Interior Decorators Say These Cheap Design Tricks Make The Biggest Impact Around Your Home

Small touches that make a splash.

Written by Claire Epting
Originally Published: 
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When it comes to decorating your home, it’s easy to gloss over the little things — but according to designers, it’s the small touches that make the biggest impact in the look and feel of your space. From easy ways to add accent lighting, to tips for upgrading your bathroom vanity, these expert-recommended tricks instantly elevate your surroundings. And perhaps the best part? They won’t put a dent in your wallet. If you’re ready to take your surroundings to the next level, check out these delightfully clever home products that interior designers are obsessed with.


These Faux Eucalyptus Stems That Add A Touch Of Greenery To Your Space

“Add greenery or a bouquet of flowers to liven up a room and bring life into an empty shelf or corner,” Dapper suggests. “Faux is a great alternative if you don't have a green thumb,” she adds. Consisting of 10 pieces in total, these faux eucalyptus stems can be placed inside a vase — or you can split them up among individual mason jars. For a more colorful look, incorporate a few vibrant faux flowers into the mix.


A Whimsical Table Clock That Comes In 6 Pretty Colors

Available in six aesthetically pleasing hues, this charming table clock adds a cute, analog touch to your coffee table or bookcase. Place it on top of your hardcover book to create an eclectic vibe, or let it stand all on its own. A steel ring base keeps the clock face slightly elevated, while a built-in night light adds extra visibility in the dark.

  • Available colors: 6


This Stunning Collection Of Wild Pampas Grass Stems In Earthy Tones

Dried natural pampas grass works well when added to an earthy vase,” says Golde. This impressive set comes with 86 pieces of pampas grass, in a variety of brown, beige, and cream tones. Place the entire bouquet together inside your vase for a striking centerpiece, or create separate bundles and scatter them around your home. When you receive the grass, simply let it sit in the sun for six hours to fluff up before arranging.


A Large Coffee Table Book That Helps Create A Layered Design Vignette

“To update a console table, coffee table, or bookcase with designer touches, our go-to items are large coffee table books, interesting objects, and candles,” says Renee Hundley, owner of real estate and interior design company Dreamnest Homes in Southern California. “Many interior design or photography books are beautiful, and we use these as a base for a design.” This particular book — Elements of Style by Erin Gates — is a fantastic pick. The bold cover instantly catches your eye, while the decadently designed pages offer tons of inspiration for your own home’s decor.


This Luxuriously Soft Throw Made Of Faux Fur

“Layer a piece of faux fur over the back of your chair to create a cozy and luxurious seating area,” says Leslie Dapper, Lead Designer at Rumor Designs, HGTV's 2021 Designer of the Year firm. Piled high with faux sheepskin, this fluffy throw checks all the boxes — it’s ultra-soft, wallet-friendly, and available in a range of neutral and vibrant hues. Opt for a natural-looking beige or an unexpected pop of pink or sky blue.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors and styles: 8


This Contemporary Switch Plate With A Clean, Streamlined Design

Another detail Lamonaca recommends paying attention to is your wall switch plate. By swapping out your current switch plate with this sleek metal one, you’re elevating the look of your home in a subtle yet significant way. The clean, streamlined design lends itself to a contemporary design style, while the matte black finish ensures it blends into any room.


A Frosted Lamp That Looks Like A Piece Of Contemporary Art

With an opal-frosted glass shade, this rounded lamp is as sophisticated as it is functional. “A sculptural lamp can double as a piece of art,” says Dapper. The sturdy metal base features a touch-control sensor that allows you to easily turn on the lamp and adjust the brightness levels. Its minimalist design lends a modern look to any bedroom or living room.


This Wall-Mounted Light That Highlights Your Home’s Artwork

“Adding lighting above an existing art piece is a great way to elevate the piece and draw attention to it in a room,” Dapper advises. Indeed, mounting this rechargeable light above your picture frame will make your home feel like your own personal art gallery. Available in black, gold, and white finishes, the light bar can be controlled via remote control or the integrated button. There are multiple brightness levels and three lighting modes to switch between.

