What you need to make your home look more expensive for under $35, according to designers

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If you’re got your eye on an interior redesign with the aim of making your home look a little more luxurious, you may be under the impression that it’s necessary to shell out the big bucks. But after canvassing a handful of top designers, they say it’s simply not so — check out these expert-recommended ways to make your home look more expensive for under $35. Not only are they genius, but they come straight from the pros.

Lighting is so important in a home, and the thing is, you won’t realize what a difference it makes until you change it up. Kim Emery, owner and designer at design blog Clipper City House has a solution: “One of my favorite ways to make your home look nice for less than $35 is LED under-cabinet lighting.” For a super budget-friendly price, try this under-cabinet lighting kit that can get you the look Emery recommends.

Another one of my favorites for making a huge impact is peel-and-stick wallpaper. It provides a graphic punch without the expense or permanence of traditional wallpaper. Kathy Kuo, designer and founder of Kathy Kuo Home, agrees: “Wallpaper is also a great option if you want to add a pattern or something fun that goes beyond regular paint,” she says. “With wallpaper there are different options for removal, which make it easy to maintain or switch out.” Check out this peel-and-stick wallpaper that has an ultra-chic herringbone print.

Ready for more cheap and easy ways to make your home look better? Keep scrolling.


This peel & stick tile that makes your kitchen look luxe

There’s nothing like a tile backsplash to pull a kitchen together and make it look elevated. Tile can be quite expensive, though, and then there’s the time and cost of installing it. Kate Diaz, co-owner of design blog SwankyDen, gives this pro tip: “Use peel-and-stick tile instead of regular tile. This is a great way to add a touch of luxury to your home without breaking the bank.” This peel-and-stick subway tile is a great example of the shortcut Diaz recommends.


A matching frame set for an easy gallery wall

Have a lot of photos you want to display? A gallery wall is the way to go. Diaz says, “If you have a lot of mismatched frames, consider purchasing some that are all the same color or style. This will give your home a more polished look.” This 10-piece frame set comes in multiple colors and styles, and includes frames in 4-by-6, 5-by-7, and 8-by-10 sizes.

  • Available colors and styles: 9


The cozy throw blanket that adds texture to your couch

Appeal to all the senses when redecorating by adding texture to your room. Diaz has an easy hint: “Throw some throw blankets on your furniture. This is an easy way to add warmth and personality to your home decor.” This throw blanket has a subtle weave and fringe, and it comes in lots of colors, like caramel, black, and red mud.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 15


A set of 3 vases that adds visual interest

Groups of small objects will enrich your space, says Diaz — just make sure they have a little variety built in. “Buy vases in different shapes and sizes. This will add visual interest to any room,” she says. This set of ceramic vases makes the perfect finishing touch, and they’re functional as well as decorative.

  • Available colors: 2


A set of modern prints to brighten up your wall

Bare walls can feel lifeless; Diaz says, “Hang paintings or mirrors on the wall. This is a great way to add a little life to your walls without spending a lot of money.” This set of pop art prints injects color and spirit into any room at an extremely reasonable price — just add simple frames for a look any collector would envy.


This under-cabinet lighting kit that makes your kitchen pop

Under-cabinet lighting makes a kitchen look truly luxurious, but having it installed by an electrician can be costly. Kim Emery, owner and designer at design blog Clipper City House has a solution: “One of my favorite ways to make your home look nice for less than $35 is LED under-cabinet lighting. With these flexible LED strip lights, you can give your kitchen a wow factor with a cheap and simple lighting upgrade.” This under-cabinet lighting kit is exactly what you need to get the effect Emery describes, and you can use the remote control to dim brightness and set timers.


These flameless candles that add long-lasting ambience

Zara O’Hare, an in-house interior designer at Land of Rugs, says, “Whilst real candles will provide more style and substance, they will need to be replaced every now and then. My recommendation would be fake candles. They still add a lovely ambience to any home, are safer due to the lack of an exposed flame, and will last much, much longer than real candles.” This gorgeous flameless candle trio will set the mood, and comes with a remote, so you can control the flicker and set timers.

