You'll be shocked these 40 expensive-looking home upgrades are actually under $30

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by Allison Bolt
Originally Published: 

Even if you’re working on a serious budget, you still deserve to have a nice home. Though tackling upgrades, DIY projects, and redecorating can feel like a money suck, the truth is you don’t have to spend a lot to turn your house, apartment, condo, or bedroom into a fantastic space. It’s seriously shocking how expensive these home upgrades look, but the most shocking part is actually their budget-friendly price tag. They’re all under $30. Plus, they’re easy to install, swap out for older pieces, or add into the decor style you’ve already chosen.

Change up the small practical details like your cabinet hardware anytime you’re feeling like your home needs a good update. This list has both a cabinet pull option and a sleek knob style. Keep refreshing your kitchen with the stick-on under cabinet light bar on this list — you’ll be surprised by the impact.

There’s even a way to upgrade your already stress-relieving bubble bath with the bath pillow on this list. It has a ventilated design, so you don’t get too warm and can relax in the bath longer. If spa-like upgrades aren’t really what you’re looking for, this list has plenty of practical swaps for your home that will make everything feel refreshed and polished.

Basically, this is the list where you can turn to whenever and wherever your home needs a little refresh. You’ll find plenty of expensive-looking solutions that will never cease to shock you with their price tag.

1. A microfiber duvet cover set that’s easy to wash & refresh

This microfiber duvet set makes it easy to keep your bedroom looking fresh and polished. The zipper-closure cover and matching shams are machine-washable and even dryer-friendly. It also won’t fade, pill, or even wrinkle easily. Plus, the breathable fabric, available in 12 different colors, is temperature-regulating, so there’s no need to get a new duvet cover when it gets warm.

2. The aloe vera-infused sheets that are soft & soothing

These wrinkle-resistant bed sheets are actually infused with 100% natural aloe vera. This unique fabric treatment makes the microfiber fabric softer, and yes — they actually help to moisturize your skin while you sleep. Even with the luxurious aloe vera, these sheets are still machine-washable in cold water, and you can tumble dry them, so they’re easy to care for.

3. A faux-leather storage ottoman that doubles as a seat

Use this ottoman as a living room footrest, to store extra blankets or shoes inside, or use it as a little table to eat dinner on the couch or an extra seat in your living room. The tufted faux-leather fabric is waterproof, so a spill now and then is totally OK, and it can hold up to 250 pounds. It also has handles to pull your footrest closer or to move it into your home office for the workday, and you can fold this ottoman up when you don’t need to use it.

4. These stick-on subway tiles with tons of color options

Go for a classic minimalist white tile look with these stick-on subway tiles, or create the vintage-style backsplash of your dreams with pastel blue, green, or yellow. You also won’t need any grout or tools to install these, either. These adhesive sheets are actually 3D, and they even have a glossy finish to mimic real tiles, and they’re resistant to water and heat, which makes them great for kitchens and bathrooms.

5. A floating corner shelf to show off your mementos

This floating corner shelf makes great use of an otherwise neglected space. These wall-mounded shelves work in any room — fill them with succulents and photos in a living room or bedroom, store your spices and oils on them in the kitchen, or use them i the bathroom for beauty products. It has a floating design that won’t get in the way of your counter space, and it can hold up to 11 pounds.

6. A set of 6 highball glasses that make any drink look better

The design of these tall highball glasses will even elevate a glass of water. So, just imagine your cold brew in them. The extra-thick base makes them particularly durable, so they’re even dishwasher safe. The thick base also means they’ll be sturdy on your desk or table. Plus, each glass holds 13 ounces if you need an extra-large latte that day.

7. A classic decanter that doubles as a fancy juice server

Fill this glass decanter with grapefruit or orange juice and pop it on your table every time you have friends over for brunch. It has an airtight glass top, so it’s also perfect for storing wine, whisky, and other beverages. This Italian glass decanter also has a weighted base, so it won’t tip off your bar cart.

