Gift Edit 2022

33 Gifts That Look More Expensive Than They Are

updated Dec 12, 2022
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
Cat checking out a pile of wrapped gifts. overhead photo
Credit: Mal de Ojo Studio/Stocksy

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas for every occasion. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

There’s a thrill in finding amazing home gifts that don’t break the bank but look like they could have. You’re a smart shopper, but no one suspects it, because your gifts always look so luxe. Sound familiar? Then consider this your cheat sheet for your 2022 shopping endeavors. We’ve rounded up 33 presents that look more expensive than they are so your gifts are bound to be a hit with anyone on your list, whether you’re shopping for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation or the holidays. Some of these items are so good — and so reasonably priced — you just might want to treat yourself, too.

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1 / 33
From our partner

Nothing screams "class" quite like a great collection of coffee table books, and this Louis Vuitton tome is perfect for the fashion-forward friend in your life. The funky exterior cover (designed by artist Reggieknow) opens to reveal a comprehensive look at designer Virgil Abloh's boundary-breaking creativity on and off the runway.

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A bust sculpture that's a planter and less than the price of a museum ticket? Now that's a winner. An actual antique can break the bank, but you can replicate the look with this under-$25 find.

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West Elm

Have a friend that's always on the go? Encourage them to take some time for self-care with this plush and stylish towel. Made from 100 percent Turkish cotton, it's lightweight yet perfectly cozy for drying off post-bath or shower. Pro tip: Team it with a jar of bath salts or soothing body oil for a true spa-like gift they're sure to appreciate.

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Your pal who's always counting down the hours until cocktail o'clock will fall hard for this vintage-inspired coupe glass that looks stunning displayed on open shelving. Ribbed glassware never goes out of style, and you can gift a pair for less than $20. That's a win-win in our book!

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From our partner

A 16-piece stoneware dinnerware set for under $64!? We can barely believe it either. This chic swirled set from QVC comes with four dinner plates, four salad plates, four bowls, and four mugs. If you're looking to gift a new set of dishes to your loved one, this is the perfect set. It looks and feels expensive, while remaining totally practical — this set is both dishwasher and microwave safe.

6 / 33
Jayson Home

Transport them to Paris or London, no passport needed, with one of these books from U.K.-based travel and style magazine, Cereal. At $24.99 a piece, the not-your-average-guidebooks feature a visually-packed rundown of dining info, historic sights, and much more. Best of all, they elevate any coffee table or bookshelf in an instant.

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Brooklyn-based artist Virgina Sin specializes in super sculptural, modern home accents, including this beautiful curved candlestick holder. The unique silhouette fits two tapers for the ultimate table-worthy focal point (and MVP gift idea).

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One of my very own favorite luxe-for-less home purchases, these brass Amazon frames add instant vintage charm to any tabletop. Available in a range of sizes, all under $20, they’re perfect for pairing with a black-and-white photo (hello, newlywed gift!) or a cool print or postcard. Either way, I'd suggest sizing up to get that pressed-glass "floating" image effect.

9 / 33
Rifle Paper Co.
was $58.00

Rifle Paper Co. brings their signature whimsical floral designs to this embroidered box, complete with a decorative top that could pass as handmade. It’s super versatile as far as gifting goes, too — fill it with sweet family mementos and letters to surprise a grandparent, or leave as-is for a chic desk organizer.

10 / 33
Ballard Designs
was $30.00

Step aside, matchbooks or rechargeable lighters — there’s a new elegant candle accessory in town. This handblown, 7-inch-tall cloche includes a built-in striking surface and 120 long matches, kept in place with a cork stopper. It’s easily refillable once you’ve run out, or the vessel can simply double as a decorative object on its own.

11 / 33

Simple, sleek, and surprisingly just $28, this thin marble serving board has your favorite host written all over it, whether they're using it as a cocktail tray or hopping on the next food “board” bandwagon. Above all, it’s a stunning addition to any kitchen or bar cart that won’t go out of style.

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No bibliophile’s reading collection would be complete without a durable bookmark, and I absolutely adore this T-shaped design from stationery brand Appointed. The brass finish and scalloped edges look ultra sophisticated and high-end — so much so that your giftee will never know this cost less than $20. Stylish stocking stuffer, solved.

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If luxury is what they want, luxury is what they'll get with this plush hooded terry robe from Kassatex. The light grey piping around the edge keeps it looking sophisticated (aka totally fine if you wear it out to the mailbox!) and it can even be monogrammed for an extra-special touch.

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was $19.99

Not sure what to give the friend who has everything? This statement-making candle happens to be super Insta-worthy. If they display it on a metal dish or under a glass cloche, it'll look like a million bucks... but no one has to know you only paid $14 for it.

15 / 33
Sonic Editions

Classic movie buffs will be seeing stars over an art print from Sonic Editions, which start at just $149. Dedicated to the golden era of Hollywood, the retailer boasts hundreds of iconic shots to choose from, including those that depict greats like Audrey Hepburn, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, and more.

