People who stage homes for a living swear by these cheap tricks to make your home look more expensive

Make your space show-worthy.

photo of garden lights and bedding
ByAmanda Pellegrino
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Since interior designers and real estate agents are constantly staging homes to get them livable, aesthetic, or ready to sell, they’re absolutely full of tips and tricks to create an expensive-looking home without breaking the bank.

Whether it’s adding pillows and throw blankets to your bed for a more luxurious hotel-like style, curating metallic knickknacks for eye-catching accents, or replacing outdated, worn kitchen hardware with modern fixtures, people who stage homes for a living swear by these 40 tricks to make your home look more expensive, for a budget-friendly price.


Getting window screens cleaner than ever with a mesh brush

What’s worse than a streaky window? A streaky window and a dirty screen. You won’t have to worry about that with this brush, though. It has tough fibers that are long enough to pull dust and grime from between the screen’s tiny holes. Simply add water and soap and rub the brush up and down along the surface until it’s clean. Plus, it has two ergonomic ways of holding, a handle affixed to its base, and a longer attachment to get into tougher-to-reach places.


Updating kitchen cabinets & drawers with these modern pulls

One easy way to elevate your kitchen? Add new handles with modern shapes and finishes. “Kitchen renovations can be expensive, but a simple change in hardware, like replacing outdated knobs and pulls with sleek and modern ones, can instantly refresh the entire look,” says executive design strategist Lindsay Tan.

These 5-inch pulls are made of stainless steel and feature a matte black, brushed brass, or satin nickel finish that instantly brings a timeless, modern vibe to your kitchen. They can be installed horizontally on drawers or vertically on cabinets to keep everything coordinated.


Setting out flameless candles with a realistic flickering wick

“A flameless glass candle set can set the mood in your home while allowing you to live free of the stress of fire-spreading,” says Bridges.

Eywamage’s set of three flameless candles come in a selection of stunning and reflective glass votives and feature a real flame-like effect to set the mood without the fear of leaving it on when you leave by accident. Plus, it comes with a remote that turns it on, controls the dimmer, and sets the four- or eight-hour timer.


Hanging up a hotel-quality shower curtain for a neutral vibe

Adding a neutral shower curtain like this waterproof one is another way to heed Cassel’s advice and create a luxurious bathroom. The waffle-weave style features a sheer mesh window that lets light into the shower and allows for air circulation, while still maintaining warmth and privacy. It even has a built-in snap-on liner that features magnets on both bottom corners to keep it flush against the tub.


Adding these soft pillows to make your bed feel & look like a hotel

“I know from experience that how a bedroom is staged makes all the difference when it comes to getting interest from buyers,” says Kurtis Forster, licensed real estate agent at ViewHomes. “When your bed looks more full, it makes it look more luxurious, which translates into more expensive.”

A great place to start is with extra sleeping pillows, like these soft ones, which work for stomach, back, and side sleepers. The 250-thread count, 100% cotton covers have a cooling property and are filled with a gel-infused down-alternative to maintain the pillows’ shape. Plus, they’re washer- and dryer-safe, for a no-hassle clean.


Installing light with a wire-free sconce with 3 color temperatures

“Once, I worked with a young couple who had just bought their first home,” explains Ryan Fitzgerald, realtor and the owner of Raleigh Realty. “Their living room was big, but it was pretty empty. We first added different types of lights, like wall lights and table lamps with dimmer switches. This made the room look fancy without costing much.”

This wall mounted light is a great way to add light to a space without any expensive renovations. It uses a 3M adhesive to attach directly to the wall, and the modern circular design makes it look like an installed sconce when it’s actually battery-powered, so you still get that wire-free look. Plus, it has three color temperatures and three brightness levels to adjust to whatever room you’re in.