  • Available colors: 5


A gold animal statue that helps make the most of your mantel

Design pro O’Hare says, “If you have mantels in your home, and chances are you do, then mantel ornaments are a great way to go! There are a huge number of colors, styles and figurines to go for, so you are sure to find one that suits your individual style choices!” Crafted from ceramic with a gold-tone finish, this clever animal statue is a great starting place. This one’s a camel, but you can also choose from bird and giraffe designs.

  • Available styles: 4


This wood chain accessory made from natural pine

This wood chain link piece is another option for adorning your mantle. The rustic, whitewashed finish adds interest, and at the same time allows the beauty of the wood to show through. It can be displayed on its own, or added to a bowl or stack of books for a layered effect.


A mirror to add an airy feel to your space

O’Hare says, “Mirrors are an amazing style accessory that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing! [...] They also will help make your home feel lighter and ‘airier’ when placed strategically.” While many mirrors can be expensive, this classic hanging wall mirror is reasonably priced and so stylish. Available in three sizes to suit your space, it has a thin, understated gold rim, and hangs from a gold chain.

  • Available sizes: 3


These artificial plants for a natural vibe without the work

A touch of green can really liven up a room, but it can be daunting if you don’t have a green thumb. O’Hare recommends artificial plants: “They do not need to be watered and you can place them anywhere you like, no matter how dark the space is! And it’s sure to brighten any dark space up!” These artificial potted plants come in their own papier mâché pots, ready for display. For lots of variety, the set includes faux boxwood, rosemary, and eucalyptus.


A door handle with vintage-style character

Door handles are one of those small details in a room that can really have a big impact. Anton Giuroiu, an architect and designer at Architecture Lab, says, “Replacing door handles with vintage or more up to date models instantly gives your home a more stylized feel.” This pull handle is crafted from powder-coated steel and comes with hardware for installation. Use it on closets, sheds, and sliding doors.


The oversize vase that can serve as a focal point

For a truly impactful interior, designer Giuroiu says “Choose a single piece as a focus in each room. One large vase rather than multiple ornaments tends to ooze luxury.” Featuring a marble look with a matte finish, this white ceramic vase measures 15 inches tall and is perfect for making a statement. Plus, it’s durable enough to be used both indoors and out.


These taper candles that upgrade any weeknight dinner

Cindy Ngo, founder of INK + PORCELAIN, recommends always having taper candles on hand like these — they’re a classic for making an occasion out of any meal. This pack includes 12 dripless and smokeless candles, all with a burn time of up to eight hours. Choose from classic white and ivory, or opt to make a statement with purple or red.

  • Available colors: 4


These candlesticks in chic brass & black

Of course, you’ll need candlesticks to go along with your taper candles. This pair is modern, with clean lines and a brushed black and gold finish. Compatible with taper candles of all sizes, they’re crafted from sturdy iron with enough weight to keep them from toppling over, and the bases are lined in velvet to keep them from scratching wood surfaces.


A lamp with a retro pleated shade

When it comes to lamps, home decor expert Ngo says, “This one is my absolute favorite [...] The pleated detail says it all.” Perfect for nightstands and side tables, it feature a simple and round ceramic base with a pleated shade that offers some throwback style. It’s offered in a dozen style and color combinations, including wine red, blue, and rattan.

  • Available colors and styles: 12


A gorgeous coffee table book that also helps you organize your life

A coffee table book adds a nice element to any living room, and Shira Gill’s Minimalista is one of Ngo’s favorites. It’s a tribute to minimalist style, and along with beautiful photographs, it includes design tips for your home, wardrobe, and life. With humor and practical advice, Gill shows you how to clarify, edit, organize, elevate, and maintain, so you can fully embrace a clutter-free, minimalist lifestyle.


These pillow covers that add texture & warmth

Need some dimension in your space? Ngo recommends going for textured throw pillows. Chic, cozy, and neutral, these cable-knit throw pillow covers are made from a cotton blend that’s soft to the touch. Add them to your existing throw pillows to instantly update your couch or bed at a budget-friendly price.

  • Available colors: 6


The brushed brass cabinet pulls that can transform your kitchen or bathroom

Martha McNamara, head of interior design at Vevano Home , says,“Want to update your cabinets but don’t have the money to replace them? Consider new hardware! New cabinet pulls or knobs are a fantastic and affordable way to refresh your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.” A quick way to update those two heavily rooms in your house, these brushed brass cabinet pulls come at a budget-friendly price but have a luxe look.


