Designers say these ugly problems around your house can actually be fixed for under $35

You’ll wish you knew these quick & affordable pro secrets sooner.

ByVeronika Kero
Originally Published: 
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Putting together a home that you’re proud of is no easy task. If you find yourself questioning design choices and wondering how to deal with eyesores on a budget, it’s time to make some of these upgrades that will make every room look better. I’ve collected advice from professional interior design experts that will help you transform your space — all with items costing less than $35. There’s something for every room, so scroll on for small updates that will have a huge impact.


Problem: Streaky windows that are an eyesore

Solution: This reusable microfiber cloth set that cleans with water

Abbott recommends cleaning windows for the spring and summer so that they aren’t such an eyesore as the sun shines through. This window cleaning kit comes with a scrub pad to lift grime and a soft microfiber cloth that finishes with a streak-free shine. Just adding water to remove up to 99% bacteria. Because they can be washed and reused up to 100 times, it’s an eco-friendly purchase as well.


Problem: Scratches & scuffs on your furniture

Solution: This wood repair kit that comes everything you need for a customized fix

For a fast fix that will have a massive impact on the look of a room, revive scratched furniture with this wood repair kit. “These cost-effective tools can help return your furniture to its former glory,” says Kropovinsky. This set comes with six markers, six wax sticks, buffing cloth, and a sharpener for precise application. You can mix them for a custom color that will permanently cover scuffs and fill in deep scratches.


Problem: A mess of wires under every outlet

Solution: This fan-favorite outlet concealer with a three-port power strip

Melony Huber, co-founder and design director of La Peony, recommends using a hidden power strip, like this outlet concealer, to get rid of messy cords. You can use the eight-foot cord to hide all your chargers and TV cables behind the couch or other pieces of furniture. It has over 50,000 five-star reviews and is available with a three-foot cord within the listing.


Problem: Messy drawers

Solution: This pack of 25 organizer bins in different shapes and sizes

To “create order,” Huber advises placing a few organizer bins in your drawers and cabinets. This 25-piece set lets you organize and categorize everything. The set is made of shatter-resistant plastic and comes with four different sizes of bins.


Problem: Outdated light fixtures

Solution: This modern ceiling light that comes with an energy-saving bulb

“A new light fixture can instantly update a room and give it a fresh look,” says Hartman Malarkey. With a seeded glass shade and an elongated energy-saving bulb (that comes included), this ceiling light will give any room an upgraded and modern look. The smooth base comes in multiple finishes in the listing, including matte black, brushed nickel, and gold.


Problem: Ugly wires hanging from mounted TVs

Solution: These paintable, wall-mountable cord covers

To neatly solve the problem of unsightly cords hanging from a mounted television, Abbott suggests grabbing a cord concealer; this model can hold up to three wires at a time. Use adhesive tape or screws to mount it — both are included. And if the 17-inch piece is too long for your space, it can be trimmed down. It’s available in four colors within the listing, but all of them can be painted to match your walls.


Problem: Unsightly wall damage

Solution: This easy-to-use drywall repair kit

Nichole Abbott, a FLOOR360 interior designer, admits that “if you have one or two nail holes in your walls at home, that’s easy to ignore.” She recommends taking care of the issue yourself with a drywall repair kit. It comes with two tubes of a mending agent that’s safe to use around kids and pets. It also comes with sandpaper, scrapers, and everything else you need for a smooth application.


Problem: A bare or worn-looking couch

Solution: This waffle-knit throw that comes in 20 colors

Artem Kropovinsky, an interior designer and the founder of Arsight, says that “nothing says cozy like a soft throw blanket.” This cozy throw is made of thick microfiber that’s warm but breathable, making it perfect for year-round use. Whether you want to curl up on the couch or add some warmth to your bed, Kropovinsky says a throw blanket can make a big difference. It’s available in 20 colors and four sizes within the listing.


Problem: Lack of privacy in window-filled rooms

Solution: This window film that creates a beautiful rainbow effect

“If you have a window that lacks privacy or style, try using a window film,” says Kropovinsky. This geometric film offers privacy without blocking out sunlight — in fact, its stained glass design projects colorful reflections inside. The film also blocks 96% of UV rays to protect your skin and prevent premature fading of flooring and furniture. Plus, it won’t leave behind a sticky residue and it can even be moved and reused.


