Let’s face it: You have outdated countertops, plain white walls, and floors that are scuffed all over. That’s OK, though. It’s common for houses to need little upgrades here and there, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on renovations. Just stick to all the cheap things on Amazon that interior decorators use to upgrade homes.
Giving your dull or worn-out surfaces a makeover can help breathe new life into a room — but if you’re living in a rental, you’ll probably want something that’s removable. The white marble contact paper I’ve included will bring your outdated space from 1970 into 2020. And if your counters are already pristine, you can just as easily use it as an accent wall to your kitchen (or even as a peel-and-stick backsplash).
Contact paper isn’t the only thing that decorators use to upgrade homes for less. According to designer tips by Family Handyman, you can prevent your home from feeling stale by switching up the textures in every room. Faux fur step stools and a wrought iron wine racks are not only functional, but they make your home feel more “you.” And in the event your home is already something straight from HGTV, there’s also a pastel rug that’s subtle yet chic, pendant lights for a farmhouse vibe, and even a mulberry silk pillowcase to upgrade your bedding.
So what are you waiting for? When you’re looking to upgrade your home for less, you can’t go wrong with all the products that designers secretly rely on. Keep scrolling to discover their picks.
The Molding Trim That’s Ultra-Versatile
You can stick this adhesive molding trim up on your walls or even use it to update old picture frames and table edges. The adhesive is formulated to stick onto almost any surface, and it shouldn’t leave behind any residue upon removal.
A Roll Of Stylish Wallpaper For Renters
If your rental won’t let you paint, you can still update your walls using this peel-and-stick wallpaper. The herringbone pattern works great as an accent wall, and one roll is enough for approximately one wall (but I always order two — just to be safe).
These Smart Light Bulbs That Are Compatible With Alexa
Just pair these smart light bulbs with Alexa or Google Home, and you’ll be able to control them using voice commands. They’re easy to install — just screw them in like a normal lightbulb — and you can also sync them to change colors along with whatever music you’re playing.
A Light Switch Plate That Looks Like Glittery Granite
The White Noise Machine That Makes Your Ceiling Look Like Art
If you’re regularly having trouble falling asleep, it might be time to give this white noise machine a try. Unlike many competing machines, this one features soothing aurora night lights to help you ease into sleep, along with six built-in nature sounds. Plus, adding ceiling decor can revamp a room — and these lights can help.
An Affordable End Table That Comes In Different Colors
Coffee tables can easily add decor to any living room — and with raised edges along the top, this end table is a great addition. (It also makes it hard for drinks and items to fall down to the ground.) It’s made from rust-resistant metal with a wear-resistant coating, and there are six colors to choose from: mint blue, pink, dark green, and more.
These Magnetic Curtain Ties For Letting Natural Light In
Tired of your curtains falling loose? Keep them tied back with these magnetic loops. They’re large enough to fit around all types of curtains, and the faux pearl detailing gives them a luxurious appearance. Plus, adding natural light to the room will add to its decor. One reviewer even raved that “These tie backs are fabulous. Beautiful, elegant, well-made, and effective at holding drapes in place. They look like an expensive designer touch.”
A Set Of Round Mirrors To Help Brighten Dark Rooms
Adding mirrors to dark rooms can help redirect light to brighten things up, and this set comes with seven you can arrange however you’d like. They’re lightweight so that there’s no mounting necessary, and each one features a hook on the back.
These Velvet Throw Pillow Covers That Come In Various Shades
Just stuff these throw pillow covers with shredded memory foam, and they’ll add pops of color throughout your home. They’re made from soft velvet, and each one is fade- as well as stain-resistant. One enthusiastic reviewer even wrote that “we all can get that interior designer look with Amazon.”
A Pack Of Flameless Candles You Can Control Remotely
Grouping things in three just looks better when it comes to design, and these flameless candles already come in a convenient pack of three. Their reusable batteries last for more than 300 hours — and one reviewer mentioned, “I would have never known about these candles, if i had not been watching Treehouse Master. Their designer used them in one of the treehouse.”
These Floating Shelves That Are Perfect For Books
Got a giant blank wall that could use a few decorations? These floating shelves are not only fashionable, but they’re heavy-duty enough that they’re able to hold up to 15 pounds each. All the necessary hardware for mounting comes included with your order.
A Different Set Of Wall Shelves Made With Bamboo
Made with bamboo shelves and rope suspensions, this set of wall shelves is the perfect way to add a hint of stylish storage to any space. Choose from two- or three-tier options, or even grab them in a pack of two.
The Picture Frames That You Can Mix & Match
Using varying picture frame sizes is a great way to break up large walls, and this pack of 10 comes with four different sizes so you can mix and match. They’re made with ulta-clear glass, and have durable wood frames that come in multiple finishes.
