23 Affordable Ways to Completely Re-Do Your Home
These small investments can lead to huge changes.
Redecorating your home doesn't have to break the bank. Believe it or not, it's entirely possible to completely re-do your home without dipping into a huge chunk of your savings. By following a few simple tricks we've collected from designers and other home decorating experts, you can make your humble abode a lot more fabulous. So if your décor is beginning to feel a bit stale, check out these affordable redecorating tips that can make your home feel brand new again.
Redecorating doesn't always mean adding something new—sometimes, it's just the opposite. "[If] you have too many things on the surfaces of your furniture…[and] you feel stressed just sitting in your living room," that means it's time for some things to go, says Carla Campos, co-founder of 15 Minutes of Creativity.
She recommends going through each excess item in your home and determining whether it can be tossed or donated. After that, your place is sure to feel new and refreshed. "By decluttering, you could turn a busy and stressful room into a more calm and relaxed space that you could be proud of," Campos explains.
When it comes to your home, making a small upgrade can have a big effect. "Replacing details such as your drawer handles and cabinet knobs can make a huge aesthetic difference," says Dave Murphy, the national tech director for N-Hance Wood Renewal, Home Depot's partner for cabinet and flooring renewal. Murphy says materials "with a subtle splash of color, sleek silver, or gold finish" can really make something old feel new again.
Swap Those Throws
Handles and knobs aren't the only small items in your home that you can quickly and affordably replace. Sara Skirboll, a consumer trends expert for RetailMeNot, also recommends "changing out small accessories like pillows, throws, and small items for your coffee table."
She suggests buying inexpensive pieces, so that when you grow bored of your choices, "you can change them up more frequently."
Use Colored Grout
Grout isn't just for sealing in your tiles—it's a great place to make a statement. Curt Rapp, CEO of The Tile Doctor, says colored grout is "trending and an easy, cost-effective way to transform any space in a home." Colored grout can be used on original tiling or applied over existing work. "It can transform ordinary ceramic or glass tile-work into unexpected—and visually stunning—designs," says Rapp.
Get a Unique Backsplash
Though it's there to catch all the water, grease, and grime that flies when you cook, we all know a kitchen backsplash is also about decoration. This small space plays an outsized role in your kitchen's overall look.
To make the heart of the home feel fresh, Murphy suggests finding a backsplash "made from alternative materials like aluminum, copper, or stainless steel."
If that's not your aesthetic, then go for unique shapes like "triangles and hexagons over the traditional rectangles and squares," he advises. Whatever you choose, a new backsplash is sure to give your kitchen "a bold and modern feel," says Murphy.
Paint Your Lower Cabinets
When you're really ready for some design experimentation, go for two-toned cabinets, says Murphy. Simply paint your lower cabinets one color and keep the upper ones neutral. "If you have light floors and countertops, go for dark colors and vise versa," Murphy says. "Think navy blues with whites, pastels and wood, or gray with colors." Balance is key here.
Bring the Outside In
Just as plants beautify the outside world, they can easily and affordably do the same inside your home. Jessica Davis, owner of JL Design in Nashville, Tennessee, says that "bringing inside a plant gives your space an earthy, spa-like tone."
If you're worried about keeping a precious plant baby alive, Davis says "even a small plastic cactus on a desk" will do the trick.
Replace Your Lighting
For a low-cost redecorating reboot, Davis recommends looking up and focusing on lighting. "Swap old fixtures for new ones to brighten up a space," she says. All of the sudden, you'll love what you see, as long as you avoid The 15 Ugliest Light Fixtures on the Planet.
Switch Up Your House Numbers
How the number of your home is displayed outside is not something we often think about. But it can be the first hint visitors and neighbors have of your style and flair. So change it up, says Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza, brand editor at home improvement site House Method.
"Updated and modern house numbers can be purchased at most home improvement stores for under a hundred dollars," she says.
Not only is it a quick and inexpensive fix, but it's a smart investment, too. "An exterior update like this is a simple way to boost curb appeal," McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza explains.
Add Crown Molding
"Adding crown molding is a simple yet powerful way to elevate the look of a room," suggests McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza. It's also something you can do on your own, often in the span of a single weekend, she says.
It's low on time and cost, and the results will speak for themselves. "It's a small investment that carries a large visual impact," McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza says.