Problem: Small or dim rooms

Solution: A hexagon-shaped mirror to bounce light

If you have a small or dark room, Kropovinsky recommends adding a mirror. He says they “can create the illusion of more space and reflect natural light from windows or lamps.” This hanging mirror has a geometric shape that can modernize any room and fill an empty wall. Its border and chain have a shiny gold finish for a touch of elegance.


Problem: A worn duvet cover

Solution: A microfiber duvet cover available in tons of eye-catching colors

Kropovinsky suggests “select[ing] an eye-catching duvet cover to immediately elevate your bedroom's atmosphere.” Available in 25 different colors and five sizes, this budget-friendly three-piece set will turn your bed into the focal point of the room. The duvet cover has a zipper closure and eight corner ties to keep your comforter in place.


Problem: Cluttered, overflowing cabinets

Solution: An expandable organizer with a non-slip surface

By implementing a flexible under-sink storage system, Kropovinsky says that you’ll “achieve a tidy and well-presented appearance.” This organizer has a horseshoe shape with an adjustable width and height, and non-slip grips to keep up to 40 pounds of your cleaning supplies and skincare products in place.


Problem: Small items cluttering surfaces

Solution: This pack of velvet catch-all trays that comes in 3 colors

Abbott suggests “hid[ing] small clutter like jewelry and keys” in a catch-all tray like this two-pack of velvet jewelry trays. “These are ideal for entry ways, bathrooms and bedrooms,” she says. The soft and smooth fabric (which comes in three different colors in the listing) will be gentle on any valuables you place inside, so you don’t have to worry about scratches.


Problem: Mismatched soap & lotion bottles

Solution: A set of chic label-free soap dispensers

To avoid having mismatched labels on your countertops creating visual clutter, Abbott suggests buying matching soap dispensers. Because they’re refillable, they can be used for lotion, oil, hand sanitizer, and more. Each bottle in this set holds 10 ounces and is made of durable plastic that won’t shatter if dropped. They’re available in four colors within the listing and in 17-ounce sizes.


Problem: A stained ottoman or coffee table

Solution: This genuine wood serving tray with sturdy metal handles

Abbott suggests using a large serving tray on your ottoman or coffee table to cover stains. She says it creates a level surface that’s easily wiped. This large acacia wood tray has thick sides with built-in metal handles that make it easy to move to and from the kitchen.


Problem: Unsightly views out of the window

Solution: These light-filtering linen curtains that come in 27 colors

Huber recommends using a tension rod and sheer curtains “to cover a window with [an] undesirable view [while] still allow[ing] light in.” These semi-sheer linen curtains offer just the right amount of privacy while still letting in light. And because the fabric is so lightweight, it resists wrinkles. Choose between 27 different colors and 17 sizes to blend into your decor or make a statement.


Problem: No built-in curtain rod over a window

Solution: This pack of expanding tension rods that comes in 3 finishes

To go along with the light drapery that Huber recommends hanging up to cover unsightly views, you’ll need a dependable tension rod like this one. It can be extended from 16 to 28 inches and comes in three finishes, including one that looks like wood. And because the rods can hold up to 3.3 pounds, they should be able to handle any curtains you choose.


Problem: Outdated handles in your kitchen & bathroom

Solution: These highly rated modern cabinet pulls

“A simple way to update your kitchen is to change your hardware,” says Kropovinsky. This 10-pack of cabinet handles is made of durable metal that can withstand years of daily use and comes in a matte black finish to add a modern touch to your space. The set comes in a wide range of sizes within the listing.


Problem: Blank walls that don’t add to the vibe

Solution: This arch decal that’s easy to apply

To banish blank walls, Huber recommends “creat[ing] an accent wall using a fun wall covering sticker.” This arch decal has a peel-and-stick back that takes just minutes to apply and is also easy (and damage-free) to remove. In addition to the beautiful terracotta color, it also comes in deep orange and yellow within the listing.


