Designers rely on these shockingly cheap, easy tricks to make homes so much better

Plus, all the things you’ll need to try them out.

Designers rely on these shockingly cheap, easy tricks to make homes so much better
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Here’s something design shows won’t tell you — upgrading your home doesn't actually require a complete overhaul. And interior designers are here to prove it. I asked interior designers for all of their tricks to make homes look and feel so much better. The shocking thing is — all of their secret tricks are seriously easy and budget-friendly. Plus, I tracked down all of the clever products you’ll need to tackle these low-effort home projects. Whether it's adding an eye-catching accent piece or implementing smart lighting, these 35 tricks will definitely upgrade your home (without breaking the budget).


Tuck away cords with this sleek outlet cover & cord-organizing kit

Courtney Batten, NCIDQ-certified design professional and creative force behind Paige Studio, recommends streamlining your space and keeping wires out of the way with this clever outlet cover and cord concealer. “As an interior designer, I love lamps everywhere but hate seeing cords,” she says. “I have these little $25 outlet concealers from Amazon in my own house and will bring them along for photoshoots on projects. They make such a difference!”

This thin socket plate is compatible with most duplex sockets and is super easy to install by plugging it into the outlet — no tools required. And it comes with adhesive clips and strips to wrap up cords and make them even less noticeable.


Refresh your kitchen with this chic (& easy to install) cabinet hardware

Batten also says, “Cabinet hardware is a great place to infuse a bit of your personality into your home without making a large commitment.” These modern stainless-steel cabinet pulls are such an easy upgrade to basic builder’s grade hardware. They come with clever breakaway screws, so you can customize them to fit your unique cabinet thickness. This budget-friendly pack also works with a variety of cabinet types and comes in over six colors, so you can grab one that works best with your kitchen or bathroom decor.


Refresh your home’s layout with a pack of multi-surface furniture sliders

Batten also recommends moving around your furniture because she says it’s “such a great way to elevate a space without spending a dime.” To make your rearranging project way easier, grab this pack of sliders that make it a breeze to move furniture around (no matter what your floors are). It comes with two different styles — simply use the plastic slider options to glide furniture easily over carpets and the felt slider options to move furniture over hardwood. These game-changing sliders can also protect floors from scratches.


Create an inviting atmosphere with this impressively cozy sunset projection lamp

Alice Moszczynski, a New York-based Interior Designer at Planner 5D, recommends skipping harsh overhead lights and using this impressive sunset projection lamp to add a cozy, warm ambiance to any room. You can rotate it 180 degrees to aim this expensive-looking sunset light at walls, the floor, or even the ceiling — for the ultimate ceiling light upgrade. She also recommends layering your lighting to avoid the overhead light at all costs. How? “Incorporate multiple sources of lighting,” she says. “This creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that’ll help elevate it.”


Add layered lighting to your space with these ultra-chic wall sconces

To complete your layered lighting look, Moszczynski recommends this two-pack of super budget-friendly wall sconces with a timeless shape that will elevate every room. They’re crafted of solid metal with fabric lampshades to create that cozy, diffused light look. This easy-to-install set comes with all of the hardware you’ll need, and you can choose from sleek black or gold finishes.


Maximize bathroom (or kitchen) storage with these stick-on caddies

“Clutter immediately brings down the look and feel of your home and is very distracting,” says Moszczynski. Instead, she suggests maximizing storage and keeping your bathroom streamlined with these heavy-duty shower caddies that can hold up to 40 pounds. This super chic set is made of stainless steel that won’t rust or corrode in the shower. Simply attach them to your tiles with the built-in adhesive, and you’ll have clever spots to keep all of your products tidy. You can also use this versatile set in your kitchen for dish sponges, spices, and more.


Eliminate under-sink clutter with these waterproof sliding organizers

Moszczynski also suggests “maximizing storage space with multi-functional furniture and organizers,” and these sliding bins are such an easy way to maximize that tricky under-sink cabinet. They’re water resistant, have nonslip feet, and the built-in ventilation holes prevent any pooling water (and griminess). They’re also super easy to put together, and the slide-out design makes grabbing things from the back of your cabinet a breeze.


Frame unexpected items you already have in these budget-friendly gallery frames

To create a budget-friendly (but super impressive) gallery wall, Moszczynski recommends grabbing this pack of matching frames. They’re available in a number of sizes and colors, but each pack comes with five of the same color, which Moszczynski says is important for creating a unified look. Plus, these wood grain-style frames secretly have plastic instead of glass, so they’re way more durable if they ever fall. Moszczynski suggests, “Create personalized and inexpensive artwork by framing fabric remnants, vintage maps, or even your favorite quotes.”


