This TikToker Shares the Smartest $0 Hack for Virtually “Styling” Your Space

published Aug 25, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Potted house plant sits next to cheery yellow sofa in front of living room windows dressed with full length curtains in studio apartment

I’m notorious for ordering furniture and decor without really planning out how it’ll look in my apartment. Obviously, I measure in advance for big pieces, but I’m awful at visualizing how something would mesh with the rest of the room if it’s not physically right in front of me. I pretty much operate under a “if it doesn’t work, I’ll just return it” strategy (which, sending back a piece of furniture is … not fun). And yes, I’m speaking from way too much personal experience here.

I know I’m not the only one with this pre-decorating dilemma. Luckily I just learned the smartest, zero-cost solution from TikTok (although note that it’s for iPhone users specifically). Content creator @lyssielooloo recently shared a video, saying, “I truly hate to be braggadocious, but I feel like I have the best hack ever for home decor … if you see something you really like online but don’t know how it’ll look in your house.” She’d been debating getting a runner for her kitchen, and found a style on sale via Facebook Marketplace. That’s where her hack comes in, which she calls “the power of copy and paste.” 

Essentially, she took a screenshot of the product on her phone, then went to the photo itself and held down on just the rug to select and copy it. Next, she opened Instagram Stories, where she’d uploaded a photo of her kitchen, tapped the screen, clicked the “Paste” button that automatically popped up, and voilà — the runner virtually appeared in the space, no Photoshop or e-design tools needed. She did have to revisit the original screenshot, flip the image, and paste the rug again to get the angle right, but from there she had a (free!) kitchen mock-up to reference.  

The original poster even demonstrated another example using a set of cafe curtains from Urban Outfitters to potentially go above her sink, but I especially love this ingenious concept for non-returnable secondhand items. You can follow her lead and experiment with Facebook Marketplace finds before making a commitment, or even a one-of-a-kind vintage piece from Etsy. Of course, it works just as well for “styling” new oversized furniture in advance, too, like beds and sofas from online home retailers that you haven’t seen IRL. I mean, you can play interior designer for entire rooms using this concept. 

Just make sure you have clear photos of both your space and the furniture or decor you want to test out. Note that the iPhone “Paste” photo feature can be finicky, too, so look for product images with plain backgrounds (if available) and try to crop in as tight as you can. The scale might not be accurate once you’ve pasted everything to Instagram, but the app makes it easy to resize, as well.  

Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to try something before you buy (*raises hand*), or mess around with different layout options or color palettes, you just need an iPhone and Instagram account to pull off this $0 virtual design “rendering” trick. “I’ve done this for pretty much every item in my entire house,” adds the TikTok creator.