Adding elegance with this stunning table lamp that’s touch activated

Adding lights like this chic crystal table lamp is another thing Fitzgerald says you can do to make “the room look fancy without costing much.” Not only does it look like a gorgeous crystal piece that you found at a vintage store, but it’s also touch-activated — at the bottom or the top — and features three levels of dimming. As a bonus, it has two USB ports to discreetly charge your devices.


Using a sheer, long linen curtain for a luxurious floor-to-ceiling look

“We also made sure to have curtains that touched the floor,” Fitzgerald says. “This made the room feel more luxurious without spending much.” These linen curtains are available in sizes from 48 to 144 inches long, to make them feel extra expensive and custom to your specific space. They have a semi-sheer flax texture to offer privacy while still letting the sun in and come in over two dozen colors for more customization.


Hanging up a chic curtain rod with modern accents that look expensive

And naturally, if you have new stunning floor-to-ceiling curtains, you’ll need a curtain rod like this modern one to hang them slightly above your windows. The brass finish, coupled with the clean, flat ends add a super expensive-looking touch for a budget-friendly price. This rod holds up to 22 pounds of curtain, and it’s adjustable up to 66 inches long, and can be used with all curtain header tops — though this is a rod you’ll definitely want to show off.


Adding shiny touches with a metallic picture frame with a diamond-cut design

Fitzgerald says adding shiny touches and high-gloss paint can make things look expensive on a budget. This picture frame is an easy addition to a bookshelf, side table, or credenza to bring in a little glam. The geometric, diamond-cut design, coupled with the floating-picture style adds a modern touch to you space.


Repurposing items with this elevated metallic paint

If you’re looking to heed Fitzgerald’s shiny advice but don’t know where to start, this metallic paint can help you recycle and repurpose objects you already have around the house. It comes with 24 colors — including multiple shades of gold, vibrant pinks and blues, and shimmering silver — and is safe to use on walls, paper, glass, rocks, wood, and other materials.

It’s waterproof, permanent, fade-proof, and can be used indoors and outdoors. Add a DIY metallic accent to your coffee mugs, lamp shades, coffee tables, or outdated frames — the possibilities are endless.


Making use of overlooked corners with a modern floating shelf

Fitzgerald is also a fan of this cool Greenco corner shelf if you want to bring “a modern touch” to your space. “We put some art pieces and old books on them to make them look more fancy,” he adds. The five-tier unit fits flush into the corner of a room to bring a little style to an often overlooked spot. It can hold up to 11 pounds, and it has a chic zipper design that, itself, looks more like a piece of art than a shelving unit.


Getting an expensive-looking handmade touch with a fringe wall hanging

This macrame wall hanging from Mkono “added a handmade touch,” Fitzgerald explains, which can balance out the modern to make your space look both expensive and lived in. It’s made of cotton cord and wood beads for a hanging fringe pattern that is a perfect statement piece for over a fireplace, bed, or couch. Also, it can be used as a cool curtain for a small window or to hide unsightly things like breaker boxes.


Installing an easy & cohesive gallery wall with this square frame set

“Having just a few, handpicked pieces displayed on your wall is the hack to flaunt the richness,” says Simran Kaur, founder of design blog Room You Love. “A nice gallery wall like this one [...] is a no-brainer when it comes to wall decor.”

Kaur recommends this set of nine Annecy frames, are of which all square and feature matching black frames. Buying frames in bulk is a great way to make creating a cohesive gallery wall easy. The plexiglass and backboard are durable and stable for a secure attachment to the wall.


Adding a pop of color to your space with this playful resin vase

“Decorating with all neutrals is a recipe for blandness, boredom, and monotony,” Kaur says. “In an otherwise neutral space, a splash of bright colors is perfect to grab some attention and get some compliments rolling in.”

She recommends this Cotyni vase, which features vibrant stripes on an off-white base, to attract the eye and add some playfulness to your space. It has a bottle top and can hold water for fresh flowers without leaking. But it’s not only gorgeous, it’s also corrosion-resistant, wear-resistant, and less likely to shatter than glass or ceramic since it’s made of resin.


