45 cheap tricks to make your home look better & save you money
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45 cheap tricks to make your home look better & save you money

Jun 11, 2023

Spruce up your space while saving dough.

Sometimes, it’s not expensive furnishings that make a home look nice, but rather a few small, easy upgrades that help create a cohesive look. They don’t have to cost a lot, and many of them give you a lot of bang for your buck. Think: innovative ways to make your furniture and appliances look nicer and clever decor items. Some things can even help you save money thanks to their energy-efficient features.

Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best tips and tricks for making your home look better, all while saving you money.

With an estimated energy cost of just over $1 per year, these smart light bulbs are an energy-saving swap that can be controlled using the Kasa smartphone app or voice-controlled using Alexa or Google Home. They have adjustable brightness and color settings to set the mood, and you can even create lighting schedules so they’ll turn on and off at a certain time each day.

This set of two blackout curtains features an insulating triple-weave design that may help reduce heating and cooling costs. They’re able to block between 85 and 99% of the sun’s light — great for mid-day naps and sleeping in — and they boast modern silver grommets at the top for hanging. Plus, they come in 43 colors such as black, beige, and burnt orange, and more than 20 sizes to suit your space.

Not only will these solar-powered stake lights create an interesting illuminated design on your walkway or patio, but they’ll also be powered for free by the sun. Available in cool white or multicolor options, each light features a durable solar panel on top to charge during the day and will turn on automatically when it gets dark. They’re also resistant to water and heat to withstand the weather.

Whether you want to protect your furniture or give it a new look, this machine-washable slipcover is a great solution. It’s available in seven sizes to accommodate a variety of chairs, loveseats, and sofas and comes in 36 colors such as dark gray, cream, and red. The soft, stretchy material easily slips over your furniture, while an elastic bottom helps keep it in place.

Scuffs and scratches on walls are bound to happen but you can use these convenient paint pens to easily touch up the color without having to pull out all of your paint supplies. Each pen can be filled with the paint of your choosing and boasts an airtight design that’ll prevent it from drying out, so you can keep it on hand whenever the walls need a retouch.

A small hole in the wall can be a quick, cheap fix if you have this wall repair kit on hand. The kit has everything you need to patch things up, including a tub of primer-enhanced spackling compound, self-adhesive patches, a putty knife, and a sanding pad, and can be used on holes up to 3 inches wide.

This best-selling furniture paint is revered by fans for its easy, all-in-one formula that doesn’t require any sanding or finishing, with one shopper writing, “It's worth every penny.” It has a chalky matte finish and provides full coverage with just one or two coats, and it comes in 50 beautiful colors, including simple white, bright persimmon, and soothing sage. It’s also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

These warm white motion-sensor lights make it easier to navigate your stairwell at night and add an elevated look to your home. Each battery-operated light turns on automatically when movement is detected up to 10 feet away and shuts off after 30 seconds of stillness. Plus, they can easily be mounted using the included screws or adhesive tape.

Hide imperfections in your wooden cabinets, tables, desks, and chairs with this set of furniture markers and crayons. The 13-piece set includes six highly pigmented markers that are great for masking the appearance of scratches and six crayons for deeper dents and blending. You’ll get six wood-tone shades, including walnut, oak, and maple, as well as a handy crayon sharpener.

In addition to adding a modern and luxurious look to your bathroom, this high-pressure rainfall showerhead also helps save water thanks to a maximum flow rate of 1.8 gallons of water per minute. It features easy-to-clean rubber jets, and for quick installation, it comes with a water filter, tape, and a simple screw-on design. Choose from 6-inch and 8-inch showerheads in a variety of finishes.

With over 540,000 ratings and an overall 4.7 stars, this smart plug is a popular home accessory that lets you turn any appliance into a smart device. Use the app or Alexa-enabled voice control to turn items on and off, set timers, and even create schedules for your lights, coffee maker, and other devices. It works in most standard outlets and has a slim, functional design.

Give your lighting an upgrade with this smart dimmer switch that’ll turn any light switch with a neutral wire into a smart switch with voice control capabilities. You can turn lights on and off and set timers and schedules using the app or Alexa, and it even has a dimmer control that’ll work with most dimmable bulbs.

Best for use on light to medium wood, this nontoxic stain is a great way to give furniture a new look. The water-based formula is low-odor and fast-drying, and it creates a water-resistant finish that can even be used on outdoor furniture. Choose from 12 colors including natural oak, walnut, and slate, and finish by sealing the stain to protect and enhance its color.

Add a bit of character to your space with this decorative wall plate that comes in four finishes to choose from: antique brass, aged bronze, antique copper, and satin nickel. Each one has a pretty beaded design around the edge and is made of a durable zinc alloy material. Matching screws are included and there are more than 20 sizes and layouts available to fit your light switches and outlets.

