How to renovate on a budget – 21 affordable ideas to transform your home

Paint Trim

Joyelle West

Trimwork highlights your home’s features, drawing extra attention to walls, windows, staircases, and more. Painting trim an updated color can further define these elements and contribute to a high-end look. Cover dated-looking woodwork with a fresh coat of white paint, or choose a contrasting trim color, such as black, for a distinctly modern effect.


See Full Details: Beautiful Homes of Instagram: Transforming a House Into a Home

Home décor is what gives your home a personality a

Home décor is what gives your home a personality and this is why I feel we should stick with neutral wall colors. Bring color and a change with new pillows and if possible, invest in two rugs for your Great Room. One should be for warmer months and the other, for the colder months. Changing them from time to time will allow your home to feel refreshed. Try to do the same with your pillows and some decorative items. I tend to add more coastal décor during summer.

Design: @simplicityfordesigns 📷: @audriedollins

Full Plate


Wall art doesn’t have to be limited to familiar framed accents like portraits or posters. Here, nailing down melamine dinner plates in myriad colors, shapes, and sizes unexpectedly transforms an empty wall of shame in the dining room into one of cozy, eclectic charm. Related: 11 Big Ideas for a Small Dining Room

2) Add New Lighting To Your Home

Proper lighting can truly bring a room to life.  A poorly lit room looks small, dark and cramped, while a brightly lit room appears open, airy and welcoming. There are numerous ways to brighten up your home with lights. Some of the easier methods are as simple as buying table lamps and floor lamps for your home.Strategically place a couple tall floor lamps in dark corners and watch your room come alive. Layer this lighting with lamps on side tables, making the room feel welcoming and cozy.  Then, if you want to get adventurous, you can replace all those out-dated ceiling fixtures with the stunning modern masterpieces that are available on the market.Of course, this last part may require you to hire an electrician for installation, but if you’re handy, replacing a ceiling fixture is something that is not too complicated.  Whether you keep it simple with floor lamps, or go all out and replace all your ceiling fixtures —modernize your home with plenty of bright lights.

herkisi/ Getty images

herkisi/ Getty images

4. Give the Master Bath a Boost

For a typically small space, there’s a whole lot of remodeling to be done in the bathroom. Go big with a full remodel of your master bathroom, including new fixtures, tub, flooring, cabinets, countertops and lighting, or trim your budget by just focusing on a few essentials. Average Cost: The average bathroom remodel runs about $10,342, but by focusing on your bathroom’s trouble spots, you can pare that down to about $3,500 to $7,000.

15. Revive the Driveway

Assessing your driveway is one repair worth budgeting for. One, it’s a utilitarian feature that just about everyone uses to protect that other big investment — the car. Two, having a clean and updated driveway with no cracks improves your curb appeal and can protect your driveway from eroding, not to mention the unsightly look caused by weeds. Average Cost: To repair a driveway, you’re looking at about $1,500, or as much as $4,500 for a new one.

27. Update your light fixtures — it’s an easy way to upgrade your home without breaking the bank (while still making it look like you did)

Amazon Promising review: “I was very skeptical when I bought this. I thought I would end up returning it, but it looks great. It actually looks very nice. I ended up using LED ‘Edison-style’ bulbs instead of the traditional filament bulbs because I was worried about the heat emission (and energy consumption) of the latter. I think it looks great!” —Lou Get this mid-century-modern chandelier from Amazon for $89.99 (available in five finishes).


The typical lifespan of carpet is 10-15 years old, so if your carpet is older than that, it needs to be replaced…period. Before you replace it, take a peek to see if you might be lucky enough to have hardwood floors underneath. Hardwood flooring is not only in style, but it’s easier to clean, lasts longer, and doesn’t harbor allergens, like dust and mites.

Discovering hardwood floors under old carpet is like a gift from the home improvement Gods! How can you check to see if you’ve been blessed? Easy…just lift up your floor vent and pull up the carpet a little to see if there is hardwood flooring underneath. If so, you can do a little happy dance, and then rip up that nasty old carpet.

Source: Julie Blanner

Source: Julie Blanner

Just be aware that you won’t know the condition of the floors underneath until you remove the carpet, so it’s a bit of a gamble. Most floors can be refinished and will look like new, but in some cases the hardwood might be water-damaged and require replacing. If that’s the case, you can go with new hardwoods, luxury vinyl, or even new carpet (though I recommend going with hardwood or luxury vinyl if you want a more updated look).

14. How to declutter your home in 10 minutes a day

I know it’s not a project, but this was too good of an update not to share.

You can update your home without spending a dime by decluttering it.

See how I declutter my home in 10 mintues a day here.

12. Or try an investment-worthy roll of magnetic dinosaur print wallpaper that’s just so dinomite

Sian Zeng on Etsy Sian Zeng is a London-based Etsy shop specializing in unique and beautifully illustrated wallpapers. Comes with a 10mx52cm 1/2 drop roll, 10mx52cm white lining paper, 10mx55cm magnetic lining, a wallpaper hanging guide, and three complementary magnets. Get it from Sian Zeng on Etsy for $448.08+.