Enhancing the smell with a reed diffuser that has preserved flowers

A surefire way to make your home look more expensive is to make it smell more expensive. “Reed diffusers, incense sticks, scented candles, and aroma diffusers are non-negotiable additions to your bucket list,” Kaur explains.

This reed defuser set is exactly what she’s talking about. It features a chic reusable glass bottle and 6.7 ounces of oil — which comes in pleasing scents like lavender, jasmine, and cotton. Plus, it features chic black reed sticks and preserved flowers so it not only smells great, but looks great too.


Eliminating odors with this clever handmade candle

“Irrespective of how good a space looks, if it smells bad, it's all trash,” Kaur continues. This candle doesn’t just come in crowd-pleasing scents like vanilla bean, lilac, apple, and fir trees, it actually absorbs bad odors. That means your home will just smell like flowers — not flowers and old fish. It had a burn time of 80 hours and is handmade with a soy blend wax and cotton wick.


Adding greenery with this snake plant that’s easy to care for

“Plants are no-brainers when we are talking luxury and taste. In the least to no money, an indoor plant effortlessly elevates the look of a room and brings in some good vibes as a bonus!” Kaur explains.

A snake plant like this one is a perfect addition because it’s a noticeable 2 to 3 feet tall, and is famously easy to take care of. Snake plants give a tropical feel to any room while requiring very little to grow: moderate light and water every few weeks. For minimal price and minimal maintenance, this plant packs a big punch.


Using a wallpaper with chic geometric details for texture

“A rich wallpaper can make your home appear as if you've spent a grand to tie things together, gracefully,” Kaur says. “This one, for example, isn't too showy yet flaunts luxury with its metallic finish and octagon pattern.”

The textured octagon pattern of this Simon&Siff wallpaper reflects light in different ways, adding dimension to the wall with brightness that complements the dark tone. And the geometric shapes make it easy to line up adjacent sheets for a seamless installation, compared to more abstract designs that are harder to match. Just add adhesive paste directly onto the wall with a brush or roller and the wallpaper goes on smoothly.


Hanging a geometric mirror that has a matching gold chain

“A strategically placed mirror can amplify light and make a space feel larger.” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight. Another tip from the pro? “Opt for mirrors with unique frames or shapes. Place them opposite to light sources or against blank walls to maximize their impact.”

This gold mirror features a chic hexagon shape and a super thin metal frame, to both catch your eye and maximize a room’s light. It includes a matching gold chain to hang on the wall, or the chain can be unclipped and the mirror can be leaned on a credenza or dresser for a modern touch.


Showing off this neutral wall art with natural elements for a relaxed & elegant feel

This set of minimalist wall art adds neutrals to your space while still using enough variety and shape play to be eye-catching. Kropovinsky explains, “Pair neutral walls with matching neutral decor. Layering shades within the same family creates depth and a sense of cohesion.”

Inspired by nature, this set features the sun, leaves, the moon, and abstract mountains to bring a modern yet homey touch to your space. Plus, they’re made of waterproof and fade-resistant canvas that can be framed or hung as-is.


Layering neutral colors in your space with this dried grass decor

“Rich, neutral tones have a certain understated luxury. Creams, taupes, and soft grays can make a space feel curated and bespoke,” Kropovinsky explains. This dried grass decor set features four different kinds — rabbit’s tail grass, white pampas, reed pampas, and original color pampas — to layer four different shades of neutral into your space.

Each stalk is 17 inches tall, but can be cut to the height you need for your favorite vase. And they can be styled as-is, or left in the sun for two to three hours to create a fluffier, more expansive arrangement.


Elevating a bedroom with a silk pillowcase that’s so smooth

One of the easiest ways to elevate a room and make everything look more expensive is to thoughtfully mix textures. “A silky pillow juxtaposed against a coarse wool throw invites touch and adds a layered richness,” Kropovinsky says.

