Contractors say these clever things on Amazon make your home look better with almost no effort

Genius ways to hide eyesores and get cozy.

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Keeping a home nice can often feel like an uphill battle. Fortunately, not every improvement needs to be that expensive or time-consuming. There are plenty of cheap, clever home upgrades you can tackle in less than an hour — especially if you’re an Amazon customer. That’s why Mic got in touch with experts: designers, decorators, and professional organizers.

Since their job is to make spaces look as good as possible without cutting into their profits, they know all about home-improvement hacks. Scroll on for clever ways to make your space look way better with these low-effort tricks.


These touch-up pens that you can fill with any paint color

Ted Roberts, style and design chief for Schlage, writes: “a fresh coat of paint to your front door or trims can make a big difference to the overall aesthetic of your home, and add great curb appeal for potential buyers.” That said, painting is a big job — so if you only have a few scuff marks, these fillable paint pens make for a quick, easy touch-up. Using the included syringe, simply fill them with any paint color; then twist the pen until the paint starts to come out through the drip-resistant, mess-free brush.


A chic box that hides cord clutter

According to Evelina Juzėnaitė, principal interior designer and head of the Design Council at the home improvement platform Planner 5D, there are plenty of genius ways to camouflage wire clutter, including “decorative boxes.” This cable management box has a sleek black base and a wooden lid, so it looks almost like decor — but it’s actually a convenient, electrically-safe way to hide your cords and power strips. Get it in medium or large sizes.


These acrylic shelves you can install basically anywhere

“Mixed finishes and styles are a unique way to add personal flair and style throughout your home,” writes Roberts. Take these clear acrylic shelves, for example; they’re definitely modern, but since they’re transparent, they’ll go with any color or decor. Reviewers use them to add more storage in any space, including kids’ rooms, home offices, bathrooms, and kitchens. They install in minutes using the included mounting hardware, and each one is waterproof and durable enough to support almost 9 pounds.


Or this wall system that camouflages wires in plain sight

“If you don't have the option to hide wires inside the walls,” Juzėnaitė writes, still you don’t have to stare at them. “Camoflaging items,” like this cord cover raceway kit, help you hide them in plain sight. This set comes in five color options, but the flame-resistant material is also paintable and cuttable, so you can customize it to your space. Use the 157 inches of channels and elbows to create a wall-mounted path to your TV or other electronics, and secure them using either tape or anchors (both included).


These faux flowers that look and feel “so real”

“If you are ever looking at a space that you are trying to design and it seems to be 'missing something', a plant is almost always the solution,” writes Hansen. That said, “Not everyone has a green thumb so don't be afraid to implement some faux plants.” According to reviewers, these artificial tulips look and feel “so real,” all thanks to their PU petals and bendable steel-wired stems. They’re easy to arrange in any vase, and they come in a handful of different colors.


This LED wall sconce that doesn’t require wires

“Wall sconces” are another great alternative to overhead cans, but this LED wall sconce is unlike most others. For one, it’s fully rechargeable and mounts with a sticky adhesive, so you can put it anywhere without the need for wiring. For another, it has three temperature options and three brightness levels, not to mention a 360-degree rotating magnetic ball, so you can customize your light (and its direction) as needed. Finally, it pops off its mount so you can take it with you like a flashlight. No wonder reviewers use it for everything from reading to illuminating their artwork.


Some gorgeous baskets that you can turn into charging hubs

“We live in a day and age where nearly everything we own comes with a charging cord,” writes Michelle Hansen, an organizer and decorator who has appeared on HGTV — but these cords can quickly become an eyesore. “One of the easiest things you can do is to purchase a basket that you can poke small holes into,” then “feed your charging cords through the basket.” With these seagrass baskets with built-in lids, however, you won’t even need to cut holes; reviewers say they could “easily move the material to fit the cords through.”


Or try these storage baskets with discreet holes

These cotton rope baskets are another great option. Since they have subtle handle holes that you can easily use for feeding wires through, “you can easily hide cords and incorporate them into your decor,” writes Hansen. They also come in three sizes and 25 color options, so you can use them wherever you need to “keep your countertops clutter-free."


This beautiful woven basket with a lid to minimize entryway eyesores

According to Valerie Stafford, lead designer at Rumor Designs, “mail, keys, and random things by the entryway” are one of the biggest eyesores in most houses, but there’s an easy solution: “Invest in some decorative baskets or bins with lids,” which serve as an easy way to “stop and drop” your stuff whenever you enter the house. This round rattan basket, lid included, is “beautifully woven” and “sturdy,” according to reviewers. Most importantly, it’s “lovely to look at,” so it makes a great first impression in your entryway.