8. This unique mortar & pestle set that’s reversible

This unique mortar and pestle set has a reversible design. Use the larger bowl for making your favorite pesto or guac recipe, while the smaller side is perfect for crushing spices. This chic set is made of durable stone, and it comes with a silicone lid, which can be used to keep your guacamole delicious. Plus, the lid doubles as a countertop-protecting mat while you use the mortar and pestle.

9. An extra-thick memory foam mat that looks polished

Shaggy bathmats are easy to find, but they get matted down and always look a little disheveled. This extra-thick memory foam bath mat with velvety fabric looks polished no matter how many times it gets stepped on. It has an anti-slip backing that won’t peel off in the washing machine, so there’s no need to worry about this getting musty. It comes in 20 colors and six sizes, so you can even grab another color for your kitchen.

10. A 10-pack of handles to make your cabinets look like new

No matter how aesthetically-pleasing your home is, you can’t neglect the kitchen and bathroom hardware. This set of cabinet hardware is made out of durable zinc alloy, so this upgrade will last and look nice until the next hardware trend comes along. They have a modern pull design instead of a knob and are available in trendy colors including matte black, rubbed bronze, and satin nickel. There are also sizes to fit different styles of cabinets.

11. An adhesive marble-like contact paper with a glossy finish

I’m warning you: this adhesive marble contact paper is so simple to apply, it’s easy to go overboard and make everything marble. The vinyl paper is complete with a realistic glossy finish, and the adhesive is already pre-applied on the back. It’s also cleanable with a wet cloth, so it’s perfect for countertops, tables, or backsplashes.

12. A high-pressure shower head you’ll rarely need to clean

Skip your shower head on bathroom cleaning day because you won’t need to clean this high-pressure shower head very often. It has over 90 rainfall jets made of anti-clog silicone, so they’ll rarely get gunky. Plus, it’s corrosion-resistant. With the installation kit, you’ll also get a filter insert to filter out hard water and a pressure reducer, just in case the pressure is a little too good.

13. This battery-operated light bar that sticks anywhere

You don’t need to install a new light switch for this expensive-looking upgrade. Instead, this LED light bar is battery-operated and controlled by a simple tap of your finger. You can easily install it yourself because it comes with adhesive tape and screws, depending on how permanent you want it to be. It’s the perfect solution if your kitchen is missing under cabinet lighting, your closet needs a little illumination, or your hallway is a little shadowy, because this low-profile fix is less than 1-inch thick.

14. These sleek knobs that upgrades tired cabinets

These cabinet knobs have a sleek, modern design that can work in any space. Even though they look so clean, don’t worry — there’s a hidden groove at the bottom to help you grip and easily pull open your cabinet. This updated take on cabinet knobs comes in seven colors, including a flat black, classic chrome, and even a trendy gold tone. You’ll also get two sizes of mounting screws in this cabinet upgrade pack so they can work with your space.

15. These cool yard lights that are solar powered

Not only are these solar-powered yard lights more eco-friendly, but they also save you from buying batteries or worrying about changing them. Stick them in your yard, and they’ll only take 10 hours in direct sunlight to charge and run for eight hours, a true no-tough experience. Plus, the plastic design looks like metal, but you don’t have to worry about rust if you get a lot of rain.

16. An easy-to-install wireless doorbell that holds up in the rain

This wireless doorbell is way easier to install than traditional ones, and it’s still just as durable. It’s completely weatherproof and waterproof, so it won’t break on rainy days. This kit comes with two doorbell buttons with extra-long lasting batteries and one receiver, and the signal reaches up to 1,000 feet. Your new doorbell is also customizable with volume levels, 52 doorbell sounds, and six colors to choose from.

17. These under-cabinet lights that can be dimmed

Believe it or not, you can achieve under-cabinet lighting for under $30 — all thanks to these LED lights. The two-pack arrives with a remote that you can use to adjust the brightness, and you can even set the lights on a schedule. They also come with screws or tape for mounting, so you can choose what’s best for your space.

