25 popular pieces of home decor to upgrade your quarantine space
Spruce up your home with these low-cost finds
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It’s likely that you’re spending more time at home now with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting work-from-home initiatives. It’s also officially spring, so I can imagine the itchiness to clean and declutter isn’t just striking me.
I already had my home decorated, but the more cooped up I feel the more I want to online shop and update my curtains, order some new plants, and rearrange my bookcases. I don’t think I’m alone in this, so I rounded up the top items to freshen up your decor in your living spaces, kitchen, bath, and any space in between.
1. This farmhouse-chic milk jug vase
This farmhouse vase comes in six colors and has a handful of uses. You could keep it empty or use it as a flower vase. The milk jug shape brings dimension to any surface, while the rustic finish adds a unique farmhouse element. It works as a centerpiece or as a standalone piece of decor.
Since it's made from clay, it's water-resistant and can be used as a planter outside. You could also use it for picnic table utensils or by the grill! Reviewers say that since the vase comes in multiple colors, it’s perfect for customizing to your space.
2. This funky-shaped plant
I am a plant-loving enthusiast, and if you’re decorating your home with plants for the first time, I highly recommend ZZ plants. They're funky, low-maintenance, and grow relatively quickly. I like adding them to rooms with lower light—like my bathroom and living room—to add fun shapes and greenery! They have a bit of a retro vibe since their leaves are kind-of triangular.
Our editor Meghan Kavanaugh ordered the ZZ plant from The Sill and loved her experience and the plant itself, which she named Branche Deveraux.
In terms of care, the ZZ plant is like the friend you don't talk to every week but when you do meet up you fall right back into place. You can let them dry up for a bit, especially in the winter and early spring. The most fun part, in my opinion, is watching them grow! They get taller and begin to reach out in all directions, so getting one as a small/medium plant from places like The Sill sets you up for a lifelong plant friend.
3. This cozy blanket with fringe
Nordstrom is a staple for great deals, and this plush throw is one of them. It comes in seven colors, so you can find the right shade to pair with your couch, reading chair, or foot of your bed. I often hesitate to buy cozy blankets because they'll be too short to fold along my couch or (more realistically) they aren't wide enough to keep me warm when I'm watching a full season of “Brooklyn 99” on Hulu. But this plush throw is 50x60 inches, so you can snuggle up comfortably, maybe even with someone else.
The color options are as fresh as the weather shift too! I'm torn between "Teal Foam" and the classic "Vanilla." Reviewers are obsessed with this blanket, too—it has more than 1,500 reviews on the site, and when Nordstrom runs sales, we often see this blanket sell out relatively quickly.
4. This easy-on, easy-off wallpaper
Living in a temporary apartment can be hard. So many home features are out of your control, but peel and stick wallpaper provides a quick and easy solution for walls that aren't up to your standards. This wallpaper option from Wayfair mimics a white brick wall, which could replace a living room accent wall, headboard-esque wall in the bedroom, or kitchen backsplash.
Reviewers claim that installing the wallpaper is a breeze, and recommend using a flat edge like a credit card to smooth out bubbles. They also say the brick pattern is "very realistic" and is a great addition to entryways. This sounds like the perfect spring project for renters.
5. This elegant candle
Candles can add so much to a room's atmosphere. The "Baies/Berries" scent from DIPTYQUE is fresh and fruity. And, the candle's look itself is classic and simple. Each candle will blend in on a shelf, and the container can be reused once the wick burns down.
One reviewer says "the scents are unique and really fill a room so you don't have to burn them for long" and another adds that this specific scent is “perfectly balanced: not too sweet and not too fresh either, which makes it perfect all year round!" While the candles are a bit expensive, they're worth the investment because they are long-burning and their scent lingers in the room even when the wick isn't lit.
6. These simple sconces
Lighting plays into home decor more than a lot of people think. My apartment came with an old (likely tried & true) style of ceiling lights. Though swapping them out for something more modern and bright was a hassle, it was entirely worth it. My mood is tied to the lighting in my home, so having warm light that actually reaches all corners of the room is a big deal.
I adore these affordable sconces from Home Depot for that very reason! They are simple, only require one lightbulb, and will work both indoors and outdoors.
