Having A Nice House Could Be So Much Less Expensive If You Tried Any Of 40 These Clever Things

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

by Sabrina Crews
Originally Published: 

Even if you’re living in the home of your dreams, maintaining your interiors can sometimes feel like a never-ending challenge — not to mention an expensive one. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, having a nice house could be so much less expensive if you tried any of these 40 clever things.

Once you’ve set a high bar for how you live, the pressure to live up to it can feel pretty intense. Yes, you love your home, but it was likely a major expense. Does living in it have to feel like one, too? The answer is no.

Before you embark on a time-consuming renovation project or spend money on brand new furniture and high-end fixtures, take a scroll through these clever, cheap, and low-effort solutions. Our editors have thoroughly researched and tested these fail-proof home enhancers — everything from battery-powered sconces to peel-and-stick wallpaper to wood-repairing markers — so all you have to do is click ‘add to cart’ and reap the benefits ASAP (all the sooner if you’re a Prime member, since all of these products are available on Amazon Prime).

Having a nice house is enough of a feat. Keeping a nice house shouldn’t have to be one, too. Check out these 40 clever things and find out.


A Set Of Battery-Powered Sconces You Can Install Yourself

You know those tricky areas in your home that could really use some light, but aren’t near any outlets? These battery-powered sconces are the perfect solution. The set of cordless, black and white accent lights come with two brightness modes; a curved, adjustable neck; and last for up to 24 hours. Ringing up at less than $40, they also provide a way for you to reap all of the benefits of sconces without making the major investment they typically demand.


This Peel-&-Stick Wallpaper To Spruce Up Your Walls — Without Hiring A Pro

To conceal any problem areas like cracks or stains on your wall — or to add a stylish pop of color anywhere — try this peel-and-stick wallpaper. Available in four gorgeous, botanical-inspired patterns, the 20-by-18-foot paper works best on smooth, indoor surfaces, and is just as easy to remove as it is to apply. If the wallpaper’s sterling 4.6-star rating on Amazon is any indication, though, you definitely won’t want to take it down once it’s up. In fact, you’ll be amazed by the transformation that takes place.


A Gorgeous Trio Of Flameless Candles For A Comfy & Inviting Vibe

Once you try these flameless, battery-operated candles, you might not ever go back to the real thing. They’re just too pretty and convenient — not to mention safe, long-lasting, and affordable. Each candle comes in a striking glass case in your choice of either gray or gold, and each set comes with a remote control that allows you to set a timer or adjust how the flames flicker and shine. Made of wax, the Art Deco-inspired candles look exactly like their fire-burning counterparts (you honestly have to look twice to see that the dimmable flame isn’t real) — and, most surprisingly of all, you get three for less than $25.


Fake Potted Plants That Look Astonishingly Real

Want to add some greenery to your space, minus the responsibility that comes with it? Try this mini, artificial plant set. Each pack includes three convincing rosemary and eucalyptus plants in your choice of white, green, or deep-green pots. You’ll love the way these cheerful potted herbs brighten up your space — and how lively they seem for being made of foam, paper, and plastic (seriously, no one would guess).


A Set Of Unbreakable Wine Glasses So You Can Host Without Worrying

Everyone loves elegant stemware, but you can’t deny how fragile it is. That’s why it’s smart to have a set of wine glasses within reach that’s both classy *and* durable — like this one, which includes four shatterproof glasses for less than $30. The portable, stemless glasses are specifically designed for outdoor use (in particular, pool parties and BBQs), and are practically invincible, so you and your guests won’t have to worry about breaking them when your festivities get, well, festive.


These Genius Markers That Touch Up & Restore Damaged Wood

Amazon shoppers are super into this furniture repair kit — as in, over 10,000 of them. “I am a perfectionist and not easily satisfied with DIY fixes,” one reviewer raved, “but this proved to be the best $9 investment of my life!” Another wrote, “Blends perfectly and leaves a beautiful sheen.” The 13-piece kit comes with six touch-up markers (in maple, oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, and black), six crayons, and a crayon sharpener to effectively fix scuffs and scratches on any and all of your wooden furniture. All you have to do is draw over the blemish and let it dry. Couldn’t be any easier — or cheaper.