Keep distracting cords out of sight with this socket cover attached to a surge protector that you can hide behind furniture. The slim cover fits on any duplex outlet and comes with adhesive strips and clips to secure the cord against the wall, so the area is clutter-free. Plus, there are no tools required for installation and the surge protector is UL-certified to meet safety standards.

You don’t have to worry about your outdoor pillows getting ruined by rain with these waterproof throw pillow covers that come in six sizes and 15 colors such as yellow, red, and coffee. Each one has a PU coating over the woven polyester material to enhance water protection. There’s also a hidden zipper for easy on and off, and the covers can be machine washed when dirty.

Use these modern cabinet pulls to create an updated look in your kitchen or bathroom without undergoing a major overhaul. You can choose from satin nickel, brushed brass, or black finishes, and quantity options range from one to 60 to suit your decorating needs. Each pull has a sleek 5-inch handle for a streamlined look, and they come with all of the hardware needed for installation.

Another great way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom without breaking the bank is to create a backsplash with these peel-and-stick subway tile sheets. Available in seven colors, the vinyl sheets feature a realistic 3-D texture and can be cut to size to accommodate corners and tight spaces. The water-resistant sheets have an adhesive backing for easy application over smooth walls and they can withstand temperatures between -4 and 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

Designed to work with dimmable bulbs, this outdoor smart plug gives you app control of your exterior lights and helps create ambiance in your backyard. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant to provide voice control capabilities, and you can set timers and schedules so your pool, string, and holiday lights will turn on automatically when it gets dark.

Drafty doors can increase heating and cooling costs, but this draft stopper helps keep hot and cold air from entering your home. It comes in five colors — white, transparent, gray, brown, and black — to match your door and has waterproof adhesive backing for easy installation and a secure hold. Measuring 39 inches long, the strip is easy to trim if needed to fit your interior or exterior door.

Fans of this bidet attachment write that it’s not only improved their bathroom experience immensely but it’s also cut back on the amount of toilet paper they use, with one shopper writing, “Our household toilet paper usage has plummeted!” The bidet has a non-electric design, so it doesn’t need to be plugged in to use, and an easy installation that takes many users less than 15 minutes to set up. Choose from single and dual-nozzle styles.

This pet hair remover makes easy work of lifting and trapping even the most embedded pet hair from your couches, rugs, and clothing thanks to its clever design that uses static electricity to collect hair. After the fur has been captured, it’s then deposited into a compartment in the back for easy disposal with just the press of a button. It’s no wonder this handy tool has earned more than 100,000 five-star reviews from fans on Amazon.

Use this fan-favorite stain remover to treat new messes and remove old ones from clothing, carpets, and furniture. The water-based formula is effective on most food, drink, grass, ink, and blood stains, and you can use it on most washable fabrics. Plus, the ingredients are Safer Choice-certified and it’s free from perfumes, dyes, and other potentially irritating chemicals.

Jazz up any room or makeover a piece of furniture with this peel-and-stick wallpaper which comes in two leafy green shades. The wallpaper has a grid pattern on the back for easy measuring and cutting, and the adhesive is designed to leave no residue behind. Additionally, the durable vinyl material is waterproof and easy to wipe clean as needed.

Custom garage doors can cost a fortune, but these magnetic decals can help create the look of carriage doors for much less. The set of six includes four large hinge magnets and two smaller handle magnets, and they’re all weatherproof to resist fading and cracking. Additional kits can also be purchased to create the look of windows and levers.

If you love the look of crown molding or decorative wall trim, use this peel-and-stick molding that can be cut with scissors for an easy DIY project. The flexible molding features an elegant floral design, and it can stick to basically any smooth surface, making it great for a variety of creative projects. Choose from four colors and two thicknesses.

Give your old appliances a new look using this peel-and-stick vinyl with a brushed stainless finish. The contact paper has grid lines on the back for precise cuts, and it’s heat-resistant with a waterproof finish so it’s great for countertops, ovens, and dishwashers, too. Plus, it’s removable if you ever need to take it off.

These bed sheets have received over 100,000 five-star ratings from reviewers who are fans of the soft, crisp feel. “I love these sheets,” wrote one fan, adding, “They are super soft and the quality reminds me of staying at a hotel.” The six-piece set is made of cooling microfiber material that’s breathable and wrinkle-resistant and the fitted sheet has deep pockets to help it stay in place.

Colors: 7 | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

With a rotating design and three brightness levels, this wall sconce is a great way to add some light to your bedside, hallway, or bathroom. It’s battery-operated, so there aren’t any cords to deal with, and it has a touch-control feature that adjusts the brightness and color temperature and powers the light on and off. Plus, the included adhesive strips make for easy installation and there are five colors to choose from.