Or these seagrass baskets with built-in lids

“Consider things with closed storage” so your clutter can effortlessly pass for decor, Stafford adds. These stackable seagrass baskets have built-in lids, so you can toss in your keys or mail and simply flip them shut. “My husband likes to keep his ‘stuff’ on the table and it looks awful,” one reviewer writes, but “these are quite sturdy and the perfect size” to hide the mess.


A hanging mirror to cover cords and wall blemishes but doubles as decor

According to Juzėnaitė, a mirror is an easy way to hide unsightly “control panels” or “panels of electricity on the wall.” Since the chain is built into the design, this hanging circle mirror is a breeze to install, and it’s easy to remove if you ever need to access the electrical panel behind it. You can get it in three sizes, and reviewers call it “beautiful,” but “super lightweight,” so it’s “easy to put up anywhere.”


Or this wave mirror that makes a statement

For bigger panels, there’s this wavy frame mirror. It’s rectangularly shaped to cover wall boxes, but its wave frame makes a statement — especially since it comes in a few trendy colors. “You have the option to hang it or have it on top of your fireplace, bedside table, etc. It’s not so heavy, and it’s easy to hang [on] your wall,” one reviewer writes.


Or some faux pampas grass for an architectural statement without the upkeep

“There are some pretty incredible faux flowers and plants out there that can elevate the look of any space,” Hansen adds. Faux pampas grass is a reviewer favorite because it’s shed-resistant and seasonally appropriate any time of year. It also comes in a huge range of colors, all of which elevate your space with a “dreamy,” “mid-century” vibe.


Some vintage ribbed glasses that elevate any drink

Whether you use them for cocktails, lemonade, or iced coffee, these vintage glasses are “worth the money,” according to a reviewer. They’re thick and easy to hold while their ribbed exterior gives them a mid-century vibe. Most importantly, despite their reasonable price tag, they’re made from strong, lead-free glass that’s surprisingly durable: Stack them and wash them in the dishwasher without a problem.


This surprisingly sleek magnetic dry-erase board that keeps you on task

“I have a stainless fridge, so no way did I want an ugly whiteboard,” one reviewer writes about this acrylic note board. Using sturdy magnets, “it sticks without issue and is easy to clean. I keep my daughter’s school and work-study schedule, as well as the dish night schedule, on it. I also write a daily affirmation for the family.” Each order includes four dry-erase markers, and since it’s transparent, it keeps you organized without taking away from your space.


These mirrored disco balls to recreate a decorating trick taking over social media

Finally, you might have seen the trick of throwing a bunch of mini disco balls into a bowl for a dash of reflective interest all over your feed. No wonder hundreds of reviewers have used these disco ball ornaments to “add personal flair” throughout their homes. Some incorporated them into their homemade centerpieces, while others used them for holidays, cake decorating, photoshoots, and bar cart accents. This order comes with 35 of them in two diameters (1-inch and 2-inch), but you can opt for other quantities and sizes.


This machine-washable rug that traps dirt in your mudroom & beyond

“Mud rooms often get messy this time of year,” Stafford writes, but washable rugs “offer an easy clean up method when you have time." This Ruggable vintage area rug is a direct recommendation that comes in two colors and 20 size options. Like every other Ruggable, it features a cushiony, non-slip rug pad that stays on the floor, and a stain-resistant, low-pile cover that peels off and goes straight in the washing machine whenever it gets dirty.


Or this washable rug that’s much more affordable

Looking for a more affordable alternative? Amazon has plenty of options — just “stick to washable rugs with lots of pattern to help hide the dirt,” Stafford writes. This Medallion area rug is much cheaper than Ruggable, but since it’s made from premium recycled synthetic fibers, it’s still stain-resistant and machine-washable (though it doesn’t come in 2 pieces). Get it in three colors and 16 shapes and sizes.


This pack of air filters since you should be replacing them every few months

Anthony Carrino, home designer, developer, and Trane Residential partner, notes the importance of changing your home’s air filter every 30 to 90 days. “A survey by Trane Residential found that only 33 percent of homeowners regularly change their filter,” Carrino writes, which “is really bad for your HVAC system” — plus it “increases the cost of cooling” and circulates “pollen, dander, and dust particles” in your home. Fortunately, reliable replacement filters trap up to 90% of airborne pollutants without impacting airflow, and they’re relatively affordable and easy to find on Amazon; just be sure to double-check your size requirements before purchasing.


A functional but decorative hanging hammock chair

Stafford loves “seeing a surprise in a space, an unexpected chair or accent table.” While pieces should be “99% functional,” it’s okay to throw in a few “decorative pieces if it makes the right statement.” Fortunately, this hanging hammock chair is both decorative and functional — and it looks much more expensive than it is. Reviewers also say it’s “easy to assemble, sturdy, comfy,” and “cute,” plus it comes in several color options, all with included pillows, a steel spreader bar, a snap hook, and a nylon hanging rope.


