Contractors swear by these cheap tricks to make your home seem more expensive with almost no effort

Get the scoop from our favorite pros.

ByJenny White
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The cool thing about having an “in” with a contractor is that you can get the scoop on the genius techniques they use on a day-to-day basis. We connected with a bunch of our favorites to get the lowdown on cheap tricks that’ll make your home seem more expensive with almost no effort. Below are dozens of ideas that you’ll be excited to put in place in your own home ASAP.


These stainless steel pulls for a quick revamp of a kitchen or bathroom

“Perhaps the easiest and most effective alteration that homeowners can make to their property is to change the hardware that is attached to their cabinetry,” explains Thomas Borcherding, the owner of Homestar Design Remodel. These stainless steel pulls would work in a kitchen or bathroom, and the set comes with 30 pieces for less than $1 each. Check out the listing for all of the finishes (and other quantities, too).


A pair of budget-friendly monogrammed towels that exude elegance

Borcherding says that embroidered towels like these will “without failure, provide a space with a sense of elegance.” And he adds that they can be utilized in both bathrooms or a kitchen. The towels are made from heavyweight Turkish cotton — making them soft and fluffy — and they’re available in all letters of the alphabet (as well as a few colors) in the listing.


This plush throw blanket to instantly disguise worn furniture

Toss this fuzzy throw blanket on furniture for an instant upgrade. “It doesn't matter how old and worn out a chair or couch might be when you sprawl a blanket [...] across them,” notes Borcherding. The blanket comes in three sizes, as well as various colors and patterns — all are available in the listing.


These mid-century modern plant stands to bring some greenery indoors

“Live foliage is a tasteful way to enhance the atmosphere of a room, and there's no better way to incorporate more greenery into a room than with plant stands,” says Borcherding. This mid-century modern pair of stands can hold up to 150 pounds each and can accommodate various sizes of pots.


A 2-pack of stainless steel cleaner that’ll make a dramatic difference

Use this stainless steel cleaner on your stove, fridge, sink, and other appliances to remove dust, grime, grease, and other buildup without leaving behind streaks. As Borcherding puts it: “[I]t makes a dramatic difference in the appearance of your stainless steel finishes.” The set includes two bottles that feature a lavender and chamomile scent.


A cleaner & polish to revitalize wooden furniture & cabinets

Swipe this wood cleaner on your wooden furniture to “not only prolong the lifespan of it, but [...] make it glow the way it was truly intended to,” explains Borcherding. The formulation can be used on all wooden surfaces (even cabinets), and it won’t leave behind any sticky or greasy residue.


This 4-pack of velvet pillow covers that are a big visual upgrade

“Well-designed throw pillows will offer the small details that make a space unforgettable,” notes Borcherding. And this throw pillow cover set is a cost-effective way to go about it. Included are four velvet covers in complementary beige, teal, yellow, and orange shades with contrasting piping — but they come in nine sets in the listing in different shades.


These ambiance-boosting flickering light bulbs that are also energy efficient

Borcherding recommends flickering light bulbs like these as a “creative way to improve [ambiance], promote a feeling of relaxation, and provide a night light.” However, they also have another plus — they have an energy-efficient design to save money in the long run. The set includes two yellow bulbs, though blue ones can also be bought via the listing.


A pair of fillable paint pens for quicker touch-ups

Dan Walker, the owner and contractor of Walker Home Remodeling, says that “even small scratches in your paint can make your home look run down.” For a quick fix, grab this pair of paint pens. Fill them with your existing paint colors and pull them out to brush them on when needed. They’ll keep the paint inside fresh for years so you can get rid of the bulky cans.


This mold & mildew remover to refresh your grout

“Nothing makes a bathroom look messy and cheap quicker than moldy grout,” explains Walker. This mold and mildew remover gel can get rid of these nuisances and any staining, leaving behind fresh-as-new white grout. It can also be used on tile, sinks, shower surroundings, and other areas. The set comes with two tubes.


A pair of cable management boxes & accessories to keep cords in check

If electronic cords and cables are adding creating a messy vibe in your home, use these cable management boxes to corral everything. They (along with the included cable ties and clips) are designed to “keep things neat and out of the way,” notes Walker. The set includes both a medium and large box with bamboo lids for added style.


These velvet curtains that come in lots of shades to create a luxurious feeling

A quick change to make your home feel high-end? Walker recommends swapping your curtains for velvet ones like these — they’re silky to the touch and drape elegantly. The curtains are designed to block out most sunlight to create a dark, private atmosphere. Choose from a range of solid colors and different sizes in the listing.


An extendable cleaning tool to make cleaning your baseboards easier

Ryan Knoll, the owner of Tidy Casa, stresses that a “deep clean in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms can work wonders.” To get baseboards wiped down, you’ll want this cleaning tool. It features a lightweight aluminum handle that can extend up to 4 feet in length, saving your knees, shoulders, and back while you use it. The flexible head will conform to baseboards and molding to do a thorough job.


