Who doesn’t occasionally walk through Pottery Barn and think, I WANT IT ALL. But let’s be honest, most of us are functioning on a budget. Which means you have to keep your decor shopping sprees to a minimum. Or at least you have to stock up with furniture that’s on the cheaper side. There is no shame with buying inexpensive furniture (hello, Ikea) to jazz up your home, but sometimes you’re craving a luxe look that you can’t quite get from cheaper furniture. Sad but true. What you CAN do, however? Upgrade your inexpensive furniture yourself by trying these 27 brilliant projects! Your decor is going to go from cheap to chic in a snap.

  1. Twine Pendent Cord 

    Twine PendantDesign Sponge

    This Foto Pendent (only $29.99) looks classy and simple on its own. But if you’re looking for a rustic touch, wrap three-ply jute twine around the lamp cord! This is an extremely cheap addition that won’t require a lot of time but will result in a shabby chic look.

  2. Leather Clock Hanger

    Clock HangREmodelista

    You see those plain-faced clocks at most stores for pretty reasonable prices, but just hanging it on your wall? Yawn. Instead, take a thin leather belt and glue it to the outside of the clock. Then hang the belt from the wall, allowing the clock to hang and look truly unique.

  3. Sheepskin Rug Hack

    Doubled RugOld House New Tricks

    If you invested in a Rens sheepskin rug ($29.99) from Ikea, you probably love its’ luxurious look…but hate how small it is. Quick fix: buy two and sew them together. This little hack fills out the weird shape of the rug and looks better on your floor.

  4. Wooden Entertainment Center

    Wood Topped Bench

    VoguesParis” link_to=”http://www.vosgesparis.com/2012/12/my-home-in-decorate-workshop-book-by.html

    The Besta entertainment center is sturdy and has so much room for your DVDs…but it’s also plain and white. A.k.a. boring. Add a rustic touch by putting reclaimed wood on top of the Besta system. You can stain or paint the wood if you’d like, but we think leaving the wood raw is a really cool look.

  5. Dip Dyed Table

    Dip Dyed TableThe Sweet Beast

    I’m doing this project next week! You can find a plain wooden table at a yard sale (like I did) or buy one from Walmart. Then, for this cool dip dyed affect, use painters tape to section off the bottom of your wooden table. Paint only the top, creating a trendy blocked color look.

  6. Fake Marble Table

    Fake Marble TablePoppy Talk

    Love the look of marble tables but hate that marble price? Now you can make your very own marble table top using a Klubbo coffee table ($49.99) and marble contact paper. No one ever has to know…

  7. Upgraded Drawer Knobs

    Dino KnobsApartment Therapy

    Screw off your regular drawer knobs and replace them with something fun! We love these gold spray painted dinosaurs – they’re extremely quirky and cool.

  8. Brass Table Corners

    Table CornersLittle Green Notebook

    Little Lack side tables ($39.99) come in some trendy colors all on their own. But if you’re still looking for an upgrade, install these brass corners. You can get a set of 8 corners for $5 on Amazon, which we think is well worth how classy your coffee table is going to look.

9. Faux Wooden Headboard

Wooden HeadboardSugar and Cloth

Who wouldn’t love a classy mahogany headboard for their bed? But, also, who can afford that nonsense. Now you can take a plain old headboard and turn it into a FAKE wooden headboard! The magic is in these Stikwood stickers. Fake wood that looks real and peels off? Yes, please.

10.Wallpapered Bookshelf

Wallpaper BookshelfApartment Therapy

Boring white bookshelf got you down? Add a little sparkle by putting some colorful wallpaper behind the shelves! Reading never looked so cool.

11. Scrapbook Paper Drawers

Scrapbook DrawersVisual Heart

Just like your bookshelf, you can jazz up the inside of your dresser drawers. Try some scrapbook paper instead of wallpaper to cover the smaller surface area without wasting paper.

12. DIY Side Table

Garbage TableISPY DIY

This is a DIY that I use in my home! If you don’t have a lot of bedside room (our bed is on an angle and my side is a bit squished) you can’t really have a table all your own. But you CAN use a wire waste paper basket flipped upside down and spray painted for a space effective little table. I tied a ribbon around mine for extra little flare.

13. Rolling Bookshelf

Bookshelf CastersSugar and Cloth

Small Ikea bookshelves are so inexpensive, but look so plain, right? But what about when you add brass casters and use this unassuming bookshelf as a rolling entertaining center? Plain no more! Now you look like an entertaining high roller.