16 / 33

Trays are both stylish and functional. Your pal can use this on-trend piece to corral magazines or papers on a desktop, hold candles on the coffee table, or keep bottles organized on a bar cart. Cane and rattan pieces can cost a pretty penny, but this one is an excellent budget-friendly pick.

17 / 33
West Elm

Help your favorite adventure buddy gear up for their next escape with this versatile travel bag from West Elm. Billed as a "weekender" tote, it's the perfect size if they're just heading out of town for a few days but will also come in handy while stashing extras (or souvenirs!) on longer trips. The nylon exterior and large padded pockets keep things durable, while adjustable shoulder straps and a pock that slips over the handle of their luggage will ensure they're wheels up in no time.

18 / 33
Urban Outfitters

The right decorative pillow can instantly transform a tired, old couch into something that feels brand new. If your roomie or friend has been complaining that they're sick of their decor, gift them this stylish tufted pillow from Urban Outfitters for a little refresh. It touts a very on-trend color scheme, plus a graphic pattern that will add just a touch of edge to any room.

19 / 33
Uncommon Goods

Encourage them to store candy or loose change in style. Reminiscent of the plastic baggies from school lunch days, this sculptural piece is perfect for the apartment dweller who loves weekend trips to the MoMA or adding a bit of whimsy to their decor.

20 / 33
was $34.99

Part hallway organizer and part mirror, this stylish little piece packs a serious design punch. Honestly, it looks like a very lucky flea market find or legit vintage piece that could cost in the hundreds. Instead? It's a cool $35 from H&M Home and a standout piece that will definitely transform a neglected hallway.

21 / 33
The Tartan Blanket Co.

Treat your favorite cuddle buddy to an extra layer of warmth this winter with this timeless neutral throw from The Tartan Blanket Co. Made from a comfy combination of recycled wood and recycled fibers, this durable and dense toss will make your next streaming session that much cozier. Bonus: It's even machine washable, so you're totally off the hook if you spill takeout on it!

22 / 33

Unsure what to get that person who has everything? You can't go wrong with a versatile tray that will come in handy in just about every room of the house. Substantial marble trays often don't come cheap, but this one is just $25.

23 / 33

A beautiful trinket tray for under $10? Sign us up! This gilded piece makes an excellent addition to a vanity or nightstand and has gotten tons of rave reviews to boot.

24 / 33

This beautiful leaf motif candle holder brings a touch of nature and a handcrafted look to your loved one's home. It looks far spendier than the $24 it costs — you could even pair it with a colored taper candle and still stay under $30.

25 / 33

Whose doesn't have a cutting board that's seen better days? This practical and colorful gift will brighten up their countertop and come in handy time and time again. Bonus: It's made from recycled plastic kitchen scraps and renewable sugarcane for a purchase that you can feel good about.

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At under $15 for a set of six, this pack of coasters is a no-brainer. In fact, you could split up the set and give these out as stocking stuffers, and no one has to know that they were actually less than $3 a pop.

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Help give one of their succulents a stylish home with this stunning vase inspired by the female form. It will add some life and personality to any shelf or windowsill and comes in three different finishes.

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L.L. Bean

Celebrate the season with this knit throw pillow displaying a wintry scene. While we can't guarantee your recipient will believe you made it yourself, we're sure they'll love its instant cozy appeal.

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Everyone needs a trusty vase to keep on hand if someone stops by with a bouquet of flowers, and this CB2 find is one of the best. Its ridged texture adds so much visual intrigue, and it's petite enough to fit into apartment-sized kitchen cabinets when not in use.

30 / 33

Almost everyone knows the top candle brands, like Diptyque and Byredo, so you can't exactly pass one off from Bath & Body Works as a luxury find. But reed diffusers always look classy, no matter the brand. This one by Voluspa is available in four pleasing scents and comes in an embossed glass bottle inspired by Japanese art. With this diffuser, the entire room will be smelling great for up to six months.

31 / 33
Rifle Paper Co.

When scanning the journals at Barnes & Noble, don't be surprised to find notebooks of all varieties — bound in leather, embossed with old-world patterns, or even plain — for up to $50 or more. This fabric-covered journal by Rifle Paper Co. looks just as good with its colorful floral print, and it won't break the bank. It also lies flat and has its own bookmark, so it's a win in all categories.

32 / 33

A handy rule of thumb: items made from glass often look more expensive than those that aren't. This pretty mug is the perfect example. It sports an intriguing vertical ribbed pattern and comes with its own wooden lid that doubles as a coaster. Grab it in the standard clear color, or opt for a festive amber or delicate pink shade. The mug is perfect for eggnog and hot chocolate season.

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Paloma & Co.

Instead of just getting any old bowl for your decor-obsessed friend this holiday season, opt for this hand-blown Italian glass bowl. It's more special knowing that it's handmade, and it's definitely a statement piece.