I'm a bargain hunter & I swear by these cheap home upgrades that look so expensive

High-end looks at budget prices.

ByRachel Bar-Gadda
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There’s nothing that compares to the thrill of discovering insanely affordable gems that I know will work wonders to make my apartment feel that much more chic. If you think improving your place on a budget is impossible, trust me, I’m a bargain hunter and I swear by these cheap home upgrades that look so expensive. Start drooling now over trendy ribbed glassware, versatile ceramic bowls, and vibe-enhancing smart light bulbs — all of which clock in under $50 (you’re welcome).


A high pile shaggy bath rug that comes in chic ombre shades

For less than $15 of your hard-earned cash, you can instantly lend your bathroom a plush and elegant look with this shaggy bath rug. It’s designed in a striped pattern and ombre shades ranging from blue to purple to green that can easily complement your existing bathroom color palette. On top of feeling amazing on feet, the high pile microfiber material absorbs moisture well while a nonslip backing keeps the mat safely in place. Choose from over 10 sizes to suit your space.


These blackout curtains that keep rooms quiet & cool

These popular and affordable blackout curtains have earned a near-perfect 4.8-star rating over 64,000-plus reviews for their ability to block out 100% of light. Made with two layers of triple-weave fabric, the curtains are both temperature-regulating as well as noise-blocking. They come in many different size options as well as colors ranging from neutrals to mauve tones to vivid pops of color.


A stylish minimalist vase to artfully display flowers

Treat your latest flower arrangement like the masterpiece it is by presenting it in this stunning ceramic vase that is shockingly affordable. Sporting a decidedly minimalist style, it features a conical shape that’s perfect for displaying curated stems, greenery, or more abundant groupings of flowers. It’s available in both a small or large size as well as in five finishes: gold, gradient pink, black, blue, and white.


This pair of floating shelves in rustic wood & metal

Mount this pair of aesthetically pleasing floating shelves anywhere in your home from the kitchen to the bathroom to add style and create crucial storage opportunities. Each shelf is made with rustic-looking pinewood along with sturdy metal to provide secure surfaces on which to store beauty supplies, cooking spices, or your favorite succulents. One shelf provides a bottom rod to conveniently hang towels or dish rags while the other offers you two tiers to place items.


A kitchen utensil holder made of fingerprint-proof brushed stainless steel

Keep cooking tools easily accessible and neatly displayed when you use this highly rated kitchen utensil holder that’s designed in sleek stainless steel. The matte finish is fingerprint-proof for a consistently clean look and the interior features a removable divider that provides one large and two small compartments. The holder is able to rotate 360 degrees, making it supremely easy to quickly grab that spatula or tongs, while a nonslip foam base keeps it steady on your countertop.


These picture shelves that elegantly display treasured items

Available in multiple finishes from white to espresso to gray, these slim picture shelves work to bring visual interest to otherwise lackluster walls and do so well within budget at $26. Made of MDF laminate, they feature a small U-shaped ledge to prevent items from toppling over with each being able to withstand up to 11 pounds. All the mounting hardware is included for easy installation and instant injection of personality into your space.


A bathtub caddy that has a designated place for your tablet & wine glass

Friday nights will never be the same once you’ve acquired this ingenious bathtub caddy. Made of waterproof bamboo, it extends to fit your bathtub’s dimensions and is designed with a cup holder, a soap caddy, a towel holder, and best of all, a special place to both set up your tablet and rest your wine glass. A slot to prop up your phone is additionally built-in, thereby providing the nail in the coffin when it comes to making plans that require you to leave your tub come the weekend.


This affordable sheet set that comes in versatile neutrals

At a price tag of only $40, this sheet set acts as a simple upgrade with a big impact, seeing as how it’ll affect that crucial time spent sleeping. The sheets are made of breathable and supremely soft microfiber that works to keep your body comfortable and temperature cool no matter what the season. Included in every set are a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and four standard pillowcases, with a tasteful selection of neutral shades, such as ice blue or cream, that will be sure to work in almost any bedroom.


A 3-tiered shoe rack for a supremely organized entryway

Easily installed in about 10 minutes, this three-tiered rack provides a place to store shoes as you walk in the door, thus keeping your entryway as organized as possible. Made of durable bamboo, each slatted tier can hold three pairs of shoes and up to 45 pounds of weight. With several additional styles offered that included different widths and heights, the simple design means the shelf will work well in a variety of spaces.