  • Available colors: black, gold, white


The Plug-In Light Dimmer For Customized Mood Lighting

“Instantly create soothing mood lighting by dimming any lamp with this easy-to-use, adjustable plug-in dimmer,” says Ksenya Malina, Principal Designer at Time & Place Interiors in New York. Compatible with lamps using incandescent or halogen bulbs, the 6-foot cord is easy to install without any additional wiring. Simply use the sliding button on the in-line control to adjust the brightness level. Not only does this allow you to achieve your desired ambience, but it saves energy as well.


This Rustic Serving Board Made Of Mediterranean Olive Wood

“Raise the style level on your hosting game with a Mediterranean natural olive wood serving board to serve cheese and charcuterie,” suggests Malina. Perfect for displaying sliced meats, cheeses, fruits, and appetizers, the 12-inch-long board is sure to make an impression at your next get-together. Each one of these pieces is totally unique —giving it the rustic feel of a cherished artisan find.


A Waffle-Weave Shower Curtain That Elevates Your Bathroom

According to Malina, “A natural-fiber shower curtain paired with a washable cotton liner instantly raises the luxe factor on your bath.” She recommends going for one with a waffle weave, such as this style from Barossa Design. It’s available in a wide range of sizes and colors, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find one that works with your specific bathroom. Water easily rolls off the moisture-wicking fabric, which features rust-resistant metal grommets at the top for easy installation.

  • Available sizes: 38
  • Available colors: 19


This Stick-On LED Light That Creates Instant Accent Lighting

“Peel-and-stick under-cabinet lighting gives your kitchen a custom, elevated look without the designer price tag,” says Jessica Sommer, Vice President at Maverick Design. This LED puck light adheres to nearly any flat surface in your home — besides illuminating the space underneath your kitchen cabinet, it’s also effective in adding visibility to a dim closet, staircase, or wine display. The battery-operated unit can be powered on and off with a single tap.


These Ornate Floor Stencils For DIY Painted “Tiles” On Your Patio

Elevate the look of your outdoor patio or cement porch by painting on tile-inspired patterns with these floor stencils. “This is a great DIY option to add that designer look to any outdoor space,” says Sommer. Also suitable for indoor use, the set comes with nine different designs to pick from, offering plenty of options when decorating. With a little patience, your floor will have the appearance of tiles — all without the hassle of grout and installation.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available multipacks: 2


The Colorful Acrylic Wastebasket That’s Pleasing To The Eye

“There's nothing worse than walking into a perfectly designed room and being utterly distracted by a hideous wastebasket,” says interior designer Margaret Daniel. Her solution? Picking up a colorful acrylic bin instead. Available in clear, dark green, and amber hues, this small trash can is perfect for collecting bits of rubbish underneath your desk or in your bathroom. Measuring just 8.5 inches tall, it won’t overcrowd your space or call attention to itself.

  • Available multipacks: 5


A Fluted Glass Soap Dispenser That’s Elegant & Eco-Friendly

Using a reusable glass soap dispenser instantly makes your bathroom look more sophisticated, while also cutting down on plastic bottle use. “My current obsession is a fluted glass number with a brass or polished nickel pump,” shares Daniel. This one pretty much exactly matches Daniel’s description — its vintage-inspired aesthetic and brushed metal accents give it an elegant feel, without sacrificing functionality. She adds, “They look classic on the vanity with the added bonus of creating less waste. Double win!” If matte black or sleek chrome is more your speed, you’ll find plenty of options to pick from.

