Designers say these cheap home upgrades make each room of your home look expensive

Small upgrades, big impact.

Designers say these cheap home upgrades make each room of your home look expensive
ByChristina Wood
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If you look around your home and dream about the day you will be able to afford to remodel the kitchen or bath, replace the floors, or tear out that wall that is keeping you from living your best life, consider this: Small, easy upgrades can take you a long way toward your big dreams. Sometimes you will discover that a simple fix was all you needed. Replace the cabinet pulls, for example, and suddenly that frumpy kitchen is stylish. Throughout your house, there are small changes that have big impact — if you know about them. Designers say these cheap home upgrades make each room of your home look expensive.


These cabinets knobs for a fast makeover

According to Courtney Cole, interior designer at TileCloud, new cabinet pulls can make all the difference. And these cabinet pull knobs might be the fastest, easiest, and cheapest kitchen upgrade imaginable. “Swapping out old hardware with new, stylish knobs and pulls can immediately elevate a kitchen's luxury feel without a major investment,” she says. These come in four finishes and with all the hardware you need to make the swap.


The drawer pulls that bring fast elegance

This 30-pack of cabinet pulls is a terrific option if your drawers or cabinets have two screw holes and you are looking for a better grip and a more substantial look. You can choose from metal finishes and pretty colors like gray and pink to give your room a modern look. You can order 30 — or more — or just one or two.


A peel & stick backsplash

"If you are willing to do something more substantial,” says Cole. “A new tile backsplash will completely change the look and feel of the kitchen.” And it is so easy to do with these peel-and-stick tile backsplash sheets. All you need are some scissors and a little time. “Subway tiles give a classic look,” she says, “while patterned tiles can add a pop of personality and become a focal point in the kitchen." Choose a color you love — whether that’s industrial silver or Wedgewood blue, black, or marbled grey (there are 10 choices) — and do a quick remodel.


A new duvet cover in pretty colors

"The first thing I update in the bedroom is the bedding,” says Cole. “High-quality, crisp linens in neutral hues can instantly add a touch of elegance, while vibrant prints or bold colors can infuse personality and warmth, tailored to the client's taste and their unique style.” This duvet cover is so affordable and pretty that you don’t have to choose. Go neutral to start and change your mind with the season. There are 32 colors to choose from.


This paint for a quick refresh

"A fresh coat of paint is a budget-friendly touch-up that will change the space drastically,” says Cole. “Choose light, soothing colors for an instant refresh or a bold and trendy hue for an impactful result." This eggshell perma white is an easy choice, especially for a bathroom or home in humid environments. It will protect against mold and mildew and resist dirt.


The modern chandelier facelift

"Pair this with updated fixtures for a budget-friendly facelift," Cole says. This modern, low-key chandelier has the visual interest you need to update those old, dowdy fixtures that have been dragging your style down. The six lights will throw plenty of light, too, so your rooms will feel brighter.


The fast way to a new floor

"For a more significant yet still cost-effective upgrade, replace old bathroom tiles with new ones,” says Cole. “Large-format tiles to make the space feel larger or go for mosaic tiles for a touch of luxury without a complete overhaul." This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. These peel-and-stick floor tiles go right over the current flooring and change the look completely. The mosaic pattern has already been created. You simply lay down the square tiles.


A mosaic for artistic decor

"I absolutely love a gorgeous tiled mosaic,” says Cole. “It can serve as a unique piece of art, adding character and sophistication to any room. Bathrooms are the obvious place to have one but you can also create one in the hallway for a striking entryway, or add it to a feature wall for a unique feature. If you have an outdoor area, outdoor tiled mosaics are really brought to life by the sunlight reflecting on them." This square peel-and-stick backsplash is an easy way to accomplish this in almost any color. There are 19 colors to choose from and the kit of 10 tiles comes with a cutter.


The tile floor you can install yourself

You can also get creative with this peel-and-stick floor tile kit that lets you add a mosaic, change the color of your floor, create a big checkerboard pattern, or more. The 12-inch square tiles are easy to work with and cut and are waterproof and flameproof.


These super soft fur rugs

"Whether it's through fabrics, tiles, or wall art, adding texture elements can really elevate a space because it adds depth and interest that is otherwise lacking,” says Cole. Drape one or more of these faux fur blankets over the couch, at the end of the bed, or in the seat of an armchair, for example. The rich fur texture adds depth and color. You can choose from 16 colors and four sizes.