An Affordable & DIY-Friendly Way To Transform Your Shower

Simply by looking at the picture, you can just feel the luxurious, spa-like deluge this high-pressure shower head gives you, and that’s exactly why it’s such a best-seller. Available in six chic finishes like the brushed gold pictured, the shower head also boasts an easy-to-clean nozzle and a no-fuss installation process that takes less than five minutes to complete. It’s the easiest way to completely transform your shower for less than $50.


These Reusable Mop Pads That You Can Throw In The Washer

Effective on a range of surfaces — from drywall to vinyl, stone to cement — these eco-friendly mop pads are made of absorbent microfiber and durable piping that gently and effectively take on dirt, dust, and pet hair. You can even throw them in the wash and use them again and again for a clean that’s every bit as powerful as the first time around. Not only that, but you get four pads for less than $20 — and each one can last you up to 100 uses. A must-buy for any home, really.


A Decanter & Glassware Set That Looks So Much More Expensive Than It Is

OK, this is one of those rare, incredible steals that’ll make you drop everything and click ‘add to cart’ ASAP. For less than $25, you can score this 32-ounce whiskey decanter and four matching tumblers, each engraved with a stunning glass pattern. The decanter comes with a spill-proof stopper and is specifically designed, along with the glasses, to hold your favorite bourbon, scotch, or rye. Shoppers also appreciate its craftsmanship, giftability, and value. No wonder the set boasts a hard-to-beat 4.8-star score on Amazon.


These Best-Selling Peel-&-Stick Tiles For Your Bathroom Or Kitchen

Regular kitchen and bathroom tiles eventually start to fade or discolor, but these popular peel-and-stick backsplashes never will. The eco-friendly, adhesive tiles are just the thing for giving your bathroom wall or kitchen backsplash a sleek, modern update. They’re also heat- and water-proof, easy to clean, and easy to install. Choose from six versatile colors like teal, bright white, blue, and shiny gray.


These Under-Cabinet Lighting Strips That Couldn’t Be Easier To Install

Wake up your cabinets and shelves with these battery-powered, ‘stick-to-click’ cabinet lights. The three-pack of lights comes with a power button and adhesive tape, so installation couldn’t be any easier. Plus, you’ll no longer find yourself rummaging around for for your toiletries, pantry accessories, or other items in the dark. Can’t beat that for $30.


A Cheap Way To Make Your Bathroom (Or Kitchen) Look A Bit More Stylish

It’s amazing how much of an aesthetic update these amber glass soap dispensers can give to a room. Reusable, recyclable, and made of lead-free glass, the eco-friendly soap dispensers feature a rustic-chic design and come with vintage-inspired labels for your soaps, shampoos, and other essential toiletries. You’ll be surprised at the way they catch notice among your guests, too. Attention to detail never fails.


This Lovely Bouquet Made Of Long-Lasting Pampas Grass

If you’re a fan of plants and unique conversation pieces, this bouquet of dried pampas grass is, undoubtedly, for you. Just make sure to give these dried reeds a light trimming before putting them in a vase. Then place the bouquet — which was designed by a professional florist — in your home’s sunniest spot and watch it flourish and fluff. It’ll last a long time, so you won’t need to re-up on fresh flowers anytime soon. Makes a great gift, too.


Solar-Powered Bistro Lights To Upgrade Your Garden With Minimal Effort

Solar-powered and shatter-proof, these pretty string lights are tailor-made for the outdoors. The 27-foot string features 12 evenly spaced-out lights (solar panel included) and deliver an instant mood that can turn your patio, garden, or porch into a quaint, European bistro. The soft white bulbs need approximately six hours to charge and last up to six hours once they do. An eco-friendly and affordable way to transform your outdoor area, to be sure.


