People who stage homes for a living swear by these cheap tricks to make any room in your home look good

You don’t have to be selling a house to put these design-worthy tips to good use.

ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 
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People who stage homes for a living know a thing or two about how to get your space looking its best. According to them, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to improve the appearance of your house or apartment — all you need are these expert-recommended design tricks that are easy on the wallet. Below, these trusted industry professionals have plenty of tips for taking your living space to the next level.


These vintage-inspired botanical prints that come at a wallet-friendly price

“Artwork doesn't need to be expensive,” says Donaldson-Rouleau. These simple yet stunning botanical wall prints from Sandstone & Sage are proof. The four unframed pieces of artwork look lovely placed together as a collage, but you can also hang them up individually in separate rooms. Subtle and soothing, each one of these prints is a reproduction of an actual vintage design, giving them an air of classic authenticity.


This faux eucalyptus wreath that adds a gorgeous touch to your front door

Mariotti notes that a decorative wreath can also enhance front-door appeal. Made of realistic-looking eucalyptus stems and willow leaves, this stunning wreath adds a welcoming touch of greenery to your entryway. The handmade wreath measures about 20 inches in diameter, which is plenty big enough to make an eye-catching statement. You can even make it your own by adding ribbons, colorful faux flowers, and other decorative accents.


Some peel & stick wallpaper with an oversize print that embraces scale

“Make friends with scale and you'll take your home to the next level,” says DeCapua. Covered in an oversize eucalyptus-leaves print, this peel-and-stick wallpaper is perfect for creating an accent wall in your bedroom, living room, or even the tiniest of bathrooms. “Imagine walking into a forest of leaf-patterned walls to powder your nose,” she continues. “It's impactful, empowering and liberating to embrace scale.” The wallpaper is easy to apply by peeling away the adhesive backing, and can be removed easily at any time.

  • Available colors: 5


Some fluffy white towels that give your bathroom a 5-star hotel feel

Replacing your worn, stained hand towels with these crisp white ones can go a long way in making your home look nicer, according to Andy Kolodgie, real estate expert and founder of Sell My House Fast. “Adding fresh white towels is a simple and effective way to upgrade the look,” he states. Made from ultra-absorbent Turkish cotton, the towels have an ultra-soft, luxurious feel to them, reminiscent of the ones you’d find at a nice hotel. Once you’re hooked on the hand towels, you may want to invest in the complete six-piece set.

  • Available sets: 5
  • Available colors: 15


These natural pampas grass stems that last longer than fresh flowers

“I love fresh florals but pampas and other dried florals are great year-round,” says Torstenson. This natural pampas bouquet looks stunning whether you gather all the stems together in a large vase, or scatter them around your home in smaller bundles. The pieces can also be used to fill out a dried evergreen bouquet. Simply place the grass in the sun — or fluff up the stems with a blow dryer — before arranging.


A pretty bouquet of realistic-looking flowers

“Fake flowers for dining room tables can also create a nice boost,” says Tony Mariotti, owner of Los Angeles luxury real estate brokerage firm RubyHome. While this pretty bouquet of stems may be artificial, its appearance is anything but — each piece is crafted to look as close to the real thing as possible. The sunset-inspired bunch of flowers includes an eclectic variety of faux hydrangeas, peonies, and eucalyptus leaves, but you can opt for other bouquets in shades like champagne white, autumn brown, and purple.


A circular wall mirror that makes any room appear more spacious & inviting

“A well-placed mirror can literally add square footage to any room,” says Robin DeCapua, owner and designer at Los Angeles-based home staging company Madison Modern Home. This circular wall mirror is easy to install with the built-in chain. “Round shapes contrast with the boxy room configuration to bring an organic and warm feel to the space,” DeCapua adds.

  • Available sizes: 9.8 inches, 11.8 inches, 15.7 inches


This organic muslin throw blanket that comes in muted, plant-dyed colors

“Coming from a fashion and costume design background, I love adding texture in the textiles,” says Corban Torstenson, owner and designer of Los Angeles-based staging and interior design firm The Here Company. “[This] throw blanket is a perfect accent to add softness, warmth and welcome to a space,” she adds. Made from organic muslin, it has a subtle waffle texture and fringe that adds a rustic, inviting aesthetic, whether you place it over your couch or at the end of your bed. There are 11 plant-dyed shades to pick from, including sage green, rust orange, and soft pink.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 11


This woven basket that can be used so many different ways

“A versatile and decorative basket can be used as a pot for a plant, storage for throw blankets or toys, or simply a sculptural piece to add to a room,” says Torstenson. This woven basket fits the bill, and can serve as a laundry hamper. Made of natural jute rope, it has built-in handles that allow you to easily transport it from room to room.