A Pack Of LED Lights For Your Bathroom Or Vanity
Just add these LED lights to your vanity, and you’ll instantly have a Hollywood-style mirror for doing makeup, hair, or even just admiring yourself. The smart-touch dimmer lets you adjust the brightness, and installation doesn’t require any tools.
This Decorative Rug That Adds Subtle, Lovely Color
If you’re looking for an accent rug that’s subtle, this one adds a pop of color without being too overwhelming. It’s available in eight different colors, and one interior designer wrote in the reviews that “The colors are calm and not in your face. Navy blue on cream with gray and gold accents. I’d say fairly neutral overall. It has a distressed look to it which I like because my office furniture is somewhat casual. It is soft to walk on…”
The Rustic Pendant Lights For A Vintage Look
Pendant lights are great for drawing your eyes upwards, and these ones feature a classic rustic design that are gorgeously vintage. The cord is adjustable depending on how high your ceilings are, though bulbs do not come included.
These Ceramic Planter Pots With Gold Details
Decorating with plants is an easy, green way to make your home stand out — so why not grab these planters? They’re made from chic ceramic, and the gold accents easily match with warm or cool tone colors.
A Pair Of Macrame Wall Hangings Made From 100% Cotton
Spruce up a reading corner with these macrame wall hangers, or even just add them to your home for a light bohemian touch. They’re made from 100% cotton cord, and the symmetrical weave is exceptionally eye-catching.
This Slip Cover For Old Sofas
When your sofa is old and torn, give it a cost-effective update with this slip cover. The elastic strap lets you adjust it to fit your specific couch, and there are multiple patterns to choose from: palm leaves, oranges, flowers, and more.
Available in eight designs.
A Steel Wine Rack That Also Works For Towels
Hang it in your bathroom or in your kitchen — either way, this wall-mounted rack adds enough storage for up to six towels or wine bottles. It’s made from sturdy steel that changes up the textures in any room, and it arrives pre-assembled so that it’s easy to install.
The Ladder Shelf That’s Fashionable & Functional
Bookshelves aren’t your only means of adding storage — you can also use this set of ladder shelves to help switch things up. Each order comes with all the tools necessary for assembly, and it’s available in six different finishes.
These Popular Bedsheets With Over 100,000 Reviews
There’s nothing like walking into your bedroom and seeing that your sheets match your bedspread. Not only are these sheets affordable, but they’re also available in dozens of colors. The soft microfiber feels plush against your skin, and they’re even stain-resistant.
These Plates You Can Use For Food Or Decor
Use these plates for a fancy dinner, or even hang them up on your wall as eye-catching pieces of art. Each order comes with four in varying patterns, and they’re made from durable ceramic — not plastic.
A Dimmer Switch For Softer Overhead Lighting
Set a relaxing or romantic mood in your home simply by dragging your finger down this dimmer switch. It’s compatible with Alexa so that you can control it using voice commands, and the downloadable app even lets you set schedules so your lights are on when you come home.
The Fig Tree You Don’t Have To Water
Want to add green to your home, but can’t be bothered to water plants? Just grab this faux fig tree. The leaves are made to feel realistic, and they’re even waterproof so you can clean them if they get dirty.
Some Markers That Help Make Furniture Look Like New
Fix nicks, scuffs, scratches, and dings in to time — and for practically no money — with this set of wood repair markers and crayons. They come in six different natural shades, so you can find the perfect match.
These Stackable Storage Boxes That Are Cute & Functional
Keep your home looking neat and tidy with these storage boxes. The stackable boxes are made from non-woven fabric, plus they each have a sturdy insert for the bottom and reinforced sides to give them structure. The window on the front makes it easy to see what’s inside without having to unpack it.
A Pair Of Wall Sconces That Cast Cozy Warm Light
Wall sconces look best when installed in pairs or groups, so why not grab a few of these decorative sconces? Each order comes with a remote so that you can control them from afar, and the warm lighting is perfect for indoors as well as outdoors.
These Blackout Curtains That Help Insulate Your Room
Not only do they make your room extra-dark for sleeping, but these blackout curtains also insulate your home against the sun’s warming rays. They’re available in more than 10 rich shades, and the fabric is even wrinkle-resistant.
A Table Lamp With A Built-In USB Port
You don’t have to sacrifice function for fashion. This table lamp not only casts a cozy warm light that’s perfect for reading, but the built-in USB ports also let you charge your devices. It’s dimmable and touch-controlled, and has a flexible neck so you can just just the right light.