The versatile bronze or nickel finish adds a sleek element to any decor style, and since you can select your own lightbulb you can ensure that the light produced is soft white or warm yellow to your liking. Each sconce is under $20 so you can add them as bedside lights, bathroom features, or our on the porch for under $50! They're also easy to use since they have a built-in on/off switch.
7. This colorful vase
Adding color to a room is easy with this vase, plus the color of the plants you add to it. I love the eight colors this orb vase comes in because they strike a balance between transparent and opaque glass that lets light shine through. The neck of the vase is wide enough for several stems, so you can feature a handful of wildflowers or a farmer's market bouquet.
And, along with the theme of versatile objects, you could get creative with this. It could be used as a change jar (and I love that you can see through to watch the pennies pile up). And, since it has a bottleneck, it'll discourage you from taking change out until it's full! And, if you're feeling extra DIY, I think the clear version would make a great home for a terrarium.
8. This rustic blanket storage
If you're like me, you have a LOT of blankets. I usually keep mine in a basket, but I often feel weird having my friends dig around to pick one. The solution is easy: this 4-foot ladder. Instead of dealing with wrinkles, the ladder allows you to hang your blankets, plus you can show off your style. I like imagining how good my curated blanket collection will look as the overlap on the rungs.
This ladder from Wayfair is made from solid wood, so each one varies a little bit, but the variation makes it feel custom and adds to its homey charm. If you don't have enough blanket to fill it, consider hanging your apron, plants, or wind chimes from the rungs. The wood is upcycled from old and unused pickets, so it's a great buy all around!
9. These geometric planters
It's no secret that plants are an easy and affordable way to elevate your home's decor, but pots and vases and hangers can be costly. Thankfully, Wayfair has the Umbra 2-piece set that is perfect for practically any pair of plants.
The triangular shape allows water to trickle down to the bottom, so I recommend adding a few rocks or pebbles before you plant. The best feature about this pair is that the vases actually sit in a gold frame, allowing them to "float" above the surface they sit on. Since they stand using the wire base, the surface below stays clean and dust-free.
10. These colorful pillows
Urban Outfitters' Round Pintuck Pillows come in 10 shades ranging from soft pastels to sleek jewel tones. The pillows have a pucked look, with the velvet fabric spun inwards toward the center button. The edges of the pillows have a woven criss-cross look, so the pillows look great stacked up as well! Though each pillow is 16" across, I think they'd work well as mini floor poufs for extra seating in a pinch. Reviewers "stan this velvet goodness" too. What's not to love?
11. This plush area rug
I scrolled past this rug on Amazon and now it's at the top of my cart. It can be challenging to find a 4x6 or 5x8 rug within a smaller budget, but this is a real winner. It's super plush since it's made with tall velvet pile, and reviewers note that you can machine wash and hang dry without losing the shape or softness. It also features an anti-slip underside that makes it great for children’s playrooms and entry areas!
It also fits well in most traditional dorm rooms. And, if they were like mine was, the "sticky" underside will be preferred to the slick flooring. One reviewer says, "My dorm is the hangout room. Why? Because everyone likes to come in after a hard day of classes and sit and nap and study on this super soft durable rug. It vacuums easily too."
12. These dotted curtains
Curtains are to a room what frosting is to a cake—you don't have to have them, but they add so much. Window coverings provide privacy and help to block out light. If that's all you need, maybe simple pull shades or blackout curtains are for you. But, if you're looking for something light, airy, and soft, these curtains are for you. They're a soft cream color made from semi-sheer polyester and have little tufts of fabric that All Modern calls an "eyelash" pattern.
The curtains come in a set of two and measure 84 inches (height), which works for most standard home windows. If you have tall windows, these will help soften the room and catch the light. Or, if you have windows lower on the wall these will gently brush the floor and can bring the focus to the rug or flooring—as seen in the photo above.
13. This essential diffuser
Diffusers are essential in my home. I don't always love leaving candles lit when I'm spending time in other rooms, but I feel comfortable letting several diffusers in my house run while I'm doing chores, working in my office, or even out running errands. I can confidently say that diffusing essential oils has improved my sleep, mood, and productivity over the past year, but results are different for everyone.