Repaint with a Bright Color
One great way to breathe life into a room is to repaint it. Davis suggests taking the opportunity to bring in a bright color to really make a room pop. According to Davis, going bold "will make the room feel brand new." And you can do it on your own, to boot!
Add Smart Technology
"Installing smart technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering a remodel," says Matt Edstrom, a property management expert at GoodLife Home Loans in Laguna Hills, California. But a small addition, such as a smart bulb or thermostat, "can drastically improve the quality and feel of your home," he says.
In addition, the cost of these changes are typically non-prohibitive, and will likely pay off by helping save on energy costs as time goes on.
Paint Your Front Door
You know what they say about first impressions, and your front door can either make or break it for your home. Applying a fresh coat of paint to your front door in a color that contrasts—yet compliments—the rest of your home's facade, will quickly transform the entire look of your home. Plus, it requires even less effort—and cost—than painting a room!
Change Your Switchplate Covers
Switchplate covers are those metal or plastic frames surrounding your home's light switches. While you might not notice them now, you're sure to feel the difference once you've updated them. Switchplates tend to get dull over time, which can suggest that your entire room has become the same. For the more adventurous, consider switching out a typical white switchplate for a silver or patterned alternative. This subtle pop will make you smile every time you turn the lights on and off.
Move Your Furniture Around
This redecorating task will literally cost you nothing but a little elbow grease. If you feel like your home needs a makeover, first consider whether simply rearranging your furniture will do the trick. By placing pieces in new positions and maybe even in different rooms, you just might find that what you thought your home was missing was there all along.
Refurbish Your Bathroom
Of all the rooms in your home, your bathroom may be the easiest to quickly and affordably redecorate. Just think of all the interchangeable pieces! Switching out a shower curtain, a toilet paper holder, a soap dish, or shower head can give you the spa-like bathroom you always wanted.
Apply Removable Wallpaper
Applying wallpaper is known for being a nightmare task. But you can reap all the benefits of a gorgeous paper print without the hassle by employing removable wallpaper. This once-substandard option has come a long way and is now almost indistinguishable from regular wallpaper. The only difference? It can be used over and over again and it doesn't require messy external adhesives or a professional crew to get the job done. It's time to give it a try.
Get New Window Treatments
A small, effective way to make a big change to your home is by switching out your window curtains, shades, or even just the rod that's holding them up. Changing the frame to your outside light source is sure to rebound to the rest of the room, as well.
While you can't increase the size of your living quarters without doing major renovation, you can make it feel as if you've gained square footage overnight by using the right materials. According to Larry Patterson, owner of Glass Doctor in Seattle, Washington, "glass shelves and tabletops are a great way to subtly upgrade the home without much work while creating the illusion of more space."
In addition, glass is bound to give your home a more modern feel.
Clean Your Hardwoods
For a quick refresh, consider a full-on clean of all your hardwoods, says Jack White, vice president of technical services at Rainbow International Restoration. But, be sure to do it the right way.
Water can warp the wood, so White suggests that you "mop with a mixture of 1/2 to 1 cup white vinegar and one gallon warm water." Then, "work in small sections, wiping the floor with a slightly damp cleaning cloth and drying it immediately with a cotton towel," he explains. There's truly a luster that can only come from well-polished hardwood floors.
Put Your Family Photos In Uniform Frames
Family photos are treasures, but there are upgraded ways to display them. Elizabeth O'Neill, an agent at Warburg Realty in New York City, suggests moving family photos "from their disparate frames to uniform ones." As a result, "they will look much more like a 'collection' and make your home feel better coordinated," she explains.
While urging homeowners to stick to a less-is-more philosophy, O'Neill nonetheless recommends the use of a few small items here and there to accent your home. "I'm not suggesting going overboard with thimble collections, but creatively chosen tchotchkes can change the mood of a room," she says.
Mix Patterns and Textures
If your bedroom or living room is looking flat, "create an expensive and luxurious look [by] mixing patterns and textures" of pillows, says Magdalena Oshana, founder of home staging company Stellar Stage in New York City.
With various affordable offerings at places like Target and Home Goods, you can easily pick up the pieces you need at bargain prices.
Oshana's one caveat? Always decorate in pairs, regardless of how eclectic the collection is. "Adding symmetry creates balance and relaxes the senses," she explains. And for more ways to add color in your redecorating process, make sure to check these 20 Amazing Ways to Brighten Your Home.
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