This reflective crystal table lamp that brings radiance to dark corners

“Reflective surfaces are perfect for illuminating darker areas in your room and help to blend bright spaces with darker ones,” according to Catherine Mack, real estate expert and owner of House Buyer Network. That’s why she recommends placing a crystal table lamp in a low-light reading nook or bedroom to make the area more inviting. As functional as it is stunning, the touch-control lamp features dual USB charging ports on its base — this also makes it an excellent choice for compact rooms where wall outlet space is at a premium.

  • Available colors: 2


A cordless table lamp that creates instant mood lighting anywhere

With a brightness-adjustable touch sensor and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 48 hours, this portable LED table lamp is the kind of thing you’ll use every night at dinner. “This is probably my favorite purchase of the last year — it offers great ambient lighting and can move around the room with you,” raves Torstenson. “I've placed it on a coffee table, dining table, outside for an evening gathering, even used it as a flashlight when the power went out.” With a streamlined, art deco-inspired design, it elevates any surface you place it on. Choose from metallic finishes or opt for a matte hue.

  • Available colors: 5


These adhesive clips that keep your cables neat & out of the way

Mack stresses the importance of keeping your wires and cables neat and out of the way — and with these adhesive clips, it couldn’t be any easier to do so. Simply stick the pieces along any wood, metal, glass, plastic, or ceramic surface and thread your cable through each clip. Use them in your home office, your bedroom, your kitchen, or any other spot where you use multiple appliances.


Some faux plants that add a touch of greenery to your home

If you don’t have a green thumb, Ottawa-based realtor and home stager Michelle Donaldson-Rouleau suggests picking up a few artificial plants to liven up your space. “Add a fake plant with a stack of books or a candle and it quickly makes a home feel cozier,” she says. This set of faux plants comes with four matching pots, perfect for placing in your windowsill, along a shelf, or any other space you need a touch of green. Each one has a slightly different shape, which further contributes to the realistic look of different types of greenery.


These brushed metal cabinet pulls that update old kitchen cupboards

“Instantly freshen up outdated cabinets with contemporary handles,” instructs Jessica Neal-Smith, owner and designer at Washington-based home staging company More Decor. Made of sleek, matte metal, these cabinet pulls lend a modern look to your kitchen pantry doors and drawers. Besides black, these pulls also come in brushed brass and satin nickel.

  • Available sizes: 3.75 inches, 5 inches, 6.25 inches, 8.75 inches
  • Available colors: 5


The wood repair kit that fixes nicks & scratches on your furniture

To elevate the look of your home, Matt Ward, Nashville-based realtor and owner of the Matt Ward Group, suggests picking up this furniture repair kit that conceals minor imperfections in your wooden furniture. You get six pigmented markers and six wax crayons in a spectrum of wood-colored shades. Ward loves the versatility of this kit, saying “It works on almost all the common types of wood furniture, such as oak, cherry, walnut, [and] birch.” Put this to use, and your furniture will look brand new.


A trio of wooden pillar candle holders that can be grouped for an eclectic look

“Use pillar candle holders in varying heights to easily fill space,” says Deniston. “They're great for styling mantels and tables, or you can group them on a tray with other items for a curated look.” This trio of wooden candle holders has a warm, rustic vibe, adding an inviting touch to your dining room table or entryway. Each holder is outfitted with a spike for holding wax candles, but you can remove it if you prefer to use flameless LED candles. The felt pads on the bottoms prevent scratching and damage to wooden surfaces.

  • Available colors: 3


These amber glass soap dispensers that are practical & sophisticated

Angela Deniston, Strategic Interior Design Advisor at Real Estate Bees, suggests replacing your hand and dish soap bottles with these soap dispensers made from amber glass. “They're practical and stylish — a simple and inexpensive way to make your kitchen look more sophisticated.” Complete with a set of mix-and-match labels and an anti-slip resin tray, the vintage-inspired bottles instantly elevate your kitchen. The sturdy pumps come in three finishes: black, silver, and gold.

  • Available colors: 3


This luxe waffle-knit blanket you can drape anywhere

Colten Claus, Associate Broker with 8z Real Estate, says, “One addition I often make is adding fresh, neutral-colored accessories such as throw pillows, blankets, and rugs. These items can add warmth and texture to a space without overwhelming it.” This cotton waffle-knit blanket is so perfect for any room, and is cooler than your standard blanket — making it perfect for all seasons.

