Great design doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive. A secret of many interior designers is to blend a mix of high with low, creating vignettes and spaces in which more expensive items are paired with low-cost finds to create a cohesive look.

Looking for some secret hacks? Here are a few bargain tips.

Look into mirrors. Mirrors are among the best and least expensive decor items. Use mirrors in creative ways and you’ll have a winning look. Consider hanging mirrors in a grid or even in a series for maximum impact.

Be aware of barware. In this category, dollar stores dominate. From thick rock glasses to smoky glass, you can find fabulous glassware as well as ceramic bowls and plates at any dollar store.

Shop online. For nearly any item, there will be more than one retailer selling the identical or nearly identical item for different prices. Shop, analyze and score.

Go outdoors. From durable pillows to all-weather rugs, outdoor accessories are the secret weapon of many interior designers and home stagers. These products are typically sold at a lower price point, too.

Get crafty. Looking for ways to style a bookshelf? Consider framing items such as letters, postcards or wallpaper.


Cathy Hobbs: Cathy Hobbs is an Emmy Award-winning television host, an interior designer and a home-staging expert based in New York City.