The matte black cabinet pulls with a more modern feel

“Black matte hardware is also popular and can be more timeless and versatile than the trending golds,” McNamara says. Made from sturdy stainless steel, these cabinet pulls boast clean, modern lines and a matte black finish. They’re perfect if you’re going for something understated, and are also available in brushed brass and satin nickel.

  • Available colors: 3


A toilet paper holder that’s modern & style-forward

While you’re refreshing your household hardware, don’t forget the little details: “Consider switching out your bathroom hardware, such as updating your towel racks or toilet paper holder,” McNamara advises. “It’s a simple change that can make a meaningful impact on the room’s style and functionality.” This toilet paper holder comes in multiple luxe finishes, including matte black, polished silver, and even two-tone options. You can mount it horizontally, or — for an extra bit of style — vertically.

  • Available styles: 5


This towel ring with upmarket finish options

Towel holders in the bathroom are another hardware detail that can be reworked, according to McNamara. Instead of a plain old chrome bar on the wall next to the sink, consider switching to this towel ring. It comes in black, brushed gold, and brushed silver finishes, and the round silhouette is simple and timeless.

  • Available finishes: 3


These sheer curtains that let natural light in

Dan Wiener, interior designer and founder of homedude, shares a tip that you can pull off easily with these sheer window curtains. “Using full-length curtains and hanging them at a higher level will help give the space a much more luxurious feel,” he says. “It will make your ceilings look high and make the room look even bigger because it draws the eye upward. It's best to use a light, sheer curtain so natural light can make its way into the room.”

  • Available sizes: 10
  • Available colors: 15


This fabric cleaner that gives upholstery new life

Karen Gutierrez of Mackenzie Collier Interiors says that sprucing up your existing furniture is a key to having a home with that expensive feeling. “One easy way to make your home look luxurious is to clean your sofa,” she says. “A dirty, stained sofa will make your entire living space look run down, but by taking a little bit of time to clean it, you can make it look brand new again.” This fabric cleaner can work wonders on your upholstered pieces, removing both water- and oil-based stains — even if they’re old and set in.


A light fixture that goes with multiple decor styles

Lighting has a big influence on how you perceive a space, and Gutierrez says tweaking your lighting doesn’t have to be overly complicated — simply updating a fixture can suffice. With its clean lines and industrial vibe, this ceiling light fixture is a great way to step up, and it blends well with many different styles, from classic farmhouse to midcentury modern.


The smart bulbs that give you access to millions of colors to set the mood

Want to go super low effort? Gutierrez recommends simply switching out your light bulbs. These smart light bulbs allow you to toggle between millions of colors, including traditional warm white, which can add atmosphere to any space. You can also set “scenes” or put them on schedules. Control them via a free app on your phone or sync them to your Alexa or Google Home to utilize voice commands.


A rope basket that’s practical & looks great

Storage often gets overlooked, and that’s a mistake, says Gutierrez: “One of the best solutions to help elevate your interior space and give it a luxe feel is to remember the details, especially when it comes to storage.” These solutions don’t have to be boring, though — this rope basket is as pretty as it is practical. Made from braided cotton, it’s perfect for toys, throw blankets, and towels, and comes in a handful of two-tone options.

  • Available colors: 5


These storage baskets that organize small items

When your home feels uncluttered and organized, it definitely feels more polished. Gutierrez recommends this set of baskets: “Whether you're looking to organize linens, makeup, or other essentials, these storage baskets are a must-have. [...] Not only do they keep your stuff contained, but they also function as decor.” These “heroes” of home organization can be used anywhere: the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and more.


These sharp-looking planters with geometric style

Appropriate for use with live or artificial plants, these ceramic planters have a modern, stylish appeal that are a step above everyday pots. Crafted from sturdy ceramic, they have unique shapes that add visual interest and are trimmed with metallic accents to add additional flair. Hand-painted, they have built-in drainage and can be displayed together or individually.


The wooden wall hooks that add storage space anywhere

When you need additional storage for coats, hats, and the like, choose something stylish and high-end, like these natural wooden wall hooks that do the job and look good while doing it. Handcrafted from real wood, they’re available in both walnut and beech varieties, and feature a simple, rustic style with clean lines that complement a range of decors. Plus, the lips on the ends of the hooks ensure that your items don’t fall off.