  • Available colors: 16


The floral ceramic kitchen knobs that have a vintage aesthetic

If you’re after a farmhouse-chic or cottage-core aesthetic in your home, Kolodgie advises looking out for “vintage or ceramic styles” when shopping for drawer and cupboard knobs. These ceramic pulls are engraved with a charming floral design, emulating handmade folk art. You’ll find them in a wide array of pleasing hues, including sky blue, grass green, and light red.

  • Available colors: 11


A pair of glass olive oil bottles that look great sitting on your kitchen counter

Designed with stainless steel pour spouts, these glass bottles make drizzling olive oil over your food oh-so easy. Not to mention, they simply look so streamlined and elegant in your kitchen. “Placing these on your countertops help set the scene for cooking,” says Donaldson Rouleau. “They are a great addition to any kitchen counter.” This set also includes a convenient funnel attachment for effortlessly refilling your bottles with oil.

  • Available colors: 3


An adjustable plant stand to add life to your space

Many experts for this piece recommend greenery, and in that regard this indoor plant stand is perfect. It’s adjustable size and multiple heights make it super customizable depending on your planter and space. Claus says, “Plants bring life and freshness to a room, making it feel more welcoming.”


These under cabinet lights that brighten up your space

It may seem obvious, but Claus reminds that “good lighting can make a space feel brighter and more inviting.” And, while you can focus on overhead lighting, an overlooked area of many homes is task lighting. These LED puck lights are easy to place underneath cabinets or in dark corners or stairways, and brighten up your space. These are battery-powered and come with a remote control.


This scalloped jute rug that has a natural, playful vibe

Made of natural braided jute, this rustic rug is a simple yet effective way to warm up a space in a natural, understated way. “Jute rugs can add an earthy element to a cold tile or stone floor, [and] this one with the scalloped edges adds some playfulness,” Torstenson says. While this style features natural-colored piping that blends into the rug, there are other options with contrast piping in shades such as light pink, navy, black, and white.

  • Available colors: 6


An acacia wood cutting board that provides soft contrast in the kitchen

Torstenson says a wood cutting board can create a nice contrast to the wall, tile, or countertop in your kitchen. She specifically recommends this round board made of sleek acacia wood, as it “helps break up the sharp corners of the cabinetry.” Available in four different sizes, the reversible board is designed with a handle and hanging loop for easy portability and storage. Of course, this decor piece is also useful — put it to work when you’re prepping food or use it to display a gorgeous array of meats, cheeses, and crackers.

  • Available sizes: 10 inches, 12 inches, 14 inches, 16 inches


A round rug to create a distinct zone in a large room

Rachel Stringer, a professional real estate agent at Raleigh Realty, has some great advice: “One of my top staging secrets is using furniture to create distinct "zones" that highlight how spaces can be utilized. In a living room, for instance, I'll craft one or two intimate conversation areas using chairs and loveseats positioned towards each other.” Especially if your space is really large, consider using smaller, round area rugs, like this one, to create a unique zone. These can make something as simple as a set of love seats feel like a small living space.


This chic lamp that’s easy to style

Stringer says, “Mood lighting is another must — artfully positioned lamps and scented candles work wonders for ambiance.” This chic lamp is great for any side table, and looks sculptural and chic in a living room ro bedroom. The LED light lasts longer than your standard bulb, and it even has a small USB-C port you can use to charge devices.


The simple cotton throw pillow with tassels that add dimension

“Accent decor is like jewelry to the outfit — if you have a good base of furniture, you can always play with accents in color, shape, and scale,” says Torstenson. While this solid-hued throw pillow qualifies as a neutral piece, Torstenson notes that the tassels add dimension around the edges. The skin-friendly cotton fabric has a light texture that lends it a rustic vibe — choose from seven different shades, including mustard yellow, navy blue, and russet orange.

  • Available colors: 7


This circular end table that comes in a wide array of vibrant colors

In addition to a rounded mirror, DeCapua also suggests incorporating a circle-shaped end table into your space. “One of my fave stager tips is to embrace circular end tables,” she says. “Because side tables are almost always the termination point of a sofa or square armchair, the warmth of a round shape is welcome,” she explains. This minimalist metal end table comes in over a dozen vibrant shades — including peacock blue, mint green, and brick red — so it’s a great way to add a pop of color to your room as well.

