Professionals who stage homes say these 30 cheap tricks save you money & make your home look way better

Low cost — and low effort — ways to make your home so much nicer.

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Step into the polished world of home staging. I’ve collected tips and wisdom from expert realtors and interior designers who pulled back the veil on their go-to strategies for making a home look great. Each tip is paired with a savvy, budget-friendly product you can easily use or do yourself. Discover how a statement mirror can transform a room, how you can add zest with colorful cushions and art, and embrace the importance of good lighting. These accessible tips are the key to a stylishly upgraded home.


Revamp your rugs by replacing the old with the new

The Dude from The Big Lebowski understood how a nice rug can really tie a room together. Similarly, Smith says, “Replace worn-out rugs with affordable, textured options. Choose neutral patterns for wider appeal.”

At 4 by 6 feet, this area rug is great for high-traffic areas, slipping seamlessly beneath furniture and through doorways. Crafted from a cotton-polyester blend, it combines softness and warmth.


Use big, statement-making accessories for a grand feel

“When it comes to accessories, think big to create a sense of grandeur in your home,” advises Conlon. “Oversized vases, sculptures, or statement pieces can be conversation starters and focal points in a room. Experiment with textures, materials, and shapes to find the perfect statement pieces that resonate with your personal style.”

Standing at 9.5 inches in height, this elegant glass flower vase is an eye-catching piece. Crafted from crystal glass, this vase shines brilliantly, especially when catching the light. It's ideal for showcasing your favorite fresh or dried flowers.


Brighten rooms with low-maintenance greenery

Dave Forehand, owner and lead broker at Team Forehand Realty, suggests, “Introduce some greenery with low-maintenance indoor plants or faux plants.”

No worries if you don’t have much of a green thumb, this variety pack of live air-purifying plants has got you covered. Not only do these plants filter out pollutants, but they also act as natural humidifiers, enhancing the quality of the air you breathe. Elevate your mood and well-being with these green companions, known for reducing stress and boosting creativity.


Use simple white lace curtains to make rooms cozier & more elegant

Rockwell says: “Considering the trend of cottagecore and biophilic design to make the best use of natural lights, white lace curtains turned into an inexpensive product to make a house cozy and elegant.” He recommends these lace curtain panels to “serve as a gorgeous backdrop for the living zones.”

These panels beautifully filter light while maintaining your privacy, and thanks to the rod pocket design, hanging them on a standard curtain rod is a breeze. And when it's time for a refresh, you can just toss them in the washing machine.


Add a pop of color to any room via cushions & artwork

If a room needs a pop of color, you can use vibrant cushions and artwork to catch the eye and create visual interest, says Conlon. “Opt for a cohesive color scheme that ties in with the overall design of the room,” she adds. “Whether you choose bold, contrasting hues or a more subtle, monochromatic palette, the right colors can evoke specific moods and set the tone for your space.”

These fashionable geometric pillow covers come in over a dozen color and pattern options. Crafted from soft, durable material, they come in 18 by 18 inches with an invisible zipper to fit seamlessly over most standard throw pillows. Whether on your sofa or bed, they add vibrancy to any spot.


Let natural light flow in by cleaning windows

“Open curtains and blinds to maximize natural light,” suggests Smith. “Clean windows for sparkling clarity.”

Achieve sparkling clean surfaces with this microfiber cleaning duo. This two-step cleaning process eliminates 99% of grease, grime, and microscopic particles, leaving your glass surfaces spotless and streak-free. Designed specifically for glass, these cloths trap dirt and banish streaks. Plus, they're eco-friendly and reusable, with a 100-wash, one-year promise, making them a sustainable choice that keeps your windows sparkling.


Think about length when it comes to a runner & mirror

You can achieve the illusion of more space with some simple optical tricks. “Enhance the visual flow of your hallway by opting for a long runner rug that guides the eye and adds a touch of comfort underfoot,” suggests Conlon. “Pair the rug with a strategically placed long mirror to create the illusion of a more expansive hallway.”

This modern abstract area rug adds color and texture without overwhelming your entryway. Designed to withstand everyday wear and tear, this rug works well for high-traffic areas like your living room, dining room, and kitchen. With a medium pile height, it fits easily under furniture and in entryways.


Accent your artwork with a picture light

“Every statement piece of artwork needs an art light,” says Janine Just, managing partner at Roxy Rentals. She recommends this battery-operated picture light because it comes in different finishes — she even uses it in several of her company’s properties.

Made from sturdy metal and aluminum, this light emits a warm 3000K glow, enhancing the beauty of your paintings. With a rechargeable battery, it provides 280 lumens of adjustable brightness, and the flexible light tube can be rotated 150 degrees to direct the light precisely where you want it. Plus, with a timer function and remote control, it's both convenient and energy-efficient.