Problem: Rugs that are worn and thin

Solution: This non-slip pad that makes any rug feel more plush

This non-slip rug pad can easily be cut to the size you need so you can slide it under any worn-out rug that needs some sprucing up, as recommended by Kropovinsky. In addition to being inexpensive and easy to install, the design expert says that a rug pad can “make your rug feel more plush and comfortable.” This one comes in three different thickness options and 38 sizes and shapes within the listing.


Problem: Mismatched decor & worn floors

Solution: This Persian-inspired rug that ties the room together & hides flooring imperfections

Area rugs have the added benefit of always tying the room together,” says Abbott. Plus, she says they can hide floor imperfections. This highly rated faux wool rug is soft to the touch, resists fading, and is machine washable. It’s available in 13 colors to tie together the colors in any room and 15 sizes and shapes.


Problem: A messy coffee table

Solution: This faux leather caddy with five sections

An organizer like this faux leather caddy can house remote controls, phones, and speakers, and “create a cute look on a coffee or side table,” according to Huber. The smooth faux leather elevates this $20 rotating piece that has five pockets for organization. It’s available in 12 colors and patterns within the listing to match your decor.


Problem: Damaged floors & dark hallways

Solution: This textured runner rug available in tons of colors & sizes

“A rug or runner can brighten dark or damaged flooring,” according to Huber and this polypropylene patterned runner is designed to resist everyday wear and tear. It’s available in a ton of different shades, shapes, and sizes within the listing to fit any space.


Problem: Cord clutter throughout the house

Solution: This cord organizer kit that comes with a variety of solutions

Tangles of cables “detract from your decor,” according to house flipper and interior designer Raquel Kehler — and they are also dangerous and can potentially cause damage to the wires. She recommends picking up a cord organizer kit. This one has everything you could need, including cable ties, cable sleeves, several styles of cord clips, a holder with seven slots, and two rolls of adhesive tape to group together a large bunch.


Problem: Peeling or scratched leather & vinyl furniture

Solution: This leather and vinyl repair kit that lets you mix a perfect color match

By maintaining your furniture, Kropovinsky says that you are “contributing to a more sophisticated and refined interior aesthetic.” This vinyl and leather repair kit comes with 10 different colored tubes of repair compound and the tools you need to properly apply them to couches, chairs, and more. They dry quickly and can be mixed for a perfect match.


Problem: Stained kitchen or bathroom walls

Solution: This peel-and-stick tile backsplash that comes in 8 colors

For renters or for anyone who wants to avoid the hassle and cost of painting or tiling, interior designer Chantelle Hartman Malarkey recommends applying peel-and-stick tiles to upgrade old and damaged walls. These have a glossy 3D texture that makes them appear more realistic and resist heat and moisture and are available in eight colors within the listing.


Problem: No empty surfaces to keep plants

Solution: These woven hanging baskets you can use in any room

Hartman Malarkey says, “Plants are a great way to add color and texture to any space, and they can help purify the air too.” This two-pack of woven baskets is decorative enough to display even on its own. Just use the faux leather handles to hang them wherever you please. If not using them for greenery, fill them with toiletries and other extras to save space in your cabinets.


Problem: Cluttered tables & shelves

Solution: This set of baskets made from recycled paper with a high-end look

Hartman Malarkey says, “Use decorative storage baskets or boxes to keep clutter at bay. These can be used to store toys, magazines, or other items that tend to accumulate around the house.” This three-pack is made from recycled cardboard, and its fluted detailing and leather-look lids bring a retro feel to your bedside drawer or bathroom shelves.


Problem: Surge protectors & extension cords creating visual clutter

Solution: This sleek cable organizer box with a bamboo lid

If you need a chic way to hide surge protectors in plain sight, Kehler suggests opting for a cable management box. This model has a sleek bamboo lid that can match nearly any decor and openings on each of the four sides to feed wires through. Its nonslip base will keep it secure and steady on any surface. It’s also available in white within the listing.