An unexpected accent that makes your space unique

When choosing a room’s accent, opting for “something unexpected makes that space unique,” Stafford writes. These metal accent tables, for example, have an eye-catching hexagon and diamond pattern instead of legs. They’re also surprisingly functional thanks to their water-resistant iron surface and ability to nest one inside of the other.


Or this playful end table with a removable tray top

Unexpected accents show “playfulness, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box,” Stafford continues — and this metal end table is a fan-favorite option on Amazon. Since it’s sturdy and rust-resistant, it can be used indoors or out. It also comes in just about any color you could want, from neutral black to bright yellow, but it has an additional brilliant feature you wouldn’t expect just by looking at it: The edge-curled top comes off, so you can use it as a tray while entertaining.


Or this side table that doubles as a sculpture

Finally, “consider these non-standard pieces more like sculptures,” Stafford writes. Thanks to its gold finish and three angled legs, this side table is as much of an art piece as it is a functional surface. Since it’s made from powder-coated metal, it’s surprisingly durable — even though it’s lightweight and easy to move wherever you need additional storage. According to reviewers, it’s “easy to assemble” without tools and looks even “prettier in person.”


A panel fence to hide your HVAC unit

Carrino writes, “While a well-designed HVAC system is beautiful to some, others would prefer their outdoor unit to be less visible.” Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to hide or disguise outdoor equipment. “Some of my clients like to add small fences or wooden panels to hide their units,” like this freestanding panel screen. While it looks like wicker, it’s actually made from a weather-resistant resin. It’s also reversible and its four panels can be stuck in the ground at any angle you need to hide AC units — but also garbage cans, yard clutter, and outdoor showers.


Or this privacy screen that looks like ivy

“You can even add a greenery privacy screen,” Carrino continues, like this privacy screen made from faux ivy. It comes in over 40 different size options to suit all types of fences, trellises, and walls, and its easy-snap mechanism locks the panels in place without additional tools or hardware. “Just keep in mind that they need to be placed far away enough from the unit so they don’t compromise the airflow and efficiency of your HVAC system,” Carrino writes.


Or a natural-looking screen made from reeds

Finally, as per Carrino’s advice, this natural reed fencing also “helps your outdoor HVAC equipment blend into your home’s landscape” because it’s made from eco-friendly reed with bamboo stakes. Even though it’s easy to install and lends an earthy touch to your yard, it’s surprisingly durable against moisture and it’s opaque, so it effectively hides HVAC systems, outdated fences, or walls. Get it in two colors and two sizes.


This stainless steel tray to organize messier items

Juzėnaitė also recommends baskets for holding things like “plants” and “laundry or cleaning supplies,” but if you’re worried about damaging them, a durable tray is a good alternative. This one still organizes, separates, and displays your stuff in a stylish way (like a basket), but despite its gold finish, it’s actually made from stainless steel, so it resists rust and is easy to clean in case of spills. Get it in four sizes and use it for your jewelry, makeup, coffee station, keys, candles, or supplies.


These stylish doorknobs that are extremely easy to install

“Doorknobs are one of the biggest touchpoints in your home and may be one of the first things guests notice when they come to visit,” Roberts writes. “Making a simple swap to a new style or finish can create a whole new look." These Schlage doorknobs have an overall 4.8-star rating from more than 5,000 reviewers because they come with everything you need for easy installation with just a screwdriver — and they’re stylish, well-made, and fit most types of doors with their universal latch. They also come in multiple types and sizes, not to mention six chic finishes that instantly upgrade a room.


This rechargeable table lamp that makes a statement

“Not all light needs to be sourced from a can overhead,” writes Stafford. Instead, get creative with your lighting in order to “add extra levels and layers of light.” This portable desk lamp is powered by a rechargeable 5000 mAh battery, so you can effortlessly move it from place to place and use it in case of a power outage. Still, its unique shape and aluminum alloy finish (in your choice of three colors) makes a statement while the LED gives off over 20 hours of warm illumination in two brightness options.


These stick-anywhere LEDs to create toe-kick lighting

Stafford loves “seeing multiple layers of lighting in a home” — especially in unexpected places, like “toe kick lighting in the bathrooms.” While it has a high-end appearance, however, it doesn’t have to have a high-end price tag. Some reviewers use these rechargeable LED lights underneath cupboards and appliances because they’re motion-sensing, dimmable, and remote-controlled. That said, since you can stick them anywhere with a choice of magnets or double-sided adhesive, they’re also great for closets and stairways.


