We Gave a Home Stager $100 — Here’s What She Bought on Amazon

published May 11, 2024
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Young Businessman Packing Cardboard Box At Table
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When I’m scrolling through Instagram, I’m often tempted to hit “add to cart” on stylish and affordable Amazon finds I see on other people’s accounts. Sorting through Amazon’s home offerings on my own, though, feels a bit daunting because of the sheer volume of things available.

For help navigating the seemingly endless array of items, I turned to home stager and broker Molly Marino of Home by Molly Marino, who is a genius at stretching a design dollar and proving that chic doesn’t have to mean costly.

“To me, staging and good design are all about layering in items that create a unique space, not necessarily an expensive space. I always look for different textures, melded colors, and some statement pieces that you will remember,” she says.

With a $100 budget in mind, Marino focused on pieces that are versatile enough to work in different rooms or for multiple uses. Here’s what she added to her cart. 

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Marino’s first pick: This adorable and versatile cotton mat in the “Old Times” colorway. “This mat is rustic mod and the tassels add texture to hard floors,” she says. “Whether you use this in a bathroom or, better yet, as an entry mat, it is boho chic perfect!"

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was $20.00

For just $10, these stylish prints come in a set of 12 ranging in size from 4x6 inches to 8x10 inches. “These art prints provide so much design for such a teeny price,” says Marino. “Consider using them to create a collage wall in an entry hall or behind a sofa for big impact.”

They come unframed, but Marino suggests styling them in inexpensive black frames (you can even paint an assortment of garage sale frames with this black gloss paint for a quick DIY, she says). Another option: Hole punch them and hang them on nails with pieces of twine.

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“I love baskets like this because they are the ultimate multi-taskers,” says Marino. “They look just as good hanging on a wall as artwork as they do collecting keys on a console table or filled with limes on a kitchen counter.”

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Lighting is one of Marino’s favorite ways to upgrade a space, and bringing it in without having to call an electrician is one of her best decorating tricks. “Lights that look like they were professionally installed immediately elevate the look of a space,” she says. “And sconces that plug in like this one are a simple hack to create the same look.”

She suggests either hanging plug-in sconces from a small hook in the ceiling or from a wall bracket. Her favorite spots to use them? “If you place sconces next to a bed instead of putting a lamp on a nightstand or use them to flank a chair or sofa in the living room, the space immediately feels more luxe,” she says.

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“Adding color to your space through throw pillows and linens is one of the easiest ways to punch up your design,” says Marino. “And this pair of pillow covers is the answer to spicing up a sofa or bed.” For under $15, you get two 18-inch square pillow covers; it’s perfect for slipping over your old pillows for a quick update. They come in a variety of colors, but Marino loves the fresh feel of the yellow.

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“This is one of my favorite quilts on Amazon,” says Marino. “This cinnamon color looks just as good with a modern black and white design as it does with boho-inspired salmon pink or mustard yellow looks.” In her stages, Marino has found lots of uses for this “soft and perfectly priced” set: “I’ve used it as a quilt by itself and as an accent blanket folded over crisp white bedding at the foot of a bed. The twin size has worked great as a throw on the sofa.”