Problem: A lack of Kitchen Decor

Solution: This bamboo stand that can display a pretty (& useful) cookbook

Hartman Malarkey likes having a pretty cookbook on display (and ready for use) on a stand in her own kitchen. “Create vignettes around the home and add styling to everyday items,” she says. To follow her lead, pick up this bamboo stand that can be used to follow along with recipes from a cookbook, laptop, or tablet. Its angle can be adjusted for a comfortable view.


Problem: That blank wall you’ve been meaning to fill

Solution: This four-piece gallery of canvas photos you can customize

Coming with four storyboard pieces, this photo gallery kit makes it easy to finally fill up that empty wall you’ve been staring at. Select photos right from your camera roll to receive high-quality prints on eight-by-eight size canvas boards. “I am totally happy with the quality of the boards,” one shopper wrote.


Problem: Plain or damaged walls

Solution: This eye-catching peel-and-stick wallpaper that won’t leave residue if you remove it

This leafy peel-and-stick wallpaper is another great option to “cover up old or damaged walls,” according to Hartman Malarkey. No paste or water is necessary — just remove the back and stick it on in seconds. And because it won’t damage the surface underneath, it’s a great option for renters as well. It is available in five colors within the listing.


Problem: Empty corners

Solution: This set of ceramic vases for a modern touch

Huber recommends adding faux greenery to a tall vase to liven up an empty corner. This set of ceramic vases has a unique open design with a modern feel, and their matte texture adds great dimension. Keep them next to each other or apart — they’ll look fabulous either way.


Problem: Drawer bottoms that are scratched & stained

Solution: These patterned drawer liners that are infused with lavender

Huber also recommends using drawer liners to cover up any damage to the bottom of drawers and to personalize the space. These are non-adhesive, so you won’t have to worry about any residue if you decide to move them. Their vintage pattern is infused with lavender oil for a relaxing scent that slowly diffuses through the air.


Problem: Stuffy air & drab decor

Solution: This colorful pack of live plants that naturally purifies the air

Kropovinsky says that “plants can instantly make any space feel more fresh and lively.” This three-pack of plants in neutral pots. The adorable trio comes already packed with three different types of plants and instructions on how to care for them. While adding some beautiful green to your decor, they’ll also naturally purify the air so you can breathe easier.


Problem: Chipped paint on picture frames and other decor

Solution: This gold metallic spray paint that dries fast

Ashley Banbury, NCIDQ interior designer and color marketing manager for Krylon, recommends picking up this metallic spray paint for quick and easy DIY projects — it dries in just 10 minutes. It has a high-gloss finish that adheres well to most surfaces including wood, metal, plastic, glass, plaster ceramic, paper, and wicker. It’s available in several other finishes within the listing.


Problem: Old, outdated fixtures in the bathroom

Solution: This powerful, sleek rainfall shower head that is also efficient

To give your bathroom a spa-like feel, Hartman Malarkey suggests swapping out your old showerhead. This rainfall showerhead delivers high water pressure while managing to use a lower amount of water, meaning your design choice can end up saving you money on your water bill.


Problem: Toys & blankets strewn about

Solution: This highly rated handwoven storage basket

Kathy Kuo, the design expert, and founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, corrals children’s toys stocking up on woven storage baskets. This large basket features a chic striped design that comes in great neutrals. It has long reinforced handles that are easy to grip and is made of 100% hand-woven cotton that will be gentle on anything you place inside.


Problem: Toiletries making a mess out of your drawers & counters

Solution: This organizer that can be split into 3 pieces

Having toiletries strewn all over not only makes it more difficult to find what you need but also gathers dust. “An easy fix is to get a makeup organizer with both drawers and shelves, as this lets you put your more frequently used makeup in a more easily accessible place,” says Kehler. This one has six drawers, 12 lipstick slots, and four other compartments in which you can keep things neat and tidy. You can even split it into three parts to organize different spots within your home.


Problem: A builder-basic faucet

Solution: This highly rated faucet available in several finishes

A new bathroom faucet is one of the items that Hartman Malarkey believes are “relatively easy to install and can make a big difference in the look and feel of your space.” Simply pick this one up in matte black or the four other finishes available within the listing. The highly rated faucet has lever-style handles and a 360-degree swiveling spout for easier sink access.