A Clever, Cheap, & Easy Way To Preserve The Warmth In Your Home

Regulate your room temperature and save money on your energy bills with this two-pack of door draft stoppers. Available in four standard, matchable colors — gray, black, white, and brown — the self-adhesive door guards protect your room from dust and noise, and are super easy to apply. They’re popular, too, boasting over 15,000 positive ratings on Amazon. Now, how does a product as clever as this one only cost $10?


This Faux Crown Molding To Seriously Upgrade Your Home For Cheap

Channel classic architecture with this egg-and-dart crown moulding. Just don’t let the $30 price tag fool you. Super lightweight and a cinch to install, the waterproof moulding features a timeless, elegant design pattern and is made to last. The corners of your ceiling never looked so good (and absolutely no one will believe that it’s moulding you scored on Amazon).


A $10 Grout Pen That Leaves Your White Tiles Spotless

If you often struggle to keep your tiles spotless, ditch your sponges and wipes for this white tile grout pen. The popular marker can tackle up to 150 feet of grout with its potent, advanced formula and will leave your floor tiles brighter and whiter. No need to deep-clean them or get a new set installed. Plus, it won’t even cost you $10. Done deal.


This Clever Grill Cover That’s Both Sun-Resistant & Water-Proof

You’ll get plenty of longevity out of your BBQ grill if you pick up a protective cover as sound as this one. Featuring padded handles, a flap vent, and anti-UV layering, the durable, waterproof cover was designed to last, and comes in five neutral colors including olive, mustard, cream, black, and gray (pictured). A must-have to ensure your most-loved summer appliance lasts.


A Handmade, Macrame Plant Hanger For Less Than $10

“Great little hanger for a plant-lover’s home,” a fan of this macrame plant hanger enthused on Amazon. Another wrote, “Well made, so affordable, and I love the way it looks.” Don’t you? Available in black, gray, brown, and ivory (pictured), the beaded plant hanger exudes a kitschy sophistication that’s sure to complement your potted greenery. Handmade by artisans and boasting a quality 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this plant hanger is an absolute steal, and adds serious character to your space for less than $10.


This Fancy Wine Opener Set So You Can Easily Pop (And Preserve) Nice Bottles

When guests bring a nice bottle of wine over, you’ll always be ready to uncork it with this elegant wine opener set. It has a sophisticated and easy-to-use design, with a matte chrome finish and black accents. Plus, it comes with a matching wine stopper to ensure you never have to let another bottle go bad if you can’t finish it right away.


An Electric Fireplace That Looks & Feels Like The Real Thing

No fireplace? No problem. This electric fireplace insert offers many of the same benefits you’d get from a fire-burning one — and more. With its convincing, 3-D flames that flicker a bright orange and red, the plastic and metal fireplace adds instant ambiance to your space and comes with a remote control that allows you to adjust the intensity of the heater and the brightness of the flames. The switches on the side let you do that too, and also feature a timer button so you can control how long it operates. The log heater also comes with a fan heater and overheating protection to ensure your safety. That’s one smart gadget — and at $150, a much-more affordable alternative to installing a new, real fireplace.


These Solar-Powered Pathway Lights To Brighten Up Your Yard

Create a little outdoor magic with these solar-powered pathway lights. The energy-efficient bulbs come in gorgeous, hard plastic shells but are also just as practical as they are decorative. They’ll help you find your way around your property at night and also serve as security lighting — but more importantly, they look amazing (and expensive). The popular lights are also a hit among Amazon shoppers for their brightness, user-friendliness, and value. You get eight for $50.


The Best-Selling Mattress Protector That’s Super Comfy & Durable

Made of high-quality cotton terry, this best-selling mattress protector is not only comfy, but it shields your mattress from stains, mites, and bacteria that could quickly erode it, ensuring it lasts you decades to come. Whether memory foam or latex, ultra-firm or pillow top, practically any type of mattress is compatible with this protector — and any size too, be it a twin or California King.


