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We Gave 5 Real Simple Editors $150 to Shop on Amazon, Here’s What They Bought for Their Homes

From ceramic vases and live plants to cord organizers and patio furniture.
By Christie Calucchia
March 27, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

After spending the better part of the last year at home, the importance of creating a space that's functional, organized, and makes you feel good has never been more obvious. Once you have the basics—essential pieces of furniture, appliances, and so on—you can have a little bit of fun. We're talking about all of those items that make a house (or apartment) a home, from wall art to throw pillows and everything in between. 

If this sounds like an expensive and arduous endeavor, think again. Amazon has an almost overwhelming amount of home decor available at affordable prices ready to ship straight to your door. So, we tasked a few Real Simple editors with going on a virtual shopping spree at Amazon. With an imaginary $150 budget, each selected a few items they'd buy for their space right now.

The picks, which range from practical purchases, like a cord organizer and food storage containers, to more indulgent decorations, such as ceramic vases and live plants, will inspire you to give your home a refresh. Starting at just $13, the products prove that you don't need to spend a fortune to tune up your home. With the right eye and a little online shopping know-how, you can spruce up a room in a snap.

Ahead, see what five home-shopping pros would buy for their homes with $150 on Amazon. There's sure to be at least one thing you'll want to add to your cart.

Jessica Leigh Mattern, Senior Amazon Ecommerce Editor

I'm treating myself to a few things I know I'll appreciate daily, like pretty pampas grass that will last much longer than a fresh bouquet and a new, more subdued rug for my bedroom. Comfy floor pillows will help me carve out a cozy nook in my tiny home to relax and read a good book. And I'm finally planning to tackle the big mess of wires around my work-from-home space that's driving me crazy with a sleek cable management box.

Total: $149 

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Katie Holdefehr, Senior Editor

Now that the weather in New York is finally starting to warm up, I'm planning to really maximize my outdoor space this year. Step number one: Get an outdoor umbrella that can hold up to the elements. Then, drape durable, weather-resistant string lights overhead to set the scene. 

Inside my apartment, I just added glass-front doors to one kitchen cabinet and am now looking for storage solutions that are both functional and stylish, like glass food storage containers with airtight bamboo lids. I've also been on the lookout for elegant silverware that's actually affordable, and I found a set that looks sleek and reminds me of mid-century style flatware. Finally, no home shopping mission is complete without picking up a coffee table book or two. They serve a dual purpose: You'll find inspiration for your own home, plus they double as decor. 

Total: $153

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Nina Huang, Lifestyle Ecommerce Writer

With my $150 in tow, I'd first snap up a set of simplistic yet stunning decorative vases (they're one of 2021's biggest home decor trends, in case you missed it). They'd be an eye-catching addition to my window corner where I plan on displaying a new monstera plant alongside too-chic-to-burn bubble cube candles. And because I'm a huge fan of fun, motivational home decor, I'd grab a quirky rug to put by my bed for a smile in the morning. Then, knowing my love for cozy, snuggly pillows, I'd probably pick up a set of pom-pom pillow covers to add to my collection—and throw in a fleece blanket for good measure.

Total: $143

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Christie Calucchia, Lifestyle Ecommerce Lead

My home has never felt more like a sanctuary than it has this past year, but there are still a few things I'd like to buy to make it feel complete. First, I need a plant stand to get my growing collection of fresh greenery off the ground. Second, my living room could use a bit of color, so I'd buy a vibrant, vintage-inspired rug and a set of textured throw pillow covers to give my gray couch an instant refresh. Lastly, I've been keeping an eye out for the perfect woven basket to store all of my clutter in plain sight, and I think I've finally found the one.

Total: $143

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Christina Butan, Ecommerce Writer and Strategist

Three things I'd buy for my home on Amazon with $150 are an indoor grill, cotton towels, and a sleek tower fan. I live in a small New York City apartment, so outdoor grilling (unfortunately) isn't an option for me. But with a small, affordable grill, I can prepare all the veggies I want in the comfort of my home. I've also been meaning to replace most of my towels for a while now, and not only are these Hammam towels a best-seller, but they're also one of the most loved home items on Amazon. Over 7,000 people say they're soft, super absorbent, and "spa quality," so I'm convinced. And last but not least, I'd add a tower fan from Best Choice Products to my cart to try and save money on the electricity bill over the summer. I love this one that's slim and white, which looks more stylish than the bulky black ones that are usually available.

Total: $140

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