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I have to admit I have been loving all the TikToks about “how to make your home look expensive” and “which items in your home are making it look cheap”. Even if the commenters are wildly angry, and even if my home has some of these cheap things too!
But according to TikTok, and actual interior designers, there are subtle changes that you can easily make to upgrade your home that feel expensive without actually having to be! I did a deep dive on all the suggestions I’ve seen on the ‘Tok (do people call it that? No? Sorry I’m in my thirties…), and you can decide if you agree or disagree with these suggestions.
Disclaimer– These are not my personal suggestions! I just find these amusing. My take? It’s your home, and if you like things that are considered “cheap” well then there’s certainly a seat for you at my table because I like some of these things too and I never judge! I always say if it makes you happy, then it’s perfect! Everyone’s style and preferences are different.
10 Unexpected Tips on How to Make your Home Look Expensive
Tip #1- Buy Real Plants, Not Fake Ones
Apparently fake plants make your home look cheap. I see both sides of this argument. For one, real plants of course are going to make your space look amazing! Plus there are real benefits to having a real plant in your home, like improved air quality. But there are some drawbacks. For example, you’ll have to keep the thing alive. Which can be challenging if you’re forgetful or don’t have enough natural light in your home. And can also definitely give expensive vibes if they keep dying and you keep having to replace them.
Personally, I am team fake plant! I have killed every real plant that has entered my home (RIP). But I see how it could look cheap if you buy the WRONG plant. Obviously plastic, bright green leaves are not the vibe! But there are so many faux plants that look realistic out there these days! If you’re loving the olive tree trend right now I have an entire post dedicated to the best ones that actually look realistic you can check out.
Tip #2- Replace all your ceiling “boob” lights
Oh the dreaded boob light. Why does basically every house that isn’t like, new construction have these? Mine certainly does! We have replaced 1 of 3 so far because we’re not exactly electricians and TBH I don’t even notice them enough to be bothered by it so it’s never high on my priority list. Slowly but surely we will get there!
But this one is an easy fix if you hate how these dated ceiling lights look in your home. Again if you like them, keep them! I don’t know that I agree it makes your house look cheap, but I would say if you have more modern taste you’ll probably want to replace them eventually. There are so many great, more modern alternatives out there so I made a list below of inexpensive ones for you if you’re looking to replace yours!
Tip #3- Skip the Over Toilet Storage Unit
So I am definitely guilty of this one, but I do agree it can look cheap. In my defense my bathroom is tiny and it definitely looks better than all my bathroom accessories being cluttered on the counter! I also feel like if you rent this is really one of your only solutions to get more space in your bathroom without installing something on the wall.
If you’re feeling inspired and looking for an upgrade in this department then you should definitely check out my post with 25 creative ideas for over the toilet storage! I love how many different and creative solutions there are to this problem when you have a smaller bathroom and need more storage.
Tip #4- Ditch the Mass Produced Map Artwork
Gasp! Not my New York City framed map! It’s okay, I have one too. Well, it’s Jersey City, but I mean close enough. But TikTok is coming for your framed map artwork. They do not care if it’s where your boyfriend proposed to you, where your first born child was conceived, or whatever is special about that place to you. They’re saying it’s cheap and to throw it out!
However, if you can’t part with your framed map artwork just yet, I feel like there’s a workaround to this one that could make it feel a bit more curated and expensive. Stacking it with other mix matched frames on a floating picture shelf could work. Or you could incorporate it as a part of a gallery wall with other wall decor and framed artwork. This way it’s in the mix but it’s not the focal point. Because I get it, you used to live in Nashville (or insert city here) and you miss it and every time you walk by the map it reminds you of that special place. So you can eff right off interior design TikTok!
If you’re interested in finding more original pieces of art to feature in your home but you’re still on a budget, check out Etsy! There are tons of affordable options from digital print downloads to original one-of-a-kind paintings depending upon what you’re looking for. Another place to find a wide selection of art is Society6! They have lots of options that are chic and perfect for a stylish modern home on a budget.