These chic velvet hangers that come in a pack of 20 for under $20

Give your closet a chic and uniform look using these velvet hangers that come in a budget-friendly pack of 20. Their velvet material helps to keep clothing on the hanger and, even though they’re lightweight, they can each still hold up to 10 pounds of weight, making them great for anything from blouses to coats. As a bonus, there’s even a handy accessory bar for scarves or ties.


A breathable comforter that’s made of hypoallergenic material

You can enjoy this 4.6-star rated breathable comforter all year round, and it’s especially great for allergy sufferers due to its hypoallergenic polyester filling. It comes in all standard sizes ranging from twin to California king and is made with a box stitch construction so the filling remains evenly distributed. Use it with your favorite duvet or choose from one of the over 11 colors on offer such as navy, sage green, or pink.


This ceramic essential oil diffuser that’s whisper-quiet

If you’re an aromatherapy devotee, you might like this beautiful ceramic diffuser that operates at whisper-quiet levels. It features an automatic timer for up to three hours as well as a selection of nine colors that illuminate a thin ring around the base. Ultrasonic vibration releases the essential oil fragrance into the air for an instantly relaxing ambiance.


A set of two pillows with a plush filling

For those who prefer lots of loftiness where they lay their head at night, these pillows fit the bill and do it at a reasonable $30 price. Filled with high-density polyester microfiber, they offer some serious fluffiness that will stay true to shape no matter how many hours are clocked during sleep. They’re available in either a king or queen size.


This wall mirror with a chic arched design

Give your space a touch of minimalist charm with this beautiful arched wall mirror that costs a fraction of what you might expect. The brushed metal frame comes in several colors and sizes and includes the necessary hardware for a quick installation. As an alternative to wall mounting, you can also stand it up against the wall for a relaxed, artistic look.


A pair of velvet throw pillow covers to upgrade the look of old furniture

You don’t have to break the bank by replacing huge pieces of furniture. Simply add a few of these luxe velvet throw pillows into the mix and, voilà, you have a whole new look. They come in tons of rich colors like dark blue (pictured here), coral red, or gold, as well as over 10 size options to immediately work with the pillows you already have on hand.


This rainfall showerhead that reduces water consumption

The amazing thing about this budget-friendly rainfall showerhead is that it provides soothing, high-pressure water flow while at the same time reducing water consumption. It’s designed with a special system that inserts air into every water droplet and includes a removable flow restrictor as well. Not to mention the fact that the gleaming chrome-plated finish will only further elevate your bathroom’s look.


A set of LED puck lights that offer beautiful lighting effortlessly

It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to give your home interior designer-worthy light. These battery-operated LED puck lights come in a pack of three for under $25 and install in seconds with the help of either self-adhesive or screws. Place them under cabinets or in closets for tasteful lighting and simply tap them to easily turn on or off.


These ceramic bowls that can be used to eat literally anything

There’s nothing as all-purpose as a shallow bowl, which you’ll see when you start using this ceramic bowl set with a near-perfect 4.8-star rating. The set includes four bowls that can be used for pasta, soup, salad, or ice cream — they’re that versatile. Choose from 12 available shades in fun colors such as dark teal or dusty pink, and place them in the microwave and dishwasher without worry.


A set of glass coffee mugs to drink your daily brew in style

These glass coffee mugs that come in a set of six will bring a bit of elegance to your daily ritual, whether that be a hot afternoon latte or a morning cold brew. Made with lead-free, tempered glass, they feature a cool touch handle for easy sipping and a weighted bottom for stability. Each glass holds 10.75 ounces and can be conveniently cleaned in the dishwasher.


These glass carafes that are great for entertaining

Serve up brunch mimosas on the deck or mint lemonade on the porch using this glass carafe that comes in a set of two for under $20. Each carafe comes with its own helpful airtight lid to prevent any insect interlopers as well as to preserve freshness. The narrow neck design makes pouring mess-free, and they can double as decanters as well.


An elegant rectangular tray that has so many uses

When it comes to home decor with lots of functionality, this elegant tray is clearly a top choice having earned a 4.7-star rating over the course of 12,000-plus reviews. Available in a variety of colors, like cream and emerald green, the tray features a faux leather finish in varying textures. Handles in either gold or silver lend it a modern feel and allow it to be used as a tray for eating, serving drinks, or simply displaying decor.


