Whether you’re trying to sell your house or simply want to update its look, changing your decor can cost a large chunk of change. Here are some less-expensive alternatives to a full renovation that will boost your home’s appeal without breaking the bank.
1. Replace old, worn or outdated light fixtures. Bringing your lighting into the modern era is a great way to enhance a room. Look for inexpensive ceiling fans, flush-mount fixtures and other options at big-box home retailers. Make sure that any fixture you choose takes standard light bulbs; hunting down specialty bulbs can be a pain.
2. Give old cabinets a face-lift with a few coats of paint. Choose a long-wearing latex enamel paint to get the durability of oil-based paints without the odors or messy clean-up. You can replace your old hardware, if you wish, or you can spray-paint drawer pulls and knobs to change their look.
3. Add a backsplash to your kitchen. Backsplashes make it easier to keep the walls in your kitchen clean, protecting them from splatters and stains. They are also decorative, adding personality to your kitchen and enhancing its design. Ceramic, glass or metal tiles are common backsplash materials, although you can also use wallpaper or vinyl to create unique designs behind your counters.
4. Update your sink and bath fixtures. Gleaming new faucets and showerheads, especially those with modern designs, can improve the whole look of your kitchen or bath. If plain chrome doesn’t mesh well with your current decor, think outside the box and try design in brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze–but keep in mind that these may be more expensive.
5. Improve your home’s storage space. You can overhaul your current storage space without an addition to your home. Use a storage bench, overhead shelves and hooks to keep your entryway looking tidy, for instance. Add lazy Susans or extra shelves to cabinets to keep them neat and their contents accessible. Don’t forget about overlooked spaces like the backs of doors; you can hang your measuring cups on the inside of a cupboard door, or use an over-the-door shoe organizer to stash toiletries in the bathroom.
6. Add faux wainscoting. With just a chair rail, some paint and a few strips of wood that reach from the rail to the floor, you can make your dining room, breakfast nook or bathroom pop. Simply mount the chair rail at the desired height, and add flat, narrow strips of wood at regular intervals to create vertical stripes that reach the baseboards. Paint everything from the chair rail down the same color.
7. Simplify and declutter. If your home feels cramped and overwhelmed, it’s hard to accent its best features. Spend a few weeks in “purge” mode, actively picking up items throughout your home and considering how often you use them. Keep three boxes in a high-traffic area labeled “Give away,” “Repurpose,” and “Repair.” If it doesn’t fit into one of those three categories, it should probably head for the trash. Be ruthless in your decision-making, and enjoy a home that is free of random clutter.
With these simple DIY projects, you can make your home more appealing to potential buyers, or simply enjoy your updated space yourself. These small home makeovers can drastically alter the look of your home without the high cost of a full renovation.