Give the illusion of larger windows with these designer-recommended curtains

Vivianne Chow, an interior decorator and home blogger at, calls these expensive-looking curtains her “favorite budget-friendly curtain to use when decorating,” and she even styles them in her own home. They’re made of a linen-like fabric that will elevate any space, and they have stylish matte grommets for easy hanging. They also provide privacy while still allowing glowy natural light to filter through.

Chow specifically loves the winter white color to create a “light and airy feel and looks great in any space.” As for installing them to make your windows look larger — “It’s best to hang your curtains high and wide — install curtain rods close to the ceiling to draw your eyes up and extend the curtains past the sides of the window frame,” she says.


Refresh old sofa cushions & throw pillows with this clever polyester fill

Alex Back, CEO of and former interior designer, recommends this polyester poly-fil to re-fluff your sofa for an instant living room upgrade. He says, “Assuming your couch's back cushions are removable (most are), simply unzip the cushion cover and add more polyester fiber fill. Many interior designers will use this hack to make sure older couches look a lot newer for installations and photoshoots.” This budget-friendly fill is way cheaper than a new couch, and the 100% recycled polyester material is also perfect for re-fluffing sad throw pillows. It’s also designed to be hypoallergenic and washable, so you can still toss your pillows or small cushions in the wash.


Create a sophisticated tablescape with these flameless candles

Reya Duenas, an interior designer, recommends this set of flameless candles to add “sophistication” to any table without worrying about an actual flame. Their chic glass containers come in multiple colors and make this set even more convincing. They also come with a remote control for easy operation from the couch. As for styling, she suggests “pairing several sets on a dining room table with light florals [to] add drama and elegance to the tablescape.”


Corral small items & add some warmth with this acacia wood tray

Whether you want to group together serving ware in the kitchen or remote controls in the den, Duenas recommends this acacia wood tray to keep everything tidy. It’s made of 100% acacia wood, and each of these expensive-looking trays has its own unique wood grain. The felt pad on the bottom also keeps things stable. Duenas says she likes this tray because she says, “The wood tone works with most design schemes by bringing a natural element to infuse warmth into the space.”


Elevate your sink & shower with these rust-resistant soap dispensers

Duenas keeps these amber soap dispensers in her own bathroom and says, “These glass soap pumps make the bathing/shower area look organized and aesthetically pleasing.” Not only will they make your sink feel like a spa, but they also come with six waterproof labels to keep track of what’s inside. This duo is super timeless, and most importantly — the chic matte black stainless steel pump is designed to be rust-proof.


Make charcuterie boards more impressive with this teak knife set

Duenas also says, “Most people have a good charcuterie board; but the next most important element — other than the food of course — is having a great and gorgeous cheese knife set,” and she recommends this set that has every cheese knife you’ll need. Crafted from a combination of teak and stainless steel, this chic-looking set will take your Camembert or brie to the next level. They have ergonomic handles and come with utensils to slice hard or crumbly cheese and spread your go-to soft cheese.


Skip an electrician bill and use these battery-operated puck lights in wall sconces

If you liked the sconces recommended earlier, this is a clever hack to avoid hiring an electrician. Lori Shaw, vacation rental interior designer and owner of Lori Shaw Interiors, says, “Now you can light nearly any sconce with battery-powered puck lights! And they even come with a remote!” These puck lights are a super easy-to-install option because you can simply stick them inside a wall sconce (or under kitchen cabinets) with the included adhesive. They have adjustable dimmers and timers, and they will even run for 100 hours on a set of batteries (not included). You also get optional screws if you ever want them to be more permanent.

“Think of the drama,” Shaw says. “You walk into your dining room, hit a button on the remote, and voila — the perfect lighting mood is set!”


Add depth to any room with this lightweight picture frame molding

Another one of Shaw’s favorite budget-friendly home hacks is adding this panel molding to walls. She says, “Go from bare walls to walls with depth and dimension, by adding in picture frame molding.” This chic paneling is lightweight, so it’s super easy to pop it on your wall and elevate any space. It’s pre-primed, so painting over it to match your wall will be a breeze. Plus, this stylish hack is even durable enough to use outside on a patio.


Add super chic lighting with this battery-operated picture light

If you want a trendy picture light, Shaw loves this rechargeable option because she says, “This one is battery operated; no electrician required!” The included remote lets you turn it on, set timers, and dim it to create the perfect cozy lighting over your favorite wall art. This timeless light also comes in more than eight color options, so there’s definitely one that will match the vibe of your gallery wall.