A washable stair or hallway runner

You can create instant and elegant visual appeal in a stairway with this stair runner. It will add texture, a pattern, and a soft landing for bare feet. It works in a hallway as well on stairs and is washable so you don’t have to worry about placing it in high-traffic areas. There are 11 patterns and colors.


This clever plant stand

"The finishing touch is often adding elements of greenery,” says Cole. “Plants and their pots can make a space feel lived, welcoming, and vibrant." You can elevate them into a piece of furniture by setting them into this indoor plant stand. Flip it over to choose the right height for your plant.


A collection of plants that won’t die

If keeping greenery alive isn’t in your skillset, this collection of four small artificial plants creates the same effect with none of the watering, repotting, or diagnosing. The set includes one each of eucalyptus, -podocarpus, rosemary, and gardenia. Each one comes in its own pot and all the pots match.


These storage boxes that look so good

Bree Steele, trade accounts manager and an interior designer at RJ Living says, "Unnecessary clutter is one of the biggest challenges in creating a home layout that flows. Clutter overwhelms our space and hides potential.” The solution is to create a place for everything. These decorative storage boxes with lids, for example, get small items off your dresser, side tables, and counters. “I am a strong believer in decluttering and organizing with stylish storage solutions to give the room a breath of fresh air."


The drawer organizer you can customize

To take full advantage of drawers and other storage spaces, organization is key. This bamboo drawer organizer set lets you create exactly the spaces you need to hold the items you want to store. The five boxes nest together in your drawer so everything has a place and looks appealing — and is easy to find — in that place.


An ottoman that hides clutter

Sometimes the best place to store a thing is out in the open where you plan to use it. For that, this velvet storage ottoman is a terrific solution. It’s the perfect place to stash game controllers, headphones, reading glasses, and so many things that can easily cause clutter but need to be easily available. The upholstered lid flips over to reveal a tray for a cup of tea.


A big, decorative mirror

"Adding an oversized mirror in a cramped dining area helped open up the space and also became an instant focal point,” according to Steele. And this full-length mirror is the pretty, affordable option you can deploy right now. Choose the arched or square options, pick a color — black or gold — and set it in a corner.


These wall mirrors with so much style

"Including mirrors in your home (in places that aren’t the bathroom) helps distribute light beautifully, making any room feel bigger and vibrant,” says Steele. This is so easy. Find an empty piece of wall in an entryway, dining room, or bedroom and mount this black circle decorative metal wall mirror there. It comes in three sizes and seven styles and colors so you can scatter them all over the house and create groupings.


A vase that is also art

"I swear by vases to add some personality to a room,” says Steele. When that vase is a piece of art as with this face art vase that creates a splash of flowers growing out of the elegant bust and head, the effect is particularly charming. “Under $35, they are versatile and can mesh into different decor styles depending on the finish, and are perfect standalone pieces, or for showing off your flowers."


These farmhouse style vases

Group this white ceramic vase set on a mantle or shelf with carefully chosen flowers to implement Steele’s advice for infusing your space with personality. These evoke a farmhouse, milk bottle effect and would work beautifully with flowers cut from the garden or a few pretty branches.


The paint that comes in so many colors

"Introducing a fresh coat of paint or even just accent walls can dramatically alter the room's mood and feel,” says Steele. This latex paint and a few brushes are all you need for this. It dries quickly, covers everything from wood to metal to ceramic, and comes in 29 colors. “A well-chosen color can breathe new life into the space, making it appear larger, brighter, or more cozy, depending on the chosen hue."


These sofa covers you can wash

"It can even be something simple, like changing the couch cushions, yet these are impactful upgrades that set the tone for the entire redesign," says Steele. Or you can change the cushion’s color, pattern, and texture easily and quickly with these universal sofa covers. They will improve the look of your room and make it easier to keep it clean since you can put these in the wash. Just choose from the 21 colors and match the cover to your furniture.


A stunning backsplash

"Upgrading a backsplash is a simple way to elevate a kitchen,” says Steele. “Depending on the aesthetic of the space, a bold patterned tile or a classic plain tile can work wonders.” This peel-and-stick kitchen backsplash is an easy way to do this and the results are surprisingly durable and waterproof. It will look like you hired a contractor. “Changing the backsplash can lift the entire room and be a point of focus, while also protecting the walls,” Steele says.