For me, a good diffuser needs to have several functions. The first is a large water basin. This diffuser holds up to 150ml, so you don't have to check back in every hour or so to refill. Second, I like light features! Sometimes I want a pink light for my yoga room or a yellow light in the bathroom so I can see in the middle of the night. This diffuser has eight (!) color options, and allows you to roll through the full rainbow or select just one.
14. These metallic candles
I think it's safe to say Anthropologie is a go-to shop for candles. They've got all the cozy smells and the containers are practically decor on their own. These ones come in gold or copper and you can pick from two sizes that suggest 30- and 60-hour burn times. More importantly, the current scent options are volcano and lagoon.
Volcano is listed as "tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons and limes," so I'm picturing a vacation to the mountains with hiking and clear skies. Lagoon is described as "notes of freesia, incense, osmanthus and tamarind blended with tuberose, peony and arum lily over a musky base of cashmere, wood and vetiver," which sounds like a cozy bathrobe after a day at the beach.
15. This grey runner
Though I tend to be a maxilmalist when it comes to color, I'm a sucker for a simple rug underfoot. This cream/gray geometric pattern is a great base for any room. It provides texture, simplicity, and cleanliness. It could work with dark furniture in an office or create contrast in a bohemian-themed living room. I love that the pattern includes circles, triangles, and zig zags too—meaning that the shapes on the floor can be in conversation with similar shapes around the room: floor poufs, plants, gallery walls, etc.
This area rug is made in Turkey from polypropylene, which is "a stain-resistant material that naturally repels moisture making cleanup easy." Wayfair carries multiple sizes and shapes of this design, making it easy to find a fit for your style and home layout.
16. This bright shower curtain
This fruity shower curtain is one of the many items I've had from Urban Outfitter's Home Goods on my wishlist for years. I love bringing color to the bathroom, especially if the lighting or wall color are dull. The pattern options (papaya, banana, oranges and peaches, or lemons) will also add dimension and positivity, even if you're stepping into the shower before dawn.
A good shower curtain lets the light in so you can see while you wash, but is thick enough to hang down straight instead of sucking into the shower with you. This one is 100% cotton, making it easy to clean along with towels. It has holes at the top so you can hang it up easily after each wash. The fun colors and hand-painted-esque look are the perfect way to bring the warm weather inside this time of year.
17. These homey bath mats
A bath mat is great for keeping feet warm, but it also brightens up the bathroom. These tassel bath mats from Pottery Barn come in four classic shades—white, gray, muted blue, and pale pink—that will easily pair with your towels, shower curtain, and walls. They're hand woven from "pure, mindfully grown cotton," so they're soft underfoot but not too bulky, so they'll still work in smaller bathrooms and won't catch under the bathroom door.
Each mat features several woven strips, adding dimension and flair to even the plainest flooring. The tassels on the short ends add some style and align with the trend of tassel towels and shower curtains (popular at Pottery Barn and Anthropologie this season). The mats are practical and easy to clean as well; just throw them in the washing machine and tumble dry on low to freshen them up.
18. These handy surface lights
Everything is home decor—at least that's what I told myself while I lived in a studio apartment. I searched for all the projects to make my space feel more open, less temporary, and more of a home than a shoebox. Enter under-cabinet lighting.
It's such a simple upgrade, and after installing a few of these lights from Home Depot, I didn't have to worry about not seeing the food I was cooking because of dim overhead lights. I'm also a big fan of kitchen nightlights for ambience, and these provided enough light to get around but not so much that my whole kitchen was aglow.
One of the best features of these lights is that they can link to each other easily, so you only need one plug. If you're looking into updating certain areas of your home, I highly recommend browsing the full collection of this series that includes motion activated lights and different levels of brightness.
19. This bright runner
Growing up, we never had any type of carpet or rug in the kitchen, but it's my new favorite trend. In my experience, the kitchen tends to be chillier, and I'm not a fan of cold feet. I recently ordered a rug just like this one to warm up (and brighten up) my kitchen tile.
So far—I love it. I'm glad I chose a colorful pattern because I knew I'd likely spill on it or track in dirt. I've done both so far. This multicolor runner is perfect for rooms with a lot of foot traffic because it comes with a "faded" look, so it's right at home as soon as you lay it out. Wayfair describes it as having "boho flair" and I think the blue, orange, and pink accents will add life to any room.