18. These sheer curtains that give you that airy look

These sheer curtains will give you added privacy while also letting light into your home. Meanwhile, you’ll get an airy linen look that will make your home feel like an expensive Cape Cod house. These machine washable, wrinkle resistant curtains come in 20 colors, but the best part is — they’re available in 13 different lengths. Be sure to measure and grab a length that reaches all the way to the floor to add to the chic look.

19. These 100% cotton hand towels that are so absorbent

There’s nothing worse than drying your hands with a thin hand towel, except a hand towel that doesn’t even dry at all. These cotton hand towels are fluffy and extra-absorbent, so your hands will actually get dry. Each one is shed-free and reinforced with durable double stitching, so they won’t pull or unravel when you wash them. They’re also bleach-safe if you get makeup on them or stain them with your skincare.

20. A bamboo bath mat that makes your bathroom cleaner

If the idea of rugs in the bathroom grosses you out, this waterproof bamboo bath mat is an option that won’t stay damp all the time. It makes your bathroom feel extra-clean with a raised design for airflow and sturdy slats to let water drip through. You can simply wipe it down instead of having to wash a cloth bath mat all the time.

21. These budget-friendly spice jars with cork labels

A lot of matching spice containers come with plastic labels that don’t look the best, but this pack of 12 spice jars comes with cork labels that look way nicer. The glass jars (without the lids) are dishwasher-safe, so they’re easy to clean before you fill them with your spices or loose tea. Plus, the bamboo lids have an airtight silicone seal, which keeps your spices fresher for longer.

22. An upgraded set of stainless steel mixing bowls

If you’re hoping to upgrade your kitchen, these mixing bowls can help. Five bowls of different sizes arrive in one pack, all of which can nest together for simple storage. They’re all made with durable stainless steel, but they’re still lightweight as well as resistant to odor. The bowls are available in seven different colors, so you can choose whichever matches your kitchen best.

23. These durable bathroom accessories that look like marble

This bathroom accessories set looks like expensive marble, but it’s actually made of durable resin. The toothbrush holder, soap dispenser, and extra storage container all sit in the matching tray for a clean look. You can also use the tray for jewelry or soap. This sturdy set comes in a black or white marble pattern.

24. A completely unique serving board made of olive wood

This elegant serving board is completely unique because they’re made of real olive wood. Some of them even have small bark accents. Because these boards are so unique, it looks stunning to display two of them side by side for an extra-long charcuterie set up. You just have to rinse off the wood to clean them and occasionally use a protective mineral oil.

25. A modern wall sconce to replace your bedside lamps

A bedroom instantly looks more expensive if you have wall sconces instead of bedside table lamps. This design trend is actually budget-friendly with these adjustable wall sconces, which come with everything you need to mount them. You can move the light to get the perfect angle for reading in bed. These sconces come in a style with silver accents or a rustic look with wood accents.

26. A unique LED clock that writes out the time

This LED clock is a serious upgrade from your standard bedside or desktop clock. The sleek display writes out the time in five-minute intervals. It also has a USB cord, so you could plug it right into your computer if it’s on your desk. This chic modern clock upgrade comes in black or a copper finish.

27. A fluffy sherpa fabric blanket that won’t shed

Trust me and grab one of these sherpa throw blankets for your living room and your bedroom, and maybe even one for your home office. The microfiber polyester fabric has that perfect fluffy sherpa feeling, but it won’t shed all over the place. This lightweight blanket is also skin-friendly and comes in 27 different styles.

28. This automatic soap dispenser that is sleek & hygienic

Fill up this automatic soap dispenser with your favorite hand soap and place it next to your kitchen sink. All you have to do is place your hand under the touchless dispenser when you need soap, which is both fancy and more hygienic when dealing with raw meat and other ingredients. It even has buttons on top that let control how much soap you get with each use.

29. A swiveling towel rack for a tidy bathroom setup

This swiveling towel rack is especially helpful in a shared main bathroom. It has four swinging arms for multiple family members or roommates to hang up their towels. It’s made of stainless steel, so it won’t rust, even when storing damp towels. When you’re not using it, all of the arms lay flat against the wall for a tidy bathroom setup.