Make your bedroom more serene with white bedding

“Embrace the timeless elegance of white bedding to create a serene and inviting atmosphere,” suggests Conlon. “White bedding serves as a neutral backdrop, allowing you to experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns through accent pieces like cushions, throws, and decorative pillows.”

Experience the ultimate in bedtime comfort with this super soft duvet cover set. Crafted from double-brushed microfiber, this cooling duvet cover feels luxurious, lightweight, and cool to the touch. The three-piece queen-size set includes one duvet cover and two pillow shams. This duvet cover is machine washable, wrinkle-free, and fade-resistant.


Use a statement mirror to reflect light & open your space

Liv Conlon, founder of ThePropertyStagers, suggests using a statement mirror to add a touch of glamour to your space. She points out it “reflects natural and artificial light, making the room appear brighter and more spacious.” Choose a mirror with an interesting frame or shape that complements your overall decor, she recommends, saying that “placing it strategically across from a window or opposite a light source will maximize its light-reflecting effects.”

At 32 inches around, this rustic wooden wall mirror is a captivating option. It flaunts a chic sunburst design, exuding vintage charm with its torched wood finishes. With two keyhole mounting brackets, installation is easy.


Opt for kitchen essentials that blend style with function

“Prioritize the display of essential items like stylish kitchen tools, cutting boards, and canisters, ensuring that functionality takes precedence over excessive decor,” says Conlon. “This minimalist approach creates a clean and organized look while maintaining the kitchen's efficiency.”

This cast iron wire basket is a stylish and creative piece that serves as a display for everything from fruit to bread, snacks, office supplies, and more. The geometric design allows for proper air circulation, ensuring your fruits ripen evenly and stay fresh longer. Crafted from durable carbon-structured steel, it's both lightweight and sturdy.


Achieve symmetry in your bedroom with these matching lamps

When it comes to a balanced and harmonious bedroom, Conlon says that establishing symmetry is key. “Ensure your bedside tables and lamps are identical or, at the very least, complement each other in terms of size and style,” she says.

This pair of touch-control lamps effortlessly blends style and function, featuring a classic, versatile design with a gold base and rectangular fabric lampshades. With touch controls, you can easily switch them on or off and adjust the brightness. These lamps go beyond lighting, offering built-in dual USB ports for charging convenience.


Enhance the ambiance of a powder room with sconces

Lighting can make all the difference. Just notes that sconces transform a powder room, an en suite bathroom, or a fireplace.

Made with metal and featuring a rattan fabric shade, these wall sconces bring elegance and symmetry to a space. Available in a black or gold finish, their compact dimensions fit seamlessly in bedrooms, bathrooms, dressing rooms, and more. Easy to install and compatible with E26 bulbs up to 60 watts, these sconces offer both style and practicality.


Dress up side tables with these sleek lamps

“I think everyone should pick up a pair of these, you'll thank me later,” says Just, about these cordless desk lamps. Calling the lamps a fun game changer for bookshelves, console tables, and side tables, Just also notes that they’re battery-powered and come in multiple colors.

The cordless design and sleek, modern look make them a tasteful addition to any room without taking up much space. Enjoy adjustable lighting with three color temperatures and a dimming option. Because they’re lightweight, they’re easily portable to different rooms in your home. With a built-in rechargeable battery, these lamps are also energy-efficient.


Use peel-&-stick wallpaper to change a room quickly & affordably

Just says peel-and-stick wallpaper is the trick for an easy way to mix things up. “A quick accent wall, a backsplash in the kitchen (so long as it's just a wall), a quick hallway transition, there's so many fun ways you can use this — and it's non-committal, so perfect for renters too,” she notes.

Transform your space with this peel-and-stick wallpaper that’s easy to install. No need for messy pastes or water, and no experience needed. The elegant vintage design features delicate flowers, hummingbirds, butterflies, and foliage on a white background. With a generous roll dimension, whether you're redesigning a room, adding an accent wall, or revamping furniture, this adhesive paper makes the job simple.


Add interest to a table or console with a coffee table book

“You need a good decor book, they provide a nice pop of color and can help you when struggling [with] how to fill a bookcase, what to put on a console table, or help bring a coffee table together,” says Just.

Accessorize your coffee table or bookshelf with a blast of bright pink with Art: The Definitive Visual Guide. A captivating journey through 30,000 years of art history, this book unveils over 2,500 of the most influential paintings and sculptures, offering a vivid exploration of global artistry.


Find clever ways to store personal items

Anna D. Smith, owner of Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker, says tidiness is an easy way to make your home look great. “Pack away personal items like family photos, souvenirs, and clutter,” she recommends. “Use decorative baskets for hidden storage.”

