Do you want to improve your home but lack the time or money to do something significant? Don’t worry—you still have plenty of options. By making some small, low-cost adjustments, you can upgrade your living space in very noticeable ways. Read on to learn more about modest changes that pack a big punch.
Re-vamp your living space
Decluttering will transform not only your home but your mental health. It’s a cathartic process, which leaves your living space feeling cleaner, calmer, larger and more open. Be ruthless and keep only what is essential, useful or beautiful. Start with just one area, such as your wardrobe (closet), and tackle this completely before moving on to another area.
This home improvement change will only cost you time. In fact, it can make you money if you sell items that are no longer needed via eBay or a yard sale. Donate or trash everything else.
Beautiful wallpaper will completely re-vamp your living space. Choose a bold pattern, or bright colour (but not both). This will add interest without being visually overwhelming. Hire an experienced decorator if you’re not confident hanging wallpaper. You won’t regret it!
Fill the home with plants. They make any space bright, lively, and gorgeous. Mixing up small pots with a variety of styles and filled with different plants adds pop to the interior. Hanging plants in a pot tied with rope add unexpected transition and an attractive option in home style. Plants are also a natural air purifier; there should be a plant in each room. Plants are like the best companions. You take care of them and water them—then watch them grow. They are also a stress reliever and create positive effects on mood.
Timothy O. Bakke
Timothy O. Bakke, Director of Publishing, The Plan Collection. Tim has more than 40 years of experience in construction and home-improvement writing, editorial direction, and publishing management. He has worked in magazine and book publishing and, during the past 10-plus years, in online house-plan publishing as a natural progression, or evolution, from print home-plan publishing.
Low-cost home upgrades
1. One of the easiest, most effective ways to give your home a makeover is with paint and trim. A fresh coat of paint in a contemporary, trending color(s) inside will instantly update the whole feel of your home. The beiges, browns, and earth-tone colors of 10 years ago are now lighter white sand and gray-tinted hues that will instantly brighten up your rooms. While you’re at it, paint your crown molding and window and door trim with bright white – and if you don’t have crown molding and wide window and door casing, add it!
2. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, ripping it out and laying wood flooring (or refinishing it if it was sitting under the carpeting) will up the ante of your home, making it feel all new. With today’s engineered wood flooring, it may not be as expensive as you think if you can’t afford solid wood – and you may get better results!
3. In the kitchen, re-facing or painting cabinets and installing new hardware will give the space an instant face-lift. This is something you should have professionally done – the result will be worth it, and there’s nothing worse than a botched DIY job in a high-profile place like the kitchen. If you can afford it, replacing outdated appliances will make even more of a difference.
4. Look over your bathroom, especially the master bath. A new vanity and mirror or medicine cabinet can give you a fresh look. If it needs even more help, then replacing outdated tile – and maybe replacing the tub with a roomy walk-in shower – will make the area look all-new.
5. Finally, if you have an older home with the kitchen, dining room, and family or living room separated into individual rooms, doing what you can to make the place more of a contemporary, open floor plan will transform the house completely. Removing walls, of course, is a big job and must be done with the advice of an engineer. But even if you can’t afford or don’t want to do something that extreme, cutting a pass-through opening in a kitchen wall or a wide cased opening in a dining room or family room into an adjacent kitchen will brighten up the interior and make the place feel new.
Big houses have a lot of gardening space to plant whatever they want. Contrarily, owners of small houses do not. They could make their home entrance stunning by adapting vertical gardening. It would not only fill their space with natural colors but could also help them in cutting their food expense.
You could grow fast-growing vegetables and fruits to stay motivated. By doing so, you would have chemical-free organic food at home. Additionally, wall flaws (like poor paint jobs or dents) would get covered by the plants.
Most of the old, small houses have top cabinets in the kitchen. It makes it feel smaller. You could [switch] to open shelving if you do not have much stuff in your kitchen. Open shelving is a trend in modern houses. It makes the kitchen look more prominent. Choose material wisely. You could also go with relatively cheaper material, but make sure it gives a [professional] look. For example, some expensive plastics have the texture of marble.
Jeneva Aaron is a home decor blogger and cleaning/organization expert. She runs TheHouseWire.com
Change the lighting: Your lightbulbs have a bigger effect on your home than you might realize. Swapping them out can completely transform the space. You’ll be shocked at how much different your house feels if you simply swap out your white fluorescents and replace them with some warmer bulbs. It’ll feel way, WAY cozier—I promise.
Replace your cabinet hardware: I always recommend this tip to people who live in rented apartments. When you’re living on a lease, you don’t usually have the option to make big renovations. Sometimes, you may not even be able to paint your walls. But, you can make your home feel more personalized by swapping out the knobs and handles on the drawers and cabinets in your kitchen. It’s easy to do; all you need is a screwdriver. Just make sure to keep the original handles somewhere safe so that you can put them back on before you move out.
Get some peel-and-stick wallpaper: Wallpaper can make any room feel like a whole new space. But, most people don’t want to go through the trouble of applying it. Luckily, you don’t have to. Some of the peel-and-stick wallpaper products out there look just as good as the permanent stuff. And you can try out different patterns to see what you like without having to commit to one (and potentially regret it).
The right kind of storage
A very easy way to improve your home is by utilizing the right kind of storage. Instead of using random bins around your house or shoving items on a shelf, use matching baskets or plastic bins. It will make everything in your home appear more cohesive and calming.
Fresh and new
The best ways to improve your home without drastic measures or a big budget include wallpaper, new mirrors, new paint colors, gallery walls or maybe a new rug.
With wallpaper, you can think outside the box — use it behind a boring bookcase/shelf or use it on an accent wall/smaller space if committing to wallpaper scares you.
Swap out old mirrors for new, round ones, and find a paint color that can transform a space. Hang pictures of your loved ones in fun frames or get a new, big carpet to fill a room. These are fun and inexpensive ideas to make your space feel fresh and new.
High Quality lightning
It’s not easy to make visible and dramatic changes while saving money and staying within your budget. Even so, there are a great many ways to make a difference in your home, and without breaking the bank.
Out of all these different methods, that include changing up the layout of your home and repainting the walls or adding decorations, my favorite home improvement change is investing in the way lightning is set up in your home.
Bad lighting can cause problems with vision, and it can cause the space inside your home to look and feel far more uncomfortable than if you had quality lightning.
The easiest way to change it up a bit and improve the quality of light in your home is by adding better bulbs and playing with mirrors.
The first is self-explanatory. By adding bulbs that can produce clearer and brighter light, you’re raising the quality of lighting in your home.
The second is a little different, as it requires a little creativity to pull off. The key is placing mirrors in strategic places so that you can extend any natural light into spaces where it can’t normally reach. This will make space feel more open, and even larger. Combined with new bulbs, this will produce a dramatic change without changing many things.
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