Right now, it’s especially tempting to upgrade your home decor, given all the time you’re spending inside. But a tight budget can squash any dreams you had of owning an Ultrafragola mirror (a la Lena Dunham) or a vintage Noguchi lamp. Take it from us—decorating your home can get pricey if you don’t know where to look. 

For an interior designer, sourcing stylish goods at affordable price points isn’t just a fun game of Where’s Waldo?—it’s their job. Luckily, a handful of pros were willing to share with us where they do all their deal hunting. We were relieved to discover a slew of familiar names on the list, and suddenly, our design dreams didn’t feel too far off. Read on to discover where designers hunt for home decor that only looks expensive.

Blu Dot

Courtesy of Blu Dot Courtesy of Danish Design Store

Architectural designer Joshua Greene is a personal fan of Blu Dot, the mid-range retailer that has made a name for itself based on cool silhouettes and durable materials. Right now, we’re loving this black wooden stool with a leather seat cushy enough to work from home and a rust-hued velvet sofa made for movie nights.



Courtesy of Target Courtesy of MoMA Design Store

One tried-and-true home hub Julia Marcum from Chris Loves Julia can’t live without? Target. Our wish list items on the retailer’s shelves include the perfect textured accent accessory, a rattan armchair for a boho flair, and a staple coffee table you’ll keep forever.


Courtesy of IKEA Courtesy of Cold Picnic

If you only had $30 in your pocket, we’d recommend going right to IKEA, where you’re guaranteed to walk out with a Frakta bag full of items. Shavonda Gardner keeps the Swedish retailer in her back pocket at all times because you’ll never know when you’re going to need a poppy woven rug, a dresser with chic leather pulls, or what might just be the cutest glowing mushroom lamp of all time.


Courtesy of Wayfair Courtesy of MoMA Design Store

“I am a huge fan of Wayfair!” says artist, designer, and desert dweller Lindsay Hollinger. Us too. We can’t get enough of this cozy mustard lumbar pillow, the side table described as “every sofa’s sidekick,” and a shapely mirror that will look (almost) as pretty as your own reflection.

Zara Home

Courtesy of Zara Home Courtesy of Smeg

“Lately I’ve been on a Scandinavian design kick, and the vibe Zara Home offers with its home decor products leans right into that feel,” says the therapist-turned-interior stylist, Anita Yokota. Polka dot bedding, a simple Suar wood stool, and a two-toned clay vase will instantly bring the hygge vibes to your home.


West Elm

Courtesy of West Elm Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

A true expert on living tiny, Cali-based blogger Katrina Blair Sullivan has to shop extra smart when she wants to find wallet-friendly pieces to fill her small space. West Elm has a surprising number of side tables, accent chairs, and storage staples that can fit in tight quarters. But we’re filling our online shopping carts with a floor mirror ideal for selfies, luxe brass planters, and a neutral rug with a printed twist.


Courtesy of CB2 Courtesy of Creative Candles

“CB2 is really good because it is always on trend with a distinct aesthetic for the layperson to aspire to and build on,” shares Erin Shakoor. “There are always a few unique, original items in its rotation to help customers create a space that’s distinct from their neighbors.” Keep an eye on the Japanese stoneware collection destined to upgrade your tabletop and the sconce that will take your bedroom from ordinary to hotel-worthy. 


records on wall
Photography by Blisscraft + Brazen

From affordable prints to antique Oushak rugs, Etsy is brimming with hidden gems. “I love vintage and handmade pieces,” says Whitney Leigh Morris of The Tiny Canal Cottage. Morris, like many designers, relies on the site for artisanal objects and custom furniture. “Working one-on-one with makers helps establish a budget from the onset of a project,” she adds. We’re currently crushing on this retro alarm clock and a candy-colored vintage vessel.

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.