Add coziness with these smart bulbs that sync up with natural sunlight

Lukas Berezowiec, the CEO of No Triangle Studio, loves adding drama to a space with an inexpensive set of smart light bulbs, and this pack with 16 million color options is such a budget-friendly go-to. They’re dimmable and come with the perfect cool and warm white lighting (on top of all the colorful options). They can also be set to change how cool or warm the light is to match the natural light outside throughout the day. Of course, they can also be connected to smart home assistants like Google and Alexa. To make them extra cozy, he suggests scheduling “subtle hourly changes matching mood or occasion.”


Freshen up your floors with this cleaner & polish combo

“I also love glossy floor lacquers over dull worn planks. Reflective sheens bounce natural light efficiently,” says Berezowiec. For a DIY way to get that glossy sheen, grab this seriously easy-to-use cleaner and polish restorer combo to bring flooring back to life. The cleaner removes residue while the polish fills in small scratches and adds shine. These quick-to-use formulas work on almost all hard flooring, including hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, and vinyl tile.


Enhance your views with these stick-on blinds that blend into your window frame

“One dramatically overlooked tactic is showcasing unexpected views,” Berezowiec says. So, grab these ultra-minimalist pleated shades because they’re the perfect light-filtering option that won’t get in the way of your views. They also couldn’t be easier to install. No tools are necessary — simply trim them to fit your window, peel the adhesive, and stick them onto the frame. They’re also easy to adjust with the included clips, and they even block UV rays. Another bonus of removing view-blocking shades or curtains? He says, “I call it the power of the peek — drawing the eye towards something serendipitous.”


Tidy up clutter all over the house with this versatile lazy susan trick

“In nearly every space I organize for people, I throw in a Lazy Susan... or five,” says Lindsey Mason, Owner & Lead Organizer of Reclaimed Spaces. This spinning lazy susan is such a clever option for organizing small items because it has two levels to tidy up a ton of clutter. Its stainless-steel design has a lip to prevent items from falling off when you spin it around looking for what you need. It’s also compact enough to tuck into a cabinet and a nonslip base to keep things steady.

For inspiration on how to use this organizational trick, Mason has a ton. “I use them in kitchens in the spice cupboard, or for all the condiments that are never getting used in the back of your refrigerator. I use them in bathrooms for medicine cabinets, or for storing hot tools,” she says. “I use them in craft rooms for colored pencils, markers, paints, and brushes. I use them under the kitchen sink, mudroom sink, really any sink for household cleaners, soaps, and all the miscellaneous things that call those spaces home.”


Illuminate dim closets or rooms with these mood-setting strip lights

Phara Queen, Founder and Principal at Neely+Queen Interior Design, says, “Make sure your closet has adequate lighting. An LED strip tape can be added around the inside closet door frame.” These colorful LED strip lights are trimmable and flexible enough to illuminate all kinds of tricky spots, like closets, under kitchen cabinets, behind furniture, and more. Simply stick them where you want them and use the included app to choose from 16 million colors, a music-syncing mode, and 64 scene modes, depending on your mood. “Lighting makes a huge difference and is one of the easiest ways to make a home feel better,” Queen says.


Create unexpected color combos with these double-sided throw pillow covers

Melanie Thomas, an interior designer, suggests staying away from “obvious color pairings” in your space. “Try to find a new way to mix colors together and bring new life to tired and overused,” she says. These double-sided throw pillow covers are a fun way to experiment with new colors because you can flip them over to create new color pairings every day. Each of these velvety covers has an extra touch of color with their piped trim. You can even put them in the washing machine to refresh these playful pillow covers. Plus, they come in over eight color combos, all of which are pretty unexpected and stylized.


Add comforting decor to your space with these low-maintenance live plants

Thomas is also a big fan of plants because she says, “They do something for the soul that decor and furniture simply cannot do.” So, grab these live, low-maintenance plants to instantly have three mood-boosting plants in your space. The plant types vary in this pack, but they all come in textured pots that are compact and neutral enough to style in any room. Plus, this greenery only needs watering about once a week — such a bonus.


Keep your plant collection tidy with this rolling 5-tier stand

Nichole Abbott, a FLOOR360 interior designer, suggests using this five-tier rolling stand to make your plant collection look tidy and stylized. It’s made of 100% durable pine wood and has 360-degree rotating wheels to easily roll your plants over to the sink on watering day. You can also lock the wheels to keep all of your plant babies secure. You can also completely remove the wheels if that’s more your style.