14. Curtain Rod Upgrade

Curtain Rod UpgradeR&R At Home

Plastic curtain rods can ruin the whole aesthetic of your room. Spray paint those rods a metallic color (we love gold) and you’ve got a instant piece of class that elevates the whole room instead!

15. Gold Office Desk

Office Desk UpgradeChic Street Style

Is there anything gold spray paint can’t do? It’s so cheap to buy, only takes a second to use, and makes ANYTHING look downright classy. Any metal parts on your office desk or shelves (like the legs of your Ikea Vittsjo or the brackets of your shelf) can be given a coat of liquid gold swag.

16. Mod Podged Wooden Chair

Desk Chair UpgradeDesigner Trapped

Plain wooden chairs look so flimsy and boring your kids’ room, office, or guest room. Add a little extra pizzazz to this cheap furniture buy by mod podging some graphic fabrics onto the chair’s surface.

17. Trendy Lamp Shade

Lampshade UpgradeCreekline House

Does your home gravitate toward soft pastels? Chic, dark shades? The best way to tie together the look of your room by getting your color palettes in order. Once you know how you want the room to look, turn to good old spray paint again. White lampshades can be a great neutral, but feel free to spray paint them to work best with your personalized palette.

18. Re-Vamped Couch Legs

Sofa LegsElla Vine, Co.

A giveaway that a couch is on the cheaper side are the legs. Short and plastic? Inexpensive furniture, no doubt. Long, elegant metal legs? High-end, for sure! Well…not necessarily. You can buy these classy legs yourself at hardware stores, like Lowes for around $4. Even if you buy them in a plain wooden finish, don’t forget your secret decor weapon: spray paint.

19. Golden Drawers

Gilted DrawersSugar and Cloth

This gilted look really changes the look of your plain dresser drawers. Best of all, this is done with simple gold foil, which you can get at $10.95 for 10 feet. Now that’s some serious bang for your buck.

20. Side Table Upgrade

SideTableUpgrade2Kristi Murphy

Unimpressive side table? Make it a focal point of the room by using contact paper and spray paint to dress it up. You can use any combination of contact paper and spray paint you want to make this little table look wooden, metallic, or colorful.

21. Re-Imagined Rocking Chair

OldChairUpgrade2Kleinworth Co.

No porch would be complete without a rocking chair to lounge in. But if your rocking chair is old and plain, it may be time for an upgrade. Don’t go out and buy a new one, sand the chair down and paint it a brand new color! White is the perfect fresh shade for the sunny months to come.

22. Stitched Couch

ChairTrim2The Gathered Home

Garage sale couch? Hey, if you don’t see any questionable stains, we say go for it. To make it look like you bought it for a couple hundred dollars instead of a few dollars, stitch a bold trim into the couch fabric. This gives a bold, modern look for next to nothing.

23. Kids Table Makeover

KidsTableUpgrade2The Sweetest Occasion

You’re not the only person who deserves a furniture upgrade – your kids need some funky furniture, too! If you have a plain table that the kids play on (maybe it’s a hand-me-down or a yard sale find), you can jazz it up with wrapping paper and durable paint. Now play time looks as fun as it is!

24. Fill In Holes

FillHoles2Store Front Life

This is a neat little hack to take any Ikea furniture and make it look like custom furniture. You’ll notice those little holes inside your Ikea furniture – most pieces have them, and they can be pretty noticeable. These little hole fillers are made to seamlessly hide said holes, disguising your frugal furniture perfectly.

25. DIY Bar Station

BarCart2 editedAkicsi Haz

The Nornas side table is a great Ikea find. Inexpensive and made of durable pine, this table is a blank slate for so many cool DIYs! We love this one in particular – painting the wooden table something clean and trendy, like white, and adding these expensive-looking (key word being “looking”) gold casters. You instantly have a rolling bar station, perfect for entertaining.

26. Leather Drawer Pulls

Leather PullsApartment Diet

Any regular drawers can have little plastic knobs. Make your dresser drawers extra elegant and unique by adding these leather drawer pulls. These can easily be screwed into any wood surface and they add an air of effortless cool to any piece of furniture.

27. Shelf Molding

Cheap Furniture FI 2Centsational Girl

Something that you’ll see in most high-end homes is molding. Even if it’s not expensive at all, the look of molding along the edges of your bookshelves or other pieces makes the furniture look instantaneously pricey, clean, and customized. All you need to pull this look off yourself is molding cut to size at any hardware store and wood glue.


Do you have any tricks for making your inexpensive furniture look pricey? Share your brilliance in the comments section below!