These vintage-style tea light holders that cast a warm glow

These gorgeous vintage-inspired tea light holders look like they were sourced straight from a curated antique shop and will bring rustic warmth to any table, mantel, or shelf. They come in a set of four and feature a classic fleur de lis pattern that, along with the amber glass, casts a beautiful light. Use them alternatively for flower arrangements or as an aesthetic way to store bathroom or office supplies.


A set of ribbed drinking glasses that are totally on trend

Sit down at any trendy cafe or restaurant and more often than not, you’ll be immediately sipping from stylish ribbed glassware like what’s pictured here. Thankfully, it won’t cost you more than $22 to bring that trend home. Each set comes with four 11-ounce glasses that will look beautiful holding hot or cold drinks of any variety, be it a caipirinha or cafe latte, and they’re fully dishwasher-safe.


This hair-smoothing satin pillowcase with over 280,000 reviews

This extremely popular satin pillowcase is a great bedtime upgrade as the silky material helps to keep skin hydrated and hair smooth while you sleep. It comes in lots of sizes and is offered in beautiful, luxurious colors such as champagne, dusty rose, and olive green. Featuring an envelope closure, the material has been OEKO-TEX-certified for chemical safety and can even be cleaned in the washing machine.


A set of quick-drying bath towels in a waffle weave pattern

When giving your bathroom a refresh, do it efficiently with this stylish and affordable bath towel set in a waffle weave design. Made of soft and absorbent microfiber, the set includes two large towels, two hand towels, and two face towels, with the latter two types including a loop for easy hanging. Choose from five available colors: gray, blue, beige, green, and white.


These glass soap dispensers for a uniform countertop look

Pour your mismatched bottles of dish soap, hand soap, lotion, and more into these amber glass soap dispensers that will give your countertop a clean and unified look. Each dispenser can hold up to 17 ounces and features an oil-rubbed pump that is corrosion-resistant. The glass is easy to keep clean and can be refilled again and again.


A collection of 5 picture frames for an eye-catching gallery wall

Quickly and easily create an engaging gallery wall with your favorite prints and pictures with this affordable set of five frames. They can be hung either vertically or horizontally and mounted easily with the included nails. Mix it up with other available sizes, as well as a choice of frame finishes from classic black to gold to pink.


This washable kitchen rug that keeps floors clean

This kitchen rug is shockingly stylish for its price and doubly amazing for its functionality. Made of polypropylene, its texture is reminiscent of handwoven sisal or jute, yet the surface both absorbs water and resists stains with the ability to be easily cleaned in the washing machine. It comes in four sizes and three colors with a nonslip rubber backing keeping it firmly in place during dishwashing or cooking time.


A heavy-duty yet chic shower curtain with a weighted hem

Give your shower a five-star hotel-style upgrade with this sturdy shower curtain in a chic waffle weave texture. It features waterproof and stain-resistant polyester that feels as soft as cotton and is designed with a weighted hem. Available in a plethora of sizes and colors, this curtain even comes with 12 plastic hooks included.


These solar-powered house numbers that boost curb appeal

These ingenious solar-powered house numbers ensure your address isn’t obscured when day turns to night. The solar panel is built directly above the numbers and charges during the day to automatically illuminate the digits at night. All numbers and letters are provided with a simple, modern font working to accommodate a range of exteriors.


A ribbed fleece blanket to add style & comfort

Drape this cozy and stylish fleece blanket across your sofa or bed to both add a pop of color and provide yourself with plush material for lounging. Made of soft polyester microfiber, it’s designed in a fashionable ribbed pattern and comes in bright and muted colors such as emerald green and gray pearl. It promises not to shed or pill and can be tossed in the washing machine to keep it in lasting shape.


These solar deck lights that add aesthetic illumination to your outdoor space

These ingenious solar deck lights are designed to mount seamlessly along your deck railing, posts, or steps to provide gentle and tasteful illumination. Every pack comes with 16 waterproof lights that all feature a built-in solar panel on top that requires only four to five hours in the sunshine to fully charge. At night, the lights turn on automatically, offering a warm white light and a clear pathway.


A multi-use woven basket made of natural materials

This beautiful woven basket neatly stores anything from blankets and pillows to books and toys and delivers tons of style in the process. Made of handmade cotton rope with large handles, the basket comes in either a tall or wide size as well as tons of chic colors and patterns, like a combination of brown and off-white or another that features cream with gray stitching.