  • Available colors and styles: 11


This Cordless Lamp For Mood Lighting At Dinner

“You can never have too much lighting!” emphasizes Daniel. One trend she’s been particularly drawn toward lately? The cordless table lamp. Powered by a rechargeable battery, this LED lamp offers three brightness levels for different ambiences. Its cord-free design also makes it easy to transport from room to room — Daniel recommends using it on a buffet, dining table, or patio table for al fresco dinners and parties. The lamp comes in classic black as well as brushed copper, lime green, and white.

  • Available colors: 5


The Abstract Wood Chain That’s A Total Conversation Starter

Following up on her previous advice, Hundley states, “We then layer on top of the book things like a wooden or marble chain, a small table clock, a petite vase, or a picture frame.” So, once you’ve picked out your coffee table book, consider picking up this wooden chain-link piece — it’s easy on the wallet, and a definite conversation starter. This one has a natural wood finish, but there are also white and black styles to pick from. Besides draping it over a book, you can also place this chain in a bowl or atop a tray.

  • Available colors and styles: 7


This Trio Of Petite Bud Vases That Create An Elegant Centerpiece

Set one of these glass bud vases on top of your coffee table book — or group them together to create a centerpiece with eclectic variation on your dining table or mantel. The tapered openings at the top are perfect for holding a few fresh (or dried) flower stems. They’d also fit right in on a mirrored tray or bathroom vanity.

  • Available colors: 4


A Tiny Picture Frame With An Easy-To-Open Locket Closure

Thanks to the locket closure on the side of this metal picture frame, you can easily swap out your cherished photos without any twisting or screwing. The simple, elegant frame complements a wide range of decor styles — it simultaneously looks vintage-inspired and contemporary. It’s available in a range of sizes; opt for a smaller one if you plan to place it on top of a coffee table book. Choose from a lustrous antique gold finish or classic matte black.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: Antique Gold, Black


This Pretty Jar Candle That Smells As Good As It Looks

“Finally, we add a fragrant candle in a pretty jar to add warmth and complete the look,” says Hundley. This jar candle from La Jolie Muse has a gorgeous aesthetic and smells just as nice — choose from fragrances such as amber, apricot rose, and honey citrus. Made of 100% soy wax, it burns cleanly and evenly for 75 hours total. A sleek metal lid covers the candle when not in use, preserving its scent until the next time you’re ready to burn it.

  • Available scents: 7


The Glass Candlestick Holder That Looks Like It Belongs In An Art Exhibit

Natalie Rebuck, New York-based Principal Designer at Re: Design Architects, recommends this glass taper candle holder — with its unique curves and multi-tier design, it looks like it would fit right in at a modern art exhibit. The thickened base ensures the holder stays firmly in place on your table. Opt for bright green, warm brown, or classic black — there’s even a transparent option for those who want something subtle.

  • Available colors: 4


A Natural Jute Area Rug With A Cool Scalloped Edge

Another one of Rebuck’s picks is a jute area rug. Made of braided natural fibers, the rug adds a laid-back, inviting element to your room. A scalloped edge gives this piece even more unique style — place it beneath a table, in front of your couch, or anywhere else that could use a handmade touch. There are several sizes available, measuring all the way up to 10 feet by 14 feet.

  • Available sizes: 21


This Seagrass Tissue Box Cover That Conceals Cardboard Packaging

“Making your home look intentionally designed is in the little things, especially the things that can be eyesores,” says Carlin Van Noppen, CEO and head interior designer at Fig Linens and Home in Westport, Connecticut. For example, she suggests using a tissue box cover to conceal bland cardboard packaging. This woven seagrass cover is available in four warm, neutral shades for a rustic, beach-inspired look. An interior metal frame keeps the box upright — simply open the lid to replace the tissues as necessary.

  • Available colors: 4


The Tailored Bed Skirt That Hides Under-Bed Storage

“Covering up under-bed storage and bed risers makes your bedroom look much more high-end and stylish,” says Van Noppen. To do this, she recommends picking up a bed skirt — this tailored option looks great and is easy on the wallet. Made of brushed microfiber, the bed skirt has pleats for a sleek, sophisticated look. It has a 14-inch drop, running from the bottom of your bedframe all the way down to the floor.