This powerful scrubber to clean overlooked nooks & crannies

In addition, Knoll wants you to also think about cleaning “those often-overlooked nooks and crannies” in your home. This power scrubber features a small cleaning head to easily get into those spots. And it’s designed to scrub 60 times per second to eliminate dirt, grime, and other debris with little work on your end. It’s powered by four AA batteries.


A pumice cleaner that gets rid of grime throughout your bathroom

And speaking of Knoll’s suggestion for cleaning high-traffic areas, this pumice stone does a thorough job on toilets, showers, sinks, and other often-used spots in your bathroom. Just pair it with water to get to work. While powerful, the pumice cleaner won’t cause scratches or other damage to delicate surfaces.


A gold wall mirror to make any room feel bigger

Another trick Knoll recommends is hanging a wall mirror to “create a more open, airy feel, making spaces appear larger and more elegant.” The gold-framed mirror is almost 1 foot in diameter and it features a chain at the top for style and easier hanging. A smaller and larger option can be purchased in the listing.


This 7-piece microfiber duster set to keep your home from looking neglected

Simply put: “Dust can make even the most beautiful homes look neglected,” according to Knoll. To do a thorough job, pick up this microfiber duster set. It includes six cleaning heads for various tasks, like a flat brush to get underneath appliances and a bendable duster for trickier areas. An extendable pole is also included that extends to 100 inches.


This reusable cloth kit that makes achieving streak-free windows easy

“Brighten up rooms with clean, streak-free windows to let in natural light,” says Knoll. To get the job done with this two-step cleaning cloth set, you’ll just need water. After wetting the waffle-weave cloth, wipe down your windows to get them clean. Then, follow up with the polishing cloth to remove streaks. The reusable cloths are machine washable.


A roll of peel-&-stick crown molding for a DIY upgrade

No one will ever suspect that this crown molding is hung up using solely the peel-and-stick adhesive on the back. And Artem Kropovinsky, an interior designer and the founder of Arsight, confirms that it’ll bring a “polished, rich look” to any room. The roll includes just over 16 feet of trim and it’s available in four colors in the listing.


This flexible baseboard molding to finish off a room in style

In addition to the crown molding above, Kropovinsky recommends putting up molding on the baseboards to finish off a room. “A simple, white molding may make [...] places look [...] far more elegant,” he notes. This baseboard trim doesn’t get hung with screws, but rather it has a peel-and-stick backing to hold it firmly in place. It can attach to nearly any smooth surface.


These mountable lighting strips for a warm & expensive atmosphere

Don’t underestimate the power of lighting for an instant upgrade. “Selecting [...] LEDs with a warm glow will [make] your home look and feel cozy and expensive,” explains Kropovinsky. These self-adhesive lighting strips are designed to be mounted underneath cabinets, shelves, entertainment centers, and more. You can tweak the color temperature and brightness using the included remote control.


Some bold peel-&-stick wallpaper for a budget-friendly revamp

Kropovinsky is a proponent of using peel-and-stick wallpaper like this to change up a space. It creates “a great opportunity for a quick and simple texture or color update of a room,” he adds. The deco-inspired palm print paper is straightforward to hang — it can be repositioned as needed until it’s perfect — and one roll will cover up to 28 square feet. It’s also available in a blue shade in the listing.


This matte black door knob to change the feel of any space

While swapping out your door knobs may feel insignificant, Kropovinsky says even this small switch can “completely change the feel and appearance of your house.” This matte black door knob is clean and modern, and it installs in minutes on most standard doors with a screwdriver. Other finishes can be selected in the listing.


This smart dimmer switch that can be controlled with your voice

Josh Rudin, the owner of ASAP Restoration LLC, suggests that you replace “standard light switches with dimmer switches to create adjustable lighting levels” in your home. This best-selling dimmer switch can be controlled by hand, through the free Kasa app, or with your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Set up schedules and timers to save electricity.


A pair of smart light bulbs to create upscale lighting

Also in the lighting arena, Rudin is a fan of using customizable color light bulbs to “add ambiance and sophistication to any room, giving the impression of an upscale lighting design concept.” The smart bulbs can be set to 16 million color options — and you can even sync them to music, put them on a timer, and set up group control to turn them on and off together.


This nearly odorless paint to create a bold accent wall

“Paint an accent wall in a bold color to add impact and visual interest to a room,” explains Rudin. This matte paint in this rich green shade qualifies, though there are many others to contemplate in the listing. The quart-sized can of water-based paint will cover up to 100 square feet. It’s virtually odorless and a low-VOC option.


These matte black light switch plates that add a finishing touch to walls

To add a finishing touch to your walls, Rudin suggests replacing outdated switch plates and outlet covers with fresh ones. These switch plates feature clean lines and a matte black color for a modern edge. Various sizes and shapes can be bought in the listing. Matching outlet covers are also available.