This Set Of Lanterns You Can Use For Any Occasion
Weddings, parties, holidays — you name it, these lanterns can help liven up any space. Assembly only takes a few minutes, and each one is made from high-quality tissue paper that you can easily hang anywhere.
A Tablecloth That’s Resistant To Wrinkles
Adding a light tablecloth to your table can help brighten up a dark dining room, and this one comes in four pale colors: coffee, gray, slate, and brown. It won’t shrink in the wash, and it’s even resistant to wrinkles.
These LED Night Lights With 8 Colors To Choose From
It’s always a good idea to stick to one color scheme when decorating — but with these night lights, you don’t have to. Each one features a dusk-to-dawn sensor so that they automatically turn on or off when there’s light in the room. Choose from eight vibrant LED colors as well as three lighting modes.
These Strip Lights That’ll Add Some Extra Color To Your Space
Add these strip lights underneath your cabinets, or even install them behind your television to upgrade your entertainment center. They’re waterproof so that you can use them outside, and you can even sync them to react to music.
The Chalkboard That Rolls Out Onto Your Walls
Got a blank wall in your kitchen? Just roll out this chalkboard contact paper, and you’ll have a convenient place to jot down notes, recipes, or even motivational phrases. It’ll work with regular chalk, and easily erases with a damp paper towel.
A Fruit Bowl That’ll Never Go Out Of Style
One of the easiest ways to make sure your home never goes out of style is to mix timeless pieces with modern ones — like this fruit bowl. The brushed stainless steel finish pairs effortlessly with any style, and the unique design makes it a great table centerpiece.
This Set Of Fake Fruit To Add Green Without Waste
Fake fruit lets you add green to your home without having to worry about spoilage, and this set is available for less than $20. They’re made from realistic foam rather than plastic, and many reviewers wrote about how they look like the real deal.
A Kit To Help You Hang Pictures That Aren’t Slanted
The ideal height to hang artwork is about 3 to 8 inches above your furniture — so use this kit to make sure that everything is even and un-slanted. It comes with all the nails and hangers you’ll need to hang photos, posters, and more. Plus, the hooks are even able to hold up to 100 pounds.
The Foot Stool That Adds Texture To Dull Rooms
Using different textures throughout your home will help prevent it from feeling too uniform, and this foot stool is a perfect example. The white faux flokati adds fluff, but it’s still perfectly functional whenever you need to kick your feet up.
A Pillowcase Made From Soft Silk
If all of your pillows are made from cotton, you might want to change up your textures with this silk pillowcase. It’s made from 100% mulberry silk, and the zipper is tucked away so that it won’t snag on your clothes while you’re sleeping.
This Kitchen Knife Set That Comes In A Chic Acrylic Block
Organization is key when it comes to keeping a crisp kitchen, and this knife set comes with its own acrylic stand that’s chic in its own right. Each order also comes with a pair of scissors, as well as a potato peeler and knife sharpener.
A Wine Glass Holder That Sits Under Your Cabinets
You don’t have to clutter up your counters with a wine glass rack — just use this under-the-cabinet version. It’s made from rustproof metal, and there’s enough space for up to five glasses. Plus, the hardware needed for mounting is included.
The Book That Helps You Make Your Home More “You”
Written by HGTV’s Joanna Gaines, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave helps you design your home so that it’s truly “you.” Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as other homes, Gaines teaches you how to create the looks that you’re drawn to by blending them with your own personality. And more than 3,000 positive four- and five-star reviewers agree that it’s worth the read.
A Set Of Markers For Fixing Scuffs & Dings In Wooden Furniture
Revitalize old furniture with these wood-colored markers that come in eight different shades: black, white, maple, oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, and gray. Each order comes with eight markers, eight wax sticks, as well as one sharpener for the wax.
This Cushioned Mat That Adds Style & Comfort To Floors
This cushioned mat one features a patterned top that adds an eye-catching design to dull kitchen floors. It’s covered in anti-slip material to keep you stable as you work, and it easily wipes clean with a damp cloth if it gets dirty.
A Color Wheel To Help You Pick Matching Shades
If you have trouble figuring out what colors pair well together, just use this color wheel for reference. Just spin the wheel to the color you want to use, and it’ll show you which colors match. Many reviewers even raved about how it’s “easy to use,” with one writing that “I bought this for my closet so I could quit asking my designer wife what matches. She also uses it for work sometimes so win win!”
The Plant Hangers That Help Add Green To Your Home
Don’t have the floorspace for a planter? Don’t worry — these plant hangers can be hung on walls or from the ceiling to help you save space. They’re flexible so that they’ll fit a variety of pots, and each order comes with four.