This rope storage basket is a spacious, sophisticated option for decluttering. Its stylish two-toned design adds a touch of modern minimalism to any room, blending seamlessly with your decor. Crafted with durability in mind, this woven basket is not only practical but also portable, thanks to its sturdy handles. Store blankets, toys, and more.


Layer a room's lighting with cozy, warm-toned bulbs

When daylight isn’t an option, Smith says it’s important to “layer lighting with floor lamps, table lamps, and sconces.” She adds that it’s best to “choose warm-toned bulbs for a cozy feel.”

These vintage-inspired bulbs radiate 500 lumens of warm white light while lowering your energy consumption by 91%, according to the brand. With a remarkable lifespan of over 11 years based on three to five hours of daily use, these bulbs truly shine. Compatible with most dimmer switches, installation is a breeze with their universal E26 base, providing instant-on, flicker-free lighting.


Create a polished gallery wall with a mix of posters & paintings

“Create a gallery wall with inexpensive framed prints or posters,” says Smith. “Choose a cohesive theme or color palette for a polished look.”

Elevate your home decor with this seven-piece gallery frame set. This carefully curated collection includes one 11 by 14 frame, two 8 by 10 frames, and four 5 by 7 frames. With white beveled mats and hanging hardware for easy wall display, these frames add a touch of elegance to any room. Crafted from durable engineered wood, they feature polished, tempered shatter-resistant glass fronts to preserve your photographs.


Employ the help of multifunctional storage ottomans

Zev Freidus, founder of ZFC Real Estate, says, “Invest in storage ottomans that serve dual purposes.” He suggests checking out the affordable options on Amazon like this folding storage ottoman which comes in a variety of colors and patterns. “Not only do they provide additional seating, but they also have ample storage space to hide away clutter,” Freidus notes.

This versatile piece doubles as a footstool, linen chest, or entryway bench, and its foldable design works well for small spaces. Featuring a chic faux leather cover, it blends style with function. Lift the lid to reveal a spacious compartment, ready to declutter your space. So, kick up your feet, store your stuff, and elevate your decor all at once.


Upgrade your lighting fixtures to give your home an overall polished look

“Simply upgrading your light fixtures can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your home,” says Friedus. “Look for affordable options on Amazon such as pendant lights or chandeliers with a brushed nickel finish for a more luxurious look.”

For some retro charm try this one-light mini pendant. Its angled bell cage shade and brushed nickel finish bring an understated style to any room. It's not just stylish but also versatile, great for sloped ceilings and adjustable to your preferred height.


Turn wall art into a fun DIY project

Luke Millard, owner of BGR Designs, suggests, “Embark on a budget-conscious journey to transform your home's interior with DIY wall accents, showcasing your creativity without a significant financial investment.” He encourages you to “explore a myriad of budget-friendly options such as removable wallpaper or stencils that empower you to create eye-catching patterns or focal points.”

These geometric wall stencils are a great way to add a touch of DIY chic to your space. You'll receive eight different patterns to choose from, allowing you to unleash your creativity on walls, tiles, wood, and more. These molds are a breeze to clean and can be used repeatedly, making them a handy addition to your crafting arsenal.


Pay attention to how your living space smells

Martin Orefice, CEO of Rent To Own Labs, recommends giving your home a “thorough top-to-bottom cleaning, with special focus on eliminating cooking smells from the kitchen and cleaning any carpeting or upholstery.” Then, he suggests adding a subtle fragrance to create ambiance.

The New Home candle from Homesick has notes of jasmine, cedarwood, lime, sandalwood, oakmoss, and musk for a refreshing, nature-inspired scent that can burn for up to 80 hours. Plus, the minimal style of the jar looks good on a coffee table.


Add subtle opulence to a room with brass drawer handles

Jake Rockwell, owner of Rockwell Group, says, “From the washroom vanity and kitchen cabinet to the nightstand, you can use brass drawer handles to give the house an opulent look.”

He recommends these cabinet pulls. The champagne bronze finish adds a touch of elegance to these zinc handles. In each pack, you'll find a set of 10, great for giving your cabinets a stylish makeover en masse. Plus, installation is a breeze, making your upgrade a piece of cake.


Make sure you're taking care of your plants

Bonnie Borromeo Tomlinson, professional organizer and author of Stop Buying Bins, encourages taking better care of your indoor plants in order to polish a room’s appearance. “Remove all dead or dying plants or tend to them to make them show better,” she says.

Give your indoor plants a treat with these easy-to-use fertilizer spikes. Packed with the essential micronutrients that indoor plants crave, they feed your plants continuously for up to two months, so you can enjoy lush and vibrant greenery without the fuss.


Use a level to hang your artwork properly

“Straighten all painting on walls with a level [...] and use poster putty if it won't stay straight,” Tomlinson says.