A solid brass woodpecker knocker to freshen up your front door

Don’t forget about the entryway of your home. Per Rudin, a quick and low-cost way to upgrade your front door specifically is to hang a stylish door knocker like this one. Made from solid brass with an antique finish, the woodpecker-shaped knocker is a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. Coordinating mounting hardware is included to put it up.


This large planter to make your entryway pop

Grab two of these large faux whiskey barrel planters for “either side of the entryway to make the area really pop,” suggests Rudin. He recommends filling them with foliage — either artificial plants if you don’t have a green thumb or real ones since there are drainage holes in the bottom for water — to finish them off. The planters feature a UV-coated finish to protect the rich oak brown color from fading. A darker color is also available in the listing.


A pair of solar-powered spotlights to illuminate your home’s best features

Use solar-powered spotlights “to highlight any key features” around the exterior of your home, suggests Taylor Olberding, co-owner of Heroes Lawn Care. This includes trees, walkways, landscaping, and even your driveway. Each one in the pair features 40 LED lights and you can choose between low, medium, or high modes. They come in three light colors and also a four- and six-pack in the listing.


This high-gloss paint for trim & doors to boost contrast

If you’re doing a paint refresh in your home, John Pleiss, brand president of Groovy Hues, notes you should use high-gloss paint on the trim and doors to contrast with neutral tones (and the occasional accent color) on the walls. This “can achieve a luxurious look on a low budget,” he explains. This half-pint can covers in one coat, dries quickly, and features a durable finish that’ll last.


This brass curtain rod to elevate the look of your windows

By “upgrading the window hardware such as curtain rods, homeowners can create an expensive look,” according to Luke Schwartz, the president at Bumble Bee Blinds. This curtain rod costs less than $25 but the brass finish and clean lines look high-end. It extends from 33 to 66 inches in length, though two longer options can also be found in the listing.


A pair of sheer curtain panels for creating a layered look

Another idea Schwartz has to upgrade any room is layering curtains for an entirely different look and feel. And this sheer set is ideal as the base for this. The two panels are made from a lightweight linen blend (in a subtle cream hue) that’ll allow natural light to filter into the room. Length options range from 45 to 108 inches in the listing.


These string lights for adding an inviting feel to your outdoor space

The CEO of Lawn Love, Jeremy Yamaguchi, says one of his favorite low-cost upgrades is to install outdoor string lights. “You can string them up among trees, along your deck or patio, or even under an umbrella,” he adds. This set includes two 25-foot connectable strands (for 50 feet total) with warm white bulbs that deliver an inviting feel.


A pair of floating shelves to stylishly display items

Dan Bailey, the president of WikiLawn Lawn Care, thinks that every home should have at least a few floating shelves. “They add so much storage space [...]. They also add a lot of character,” he explains. These two floating shelves are simple to mount (all of the hardware is included) and once in place, they can be used to display photos, plants, collectibles, and other treasures.


This grout pen to instantly improve the look of your tiles

Drew Mansur, the co-founder of TileCloud and Yabby, explains that “repainting grout lines in bathrooms and kitchens can make tiles look brand new.” For this, you’ll need this grout pen. It features a water-based paint that you can swipe onto existing grout to refresh it. One pen will cover up to 150 feet of thin grout — a wide-tip version is also available in the listing.


A plug-in pendant light that sets the tone without the need for an electrician

“Lighting plays a crucial role in setting a luxurious tone” in a room says Mansur. And this pendant light looks high-end but costs less than $40 — a steal when considering its nearly 1-foot diameter. The light plugs into an outlet for power (so you don’t need an electrician to put it up), and the 3-foot hanging chain allows you to position it where desired.


A chic room-transforming floor lamp that’s adjustable in height

A chic floor lamp like this one can “transform a room's ambiance,” notes Mansur. The lamp adjusts in height from about 34 to 57 inches and its head swivels 180 degrees, allowing you to point it up or down based on your lighting needs. Check out the listing to peruse all of the colors and styles.


These paint rollers from a pro painter’s preferred brand

Nick O'Keefe, the owner of Oak City Coatings LLC, says that you don’t want to buy just any brush or roller for painting. High-end rollers like these from Purdy, one of his preferred brands, “will spread paint thicker, more even, leave less lint and trash and even last longer,” he explains. The set includes three rollers with a 0.5-inch nap for semi-smooth to semi-rough surfaces. Use them with all latex- and oil-based paints.


An angled paintbrush with stiff bristles to get the job done

And for a high-quality paintbrush, O'Keefe favors this handcrafted one (also from Purdy). It’s 2.5 inches wide with stiff, angled bristles (made from nylon) and it’s designed to be used with all types of paint. The wooden handle is lightweight for comfortable maneuvering.