A Roll Of White Marble Contact Paper To Update Your Counters
You can use this roll of white marble contact paper for so much. Add it to old countertops for a quick update, or even put it behind your stove as a backsplash. It’s made from thick PVC, and you can put it up against sinks without worry — it’s completely waterproof.
Cassidy Timbrooks on ‘The Bachelor’ Isn’t the Villain You Think She Is
I knew Cassidy Timbrooks was going to be eliminated from The Bachelor the second she addressed a table full of children as “you small people.”
But it wasn’t until Clayton Echard learned she had a “friend with benefits” back home that her number came up. The Bachelor rescinded the rose he had already given her and predictably sent the 26-year-old executive assistant packing on Monday night’s episode.
In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.
That’s why her ride home from the mansion was more than just another early villain exit. The Bachelor is clearly trying to get back to basics this year — and by basics I mean American sexual politics circa 2002. The fact that Cassidy got the boot so swiftly shows how quickly the show is returning to its traditional roots. In an era of dating apps and delayed motherhood, ABC’s long-running reality dating franchise is recommitting in Clayton’s season to its core tenets: Love, marriage, and family — preferably before age 30.
In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.
Only against that backdrop would a woman like Cassidy strike anyone as an outlier. Outside of the show, she doesn’t exactly seem nefarious. Since the premiere aired, I have been following her on Instagram, where she’s been posting incredibly lucid and self-aware reflections about her time on The Bachelor, conceding in one of her Stories that she struggled to balance “confidence” with “considering other people’s takes.”
Indeed, like so many hated contestants before her, Cassidy appears to have been the victim of a selective edit and a mocking soundtrack. The unflattering edit began in earnest when she largely ignored the children at a birthday party group date to talk with the Bachelor instead. At one point, seated around a table sipping tea, she told a group of kids, “I spend as little time around you small people as possible, so forgive me…” and then immediately went on the back foot as they latched onto the comment.
I don’t blame the kids for taking offense. But any adult viewer who paid attention to her tone should have recognized the droll delivery. Was it an inartful thing to say? Sure. Children aren’t the right audience for wry humor, especially if you’re joking about avoiding them. But Cassidy didn’t deserve to be demonized as a kid hater, either.
“I knew I was giving villain, but I thought I was far more amusing and harmless,” she wrote in one of her post-show Instagram Stories, “and I think a lot of the hate is based in misogyny internalized and otherwise.”
She’s not wrong. Cassidy was punished, both in the edit and by a segment of the audience, for not going googly-eyed at the notion of spending an afternoon building a dollhouse. She certainly didn’t echo the enthusiasm of a fellow contestant who saw the kids from afar and exclaimed, “Oh my God! I’m so excited! I love children!” while running toward them.
The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.
To be fair, that attitude is more in line with Clayton’s. In the first five minutes of the current season, the new Bachelor was twice moved to tears by the thought of raising a family. He introduced himself in the opening voiceover by saying, “I can’t wait to get married and have kids,” and later choked up while reading a letter from a child predicting that he will “have lots of kids.”
Clayton is nothing if not sincere, but there’s probably a reason the producers picked someone like him in the first place — and why they’re emphasizing childrearing so much this early. After years of controversy over racism in the franchise, culminating in the departure of ex-host Chris Harrison — and after more recent flirtations with progressive casting including the first same-sex engagement, a (gasp!) 39-year-old Bachelorette, and several leads of color — The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.
I used to wonder whether the horror novel I wrote satirizing Bachelor-style shows would be outdated by the time it comes out later this year, but if anything, this season has felt ripped out of time in the worst way.
Cassidy’s storyline especially has highlighted double standards that should be long dead by now. Clayton himself recently addressed viral TikToks about his dating history by saying that he “enjoyed [his] singleness” for “the last six years of my life.” This is the same Bachelor who confronted Cassidy on Monday night’s episode about allegedly “seeing someone up until the point that you came here,” as though she were beholden to him before then. Hookups for me but not for thee?
Presented in the weird logic of the show, you’d almost forget that Cassidy is one of 30 women Clayton dated simultaneously — and that, in season previews, the Bachelor will later admit to being “intimate” with two contestants. Somehow that behavior is more “for the right reasons” than having casual sex with someone before filming even began?
Cassidy may be off the air now, but her brief run was telling. This throwback edition of The Bachelor needed a villain, and the producers chose a confident woman with a history of casual dating who said “F*ck a dollhouse” on camera. It’s probably a bad sign when someone that refreshing doesn’t make it to the second rose ceremony.
Another Day, Another Musk Tweet Pumps Dogecoin up 9%
Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry
On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.
Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.
How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?
According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.
Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”
What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?
The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.
Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.
What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?
Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.
Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.
The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.
Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”
People With Disabilities
Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.
“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”
There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.
Original Source: bustle.com
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