This extra-large cutting board that provides a sturdy slicing surface

Constructed out of eco-friendly bamboo, this budget-friendly cutting board comes in an extra-large size and ample thickness to provide you with an excellent chopping surface. It’s fully reversible and features helpful juice grooves around the perimeter. Though it’s great for your chopped veggies or meat, it can additionally be used to serve up stunning charcuterie and cheese displays.


A magnetic knife bar that saves tons of countertop space

Clearly a popular solution with over 36,000 ratings and 4.8 stars overall, this magnetic knife bar allows you to get rid of those knife blocks that can dominate precious countertop real estate. It mounts easily using the included hardware and is offered in six sizes ranging from 10 to 24 inches depending on how many knives you’d like to store. Super strong magnets keep everything safely in place and within arm’s reach.


These salt & pepper bowls that maintain freshness with magnetic swivel lids

It’ll be a pleasure to grab a sprinkling of seasoning when you use these matching salt and pepper bowls. Not only do the bamboo bowls look stylish, but they also work to keep those seasonings fresh due to their magnetic swivel lids that provide a flush seal against moisture and oxygen. Additionally, you can use them for other favorite spices on constant rotation.


A set of shelf dividers to efficiently organize open space

These ingenious shelf dividers come in a set of four and create tons more storage by taking advantage of unused vertical space. Available in three different finishes, simply stack the shelves one on top of the other, side by side, or truly in any configuration that works best for your space. Use them to organize spices, pantry items, cleaning supplies, or beauty accessories — the possibilities are endless.


These smart light bulbs with millions of color possibilities

Dial up warm sunset vibes or a neon club-like atmosphere with this smart lightbulb that connects to your phone or smart device over Wi-Fi. Using the accompanying app to access 16 million different color options as well as to create timers, set scenes, adjust warmth, and control brightness. Two come in each pack and will fit all standard lighting fixtures with an E26 base.


A pack of kitchen towels that come in a chic striped design

Channel your favorite French bistro with these kitchen towels made with a striped design. They’re made of 100% cotton which makes them both soft and absorbent and are available in a choice of six colors ranging from royal blue to red. Every pack includes six towels for less than $30, and they can be tossed in the washing machine when it’s time to clean them.


This metal wire fruit bowl that stunningly displays produce

Present nature’s bounty in its full glory by storing it in this metal wire bowl that sports a geometric design to show off the true star in your kitchen — your weekly produce. Available in either black or gold as well as a wavy design, the metal frame isn’t just for looks. Allowing air to freely circulate around your fruit will keep it fresher for longer and prevent premature spoilage.


A farmhouse-inspired key holder that comes in tons of finishes

This charmingly rustic key holder creates instant organization in your entryway, and it’ll only cost you $12. The key holder mounts to your wall easily, has hooks to hold up to five pairs of keys, and includes a shelf to set mail or display decor. Best of all, it’s offered in nine finishes such as glossy black (pictured here), natural wood, and antique white.


These drawer pulls in a sleek & simple round shape

It’s amazing how just the swapping of some kitchen hardware can make a space feel immediately updated. These drawer pulls will do just the trick and affordably at only $38 for a pack of 25. Made of sturdy zinc alloy, they’re designed in a simple yet elegant circular shape and are available in four finishes (matte black, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed brass) that’ll bring a dose of sophistication to any kitchen.


A smudge-resistant trash can to make your home feel squeaky clean

There’s no reason that trash can’t be dealt with elegantly. This sleek, affordable trash can does just that as it’s made of smudge and fingerprint-resistant brushed stainless steel. It features a soft close and a lid that prevents odors from escaping, and it comes in three sizes ranging from 5 to 30 liters.


This wall-mounted toothbrush holder that keeps things neatly organized

This creatively designed toothbrush holder mounts to your wall using strong adhesive to keep those bathroom supplies from cluttering up your countertop. It has slots to hold four toothbrushes and two cups (stored magnetically), in addition to including a small drawer and shelf for accessories and tools. As a bonus, a handy toothpaste dispenser drops just the right amount of paste onto your brush.


A set of solar-powered garden lights with an intricate pattern

Add intriguing shadows to your pathways using these solar-powered garden lights that feature an intricate design. They require no wiring as they charge during the day via their solar panel on top and can be set to conveniently turn on automatically at night. Made of sturdy plastic, these lights are completely weatherproof and, therefore, are able to be left out throughout all seasons.