This stylish footrest that’s ultra-versatile

Gutierrez says, “not only does a stool bring in that additional piece that helps fill up any space, adding extra comfort and additional seating, but it's perfect to easily hide away or move around throughout the room when entertaining.” She’s a big fan of this footrest and vanity stool with its powder-coated metal legs. “This one in particular showcases a velvet finish, which is a great fabric to help elevate the look of any room for a more sophisticated and chic look,” she says. Plus, if you’re willing to spend a bit more, this stool is available in an option with built-in storage.

  • Available colors: 6


A pink Himalayan salt lamp that adds warmth & spa vibes

Benjamin Stenson, owner of The Norsemen Home Remodeling, recommends adding a pink Himalayan salt lamp like this one to your environment. Not only does it cast a warm glow throughout the room, but these lamps are thought to have additional benefits, like boosting your mood, promoting restful sleep, and easing allergies. The lamp is dimmable, and the base is crafted from genuine neem wood.


The seersucker duvet for laid-back sophistication in the bedroom

Stenson also recommends a seersucker duvet cover like this one, which is made from soft microfiber with an elegantly casual look. The duvet’s all-weather fabric is lightweight and breathable, and available in a variety of colors. Accompanied by two matching pillowcases for a coordinated look, this duvet cover is machine-washable for easy upkeep.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors: 7


This faux sheepskin rug that makes a statement for less

Kathy Kuo, founder of Kathy Kuo Home, says “An easy way to make a statement while remaining cost-effective is changing out your rug. Rugs add warmth, texture, and color to your space. Whether you decide to pick a bold pattern or a soft and cozy sheepskin, a rug is an easy swap or addition that will make a space feel new and fresh.” You can totally see what Kuo is talking about with this cozy faux sheepskin rug that really brings new life to any room. The fluffy texture adds tons of dimension, and you can choose from a wide range of sizes and even colors.

  • Available sizes: 11
  • Available colors: 18


A graphic patterned area rug to wake up your space

There are literally millions of ways to go when heeding Kuo’s advice to change out your area rugs. This low-pile area rug features a graphic pattern that’s reminiscent of an ikat design, and it’s available in a variety of sizes and colors. Ultra-durable, it’s great for high-traffic areas, and its synthetic fibers won’t trap dirt and debris, making upkeep a breeze.

  • Available sizes: 10
  • Available colors: 6


The peel & stick wallpaper that adds a fresh, fun hit of design

Kuo also recommends freshening up your walls when you need a change: “With wallpaper, there are different options for removal, which make it easy to maintain or switch out.” This peel-and-stick wallpaper is such a great option for anyone who wants to give it a try without making a permanent commitment. The herringbone pattern is chic and modern, with a gray and white color scheme that’ll fit in anywhere.


This pouf that doubles as storage & a footrest

Kuo notes that accessories that perform double-duty are a great way to pack design into your space while reaping extra benefits. “Smaller upholstered pieces like a pouf or ottoman are also ways to add an extra hit of color as well as additional seating,” she says. This woven pouf cover is made from cotton linen and can be stuffed with any items that need a permanent — or temporary — home.

  • Available colors and styles: 5


A galvanized metal box that’s a jack-of-all-trades

Kuo says, “You can add a layered look to your space by mixing metals through decor items like vases, decorative boxes, sculptures, and frames.” This galvanized metal box fits the bill, and it’s so versatile, too. Use it on the coffee table for remotes and coasters, in the kitchen for condiments, or in the bathroom for spare hand towels.


These dried flowers that pull a natural element into your space

According to Kuo, bringing the outside in really makes a room breathe. “Another effortless way to refresh a room is by incorporating natural elements,” she says. “Fresh florals or plants can help bring your space to life while incorporating pops of organic color.” However, cut flowers can be expensive, and plants can be temperamental, so you might consider these dried lavender flowers to pull some nature into your space while adding a fresh floral scent.


This marble tray with luxe gold-tone handles

“Another way to freshen up your room is by adding dimension,” Kathy Kuo says. “This can be accomplished by varying the textures you use in your home.” Kuo likes marble, and this decorative marble tray features gold-tone handles on each side and felt pads on the bottom to prevent scratching. Place it on your vanity or coffee table for easy elegance.