painless shopping

34 Cheap (But Expensive-Looking) Apartment Décor Accents Under $20

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy the retailer

While schlepping to a brick-and-mortar store like HomeGoods or Ikea for cheap bowls, trash cans, water pitchers, and dish towels can be a convenient way to get all your apartment decorating done at once, it isn’t the only option. With a little digging, you can find lots of more handsome and well-priced home décor online — you just have to know where to look. From faux-sheepskin rugs to Turkish towels to chic coasters, any of the 34 items below — all of which are (roughly) $20 or less — will go a long way toward sprucing up your home. Most of the things on this list are all available at Amazon, but we’ve found a few of them elsewhere for those who like to shop around. And if you’re looking for even more cheap (but expensive-looking) home décor, check out our individual roundups of things for bathroom, bedroom, dining room, kitchen, and nursery.

After using similar ones to hang artworks from friends, Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo wrote that poster rails like the two in this set are a foolproof way to display prints — they cost a fraction of traditional frames and look just as good.

This highly rated cluster of dried pampas-grass plumes comes with 30 stems and would look nice in a sculptural vase.

If you’re channeling the coastal grandmother (or are a coastal grandmother), this $17 waffle throw blanket looks straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie.

These woven baskets provide ample storage space for blankets, toys, or laundry while giving a room a slightly cozier feel.

If you’re an orange-obsessed person but don’t want to splurge on a Bellhop lamp, this little accent light is both colorful and affordable.

These simple walnut bookends will give your bookshelf a mid-century vibe.

A (faux) fur rug to zuzh up a forgotten corner.

These teen-favorite LED lanterns add a cozy, whimsical feel to a room.

This amber acrylic vase will look nice whether you put artificial or dried flowers in it or the real thing.

Photo: Retailer

Here’s a retro non-ticking clock for your wall that’s, well, timeless.

An iridescent jar that would make a nice-looking home for candy, cotton balls, or small knickknacks.

This stylish Turkish towel can double as a picnic blanket. Plus it’s machine washable.

This serving tray is big enough to hold a nail-polish collection or to function as a family catchall on any entryway table.

This necklace holder is one of our favorite jewelry organizers, used by jewelry designer Melinda Maria to display necklaces. Pro tip: Keep your most-worn pieces on the ends for easy access.

Decant your coffee beans, pasta, or other dry goods in this sturdy, stylish glass-and-wood pantry container.

Londo Leather-Tray Organizer
From $17
From $17

This handsome leather tray is subdued enough to blend into most any décor scheme and comes with two compartments to keep it from looking too cluttered.

A wire basket is a more stylish place to stash toiletries than a plastic tub. This one comes in other metallic finishes as well.

Areaware’s graphic coasters are a twofer: When arranged together, they form a trivet.

Coasters, a breakout star in the pandemic home-décor boom, allow you to style your coffee table and protect it from water rings at the same time. These recycled rubber offcuts are the product of a collaboration between Studio Proba and Slash Objects. They’re not only for drinks — you can also use them as trivets or beneath a small planter.

With its minimal packaging and Le Labo–esque typeface, this highly reviewed candle has the vibe of a status candle at a fraction of the price.

A see-through lamp for folks who like to keep things light (!) and airy.

This elegant ceramic dish is perfect for holding a kitchen sponge or displaying a fancy soap collection. It also comes in glossy black and bright white.

Photo: Retailer

Complete the display with this poppy-scented soap made by Portuguese brand Claus Porto, a favorite of former Strategist writer Hilary Reid.

This sleek, design-y watering can will keep your plants hydrated and looks nice enough to leave on the windowsill.

Photo: Publisher

A perfectly placed coffee-table book can give your apartment that put-together look. We especially like this book of digitally painted landscapes by artist David Hockney that we named one of the best books to gift in 2021.

Keep this little guy in your sink to rid your hands of onion, garlic, and other cooking-related smells.

A curvy toilet-brush holder that doubles as an accent piece. See more bathroom accessories we love here.

Photo: Retailer

It’s fair to consider a towel an accent when it’s as thick and luxurious as this option from Restoration Hardware. This comes in a wide variety of muted colors including eucalyptus green and light blue.

Nawrap, a Japanese company founded in the 1930s that originally made mosquito nets, infuses these dish towels with an anti-odor and anti-microbial binchōtan charcoal.

These tear-a-sheet linen cocktail napkins, first recommended to us by Vogue sustainability editor Tonne Goodman, will be a hit at your next party.

If you’re not ready for a checkerboard rug, this frame is an easier way to tap into the trend. The resin inlay makes it look much pricier than it is.

This magnetic dish hanger made by Strategist-favorite brand Yamazaki is especially good for maximizing usable space in a small kitchen.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeansrolling luggagepillows for side sleepersultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

34 Cheap (But Expensive-Looking) Apartment Décor Accents