20. This versatile pizza paddle
Okay hear me out, I like multifunctional things. This is listed on Pottery Barn's site as a pizza paddle, but I can think of at least four ways to use it. First, as a pizza paddle (obviously), perfect for an at-home date night. Second, since there is a hole at the end of the handle, you can hang it up as well decor. Imagine placing it behind a stalk of eucalyptus or layering it behind another, smaller cutting board when it's not in use. Third, use it as an easy charcuterie board, or, finally, place it on top of a table runner and use it as a hotplate so you can serve straight from the pot, family style.
This pizza paddle is crafted from solid Acacia wood and is part of Pottery Barn's sustainable line of Fair Trade Certified products. With three color options—brown, black, and white—it has both form and function and will fit in your home regardless of your farmhouse, bohemian, or modern style.
21. This colorful plant
I have a purple Oxalis plant next to my work desk, and it's one of the best things you can add to a room. According to The Sill, "like Calatheas, Oxalis plants exhibit a phenomenon known as nyctinasty—they raise and lower their leaves from day to night as a part of their circadian rhythm."
According to my plant, this is 100% true. In the mornings it spreads its leaves out like arms stretching upwards out of bed. By mid-afternoon, the leaves fold back into themselves, almost resembling butterfly wings before takeoff. I use my plant like a clock—I try to be awake and productive when the leaves are out and then wrap things up once they turn inwards.
While it's fun to watch the leaves move throughout the day, the Oxalis is also easy to care for due to it's love for soaking up the sun and only a moderate need for water. It would do well in most kitchens and east-facing rooms.
22. This gorgeous wooden cutting board
For a long time, I only thought of cutting boards as functional items in the kitchen. I stored mine below the oven or in a thin vertical shelf along with cookie sheets. But that doesn't have to be the case! The items we use in the kitchen most often, should be most readily available, right?
I invested in a cutting board that was visually attractive and fit well with the width of my countertop, much like this one. Now, I have a surface that I can store a small plant on while I water it (and it catches the water). I also keep mine next to my stove, which makes it easy to unpack groceries, chop the veggies, and toss them right in the wok for a stir fry after work. Plus, you can rest spoons and spatulas on it so you aren't always wiping down the countertops.
This solid cutting board shows the grain of the wood it's made from, so it will bring warmth to your kitchen even when it's not in use. Plus, it's nice having a thicker, solid board so it doesn't slip around as you chop—especially when working with larger items like squash or pineapples. This board is lightweight, so you can transfer it to the sink for a quick wipe down with ease. It comes in four different sizes, so measure the width and depth of your countertops to see which one will fit best before selecting!
23. Campden Wall Clock
I adore this vintage-inspired kerry green wall clock. It's always nice to add an analog element to a room, and a wall clock is an easy way to incorporate one in a functional way. Having a wall clock is a huge bonus, especially if you find yourself working from home. It allows you to silence your phone and put it away while still keeping an eye on deadlines.
In addition to having a vintage feel, this clock is playful with geometry. The circular clock-face is framed by the green square outer design—and it also comes in red! It's a great feature to squeeze into a smaller kitchen or include on a gallery wall since it's only 9" by 9". The clock runs on batteries (not included) so you can rely on it outside of electricity, so it could also be useful at a cabin or lakehouse.
24. An adorable container for bacon grease
One of our editors raves about this container she got at Wayfair. It's a small steel jar made to hold bacon grease, but she mainly uses it as home decor. It comes in five different colors, perfect for any kitchen, and features a happy cartoon pig on the outside.
The jar itself is perfect for collecting hot grease—it doesn't get too hot when full, so you can still easily transport it. Plus, it's large enough to capture grease from just about any pan, whether it's a skillet or dutch oven.
25. A fake succulent arrangement
Don't have the time (or desire) to care for live plants? No sweat—there are a million high-quality fake plants out there that look just as good as real ones. This one from Pottery Barn is perfect for those who love the look of succulents, but never actually figured out how to keep them alive.
This particular arrangement features four types of faux succulents and comes in a white stone vase. It would look gorgeous in the bathroom, on a bookshelf, or placed in a home office.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.