Are you sick of your home’s boring, unimaginative style, or growing tired of its dingy, dated décor? Do you wish you could update your home’s appearance but can’t afford the cost that comes with a full-on renovation? We’ve all been there. If you’re searching for a few quick and easy ways to significantly enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank, follow these three tips for refreshing your living space while sticking to a super-strict budget.
Pick Out New Paint
There’s no easier or more inexpensive way to give your home a brand-new look than swapping out the stale colors that currently coat your walls for bright and vibrant hues that welcome you when you walk through the door. While some do-it-yourselfers steer clear of painting projects because of the perceived hassle, you won’t find a better bang for your buck on a budget home renovation project anywhere else.
For the best results, select shades that evoke moods which correspond to each room you plan to update. Cool colors—like blue, green, gray and lavender—call forth feelings of peace, calm and tranquility, making them the perfect choice for bedrooms. Warm colors—ranging from yellow and orange to red and pink—can have a stimulating effect and are therefore are great option for home offices, accent walls, or living rooms, dens and kitchens.
In addition to altering the types of feelings a certain room evokes, the paint color you choose to display on your walls can also help to change the perception of a specific room’s size. If your goal is to make a small space seem a little bit larger, opt for a cool color—like a deep blue or aqua—which can help to open or “expand” a space as the color appears to recede. Warm colors, by contrast, have a tendency to “advance” toward you when you step into a room, making large rooms feel more intimate and cozy. Whatever hues you pick from your preferred palette, giving your home a much-needed pop of color is a surefire way to completely overhaul its appearance for the minimal cost of a few cans of paint and a handful of brushes.
Update Cabinet Pulls and Bathroom Faucets
Another simple and inexpensive way to take your home’s décor from drab to fab is to replace dated fixtures with ones that are bright, shiny and new. Few aspects of your home get used more frequently than the fixtures throughout, and whether you realize it or not, coming into contact with ones that don’t wow you—or, worse, ones that remind you that your home is in desperate need of some upgrades—can play a pivotal role in the way you feel about the space you call home.
Take a moment to think about just how many times each day and night you handle the fixtures throughout your residence. Whether it’s the leaky handles on your bathroom faucet you struggle to turn each time you wash your hands, or those ugly, sticky cabinet pulls you’re forced to grab every time you time you make a meal or put away a plate, the less-than-impressive fixtures found in your house can have more of an effect on your mood than you might think.
From brass and bronze to copper, chrome, nickel and gold-plated, the options available are virtually endless. Head to your local hardware store to search for a style that fits your needs, personal style and your budget—or browse online retailers via websites like Etsy for a product you can customize right down to the color and texture. You’ll be amazed at how adding an updated set of fixtures to your home can drastically change the entire look of a kitchen or bathroom for anywhere from $50 to a couple hundred dollars. Just make sure you stick with one style and color scheme throughout to keep your home looking uniform and avoid creating an awkward contrast from one room to another.
Upgrade Your Lighting Fixtures
When it comes to mood-boosting home improvements that won’t put a major dent in your wallet, installing new lighting fixtures should rank at the top of your to-do list. Much like the pieces of furniture you’ve chosen to decorate the interior of your home tell a story about a homeowner’s personal style and preference, lighting fixtures create an immediate ambience that determines both the look at feel of your space. If you long to come home after a long day at the office and lay back and relax with your four-legged friend, you probably wouldn’t choose a stiff couch with an expensive, scratchy fabric for your living room—you probably prefer a plush and comfy couch that welcomes you and your guests to kick off your shoes and make yourselves at home.
The same is true for lighting fixtures. There are thousands of styles available today—pendants, track lighting, wall sconces, chandeliers and more—and the odds of your home having one that speaks to your particular style upon move-in are slim. Fortunately, updating your lighting fixtures is an easy and relatively cheap task. Once you’ve selected a style that suits your personal tastes, narrow your options down to individual fixtures that blend in well with the rest of your home. If you just outfitted your kitchen cabinets with brand-new brushed-nickel drawer pulls, for example, don’t install a brass lighting fixture over the dining room table.
Look for sleek and sophisticated styles that contribute to the overall feel of the space but don’t draw too much attention to the fixtures themselves. Just as the knobs or pulls in your kitchen serve as an accent to the cabinets themselves, the lighting fixtures you install should complete the look you’re going for without attracting too much of the attention as the focal point in any particular room. Switch out a cumbersome and dated chandelier for a trendy, colorful pendant that’s more your style, or install under-cabinet lighting or recessed lighting in rooms with low ceilings that can’t easily accommodate a hanging fixture without making the room feel even shorter than it already is.
Once you’ve enhanced your home’s aesthetic appeal by installing updated lighting fixtures, experts recommend updating the types of bulbs you use in order to complete the ambience you are trying to achieve. Avoid harsh fluorescent lighting and stick instead to incandescent bulbs—which offer a warm and inviting atmosphere—or halogen bulbs, which emit a soft, white light that is the closest you’ll find to the look of natural daylight.
The space you live in is your sanctuary, and with just a few minor and inexpensive updates to the key components of your property, you can enhance the look and feel of your residence to make it feel less like a house and more like a home—all at a fraction of the cost of a total renovation.