  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Available colors: 12


These Bed Risers That Create More Under-Bed Storage

If you could benefit from some extra under-bed storage, pick up a set of these furniture risers — the extra height can also make your room look more “high-end,” Van Noppen says. Made of durable ABS plastic with an anti-skid rubber bottoms, the risers can support over 6,000 pounds of weight. They’re available in both square and round designs, and can even be used with bed frames that are on wheels.

  • Available colors and styles: 5


A Set Of Fluffy Hand Towels That Add A Spa Touch To Your Bathroom

“Bathroom accessories such as fancy soap and fluffy towels are small touches that can make a big impact in making a space feel more luxurious and spa-like,” says Alessia Lamonaca owner and Lead Designer at New Mode Home, a design firm that offers both in-person and remote services. This set of six hand towels is made of 100% combed cotton, offering plenty of softness and absorbency. Besides crisp white, you’ll find the towels in a wide range of hues — including burgundy, light green, and pink. If you prefer to switch up your colors every now and then, there’s even a multipack with assorted shades.

  • Available multipacks: 14


This Foaming Marseille Hand Soap That Just Feels So Fancy

Maybe it’s the stylish pump bottle or maybe it’s the French formula, but this foaming hand soap just feels extra luxurious. There are a dozen refreshing scents to pick from, including regenerating honey, calming lavender, and invigorating sea fennel. Add this to your bathroom, and you’ll feel like a guest at a five-star hotel.

  • Available scents: 12


These Linen-Like Throw Pillow Covers With A Unique Texture

“By switching out pillow covers and throws according to the season or your mood, you can easily change the color, pattern, or texture of a space without having to invest in new furniture or decor,” says Lamonaca. This pair of pillow covers has a linen-like texture, complemented by a subtle stitched pattern. Available in plenty of neutral shades and subtle jewel tones, the covers fit right over the cushion inserts you already own, making them an especially wallet-friendly design hack. Plus, they’re super easy to clean — just unzip the covers and toss them in the washing machine.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors: 13


Some Sleek Stainless Steel Cabinet Pulls With A Matte Black Finish

According to Lamonaca, swapping out your cabinet hardware can have a big impact on the overall look in your home. Made of stainless steel with a matte black finish, these cabinet pulls elevate the appearance of your kitchen or bathroom — and they don’t cost a fortune, either. Measuring 5 inches in length, the bar-shaped handles are sturdy and easy to install. “Upgrading these small details can elevate the overall design of a space, adding a cohesive and polished look throughout the entire home,” says Lamonaca.


A Stainless Steel Toilet Paper Holder That Comes In Upmarket Finishes

Even the choice of your toilet paper holder can give your home a more “custom and personalized” feel. This stainless steel holder screws directly into your wall, providing the perfect spot for your roll of toilet paper. Thanks to a stopper on the end, you can rest assured the roll won’t fall off. Choose from three classic finishes: gold, nickel, and black.

  • Available colors: brushed gold, brushed nicke, matte black


The Towel Ring That’s Modern & Understated

Finally, Lamonaca recommends freshening up your towel holders to lend a more personalized feel to your bathroom. This ring-shaped holder easily affixes to your wall with the included installation hardware. The stainless steel material is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, so you won’t need to replace it anytime soon. Choose from gorgeous finishes like matte black and brushed gold.