This Peel-&-Stick Paper To Transform Your Surfaces

Marble is everywhere, and this self-adhesive paper makes it easy to get in on the trend. Ringing up at less than $10 for a long, 17.7-by-78-inch roll (though it comes in three other sizes, too), the peel-and-stick paper instantly improves the appearance of any surface, whether your counter, a table, or a desk, and is super easy to apply and remove. Nearly 30,000 fans on Amazon vouch for it too, so it’s a purchase you won’t regret. You can use it to transform basic furniture (like a bedside table or dresser), too.


The Essential Oil Diffuser That’s Much Cheaper & Longer Lasting Than Candles

This is so not your average essential oil diffuser. It’s a five-in-one powerhouse. Featuring a humidifier, water tank, ongoing timers, an automatic on-and-off function, and seven (!) dimmable LED lights, the diffuser also boasts upwards of 3,000 perfect ratings on Amazon and works with all your favorite essential oils. It’s a simple, budget-friendly way to give your home a more inviting, memorable feel — and it’s much cheaper than constantly restocking on candles.


A Rain-Patterned Window Film To Protect Your Privacy — & It’s Less Than $15

If you’re a fan of your large bathroom window, but not the fact that it gives strangers a direct view into your home, try opting for this frosted privacy window film. You can install it yourself, so you don’t need to hire a pro to do so for you. Made of durable, UV-protected glass, the film features a pretty, rain patterned design that allows the light to shine through while obscuring everything else. Available in a variety of sizes and your choice of either silver or gray, it’s also reusable and comes right off without leaving any marks behind.


A Much Cheaper — & More Versatile — Alternative To A Real Pizza Oven

Wood-fired pizza ovens may be all the rage, but they’re incredibly expensive — not to mention impractical for most. You can still impress your family and guests, though, with this countertop pizza maker from Betty Crocker. Featuring a non-stick pan and stainless steel finish, the electric pizza maker quickly serves up 12-inch pizzas, as well as quesadillas, pancakes, omelettes, and more. It’s super compact and easy to store, too.


This 10-Pack Of Swedish Dish Cloths That You Can Reuse Over & Over Again

Over 25,000 Amazon reviewers can’t be wrong: These Swedish dish cloths work wonders on every common household mess imaginable. Available in eight vibrant colors, these multipurpose dish cloths are super retentive, quick to dry, and feature a textured pattern that’s specifically designed to tackle spills, stains, and dirt. Simply throw them in the wash after using and they’ll be practically good as new — so they’re both eco-friendly and long-lasting, too. Oh, and you get 10 for less than $20. You’ll never have to buy paper towels again.


A Portable Mini Projector For A Bargain Of A Price

Home projectors tend to cost a lot — but not this one. Don’t let its compact size and portability fool you, though. This lightweight projector is more than capable of giving you the at-home movie theater experience of your dreams, whether that’s in your living room, backyard, or at a friend’s house. It’s compatible with your smart phone, laptop, TV stick, and more, and even features an internal cooling system that adjusts the projector’s sound to your surroundings. Pretty cool.


These Clever Freshener Balls That Help Your Produce Last Longer

It’s always such a shame when you have to throw out the expired fruits and vegetables you never quite got around to eating. And while there isn’t some magical solution to making your produce last for as long as you need it, you can make it last a little longer with this two-pack of produce saver balls. Each of these delightful, plastic blue containers is shaped like an apple and contains a refillable packet that absorbs the ethylene gas of your produce to help it stay fresh for longer. Simply throw it in your refrigerator drawer or drop it in your fruit ball for instant results.


A Candle Making Kit So You Can Save Money — & Maybe Even Make Some

If you’re the kind of person who always has a scented candle (or two) burning at home, why not try making one instead? Once you get the hang of it, you may even be able to sell them on Etsy. This 20-piece DIY soy wax candle making kit has everything you’ll need — a wax pouring pitcher, pre-waxed wicks, pretty candle tins, and more — to set your project up for success. New to crafting? No worries. According to its 900-plus positive reviews on Amazon, this candle kit is perfect for schooling beginners — and ensuring that they have lots of fun along the way.