  • Available colors: 19


A boucle throw pillow that adds contrasting texture to your sofa

“Mix textures so that each one has its moment in the sun,” instructs DeCapua. “A nubby sweater pillow next to a smooth cotton one, a fluffy sheepskin atop a wood floor — you get the idea.” Made of a textured bouclé material, this throw pillow cover warms up the look of your couch, and will stand out from smoother materials. Just place it over a square pillow insert that’s roughly the same size as the cover. There are seven neutral shades to pick from, including buttery cream and graphite gray.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 7


The faux sheepskin rug that warms up a hard-surface floor

Following DeCapua’s previous advice, the fluffy texture of this high-pile faux sheepskin rug is a cozy contrast to the smooth look of a hard-surface floor. Choose a natural shade such as white or gray, or opt for a whimsical hue such as light blue, blush pink, or deep purple. There are plenty of shape and size options to suit your individual space, whether you place it at the foot of your bed or under a coffee table.

  • Available colors and styles: 25


This organic rattan pendant light that’s right on trend

According to DeCapua, statement light fixtures made of organic materials are having a moment. This rattan pendant light complements both rustic and modern decor styles — it’s an overall versatile piece that adds ambient lighting to your dining room, bedroom, or living room. The dimmable light plugs directly into any electrical outlet (i.e., no complicated wiring involved), with a 13.7-foot-long power cord that’s covered in rope for a natural look.


A soft knit throw blanket with a warm, cozy vibe

Neal-Smith recommends investing in an ivory knit throw blanket, as it “makes a home feel more cozy and inviting.” Made from a mid-weight cotton yarn, the blanket provides you or your guests with an extra layer of warmth as you curl up on your sofa or chair. Besides an array of subtle neutral shades, the throw is available in every color of the rainbow — so you can liven up your furniture with a pop of color.

  • Available sizes: 50 inches x 60 inches, 60 inches x 80 inches
  • Available colors: 14


A scented candle that will create a vibe

Stringer recommends scented candles, and this chic lavender woods candle is beloved on Amazon. The wood wick crackles as you use it, and it’s affordable enough that you can outfit each room. This soy candle has hints of grapefruit, lavender, and moss — but you can choose from six different scents.


These ivory taper candles that burn up to 8 hours apiece

To go along with those metallic candle holders, here’s a highly rated set of 10 ivory taper candles. They add an ambient glow to your dining room table or mantel, and the classic color will never go out of style. With a 100% cotton wick, each scentless, paraffin candle burns for eight hours, creating a clean, smooth flame that won’t create excessive soot.


These pillar candle holders that are a chic accessory

"You'd be amazed at the transformative power of small accents and decor in elevating a home's overall aesthetic,” Stringer says. These pillar candle holders can serve as functional decor. Set them on a console or coffee table with fake candles if you’d prefer for them to stay unlit. Or add true pillar candles and use them to decorate the centerpiece of your dining table.


This bamboo tray that looks great perched on a coffee table

Reviewers love this serving tray for so many purposes. Set it on a kitchen counter, use it to contain your bathroom products in one place, or set it out on your coffee table or ottoman. It’s also a great piece for focusing on neutral accessories. Stringer says, “Plush throw blankets artfully draped across sofas, coffee table books arranged just so, or a decorative tray displaying a mini-bar setup — it's all about injecting a sense of elevated, curated living into each room.” You could set this out on your bar cart too, to corral glasses and decanters.


The matte black food storage jar that’s as functional as it is elegant

“Food storage containers that contrast with your kitchen can make a statement on your kitchen counter without a huge expense,” say Kate Keyser and Lauren Dalrymple, home stagers at Ivy Lane Home Staging in Denver, Colorado. Designed with an airtight bamboo lid, this ceramic jar is equal parts sophisticated and functional. Use the canister to hold coffee beans, tea leaves, sugar, and more — your dried goods will remain fresh and dry on your countertop. Choose between matte black and white options, depending on your kitchen’s color scheme.

  • Available sizes: Small — Large
  • Available colors: Black, White


This natural seagrass basket that adds a spa touch to the bathroom counter

To further amp up the luxurious, peaceful vibe of your bathroom, Kolodgie says, “Place a small woven basket for used hand cloths to complete the spa feel.” Made of natural seagrass, this 9-inch-long rustic basket is the perfect size for holding folded guest towels on the bathroom counter — but you can also use it for napkins in the kitchen.


These solar-powered stake lights that illuminate your landscape

“Solar spots come with a low price tag but their effect is priceless,” says Kolodgie. “Use them to light up your path, and garden features, as well as trees.” These solar-powered stake lights automatically turn on when the sun goes down, illuminating your pathway in the dark or highlighting your favorite landscape feature. They’re fully waterproof and frost-resistant, so you can count on them to work in nearly any weather. The powerful beams give you plenty of visibility at their highest setting, but you can also adjust the brightness for subtler illumination.