Besides being smooth, buttery soft, and touchable, this silk pillowcase is also great for your hair and skin to reduce irritation. It comes in more than three dozen vibrant colors to fit any decor style, and the zipper closure is hidden for a totally seamless look. Plus, it can be machine washed on the delicate cycle so you can easily clean it.


Draping a wool throw blanket with a cable knit pattern over furniture

“High-quality textiles can instantly elevate a room,” Kropovinsky says. If this wool throw blanket is nothing else, it’s definitely lush. The lightweight, chunky wool knit adds a charming, handmade touch to your room. It’s perfect for cozying under and watching a movie, or draping over the back of your couch for some added color and texture.


Hanging up clean & modern wall art with fine line drawings

“Art isn't about the price tag; it's about the emotion it evokes. [...] Frame inexpensive prints in quality frames,” Kropovinsky says. “The framing can make all the difference in showcasing art.”

This set of 16 modern wall art prints is under $10 — shockingly — and paired with the right frames, they will elevate any space and create a stunning and cohesive gallery wall. They use a minimalist style to evoke a sultry yet playful vibe, with fine lines of flowers, branches, hands, faces, and bodies.


Adding a metallic touch with some chic bird statues

Kropovinsky also recommends that you “display sculptures and ceramics that resonate.” Whether you’re a bird aficionado or you’re looking for a charming yet modern piece to style on your bookshelf, these small bird statues is an easy “add to cart.” The set of two comes with one small bird and one large bird, and they come with felt-lined bottoms to prevent scratching your surfaces. Plus, their super shiny surface also follows Fitzgerald’s advice of adding metallic accents to elevate you space. Two design-advice birds with one stone.


Installing these highly-rated knobs with an etched detail

Another way to add a modern refresh to your kitchen is with these knobs. The circular design is highlighted by a delicate etched detail that will seamlessly match with your cabinets — no matter the color — to revive your kitchen without breaking the bank. Available in modern finishes like matte black, brass, nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze, these knobs are a best-seller on Amazon with a 4.8-star rating after 14,000 reviews.


Cleaning windows with a professional-grade squeegee

One secret to an instantly more expensive looking home? “Give all the mirrors, windows, and window screens a really good cleaning,” says Tan. This professional-grade window squeegee can help. It features a duel head, one side is a rubber squeegee, and the other boasts an absorbent microfiber cloth for a streak-free clean. Plus, with four adjustable handle heights from 23 to 62 inches, this squeegee makes sure you can get every window in your home so shiny you’ll forget it’s there.


Adding on a silky pillowcase set that’s soft on hair & skin

Once you get all the pillow inserts to make your bed look full and elegant, you’ll need pillowcases like these silky ones to complete the look. Available in a dozen neutrals, charming pastels, and glamorous jewel tones, the pillowcases are made of silky viscose which is moisture-wicking, cooling, and so buttery soft that your hair and skin will feel great in the morning.


Fluffing up a bed with these throw pillow inserts with 69,000 5-star ratings

“There are cheap pillows and covers you can get that simply help to make the bed look full and comfortable which allows you to ensure every bed in your home has extra pillows and blankets,” says Forster.

This set of four throw pillow inserts comes at such a budget-friendly price, you’ll have your bed and couches layered in plush pillows. They feature a super soft cover and are filled with a polyester fiber that helps maintain its plush shape. It’s the No.1 bestseller in Amazon’s throw pillows category with over 86,000 ratings, so you know these are a tried-and-true option.


Adding texture with velvet throw pillow covers with a fun two-tone design

“Adding throw pillows and blankets to every bed in your home helps to really transform the space,” Forster explains. And these velvet throw pillow covers can keep things extra fresh with their color block design that gives you dozens of pillow configurations in one set. Each velvet cover features two colors, and a third-colored seam around all four sides that ties it all together. The monochromatic invisible zipper keeps things totally seamless, while still opening wide enough to easily fit the inserts.