Tip #5- Don’t Buy Matching Furniture Sets
This one triggers a lot of people. I am not a matching set kind of gal. I like when things coordinate nicely, but exact matching furniture sets aren’t my vibe. If you like everything to be uniform and match though, and you love your matching furniture sets, then I could see why this would trigger you!
First of all, it’s not like it looks bad at all! It’s a set-it-and-forget-it way of ensuring the furniture in the room will be cohesive and go together. Second of all, it ain’t cheap! Matching furniture sets can be expensive AF! So yeah, if I dropped a lot of money on a matching furniture set and someone told me it makes my house look cheap I’d be triggered too!
Tip #6- Don’t Use Too Small Pillow Inserts
So I love this tip because it’s an EASY one to implement! I definitely made this mistake in my first apartment and always wondered why my pillows looked so sad. I would by a 20×20 throw pillow cover and the next logical step was to buy a 20×20 pillow insert. Wrong! To make your throw pillows look full, fluffy, and yes- expensive, you should buy 1-2 sizes larger insert than the pillow cover!
Another solution? Just buy the pillows that already come with the insert in them at HomeGoods, Target or an affordable home decor store like that and you can see in person how thick and fluffy they are before buying! I always have good luck finding nice full pillows for cheap at both those stores.
Tip #7-Hide your Cords!
Having rogue cords sticking out all everywhere doesn’t just look cheap, it looks messy! Aside from the obvious mounted TV wires you should definitely try to hide, rogue wires can easily clutter a counter or floor. And they could even be hazardous if someone trips or if you have a baby who likes to get into every little thing.
Cord hiders and organizers have entered the chat! These are an easy solution that can make your home feel more aesthetically pleasing and give you some counter and floor space back. All of these are available on Amazon so you can literally upgrade your home by the end of the week. You’re welcome!
Tip #8-Don’t Cheap Out on your Garbage Can
Honestly, if you can HIDE your garbage cans from plain sight, that is the way to go! (And that’s free LOL!) But if your garbage can is out on display in your kitchen or bathroom or wherever, it will look 10x better to skip the cheap plastic kind and go with a sleeker option.
PS- if you’re looking for more inexpensive ways to upgrade the look of your kitchen, check out my post titled Insanely Cute Kitchen Decor Ideas on a Budget!
But before you come at me because your plastic garbage can is just fine by you, I too have a cheap ass plastic garbage can in my kitchen right now! But I’m currently working on convincing my husband to get on the same page as me and get one of these babies below!
Tip #9-Avoid Chevron
Ok are we triggered? If you’re a grand millennial you might still have some chevron in your home. Or you tossed it a few years ago. But yeah remember 2011 Pinterest? It was a vibe. Interior designers are telling us it’s a no for them, and so they’ve looped it into the “cheap home” category.
If you’re looking to upgrade your chevron, I recommend choosing a more timeless pattern. A subtle plaid, paisley, floral, striped, or something along those lines that doesn’t really ever go out of style. Key word there was subtle!
Tip #10- Don’t Keep Items in their Original Containers
This one is very extra, but I gotta say putting things in pretty containers does give expensive and classy home vibes. Thank you to The Home Edit for inspiring this trend. You certainly don’t have to do this for everything, but if you want to dabble in this I say start with items that are normally out and displayed when guests are over. Some examples would be dish soap, hand soap, and tissue boxes.
Amazon does it again and is my favorite place to find these cute boujee on a budget containers for your everyday items! (Amazon is also a huge favorite of mine for all things chic and affordable home decor for any style!) Check out the finds below!
So did we love these tips? Do you agree with these? Or disagree with some? Let me know in the comment section below!
Lastly, if you love affordable home decor ideas on a budget then definitely give me a follow on the FREE LTK shopping app where I share all my latest finds!