Make your entryway look larger with this chic, organically-shaped mirror

Abbot also recommends grabbing this chic, irregularly-shaped mirror because she says, “Organically-shaped mirrors will do some design heavy lifting in any space you place it in.” This minimalist mirror is easy to install, and with four hangers on the back, you know it’ll be secure in your entryway. It’s also lined with super durable wood on the back to make this elevated mirror a long-lasting piece in your space. When it comes to styling, she says, “Position it over a side table in the entryway to reflect light and make the space seem larger than it is,” says Abbott.


Intentionally style your coffee table with this decorative tray

Kathy Kuo, the CEO, founder, and interior designer of Kathy Kuo Home, suggests styling your coffee table to make your space look more put together, and she has such a perfect formula that starts with a decorative tray. So, grab this faux leather option with glossy metallic handles that look chic on any table. The timeless leather-like finish makes it look more expensive than it actually is, and you can still easily wipe up any spills. Plus, it comes in over 25 different colors and is more than large enough to layer on Kuo’s next styling tips.

“My favorite way to instantly elevate a home is create an intentionally styled vignette on your coffee table,” she says. “I personally love to use a decorative tray to anchor a coffee table styling moment, and then use the rule of adding one vertical item (like a framed photo of bud vase), one horizontal item (like a stack of coffee table books), and one sculptural item (a crystal or small statue, for example).”


Use books (or clever, book-shaped board games) to elevate your coffee table

The next step of Kuo’s coffee table-styling formula is to layer on books, and this vintage-style Scrabble game is such a clever option. The neutral looks convincingly like a vintage book on your coffee table, but when opened up, it’s actually a Scrabble board and accessories. The graphics are inspired by the 1948 edition of the game, giving a timeless look to your living space — even when you’re playing.


Incorporate these neutral vases that draw the eye upwards

Following Kuo’s suggestion to add a vertical piece to your coffee table styling, this ceramic vase set gives you three chic options. Their neutral ivory color and timeless shapes will work no matter what style you’re going for with your coffee table design. These durable vases are also versatile enough to style all over the house.


Complete your coffee table styling with this neutral, on-trend sculpture

To finish off your newly styled coffee table, Kuo recommends adding a sculptural piece such as this neutral natural wood knot that will easily work with your other decor. Each of these wood pieces is unique, which will make it look more curated and expensive on your table. The lightweight design makes it easy to move around when you’re dusting.


Elevate your house with this illuminated & easy-to-customize address sign

Keely Smith, lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors, suggests “updating house numbers” to easily elevate the outside of your home. So, grab this solar-powered house number sign with a built-in LED light that makes it easy to see. With the included number stickers, this waterproof sign is super easy to customize with your specific address. You can easily mount it on your house or use the included stake to simply pop it on your lawn — zero effort. Plus, you can customize how warm or bright white the light is.


Cover rusted house numbers (or other dated things around the house) with this chic contact paper

If you want to update your house numbers without replacing them, consider a DIY makeover with this easy-to-use adhesive wallpaper. “I often use contact paper with fun patterns to cover plain numbers. It adds personality without a lot of effort,” says Smith. This marble version is waterproof and durable, making it ideal for your home’s exterior. It’s also versatile enough for indoor projects, like covering countertops or old furniture. And besides scissors for trimming — no tools or glue are necessary.


Use this group of pre-framed prints to create a big impact on walls

Smith also says, “Three small pieces often make a greater impact than one large artwork.” This three-pack of prints is a budget-friendly and neutral option that’s so easy to style in your space. This particular set of prints also comes in a bunch of color and size options, and they can be hung vertically or horizontally for maximum versatility. The best part is — they’re already framed to save you from buying pricey frames.


Install these easy-to-customize ceiling curtain tracks to make ceilings look bigger

“Hang window coverings as high as possible to make ceilings look taller,” says Heather Thibodeau, interior decorator and founder of The Heathered Nest. These curtain tracks are such an easy option to hang curtains as high as possible because they can be installed on the ceiling or the wall. It comes with all the easy hardware you’ll need, and you can even cut them down to fit smaller windows. They also have a super flexible design, so they’ll even work with tricky areas like curved windows or bay windows.

Once your new curtain track is up, Thibodeau has one more recommendation: “Ensure that when the shades/blinds/curtains are open, NONE of the window is covered at all, in order to maximize sunlight in your home!”


Create calming lighting in your house with these designer-picked soft white bulbs

Thibodeau also says, “Nothing can make an otherwise beautiful room look worse than bad light bulbs. A space can go from warm and cozy to cold and sterile simply because of the light bulbs.” These soft white LED bulbs are her go-to’s, and shoppers seem to agree with over 35,000 five-star ratings. They come in a big pack, and they’re designed to last for up to 7 years, so you won’t have to buy new ones anytime soon. Plus, they come in daylight or soft white, depending on which calming option you prefer for your space.