Using a knit throw blanket as an adorably cozy accent piece

When it comes to the final steps of staging an expensive-looking home for cheap, Forster recommends, “at least four regular pillows, two or three throw pillows, and a blanket at the end of the bed. All together this look creates regency, and it’s also an easy trick to maintain as a homeowner.”

This knit throw blanket is cozy enough to snuggle under, but chic enough to drape from the end of the bed or the back of the couch for a final elegant touch. The overlayed geometric pattern is eye-catching, but balanced by the monochromatic knit and gentle fringe make to create an overall cohesive look that will add to a space without taking away from other accent pieces.


Lining your lawn with solar-powered lights that turn on in the dark

“Some path lighting can set up the mood of your garden path and sidewalk. It will be wise to go for some solar-powered options, as they appear to be the most energy-saving option,” suggests Fort Worth real estate expert Brady Bridges. “In addition to enhancing the beauty of your walkway, the path lighting will make your walkway safer for visitors in the evening.”

These solar powered lights from Sowsun charge in the sun during the day and can stay lit for up to eight hours at night, when they automatically turn on. They feature a corrosion-proof stainless steel and plastic stake to securely stand in the ground, and the whole thing is waterproof to last all year long.


Displaying a modern fruit bowl that’s an edgy take on kitchen staple

For a pop of color and a touch of homey citrus New York City real estate specialist Colleen Cassel has a favorite styling tip. “In the kitchen add limes and lemons into a glass bowl or simple wicker basket and place in the center of the kitchen island.”

This glass bowl screams modern elegance at such a budget-friendly price. Made of thick glass, the bowl has a ribbed texture on the outside and a smooth inside. And the two-tone, geometric design adds an cool edge to your classic fruit bowl.


Adding a pop of color to your counter with faux lemons & limes

If you’re more of a produce belongs in the refrigerator kind of person, then consider displaying fake fruit. “The limes and lemons will add a pop of color and offer a clean, simple look,” Cassel says. Their lifelike shape, size, and coloring will make everyone think they’re real, without worry that they’ll go bad or attract gnats. They’re made of foam with a painted, plastic covering for a pretty and no-maintenance addition to your kitchen counter.


Depersonalizing the bathroom with a set of soft, neutral towels

When styling your bathroom, Cassel suggests adding “fresh, clean neutral colored towels and a shower curtain,” for a budget-friendly way to bring luxury into an oft overlooked room. This set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths, so you can keep everything color-coordinated. Plus, the 100% cotton means they’re super soft while staying very absorbent.


Painting doors with an all-in-one paint that boasts a chalky, matte finish

While white interior doors are traditional, “...painting doors a new color is an easy way to quickly refresh a room's look,” says Omri Schwartz, interior design expert and general manager of nazmiyal rugs.

This all-in-one paint makes refreshing your interior doors a breeze. It comes in dozens of colors that guaranteed to make a splash, while the chalky, matte finish keeps things modern. It’s durable for indoor and outdoor use on wood, laminate, glass, metal, and plastic, and it dries within 30 minutes of application.


Laying down a washable area rug that’s super thin

“With the right rug, you can add interest to a room,” says Schwartz. “Choose natural fibers such as wool or leather for durability and luxury, or opt for vintage-inspired designs if you want something unusual.”

This ultra-thin, area rug is a show-stopping addition to your room, effortlessly blending an antique design with modern colors for the perfect fit. The non-shedding low-pile rug sits flush against the floor, and the TPE backing prevents it from slipping and sliding around the room. Plus, it can be cleaned with a vacuum, robot cleaner, or thrown into the washing machine.


Placing a high-quality wool rug that adds a neutral accent

“Invest in quality rugs and floor coverings to boost your home's comfort and style,” Schwartz says. This wool blend rug comes in classically elegant neutrals and patterns that elevate your space while complementing your already existing furniture and decor. It’s made of natural, low-pile wool that sits flush against the floor while still offering a plush cushion for your feet.