These Convenient Motion-Censor Lights That You Can Stick Anywhere

Illuminate your pantry, stairway, closets, or hallways with these clever LED motion censor lights. With a 100-hour run time and no-fuss installation process — you can mount them with either adhesive tape or screws; the six-pack of lights comes with both — the battery-powered lights only activate when you need them (in the dark or when you’re close by). Also, you get six for just $35. That’s quite a deal.


A Less Expensive Alternative To A Fancy Espresso Machine

Have you found yourself taking one too many trips to the coffee shop lately? Or lusting after one of those fancy, $500 espresso machines? Same. That’s why this stovetop espresso maker is such a life-saver — or at the very least, a money-saver. Compatible with any stove top — electric, ceramic, or gas — the easy-to-use coffee maker lets you make those frothy, specialty coffee drinks that taste every bit as good as the kind your favorite barista serves up. Its stainless steel construction and copper (or matte black) finish adds an undeniably modern and sophisticated touch to your kitchen, too.


This Cozy Throw Blanket That Looks & Feels Just Like A Certain Luxury Version

Never underestimate the power of a fuzzy throw blanket. This leopard fleece throw in particular serves dual purposes: It looks fabulous when draped over your sofa or lounge chair, but delivers maximum comfort and warmth whenever you or one of your house guests need a warm-up. Available in neutral gray or cream (pictured), the versatile throw is a hit among Amazon shoppers for how soft, lightweight, and giftable it is. And it’s about a quarter of the price of a certain cult-favorite version that everyone on Instagram seems to own — yet it’s every bit as stylish and comfortable.


A Super-Fluffy, Cloud-Like Duvet To Transform Your Bed — For A Fair Price

There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new mattress or bedding set to upgrade your sleeping experience. This comfy duvet promises to make you feel like you’re ‘laying among the clouds’ — and for just $50. Suitable for all seasons, the ultra-fluffy comforter is made of a microfiber down alternative and features a two-tone, reversible design. Choose from eight stunning colors in a twin, king, or queen size.


This Colorful Backlight Strip To Upgrade Your Home-Viewing Experience

This LED lighting strip will totally transform the look and feel of your TV or computer area — and for less than $30. Though it’s intended to simultaneously backlight your television and give your eyes a little relief, you can also use it as decorative mood lighting for any room in the house. You can also control the color — there are 16 to choose from — and brightness with the accompanying remote control or with an app on your phone. A surefire way to impress your guests the next time you invite friends over to watch a movie.


An Affordable Ceiling Light Fixture That Looks Stylish In Any Space

Often, the secret to making your space seem more expensive lies in the details. Take this lovely flush mount light, for instance — ideal for those spaces that could use a little extra light (like your hallways or right above the stairs), the metal ceiling fixture contains a bright — but also dimmable — LED drum light and features a patterned acrylic shade that adds subtle elegance to your home decor. Plus, it comes with a thorough guide and all of the hardware you need to install it in no time.


These Toothpaste Squeezers That Look Sleek & Help Save You Money

Why bother struggling to get the very last of your toothpaste out of the tube when you can simply get these stainless steel toothpaste squeezers? The convenient squeezers ensure you waste less, and get more, out of your toothpaste tubes — all while saving you money and space on your bathroom countertop. Plus, don’t they look sharp? Choose from six sleek colors, like the matte black pictured.


These Sleek Glass Water Bottles So You Don’t Waste Money On Plastic

Instead of wasting money on plastic water bottles — which aren’t good for the planet anyway — fill these glass bottles up with water and keep them in your fridge. When guests come over, they’ll be impressed by the thoughtful (and modern-looking) offering. Obviously, you can use them for juice, iced tea, and fruit-infused water, too.


A Cheaper — & More Portable — Alternative To A Fireplace Or Wood-Burning Stove

If you don’t have a fireplace, or simply can’t get enough of them, you’ll love this tabletop fire bowl. Suitable to use both indoors and out, the fire bowl comes with three cans of 13-ounce gel fuel that burn for up to three hours and create safe, manageable flames that make a soothing crackling sound. Each bowl is made of organic concrete — choose from five earthy shades with just a hint of sparkle — and serve as a stunning accent piece in any setting.

This article was originally published on