12. Refinish Your Home’s Handsome Wood Door

Photo by Kit Latham

The years and the elements hadn’t been kind to the exterior of this 94-year-old, thick, cypress door. Flakes of varnish still clung to the wood in spots, while the rest of the surface was rough and dried out from the effects of water and sun. Wood entry doors everywhere suffer from the same assaults, and many end up in the trash, replaced by low-maintenance, mass-produced metal and fiberglass surrogates. But you can breathe new life into your old door with a few affordable supplies.

Cost: About $50.

See How to Refinish a Door for full step-by-step instructions.

Fake a Built-In Look

Kim Cornelison

If you like the look of library-like shelves but don’t want to splurge on a custom design, use bookcases to create the appearance of floor-to-ceiling built-ins. In this living room, four tall bookcases were stacked and secured to the wall with anchors. To reinforce the built-in look, consider adding trim along the top of the shelving units.

Earn Your Stripes


Homes of all stripes could lift this washi tape idea to create a striped entryway door. The banded pattern, created by adhering alternating colors of washi tape and painter’s tape along the doorway ledge, is as easy to install as it is to remove. Related: 10 Mini Makeovers You Can Do in Minutes


21. Style your kitchen cabinets

If you are looking for simple ways to update your home, this house update will take you about 2 hours.

But the results?

They will last until 2021.

If you don’t have open kitchen cabinets, you could style a bookcase or a hutch.

See all the how to’s here.

4. Reinstate a fireplace

(Image credit: future PLC/Olly Gordon)

A fireplace is a wonderful focal point to any room. But sadly, they weren’t so hot in the 1970s and ’80s, leading to many homeowners ripping them out. So if you have a chimney breast bare of a fireplace, why not reintroduce one? It certainly beats a TV as a focal point, and could bring back all the character you’re home’s been missing.

While a grand may not stretch to replacing an ornate marble surround, there are lots of cast-iron models at reasonable prices. You can pick up a cute combination grate like this for as little as £400.

Cost: Installation can vary, but if there is a bare wall with a hole it should be around £300, whereas if an unsuitable fireplace needs to be removed first, it could be up to £600.

8. Give Kitchen Cabinets a Flawless, New Finish

Photo by Kolin Smith

Your cavelike kitchen feels that way because the dark cabinets have sucked all the light out of the room. But a brighter makeover doesn’t necessarily mean replacing those gloomy boxes with all-new one. As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on some new paint—and within a weekend take that kitchen from dreary to sunny. All you need is some strong cleaner, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and a little elbow grease. What you don’t need is a whole lot of money, as the transformation will cost you a fraction of even the cheapest new cabinets.

Cost: About $200.

See How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets for full step-by-step instructions.

7. Install a skylight

(Image credit: future PLC/David Giles)

If you have a dark loft room or attic bathroom idea (opens in new tab), off-the peg skylights are a relatively inexpensive architectural solution. Adding one or two will brighten any gloomy room, instantly transforming a space.

Cost: Velux skylights start from around £500 for the fixed, non-opening solution, and should cost around £250/£350 for an experienced builder to install.

 8) Spruce-Up Your Bathroom

Bathrooms get dirty and dingy quite quickly. Begin a bathroom overhaul with a thorough cleaning. Yes, not a lot of fun, but the shiny result will give you new motivation to spruce-up the rest of the bathroom.Once the room is clean, look to the outdated knobs, light fixtures, vanity, faucets, and shower curtains. By simply changing out one or two of the most outdated items, you can make your bathroom look modern and new. A coat of paint can really go far in a bathroom, as well.Look to the bathroom below and notice all the shiny white painted trim and blue walls; the modern cabinet pulls; the cool lantern light fixture; the modern faucet; the plush towels, and  the pretty plants—-these all add up to a brand-new bathroom, without  tearing out cabinets, walls or sinks.

EricVega/ Getty Images

EricVega/ Getty Images


When we bought our first home, all of the doors were hollow, flat wood doors with shiny, brass knobs (just like in the picture below). Not exactly the look we were going for at the time. So, we replaced all of our doors with white, paneled doors from Home Depot. You know what? That one change made a HUGE difference! The hallway suddenly looked clean and bright…and the entire house felt updated!

Now, you don’t have to replace all of your doors to achieve similar results. You can also just paint your existing doors (including the hardware, like we talked about before), and/or add some custom moulding to the door to totally change the look. Here are some great examples.

Source: Hometalk

Source: Hometalk

Source: How Fantastic blog

2. Update the Lighting

Another affordable way to update a home is with new lighting. That’s why adding new lamps and light fixtures is one of the most popular low-cost renovations.

The quality of a home’s lighting can make or break the feel of the room. Fortunately, swapping out lightbulbs and lamps doesn’t have to be expensive. Once you’ve installed some energy-efficient bulbs, consider adding some statement light fixtures to complete the look.

6. Replace Upholstery

It may be time to put your old couch pillows to rest at last. Some new upholstery might be the final touch that will pull everything together. Consider everything from shower curtains to drapes. Evaluate how you can modernize them. If you choose to use patterns, select ones that aren’t too busy. You don’t want heavy fabric to feel even heavier due to clashing assortment of lines and color.

Follow these six easy and affordable ways to update your home, and you won’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new house! Then follow the tips to Keep Your Bedroom Clean and Organized for a room that feels fresh, comfortable and modern.