: Leaving your windows completely bare

Fix: Hanging up curtains that help tie the room together

Curtains may seem like an optional addition to your home, but Alyssa Trautman, an interior designer at FLOOR360, tells Mic that they truly make a big impact. “If you don’t have anything covering your windows you’re losing out on a way to tie the whole room together,” she explains. “Exposed window frames cause a gaping style hole in your room that everyone will notice.”

With that in mind, these curtains are available in more than 15 shades, making it easy to find a pair that meshes with your current color scheme. And if your home is a little short on natural light? Not a problem, as the sheer material still allows light to shine through while still giving you some much-needed privacy.

26

Mistake: Painting your bedroom walls bright colors

Fix: Using bright colors in your bedding, instead

Bright colors have a time and a place in your home — just not in your bedroom. According to Trautman, “Since your bedroom is smaller than other rooms in your home, use a neutral palette for wall color and window treatments to make the room seem bigger and more peaceful. Using vibrant hues on your walls can be jarring and create adrenaline in a room that should be tranquil.”

But if you still want some vibrancy in your bedroom? She suggests incorporating it “in the comforter and throw pillows” — so make sure to take a look at these bedsheets. They come in a variety of stunning colors, from bright turquoise to deep burgundy. And since they’re also fade-, stain-, shrink-, and wrinkle-resistant, there’s no need to worry about how they’ll look or feel after multiple washes.

27

Mistake: Mixing & matching your toiletry holders

Fix: Upgrading to this matching set of bathroom accessories

Trautman tells Mic, “The one area where you don’t want to mix and match accessories is in the bathroom,” She continues, “Having a matching set of tissue holder, toothbrush holder, soap dish/dispenser, lotion dispenser and waste basket creates a polished effect. All black, all marble look, all metallic or all glass sets. Using the product containers you bought off the shelf as bathroom accessories looks sloppy.”

Not only do these bathroom accessories come in the stylish marble and black tones that Tautman mentioned, but some colors even have sleek gold details that make them look way more expensive than $30. The best part? Each piece is made from sleek resin, making them look just like real marble — even from afar.

28

Also helpful: Displaying tissues inside this box cover that matches faux marble accessories

Now that your toothbrush holder and soap dish have been upgraded, it’s time to give that cardboard tissue box a makeover with this stylish cover. It comes in a sleek faux marble option that’ll match the previous accessories perfectly, as well as bronze, satin, brass, and chrome options. Plus, its large size is suitable for use with most tissue boxes.

29

Mistake: Cluttering up your yard with cheap trinkets

Fix: Swapping the clutter with these glamorous garden lights

Sometimes less is more — and according to Kevin Lenhart, the head of design and licensed landscape designer at Yardzen, that’s exactly the case when it comes to your yard. Instead of “using low-quality materials and decor or adding too many decor pieces or products in and around your home exterior (think lots of plastic stuff or a cluttered design),” Lenhart says decorating with more expensive pieces is the way to go. “Better to invest in fewer, higher quality products than to go with lots of low-quality things,” he tells Mic. “For example, it is better to use high-quality path lights that adhere to your home and landscaping style than many cheap lights lining your nice paved pathway. You might pay more up front for some of these items, but you'll only have to buy them once!”

Not only do these pathway lights come in three stylish finishes (black, silver, and bronze), but each one also features a solar panel built into the top. Installation is as easy as pressing them into the ground — no complicated wiring is required.

30

Mistake: Creating an outdoor space that isn’t “cohesive”

Fix: Making sure the landscape flows

Lenhart explains, “Cohesiveness is key when designing elevated outdoor spaces for your home. A design where the home and landscape seem like an integrated, unified design vision will look higher end than a design that picks and chooses from lots of different styles.”

To help connect your house’s aesthetic with your landscape, this planter box is a fashionable and functional pick. It’s made from solid acacia and features drainage holes in the bottom to help prevent overwatering. You also have the choice of three sizes to suit nearly any plant: 17, 20, or 31 inches wide.

31

Mistake: Using throw pillow inserts that aren’t fluffy enough

Fix: Swapping them out with high-quality picks

Comfortable throw pillows can be a total game-changer when it comes to making your home feel luxurious and cozy — that’s why it’s important to use quality inserts. “I think one thing that can make a bedroom or living room look cheap is a crummy throw pillow insert,” Alex Sallenger, the interior decorator of Alex Sallenger Design, tells Mic. “Throw pillows are a great way to freshen your space for a reasonable price, but when basic poly fill inserts are used it takes away from the entire space.”

As for what to use instead? Sallenger says that “Down or down alternative inserts will make your pillow covers look more luxurious and your living room more welcoming” — and this pair of down inserts is currently available for just $30. They come in 10 sizes to suit nearly any pillow and even feature down-proof stitching to help keep the feathers from poking out.

32

Mistake: Placing too many pillows on your sofa

Fix: Downsizing to a few high-quality throws

Clutter can happen where you least expect it, including on your couch. According to Eddie Rider of Eddie Rider Designers, “Too many cheap pillows on your bedding or sofas, especially when they mismatch,” can make any space look cheaper. Luckily, these faux leather covers look way more expensive than $24, making them a smart pick if you’re having trouble deciding which throws to keep on your couch. They also feature an invisible zipper and come in nine different sizes to suit nearly any space.

33

Mistake: Keeping too much stuff everywhere

Fix: Minimizing clutter inside of this hanging organizer

Bookshelves, cube organizers, shoe racks — while all of them can help minimize clutter, Rider prefers to “Minimize the accessories and let your architecture sing.” With that in mind, this hanging organizer stays hidden inside of a closet, helping keep clutter out of sight as well as opening up space in the rest of your home. And with mesh pockets on each side, it works just as well holding smaller items as it does larger ones.

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Also helpful: Storing blankets & seasonal items in this under-the-bed organizer

With a low profile that allows it to easily slide underneath your bed, these organizers will stay hidden from sight until you need them. Reinforced handles on the sides help you pull them out when you need something — and since the tops are transparent, you can easily see what’s inside without having to unpack anything.

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Also helpful: Organizing with these stacked baskets that fit into tight corners

Sturdy enough for heavy fruits yet compact enough for tight spaces, these stacked baskets add storage without gaining too much attention from your home’s interior design. Or, if you’re trying to fit them into a shorter space (like the inside of a cabinet), you can remove tiers to adjust their height as needed.