10 Things That Make a Home Look Cheap

Decoring your home can be fun and fulfilling, but it can also be very, very expensive. And sometimes, in an attempt to save money, we cut a few too many corners and the result is anything but beautiful. The good news is a cheap-looking home is not the same as a cheaply decorated home—the latter can be done and it can be done elegantly, as long as you're careful. 

Whatever your decorating budget may be, the goal is always the same: to add to your home's beauty and create an aesthetically pleasing and inviting space. Before you cut corners and costs, avoid these ten mistakes that can leave your home looking cheap and less-than-stunning.

  • 01 of 10

    Mass Produced Art

    Large pink room with green image

    Beauty EQ

     Art is one of the most important elements of a well-decorated home and few things can cheapen a space quicker than mass production prints and artwork. This living space from Beauty EQ features a beautiful, original piece of artwork that looks expensive and purposeful. 

    But even if you can't afford to attend a lux art show, sites such as Etsy make it possible to afford original and unique art at almost any budget. And if you have a streak of DIY in you, you can very easily and frugally create your own original artwork for your home.

    If your home is full of "Van Goghs" and "Matisse's" it's time to branch out and add some originality back onto your walls. 

  • 02 of 10

    An Overstuffed Entryway

    entryway with a bench

    Bless'er House 

    Take a note from this entryway from Bless'er House and keep your space as tidy and well organized as possible. It's easy to use your entryway as a place to toss odds and ends, but it's easy for that to spiral out of control.

    You want your entryway to look polished and sophisticated because it's the first thing people see when they come into your home. Invest in a few pieces of functional furniture and unique artwork to keep the space beautiful and useable. 

  • 03 of 10

    Overdone Themes

    eclectic style

    Dering Hall 

    I think there is a time and a place for themes - and that is in a kid's room before the age of 13. After that, decorating themes should be replaced by decorating styles, and this is a totally different thing indeed.

    One of the fastest ways to cheapen any space is to have too much of a good thing. I love the seashore so we have a variety of shoreline found objects scattered throughout our home, but an overabundance would make our home look like a cheap seaside motel.

    And it would your home, too. So skip the theme and have a bit of style. Your home will thank you!

  • 04 of 10

    A Too Small Rug

    living room with too small rug

    Nesting With Grace

    This beautiful living room spotted on Nesting With Grace does everything right ... almost. The jute rug used in the middle of the room may go with the decor, but its size makes the room feel off balance and lazy.

    When picking a rug, make sure it's large enough to fit right under your furniture so it is not simply floating in the room. A rug that is too large will make your space feel too full while a too-small rug looks haphazard and, well, cheap. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Cluttered Rooms

    cluttered kitchen


    Admit it—there's too much stuff sitting on your kitchen counters right now, isn't there? One of the biggest changes from this kitchen makeover done by Sweeten is it's massively decluttered, which makes it feel expensive and updated. 

    Find a home for your stuff or risk your house looking unkempt and cheap. There are endless ways to hack your clutter and get rid of it for good. 

  • 06 of 10

    The Wrong Lighting

    living space with a large arched lamp

    Caitlin McCarthy Design 

    Take some tips from this living room from Caitlin McCarthy Design and make sure your lighting is right for your space. For example, a super high watt bulb is probably much too harsh for your bedroom, while a dim lamp may make a living space feel gloomy and dark. 

    When you walk into an oversaturated and bright room, it can feel tacky and overwhelming. Getting your lighting correct (aim for three or more sources of light between overhead, table, and windows) is an easy way to update your space and make it feel more expensive.

  • 07 of 10

    Cutesy Decor

    American flag memorabilia
    Studio 642 / Getty Images

    Though is probably a time and place for adorable figurines, front-and-center in your home decor is probably not one of them. It's okay to love kitschy decorations, especially during holidays or in a kid's bedroom, but too many miniature animal statues or cliché quotes make a home look childish and unsophisticated.

    Ditch the "live, laugh, love" print and go for something that really speaks to who you are and makes a statement. 

  • 08 of 10

    Empty Walls

    stairway with blank empty walls

    Seeking Alexi 

    We know there's a whole minimalist trend going on now, but taking the look too far is just asking for a cheap-looking home. This stairway from Seeking Alexi got a major upgrade with the help of some strategically placed gallery prints. 

    A gallery wall is an easy (and dare we say cheap!) way to fill a blank wall. Just be sure to avoid too many of those mass-produced prints or you risk your walls feeling unoriginal and tacky. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Basic Light Fixtures

    dome light fixture on ceiling

    Small Home Soul

    Anyone who lives in an apartment knows the woes of a "boob light." It's functional but tacky and not aesthetically pleasing. This fixture from Small Home Soul was doing nothing for the home, but an easy upgrade totally transformed the room for little dough. 

    Even if you're a renter you can easily swap out old lighting fixtures with new ones or try a DIY cover to camouflage it. This easy fix can take an outdated bedroom or cringeworthy entryway and turn it into an asthetically pleasing space. 

  • 10 of 10

    Furniture Sets

    boho bedroom

    New Darlings / Instagram

    It's incredibly easy to go into a big box store and purchase an entire bedroom set, but doing so will look obvious to any guest and can easily look cheap. The reason this bedroom from New Darling works is because it feels fresh and unique. There's a mix of styles such as mid-century modern and boho and it is bursting with personality.  

    Mixing and matching styles, fabrics, and woods is a creative way to decorate on a budget and will many your home look fabulous. Pick only one or two items per store or risk your home feeling like a catalog.