The bed frame that styles your room

"I find that my eye catches on the bed when I walk into a bedroom,” says Steele. The bed is a big piece of furniture that dominates the room. “I like to update the bed frame because it changes the tone of the space." This upholstered bed frame softens the look and feel of the room with plush fabric. Choose from three colors.


A set of colorful sheets

"Pairing this with some new bedding that matches the aesthetic you’re trying to get will then influence how to style the rest of the room,” says Steele. Add this coordinated set of bed sheets in a color that contrasts or complements the bed frame, your flooring, and the walls to tie the space together. The microfiber is deliciously soft and the set includes four pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a top sheet. There are 13 colors and six sizes.


A shower curtain upgrade

"A high-quality shower curtain and updated fixtures can upgrade a bathroom,” says Steele. Changing the shower curtain to this one with a pleasant, cotton-like waffle texture in a color that calls to you is so easy and affordable. There are 36 colors and 13 sizes to choose from so you can create the look you want.


This complete set of bathroom hardware

This bathroom hardware set does more than make the room look better, with the modern shapes and matte black finish. It creates storage so your bathroom functions better and is less cluttered. There are two each of the towel bars, towel holders, and TP dispensers and four wall hooks so this is enough gear to update two bathrooms. There are nine color and quantity options to choose from.


A new faucet with a modern look

"With fixtures, updating the taps and showerheads can be a simple and cost-effective change,” says Steele. Especially if you choose this minimalist and functional bathroom faucet that simplifies the look and function of the sink area. “Changes like this can really impact the feel and functionality of the room,” she says.


These weird bubble candles

"Candles in interesting shapes and designs are my go-to. They can be art pieces and make a room feel more cozy,” says Steele. This bubble candle set brings a whimsical and colorful vignette to any space and there are five colors so you can switch it up for different rooms. “It’s easy to find a wide range online and match it to the client’s decor taste," she says.


The spiral candle that won’t drip

These green spiral candlesticks are another interesting look that spruce up a table, mantle, or bedside table. The 4o colors and variations on the shape give you tons of options that range from delicate to bold. That shape cleverly prevents drips and the clean cotton wicks won’t smoke.


These houseplants the clean the air

"Plants are a great addition to any room, adding life, and color, and helping bring the comfort outdoors inside,” says Steele. This live houseplant collection is a great starter kit for your indoor garden. It includes three easy-to-grow varieties that are specialists at cleaning your indoor air. “I love including them in the design of our rooms,” she says. “I think they also make things more tranquil."


A soft & delicious chunky knit throw

"For me, soft furnishings like throw pillows and blankets are the last steps in the decorating process,” says Steele. “They introduce color, texture, and personality, truly tying the room together." This chunky chenille knit throw is the perfect example. It adds visual texture, warms the room, gives you a cozy and delicious place to sit, and brings a pop of color. There are 15 colors and four sizes.


These storage bags for eliminating clutter

"If you have a lot of clutter, it may feel good to get organized and pare down items by only keeping the ones that have a strong meaning or some sentimental value for you,” says Amber Shay, National VP of Design Studios at Meritage Homes. Start by bagging up clothes, blankets, and other soft goods you haven’t used in a while into these vacuum storage bags. Remove the air with your vacuum or the included pump and they will store in a small space while you decide if you need them.


The wall shelf that turns clutter into art

"On the other hand, if you want to add more visual interest to a bare space that may not inspire you, add a couple of accents that reflect your unique personality,” says Shay. Instead of boxing up collectibles, album covers, or glamouros shoes you never wear, turn them into art by setting them on a wall-mounted shelf. “It’ll help to warm up your home without feeling like you have an overwhelming amount of stuff."


This luscious velvet pillow

Dropping a stunning pillow onto an otherwise bland couch or chair will also perk up your space. This maple leaf pillow in gorgeous cut velvet is the perfect choice. It comes in 10 rich colors and three sizes so you can match your look or add a contrasting color to your space.


A colorful & whimsical vase

Set this colored lines flower vase on a side table and tuck a few blooms into it to create a pretty focal point with little effort. The colorful squiggles bring a touch of cartoonish whimsy to your space and the colors punch up the mood without being garish.


A grass-weave wallpaper focal point

"Updating a wall by using Grasscloth wallpaper or repainting a room with textured paint like Portola Paints Roman Clay or Sherwin-Williams Limewash are an easy way to add more personality to any home,” says Shay. You can choose a cream, neutral, black, or color in this line of grass-weave peel-and-stick wallpaper. It is so easy to install.


