Maintaining a home can be pricey. As a result, many of us focus our funds on functional purchases to help with maintenance rather than prioritize aesthetic changes that make our homes look great. You may feel like you need to pick certain logistical upgrades over updating the look of your home, but we can show you that’s not always the case.
Don’t let your budget stop your daydreams of a homey and well-styled interior to your home. You can make a big splash with minimal effort (and an even smaller budget) with these DIY tips. Each project will spruce up your home for $50 or less.
1. Clean out Your Home
Out with the old and in with the new! The first step to any home improvement process is cleaning out what you already have. Not only does the purging process make everything look less cluttered, it creates new opportunities for furniture arrangements (or perhaps completely new furniture to add). If you’re not sure where to start, follow this step-by-step guide.
2. Replace or Deep-Clean Old Plumbing Fixtures
When you think of a great bathroom, you probably think of hygiene and cleanliness. An old, worn faucet suggests the opposite of that. Change the attitude of your bathroom with a new faucet. Alternatively, you could also use these hacks to deep clean your existing faucets and return them to their original shine.
3. Fresh Paint, Fresh Perspective
Want the biggest bang for your buck? There isn’t an easier way than painting a room. The right shade can add a whole new brightness and vitality to the room you want to upgrade. Don’t just stop at painting all four walls the same; there are endless possibilities when you think outside the box. Consider painting just an accent wall or using chalkboard paint.
If you want to paint a larger room or want to go from dark to light, you’ll probably struggle to keep your budget below $50. Save more by searching sites like Craigslist or Freecycle to find used paint. While your color selection might be smaller, you’ll end up saving big.
4. Improve an Old Sofa
Once you’ve broken in a couch, it’s hard to let it go even if the color or style are out of date. Don’t throw it out, upgrade it! Purchase a thrifty couch cover from a discount home supply store or jazz it up with some decorative pillows. If your couch has an atypical shape and a regular slip cover won’t do, find a tapestry to lay over it.
5. Clean from Bottom to Top
Stains and scrapes in your flowing can make it look worn down or older than it is. If you have carpeting, rent a steam cleaner from your local hardware store and give it a good deep wash. Make sure to take extra care of stains and work at removing them with heavy-duty stain remover. If you have wooden floors, you can fill deep gouges with wood filler or buff out superficial scratches with special floor treatments. Depending on the severity of the damage, there are several options for a solution.
6. Make a Statement with Your Backsplash
You may think of your backsplash as more function than fashion, but it can be both! Paint existing tiles to create a new pattern or look into adhesive squares that are as simple to install as they sound. Some of these options can be removed quickly without any residual damage — perfect for renters!
7. Style Your Bookcase
Break away from the typical book stacks and get inspired. Your books have a potential to be a focal point in any room. Organize them by color or break up the stacks with photos and decorative pieces. Use non-traditional pieces as interesting bookends. If your books are great as is, make the actual shelving unit more interesting by covering the inner shelves with wallpaper or contact paper.
8. Pay Attention to Details Like Hardware
Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most common spaces to show signs of age. Shake that dated feeling without spending a ton on new cabinets or storage — buy new hardware. Drawer pulls and knobs are a simple change, but they can have a big impact. Just keep in mind that you want your new hardware to fit in with your existing cabinets.
9. Feng Shui Your Space
Find some new harmony within your old furniture arrangement. Rethinking the flow of the room can bring new life to a tired space. Before you start moving furniture (especially if you have a large or heavy pieces), try floor planning websites like Roomle. This room planning site allows you to draw your room and add furniture to see the best layouts possible. You can pick and choose where you want your things to go before the heavy lifting, removing all the hassle. Roomle has 2D and 3D views so you can feel confident in your plan.
10. Rethink Your Lighting
Are you lamps too bright? Too soft? You can revitalize a room just by seeing things in a new light. Consider buying new lampshades or moving your light source to a new spot. Take advantage of natural lighting and seek out the dark corners to improve. In cases where the natural light varies greatly, you can upgrade to a dimmer switch to accommodate lighting scenarios at all times of day.
11. Plant Some Big Ideas
Curb appeal is all about the perceived value of your home when viewed from the street. Take the time to trim shrubbery, mow the lawn and mulch any garden space. How well you take care of the outside of your home reflects how you may take care of the inside, so make a good first impression. Talk to a gardener at your local hardware store about what easy-to-care-for plants that are best for your climate.