  • Available finishes: 4


A Linen Tablecloth That You Can Use As A Throw For Your Bed

“A linen tablecloth can work as an affordable throw at the foot of your bed,” shares Katie Miller, Dublin-based interior designer at Baile Interiors. “They are often cheaper and larger than ones you'll find in a bedding department,” she explains To utilize Miller’s design hack, pick up this cotton-linen tablecloth in light blue, sage green, or crisp white. A subtle embroidered pattern adds an extra element of texture to the otherwise-simple fabric. There are multiple sizes to choose from, so you can pick the one that’s just right for your bed.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors and styles: 4


This Chic Catchall Tray Made Of Genuine Leather

“A leather catchall or tray is essential in any space,” says Miller. “Use [it] to corral together any small loose items that can otherwise make a space feel messy and disorganized.” Made of premium cowhide, this catchall has a distinct vintage look to it — like something you’d find at a high-end shop. The edges easily clip together with metal snaps to create the sides of the tray. Place it on your nightstand or in your entryway to create a convenient spot for your keys, change, and watch.

  • Available colors: 5


The Fluffy Shag Rug That Adds Definition To Your Room

“Adding an area rug can instantly change the look and feel of a room,” says Keely Smith, lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors. “Not only do [rugs] add texture and color, but they also help define a space.” Piled high with microfiber, this shag rug helps warm up an otherwise-bare floor. Not only will you enjoy burying your toes into the soft surface, but you’ll notice your space looks much more put-together. Take your pick of vibrant hues or soft neutrals.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: 7


This Peel & Stick Wallpaper That’s So Easy To Install

“Wallpaper is a great way to add pattern and interest to a room, but it can be expensive and time-consuming to install,” says Smith. She recommends peel-and-stick wallpaper as a wallet-friendly alternative — this one comes in a gorgeous pale pink floral print. Whether you plan on renovating an entire room or creating a single accent wall, this peel-and-stick vinyl wallpaper makes it ridiculously easy. Plus, when you’re ready for something new, you can just pull it right off your walls.


An Industrial Lighting Fixture With A Nod To Midcentury Style

“Updating light fixtures can completely transform the look and feel of a room,” informs Smith. With a unique, geometric design and a matte black finish, this semi-flush light fixture complements a range of decor styles, from midcentury-modern to farmhouse-chic. Since it’s compatible with all E26 base bulbs, you can choose between warm and cool lighting options. While it may look high-end, it comes at a wallet-friendly price.


These Airy Flax Linen Curtains That Are Just Sheer Enough

“Window treatments can help control light, add privacy, and add visual interest to a space,” says Smith. For example, these sheer curtains create a sense of seclusion while diffusing the natural light that peeks through your windows. Made of an airy flax-linen blend, the cream-colored fabric has just the right weight to it. You’ll also find that these curtains are slightly textured, giving them a natural, inviting feel.

  • Available sizes: 7


An Acrylic Book Holder That’s Quirky & Contemporary

“A clear acrylic book stand is a great way to display your favorite coffee table book and does double duty as an accessory on a console table or shelf,” says Heather Golde, owner and designer at Heather Golde Home. Luckily, Golde’s pick is readily available on Amazon — and it’s surprisingly wallet-friendly. Designed with two interlocking panels, the X-shaped holder allows you to keep your coffee table book open to any page you wish. It also doubles as a cookbook stand — use it to prop up your recipes while you’re in the kitchen.


The Cozy Cotton Throw Blanket With A Subtle Zig-Zag Pattern

Made of 100% cotton, this throw blanket adds a cozy touch to your sofa or bed. “Texture and subtle patterns make these throw blankets a must-have in just about any home,” Golde says. A distressed fringe around the edges contributes to the blanket’s laid-back vibe, while the subtle zig-zag pattern creates a bit of extra intrigue when tossed against a solid backdrop.

  • Available colors: 21


This Opalescent Privacy Film That Looks Like Stained Glass

Jenna Shaughnessy, home decor and DIY expert at Jenna Kate at Home, loves these window privacy clings with an opalescent look. “They offer a unique and visually appealing way to add style and personality to any space,” she says. The translucent panels offer a bit of extra privacy, without shutting out light altogether — the finished look is reminiscent of stained glass. They cling to the window with just a spritz of water, and when you’re ready to take them down, all you have to do is peel them off.

  • Available sizes: 12

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