A soft & absorbent bath rug

"Turn your bathroom into your sanctuary with vintage rugs, art, and soft décor to make your bathroom look and feel like a welcoming place of respite,” says Shay. This microfiber rug with a soft, deep shag is a great start. It feels luxurious underfoot, soaks up lots of water, and comes in 15 colors and sizes.


These wall planters with faux branches

"Plants are also being used more and more as décor in bathrooms,” according to Shay. “They’re a great addition as they create a beautiful connection with nature inside your home and help to purify the air." You don’t need a lot of space or even natural light to achieve this. These bathroom wall planters come with faux Eucalyptus branches to create the appearance of greenery with none of the logistical impediments.


A woven storage basket

Another way to create a homey, welcoming space, says Shay, is by "layering textures such as mirrors and woven baskets with strong rich warm tones and cozy elements such as candles and lamps.” Set this handmade woven storage basket in the bathroom, bedroom, or closet to catch spare blankets or pillows while creating a compelling look and feel in the space.


These pillar candles for ambiance

These pillar candles, arranged on a mantle or ready to create warm ambient lighting on the bedside table, are a perfect contrast to the texture of baskets and blankets. They are a quality addition to the space, as well. The cotton wicks burn cleanly, the wax won’t drip, they are unscented so they won’t overwhelm your senses, and they come in seven colors and three sizes.


A plug-in flameless candle

You can achieve the warmth and charm of candlelight without risking a fire, though. This flameless candle night-light plugs into any outlet and turns on automatically when the room is dark, lighting your way and creating a cozy mood. It never needs batteries.


The skirt hangers that create more storage

"To create more visual and physical space,” recommends Ana Coddington, the lead interior designer for Archival Designs, “I often recommend a thorough decluttering process.” Step one: Make it easy to get clothing off the bedroom chairs, floor, and bed by using this four-tier skirt hanger to create more space in your closet “Integrating clever storage solutions plays a significant role,” she says.


A wall cabinet that hides clutter

"This could mean incorporating built-in storage, multifunctional furniture, or using vertical space effectively with shelves and cabinets,” says Coddington. This bathroom wall cabinet, for example, gets clutter off the vanity and other surfaces, hides it, and creates a charming look in the room. A shelf and towel bar put necessities within easy reach.


The TP roll Tic Tac Toe game

This rustic wooden toilet paper holder is another great way to turn a storage problem — toilet paper — into a fun, decorative display. Rearrange the Xs and Ox to your heart’s content and create an ongoing game of Tic-Tac-Toe in the bathroom while storing the TP in plain sight.


These clear storage bins

"The aim is to reduce visible clutter, which in turn, enhances the overall aesthetic and feel of the room,” says Coddington. But that doesn’t mean you have to hide everything. These plastic storage bins get clutter organized while using the color and shape of your stored items to create visual interest. It’s also easy to find anything you have stored in these.


The flameless candle set that makes the mood

Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Principal Designer of Studio J & Co says, "We're obsessed with these battery-operated faux candles on Amazon. “Not only are they a safe alternative to an open flame, but they look super realistic, especially when combined with a hurricane from a well-known brand.” This is a set of nine candles, complete with a remote. Choose from eight colors.


These hurricane candle holders

Drop those candles into this hurricane candle holder to complete the look. No one will suspect those flames are faux and your dinner party, bedroom setting, or cozy gathering will have all the romantic feels. Choose clear or blue. Buy them in sets of one or three. The bubbled glass enhances the flickering of those flames.


The bubble flower vase with party vibes

"Don't underestimate the power of a chic vase,” says Giovanni Scippo, Director at 3D Lines. This hydroponic flower vase — in bubble shapes with wide or narrow mouths; in pink, blue, or orange — brings a mid-century party vibe to your space and lets you see the roots grow on your cuttings. “It's a small, affordable addition that can elevate any space,” he says. “Whether holding a bouquet or standing alone as a piece of art.”


This slick rotating bookcase

"I'm a big fan of innovative and stylish storage,” says Scippo. “Pieces like cool bookshelves or funky storage boxes help keep things tidy and add a unique touch to your space, making even the most ordinary items enjoyable." And this rotating bookcase is funky enough to hold books, collectibles, teapots, or whatever you have. It spins 360 degrees and comes in black or gold. There are three heights.