These melamine erasers are invaluable in the kitchen for cleaning stuck-on food and grease from your stove, oven, counters, and dishes, but they’re also great for other jobs like getting scuff marks off your baseboards and making shoes look new again. They have a long-lasting design that can be reused a few times, and they can be cut smaller to accommodate tight spaces.

Available in three different tile patterns, these peel-and-stick stair riser decals are a quick and easy way to elevate the look of your stairway. They measure just over 7 inches tall and 39 inches long to accommodate standard stair risers and can be cut to size if needed. Made from PVC material, they’re durable against foot traffic and daily use.

Give your wooden cutting boards, bowls, and countertops some love with this food-grade mineral oil that works to condition and protect wood surfaces. The tasteless and odorless oil helps prevent cracking, splintering, and drying, and it can even be used to prolong the life of your knives and marble surfaces. Apply it at least every other week for the best results.

When food gets pushed to the back of your fridge, it can quickly become forgotten about and left to go bad. But these fridge organizer bins may help reduce food waste by keeping everything in place and easy to find. The set of six includes plastic bins in various sizes, including an egg keeper and can holder, and they can even be stacked to maximize space.

For grout that’s darkened over time, use this paint pen to make it look new again. The pen features a rounded felt tip point for precise applications and is filled with white water-based paint and sealant that’s both nontoxic and waterproof. The pen has enough paint to cover roughly 150 feet of grout lines and comes in two sizes to accommodate narrow and wide grout joints.

Instead of a costly floor replacement, give any room a new look with these peel-and-stick floor tiles. Each 12 by 12-inch tile measures just over half an inch thick and has a permanent adhesive on the back to keep it in place. A clear finish on top provides scuff and water resistance, and the tiles can be cut to size with a utility knife.

Available in brushed nickel or matte black finishes and featuring a coveted high-arc design, this kitchen faucet is a must-have upgrade that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It boasts a single level on the side, stream, spray, and pause buttons, and a pull-down sprayer with a flexible spout that’s great for rinsing dishes and cleaning out your sink. “The directions are clear, installation was easy, and the quality exceeded my expectations,” wrote one reviewer.

If you want to spruce up your garage without spending a fortune, simply use these magnetic windows that look just like the real thing. Available for both one and two-car garages, these black window magnets feature a weatherproof and fade-resistant construction, and they have a high-gloss finish for a realistic look.

As a budget-friendly alternative to silk, these satin pillowcases are great for adding a touch of luxury to your room — and they may even help keep frizz and split ends at bay by reducing friction. They’re made of OEKO-TEX 100-certified materials that are free of potentially harmful chemicals and boast a breathable weave to help keep you cool. Choose from 37 colors such as silver gray, stone blue, and jewel-tone green.

These stick-on mirror lights are a great way to enhance the lighting around your bathroom or vanity mirror, and they feature adjustable brightness and a color temperature that mimics natural sunlight. Each LED light comes with an adhesive pad for easy installation, and the flexible 13.5-foot wire fits most makeup mirrors and makes it easy to tuck any excess cord out of sight.

These battery-operated candles come in pretty glass containers and boast a flickering flame for a realistic look. A handy remote lets you operate them from afar, and a four- or eight-hour timer will turn them off automatically to help conserve battery life. They won’t produce any scent, but they’re a great way to add a warm glow to your mantel, coffee table, or entryway. Choose from six colors and styles.

Create a cohesive look on your desk while protecting it at the same time with this waterproof desk mat. It’s made of faux leather that’s smooth and easy to write on, and it even eliminates the need for a mouse pad, with one fan writing, “Now I don’t have to worry about my mouse falling off of the mouse pad all of the time!” The mat comes in over 20 dual-sided colors including light blue/silver, dark green/gray, and light green/light blue.

This duvet cover is a budget-friendly way to switch up the look of your bedding, and it has corner ties and button closures so it’s easy to fit securely on your comforter. It’s made of breathable, super-soft double-brushed microfiber, and the material is OEKO-TEX-certified to be free from potentially harmful chemicals. Color options include crisp white, calming blue, cheerful yellow, and more.

Colors: 30 | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

These faux potted plants are a maintenance-free way to add some greenery to your space and you can keep them forever. Each of the three plants comes in paper pulp pots that resemble modern concrete containers and measure just under 10 inches tall. Place them wherever you want a little pop of color.

Prevent annoying water rings on your tables with this highly rated set of absorbent stone coasters. They are made of a porous ceramic material that can absorb water quickly and have soft cork bases to prevent scratching. Each one features a chic black-and-white pattern and they come with two iron holders to keep them contained when not in use.

Add some light-reflecting features to your walls with these budget-friendly peel-and-stick mirror decals that don’t require any hanging hardware. The 52-piece set includes mirrors in four sizes ranging from just over an inch to about 6 inches wide, and they can be clustered together or used individually across multiple rooms.

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