And some LED strip lights that make under-cabinet lighting easy

According to Stafford, “under cabinet lighting” is another option when it comes to adding light layers to your space — and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, either. These LED light strips are flexible and easy to install with their self-adhesive backing. They also have three temperature settings and 10 brightness levels. Each kit comes with a power adapter, a remote control, a controller cable, mounting screws and brackets for extra security, and a roll of LED light strips in your choice of three lengths.


Or these color-changing sconces for a more traditional look

Finally, for a more traditional look, these battery-operated wall sconces are a great electrician-free option. Thanks to their brass-and-iron design that screws into the wall, they look like they were professionally installed and wired. However, because they’re battery-powered and come with a remote control, you can mount them anywhere that could use some additional light and style — and you can choose between 13 different RGB scene modes.


A bold take on your standard vase

“Vases can be used to display flowers or branches, or they can stand alone as decorative pieces,” Cooper continues. Take this David statue vase, for example; even when paired with more casual pieces, it adds personality to your space — and it gives you a unique way to display your plants. The brand also sells several other designs, including Apollo and Venus.


This moody-modern way to display your candles — & make them safer

“In the same way as wall art, vases and candles can be great additions to almost any room and help create a relaxing and inviting feel,” writes Alexandra Cooper, interior designer and a member of the Design Council at the home improvement platform Planner 5D. These candle lanterns can be used inside or out to dress up your candles with a moody-modern aesthetic. Most importantly, however, because they’re made from glass and iron, they minimize flickering due to wind and harder for children or pets to get to.


Or these designer-recommended candle holders

These candle holders are a direct recommendation from Cooper. With their elevated, tiered design and black iron construction, they take your standard pillar candles from underwhelming to elegant. “Exactly what my dining table needed,” one reviewer writes, while another says, “I saw a similar item at an upscale store for 250,” but this one is a “great piece for a fraction of the price.”


Or this set of 3 convincing faux candles

Even without a scent, however, candles can still “add a decorative touch to your home,” Cooper writes. These flameless glass candles are battery-operated, but according to reviewers, they “look so real” and are definitely “worth the money.” The paper-thin “flame” flickers, the bulbs emit a warm yellow glow, and the base is made from real wax, all of which make them especially convincing. They even come with a remote that you can use to adjust the modes and set automatic timers.


A scented candle to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere

“Candles not only provide a pleasant scent, but they also create a warm and relaxing atmosphere,” Cooper writes. Another direct recommendation (one with over 15,000 reviews), this Benevolence LA Lemongrass & Basil candle does just that. In addition to its essential-oil-based scent that has been called “amazing” and “very refreshing,” the candle also has a wooden wick that crackles as it burns for up to 45 hours. If you love the look but not the scent, the brand makes over 15 other ones to choose from.


This storage ottoman to hide toys

Another common eyesore? “Toys everywhere,” writes Stafford, for which she recommends a storage ottoman. This genius trick not only hides your clutter in plain sight, but also doubles as a stool, footrest, or side table. Available in nine different color options, this one is made with a velvet cover over resilient sponge padding for comfort. Despite the fact that it’s lightweight, it’s sturdy enough to support up to 220 pounds.


Or this rectangular option that holds double the stuff

For double the toy storage — or for bulky items like towels, shoes, blankets, and pillows — consider a larger storage ottoman. This option spans 30 inches long, so it can hold up to 75 liters of clutter. It can also support 200 pounds of weight if you choose to use it as a bench, but its rectangular shape also makes it a great stand-in for a coffee table. It comes in over 10 color options and two sizes, all with a tufted top and OEKO-TEX-certified upholstery.


These modern shelf storage baskets to hide clutter

“Baskets are a versatile and practical storage solution,” Juzėnaitė writes, especially when it comes to hiding clutter like “books and magazines, pets or children's toys.” These shelf storage baskets are a more modern take on those canvas cubes, since they’re rounded and made from a woven cotton rope. That said, they still give your clutter a designated home on your shelves, and they come in over 20 color options to match your existing decor.


A more structured decorative basket with wooden handles

According to Juzėnaitė, “Baskets can be used in all your home rooms — living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and others!” Certain things, like heavy magazines, decorative soaps, towels, or pantry items, may call for a more structured basket. This storage basket is hand-woven from water hyacinth and has two polished wooden handles for easy carrying. As a result, it’s sturdier than other options and it won’t flop over when not in use.


Or this set of rope baskets that goes with everything

Since baskets come in all “different colors, shapes, [and] sizes,” according to Juzėnaitė, it’s “easy to find the basket that suits your interior style.” This set of decorative storage baskets, however, is made from cotton rope in a neutral, natural cream color, so it suits all different functions in a range of different rooms. One reviewer uses them to organize their “craft tools and supplies,” while another writes, “I am using all of them in my bedroom. One holds jewelry, another holds towels, etc.”