9 Things That Make Your Home Less Sophisticated

Updated 11/21/19

When it comes to taking interior design to the next level, the devil is often in the details. There exist a string of small tweaks only the pros know that once implemented, instantly transform any space into pure perfection. We've narrowed down our list of favorite quick fixes to keep your home looking its absolute best. From choosing the proper frame for key works of art to eliminating clutter, these easy-to-execute style tips will have your abode photo-ready. They might just be the easiest summer revamp project ever.

To drive the point home, we've curated nine artful spaces that get it completely right. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so take a page from these expertly polished and pristine interiors to level up your own styling game at home. Brightly sophisticated and traditionally chic, they promise to inspire any space. And if you're working on a budget, these simple home hacks will upgrade your space without a total overhaul. It's almost too easy.

Unmade Beds

an unmade bed
Heidi's Bridge

A properly made bed always makes the right first impression. Simply by adding a few minutes to your morning routine to make the bed, you'll instantly improve the vibe and feel of the bedroom, ensuring your space feels like the relaxing retreat it wants to be. If the styling you've selected for your bed is too time-consuming or cumbersome to do every morning, simplify the look. Go easy on yourself. It's the ritual that matters.

Parachute Linen Venice Sheet Set
Parachute Linen Venice Sheet Set $399
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Linen bedding is the perfectly crisp sleep solution to beat the summer heat.

Fluorescent Lightbulbs

open-plan kitchen
Fantastic Frank

Unflattering light not only casts a harsh sheen on you and your guests but can also make your home décor look less than stellar. Switch out harsh bulbs with softer, warmer light to cast a flattering glow and make your space feel invitingly abundant. It's all about that healthy glow.

Flos Aim Small Pendant Light
Flos Aim Small Pendant Light $795
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Statement lighting is an instant way to update any artful space.

Wired Tech

a colorful living room
Chris Patey

Don't let technology upgrades from flat screens to speakers detract from your living room's aesthetic. Opting for a simple console or sleek wall-mounting display will showcase your assets in style. Edited and sophisticated, these easy installations promise to look more deliberate and attractive than dealing with bulky wires or traditional stands.

Unflattering Frames

modern dining room
Amber Interiors

We're big proponents of curating your personal art collection at home. If you're going to splurge on all the right moves in the gallery wall department, choosing the right frame to accompany your acquisition is key. Go in for a glare-proof glass and custom mattes like the frames above. Everything is in the execution, especially when it comes to adorning the primary focal points of a space.

Saatchi Art Sgraffito 727 100x70cm
Saatchi Art Sgraffito 727 100x70cm $375
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Many online galleries offer beautiful framing options upon purchase at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to inquire after pricing before taking your new masterpiece home.

Clutter

bright living room
Heidi's Bridge

Too much "stuff" can make your space feel cluttered and cheapen the overall look of your home. Take some time—say 10 minutes a day—to straighten up the areas that get the most crowded. Coffee tables, kitchen counters, entry consoles, and office desks are the best places to start.

Stock Flower Vases

desk accessories
Alyssa Rosenheck

Very rarely are the floral shop vases that come with mail-order arrangements attractive in their own right. If you find your only option for housing fresh flowers is the frosted-glass vase that your Valentine's Day roses came in, hit up your local crafts or hobby store for affordable clear glass vessels in classic shapes.

Vintage Black and White Ceramic Vase
Vintage Black and White Ceramic Vase $385
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Original antique vases always come in handy. We love giving a thoughtful addition as a hostess gift. 

Vertical Blinds

reading nook with vertical blinds
Amy Bartlam Photography

Particularly in rentals, it can be difficult to avoid vertical blinds. While they are functional, there are more appealing ways to block incoming light and offer privacy. Since removal can be cumbersome and costly, if your home's architecture allows, install a large box valance over your blinds' valance or hang a rounded curtain rod from the ceiling. Push the blinds to the side and hang drapery panels over them. The curtains will offer necessary privacy when pulled over the window and are infinitely more attractive than your existing blinds.

Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Drape
Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Drape $199
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While we love the statement curtain trend, you can never go wrong with a simple neutral linen window dressing.

Paper Lampshades

bedroom nightstand and standing lamp
Chris Patey

If you've scored a sleek, simple, and inexpensive lamp, see about replacing the stock paper shade that it came with with a fabric option. Large retailers often offer various shade options for slightly more money than the shade the lamp usually comes with. This simple swap will make a world of difference.

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Mya Floor Lamp
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Mya Floor Lamp $472 $412
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For renters especially, investing in spirited floor lamps is a must to add polish and additional lighting to a space.

Dirty Windows

mid-century living room with clean windows
Heidi's Bridge

Spotty windows and dirt streaks can make your entire home fall flat, even if the interiors within are gorgeous. Regularly clean windows and screens to keep things sparkling, fresh, and full of light. For a reminder on window washing techniques, read tips from interior designer Estee Stanley.

This story was originally published by Liz Lynch in 2015 and has since been updated.

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