  • Available colors: 3


Storage bags to declutter your space

Many experts consulted for this piece emphasize that decluttering is key to make any space shine. Stringer says, “Piles of personal belongings or too much furniture instantly make even the grandest spaces look cramped and busy.” That said, there are things that objectively you need to keep, so these storage bags are a perfect compromise. You can declutter your space by filling up these storage bags (this is a set of two that each have a large capacity), and then tucking them in a closet. The clear lids make it easy to see what you put away, and the handles are easy to grab from the back of your closet.


This soft bedding set that completes any bedroom

Agent Jeremy Kamm of Coldwell Banker Warburg, says, “There are also easy ways to enhance a home's interior design. With bedrooms, fresh, rich-looking linens always get the job done, and top it off with a nice area rug.” This seven-piece bedding set from Bedsure comes in so many hues, but this charcoal black is a neutral that adds depth to your space.


A washable area rug that comes in so many shades

In keeping with Kamm’s advice, an area rug like this washable rug is such an easy touch to liven up your space. This one comes in a range of sizes and so many colors that you can match it to your wall colors or the warmth of the wood in the room. One reviewer says, “Rug is stunning!! Our kitchen has accent colors of cobalt blue and it’s perfect (we got the blue medallion), really ties everything together.”


This glass vase that adds a modern touch

A tried and true trick? Add some greenery and florals. Kamm recommends, “In a dining room, possibly add a beautiful centerpiece, whether it's flowers, a bowl with fruit or some foliage, or even a dramatic sculpture — something that's unique, interesting, and eye-catching.” This modern glass vase looks great in so many rooms, and even comes in three different glass colors to match your vibe.


A chic storage basket perfect for collecting odds & ends

Jim Gray, a real estate professional and a performance coach at AgentAdvice, has an easy-to-implement tip. “Use baskets and boxes to neatly store items that need to stay,” he says. This is a tip he uses when staging, but it’s easy to use in your home too. Opt for a storage basket like this beautiful one from Natemia, and throw odds and ends in there. It’s perfect for collecting blankets, extra pillows, or anything you can’t find a place for.


This super soft throw blanket that adds texture to any room

One design add that will feel as good as it looks? A faux fur blanket. Kamm shares, “For living rooms, even just changing up the throw pillows and throw blankets to create a cozier and fresher aesthetic can really improve the overall appearance.” This faux fur blanket is soft to the touch, comes in three sizes, and is available in vibrant colors or more subtle neutrals that you can match to your style and space.


These tiny faux succulents that create a welcoming vibe

Not every upgrade has to be big. Gray says, “Potted succulents or a vase of tulips on the kitchen island create a welcoming vibe.” These faux succulents require no maintenance and come in these chic pale green planters. The planters are a little more than 4 inches in width, and look so great on a bookshelf, in the corner of a bathroom, or on your coffee table.


A faux tulip bouquet in a chic vase

If you’re more of a flower person, you can still easily implement Gray’s advice. These faux tulips come in their own vase, and will live forever. They may seem expensive, but this faux bouquet is a much easier way to integrate flowers into your space, especially if you’re new to the floral game. You’ll never have to run out for more flowers, pick up fallen petals, or change out water. Reviewers say these look super lifelike.


These fluffy towels for your bathroom

Don’t sleep on your bathroom. Gray says, “Fluffy new towels in bathrooms have a spa-like effect.” This is also one of those decor updates that you’ll get to enjoy yourself, as well. These stunning fluffy white towels are a favorite amongst reviewers and come in a four pack of true-sized bath towels. White is a classic color, but these come in 15 colors and a bunch of size options, to match any bathroom and style. The 100% Turkish cotton material is absorbent and so soft.


A beautiful decanter set with six glasses

A well-dressed bar cart can be an eye-catching piece in any room, and this seven-piece decanter set has everything you need to start making cocktails. Gray’s tips for your bar area? “Consider adding a tray with a decanter and glasses to create a glamorous bar area.” You can stack this set on a tray or stow them away in a lower tier of your cart, either way they’ll look so great when you take them out to start serving.


A full-length mirror to make your space look bigger

It’s a well-loved trick, but adding a mirror to any space will create more dimension and make it look larger. Gray says, “An inexpensive way to make a home look luxurious is through lighting fixtures and mirrors. Sleek light fixtures modernize, while abundant mirrors visually expand space.” This full-length arched mirror can be mounted to your wall or propped against its stand to create more space wherever you need it. For a mirror of this size, this is an unheard of price.