30. These salt & pepper shakers with stainless steel covers

You can clean every part of these salt and pepper shakers because the lids and the stainless steel covers are removable. The unique lids let you control exactly how much you season your food because it has three pour settings. There’s even an extra setting to close the shaker, so pepper doesn’t spill on your countertop. Plus, the glass container lets you see how much is left, so this set is full of handy features.

31. A bamboo charging station that you’ll want to display

This bamboo charging station has a design that tucks all of your cords into a storage box. Everything locks together with a magnetic closure, and there’s even a magnetic spot for your smart watch. It comes with three styles of charging cables that are extra-short, so they’ll neatly tuck inside the handy box. There’s even a spot to prop up your wireless earbuds while they charge.

32. A cable concealer that you can paint to match your walls

TV cables are a necessary evil, and they’re a particularly ugly one. These PVC cable concealers can hold up to six cords, making them great for entertainment systems with game consoles, Blu-ray players, and internet setups. This set comes in six pieces that add up to 95 inches total, and you can install them without tools thanks to the included double-sided tape. If you really want this system to blend into your walls, you can paint these to match your walls.

33. A faux leather coaster set with its own holder

This coaster set is made of waterproof faux-leather fabric, so it holds up against condensation better than stone or wood while being gentle on your surfaces. The pattern still gives you a luxe white marble look, but this set of six also also comes in plain black or silver options and even a bamboo pattern. Each set has a matching holder to keep them tidy.

34. These extra-cooling pillows with washable cases

This cooling pillow set will keep you comfy all night no matter what temperature you set your thermostat to. When it’s time to wash your sheets, these pillows have a washable cover, so all of your bedding will feel refreshed. Plus, the seam around these down alternative pillows gives your neck extra support.

35. A set of hooks that you’ll find tons of uses for

Instead of wondering where to put your towel so it’s easy to reach after your shower, install this set of stainless steel shower hooks. They’re rust-resistant, so they can easily handle a damp towel or your shower pouf. The wall-mounted design won’t twist on your wall even if you hang a heavy robe. After installation, the included screws are completely hidden for a sleek towel hanging setup.

36. These throw pillow covers with a soft chevron pattern

These machine-washable pillow covers have a low-profile chevron pattern to add a soft texture to your living room. Each one has a hidden zipper, and the fabric won’t pill even if you lounge on these pillow covers every single night. They come in 13 colors and four sizes to give new life to the throw pillows you already have.

37. A set of wrinkle-resistant pillowcase covers

These microfiber pillowcases are made out of anti-wrinkle fabric, so they’ll always look crisp and chic. The breathable and fade-resistant fabric is an expensive-looking upgrade, especially if your current pillowcase is a little stained from years of use. They’re also machine-washable and won’t need any ironing after.

38. A pack of chic lotus wood hangers for suits & more

You don’t only have to use these chic lotus wood hangers for a suit because they’re also perfect for shirts, pants, and the built-in notches could even hold a spaghetti strap dress. The wood comes in six colors and is complete with a glossy clear varnish to prevent splinters or pulled fabric. This closet upgrade also has 360-degree spinning hooks, which makes picking out an outfit easier.

39. The stackable bowls that can go from prep to leftovers

If you’re having a serious meal-prepping day, you’ll have plenty of bowls with this set of five stackable bowls. Plus, you’ll still have plenty of stainless steel bowls to use even if you forgot to run the dishwasher. Each dishwasher-safe bowl has a matching airtight lid, and the entire setup is refrigerator- and freezer-safe, so these bowls can take you through the entire cooking process.

40. A machine-washable bath pillow that is so plush

Not only is this bath pillow machine-washable, but it even comes with its own mesh bag for laundry day. It suctions to your bathtub and cushions your upper back and neck while you relax. The super plush pillow also has a quilted and ventilated design that increases airflow, so you won’t get too warm while you de-stress.

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