You know the story. You buy a house with all the intentions of completely renovating. You have high hopes for your little fixer upper. Inevitably life gets busy, money runs out and you’re left with that avocado green linoleum and brown trim. This was J and I at our first home. After doing some remodeling initially we stalled out and I was left with several outdated rooms that I just wanted done. After a few years and some simple home improvements we finished it but it took much longer than I expected! That seems to be the story I hear from so many.
Well, today I’ve come to bring you a little encouragement in the hopes you’ll see that there’s light at the end of that 80’s floral wallpapered tunnel. You don’t have to renovated to update! There are a few simple things you can do that will change the whole feel on your space without breaking the bank.
So lets get started!
5 Simple Home Improvements
Paint is and will always be my first suggestion for any good room makeover. It’s quite the miracle worker. Whether it’s the walls, trim, doors or cabinets, it has the power to brighten and refresh any space! Painting is the most affordable update you can give your home and it just might be the one that makes the biggest impact.
Here’s our foyer before-
After removing the carpet on the stairs, painting the stairs, trim and walls here’s our foyer now-
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You can see the difference paint made in our kitchen as well. One of the first things we did was to paint the cabinets. We lived with the laminate counter tops for a while but the painted cabinets made all the difference.
Fresh paint instantly gave our kitchen new life! If you’re thinking about painting your cabinets check out my tips for painting cabinets like a pro. Here are some of the paint colors we’ve chosen in our home. They’re neutral but are guaranteed to brighten up any space!
From top left to right-
Halo by Benjamin Moore, Dove White by Benjamin Moore, Moonshine by Benjamin Moore, Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams, Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore, Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams, Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore, Simply White by Benjamin Moore, Graphite by Benjamin Moore
It’s amazing what a new light fixture can do for a space. Swapping out an outdated fixture for a pretty new one can make a huge statement in a room. Contrary to what you might think, a new fixture doesn’t have to break your budget. Each new fixture in our home was purchased on sale, Amazon or at outlets.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite vintage style fixtures that not only look great but are super affordable!
If you’re not quite ready to dive into painting your kitchen cabinets, consider changing out the old hardware for something new and fresh. It’s a small cost for a big pay off! It only requires a little time and a screw driver. An hour later you’ve got an instant update. This also goes for door hardware too. Swapping out door knobs only takes an afternoon and only a screw driver is required. I’ve rounded up some timeless hardware picks that will keep you on budget!
4. Reframe those Family Photos
How many frames do you currently have hanging that have seen better days? I know I have several screaming to come down. It’s really amazing what a difference fresh photos and updated frames make to your walls. Two of my favorite places to hunt for affordable frames are Homegoods and Michael’s craft store. Michael’s constantly runs sales and you can even snag a coupons off their website!
Here are also some great priced frames I’ve found-
5. Ditch those old outlet and light switches!
One of the cheapest updates yet one of the most over looked is the outlets and light switches. Don’t skip it. Those little details make a big different and it’s getting more and more simple. I recently discovered these simple outlet covers that don’t require any wiring for a new outlet plug. It doesn’t get any easier than that friends! If you’re looking for something a little more fun and unexpected check out our powder/laundry room makeover where we used push button switches.
Just remember this journey of owning a home is a marathon not a sprint! Unlike an HGTV show, It takes time and sometimes when you have that the money isn’t there with it and that’s okay. Enjoy the process. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that time is your friend. it’s easier to make the right decision when you’re not rushed. The last thing your want to do is to make a hasty design choice to only regret it later. Look for the updates you can make today and enjoy the journey!
Amanda, this is such a great post! We are in the middle of updating our house and sometimes I feel so rushed to just get it DONE. I think it’s because I just want it to *feel* like home. Truth is, it IS home. Over time, everything will come together and let’s face it – if I don’t have at least one house project to work on I’m bored! 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to take it slow!
I couldn’t agree more Martha! I get rushed and fairly often and just want it all knocked out asap but you put it perfectly. I’d be bored if all the projects were finished. I’m so glad I’m not alone. I have to remind myself to enjoy it now so often!
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