This comprehensive picture hanging kit contains not just a level, but everything else you need for a gallery-worthy display. With a wide range of sizes and strengths, these versatile hangers support weights from 10 to 120 pounds, ensuring your art stays securely in place. Compatible with various wall types, it's a household essential for creating sturdy, balanced gallery walls.


Transform a seating area with texture & color

“Another important element in transforming a room is the use of textiles,” Rudolph Diesel, a London-based interior designer, says. “Adding curtains, rugs, and throw pillows can instantly add color, texture, and warmth to a space.”

Indulge in the plush comfort of these corduroy pillow covers, available in over 30 beautiful colors. Crafted from high-quality polyester, these covers are both super soft and durable. The invisible zipper closure in a matching shade ensures an elegant look and easy insertion for your favorite pillow. Cleaning is a breeze with machine-washable convenience.


Invest in clever storage solutions that look seamless on shelves

“Invest in storage solutions such as shelves, baskets, and decorative boxes to keep items neatly tucked away,” Diesel says. He recommends these storage cube baskets, saying they’re “not only practical but also come in various colors to match your room's aesthetic.”

These cubes are the perfect blend of style and functionality, offering lightweight solutions to declutter your home. Whether it's games, crafts, toys, or seasonal items, these cubes keep everything organized. You can use them in various spaces, from kids' rooms to closets, and even as under-bed storage. When not in use, simply fold them flat to save space.


Modernize your furniture by updating the hardware

“Switching out old knobs and handles on cabinets can modernize a kitchen or bathroom,” Forehand notes. He suggests this 25-pack of modern cabinet handles as a stylish and affordable option. Crafted from durable stainless steel with a lustrous gold finish, these handles are not only chic but also resistant to fading and rust.

Installation is straightforward, and each pull comes with two sets of mounting screws to fit various furniture pieces. Whether it's your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or office, these pulls update any piece of furniture and can give new (sophisticated) life to older pieces.


Make your home smell better with a stylish bit of decor

Danny Johnson, owner at Danny Buys Houses, says that fragrance diffusers can add to a home’s allure by appealing to our senses. “This is exactly what you want when staging a home,” he says and suggests these reed diffusers to improve your chances of making potential buyers — or simply visitors to your home — feel an elevated experience when they walk in.

This set includes a stylish glass bottle, a fragrant mixture of essential oils and fragrance, real preserved baby's breath flowers, and eight cotton sticks. Adjust the intensity by adding or removing sticks, and enjoy up to 90 days of long-lasting fragrance. With 23 fragrance options to choose from, there’s a scent combination for everyone’s tastes.


Elevate your space by adding modern, custom lighting

"The first thing we do when we move into a new space is switch out all the builder grade lights and super basic, cheap or any gaudy lighting,” says Jennifer Verruto, Founder and CEO of Blythe Interiors. “It’s sooo easy to do and makes a HUGE impact.”

Swipe out your builder-grade lights with this chic chandelier. With four exposed bulbs, a cool matte black finish, and a modern and geometric design, this ceiling light will instantly elevate your space for a super budget-friendly price. It’s anti-rust, fade-proof, and compatible with a ton of bulbs including smart bulbs and dimming bulbs.


Brighten up your bathroom with this chrome vanity light

Another easy lighting swap that makes a real difference is in the bathroom. A good vanity light like this chrome one can make or break your morning and evening makeup and skincare routine. Verruto recommends paying attention to scale when considering new lighting. “[...] make sure you use a measuring tape to check the dimension on the new potential light and then go to the space and hold up the measurement. Bigger is usually better." This vanity light comes in two, three, four, five, and six bulb options to scale it to whatever size your bathroom or vanity needs.


Hang plants in these modern wall planters

Don’t sleep on the decor power of plants. “Think outside the box,” says Verruto. “Put a plant on the wall to bring a pop of color and freshness to your space.” These modern rounded planters mount onto the wall with sawtooth hangers to add a little spice to your standard decor. They have a narrow opening and a tall silhouette, making them great for displaying eucalyptus, dried flowers, faux leaves, and more.


Decorate with these hanging metal succulents

These hanging metal succulents are hand-painted and stunning, an easy and eye-catching way to use "plants as art,” as Verruto put it. They’re made of high-grade metal that was hand painted with multi-colored, hyper-realistic accents to really pack a punch on your wall. They have a 3D shape and easily mount to your wall with a built-in hook on the back.


Turn plants into artwork with a unique hanging planter

"Nearly every time a room is missing something, a plant fixes the problem,” Verruto says. This planter is shaped like a crescent moon for a super unique and eye-catching way to display your plants. It’s safe for real and faux flowers, mounts flush against the wall, and is rust-resistant so you can use it to spruce up your space — indoors or outdoors.