by: Sarah Russell
Are you caught up in the home improvement craze? Or trying to sell your home in a rough real estate market? Major improvements such as new flooring or a deck can really dip into your pocketbook, but you don’t need to do anything so extreme to improve the look of your home. When renovating on a budget, try to improve existing rooms and fixtures, instead of replacing them entirely. You’ll save money on materials and demolition costs. Focus first on the three key areas of your home that make a big difference in the appearance of your home – the entrance, kitchen and bathroom. With some simple renovations, you can improve all three for less than $100.
First impressions aren’t just for people! Take a step back and see your entrance as a guest or prospective buyer would. Has your welcome mat has lost its welcome appeal? Is your porch surrounded by dead plants or weeds? Is the paint on your door peeling or faded? If your entrance doesn’t wow you like it should, it’s time to spice it up! If you have a spacious porch, purchase a potted plant in a contemporary planter or a hanging basket of flowers. Potted plants run about $10 at a local garden store or general retailer.
Spruce up your front door with new paint. If the paint on your door is in good condition, but faded, wash it and give it a new coat of paint. If your old paint is peeling, you may need to scrape it off before putting on a new coat. Consult the paint department at a hardware store near you on the best way to paint your door. Overall, a gallon of interior/exterior gloss enamel will set you back no more than $20. And don’t forget the new welcome mat!
Even though kitchen cabinets take up the bulk of the space in a kitchen, they’re often ignored in home renovation projects. But don’t fall into this trap! Cleaning and updating your kitchen cabinets can make a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your kitchen for almost no money at all! To start, give your cabinets a good cleaning – it’s amazing how much dust and grease can accumulate on them. Remove the cabinet doors from their hinges and wipe them down with the damp cloth. Tougher stains can be removed with cleaning chemicals, but make sure that the chemicals are safe for use on your cabinet material.
If you’re craving a major change, you may be able to paint your cabinet doors. For best results, take one of your doors to a hardware store. They can tell you whether your doors can be painted or not, and what materials you’ll need to do it. You can also update the look of your cabinets with new knobs and pulls. Knobs range from simple unfinished versions that cost as little as $.50 to decorative insert pulls that costs around $3 – the whole kitchen should cost you less than $20!
After all the time you spend updating other rooms, your guest bathroom may be feeling a little neglected. Your guests will notice, so why not give this room a lift? You probably already have a nice set of guest towels and matching accessories, so focus your attention on adding new trim, artwork, and color. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way and if you plan well, you can use the leftover paint from your kitchen cabinets. Once the paint is dry, you can add wallpaper trim or stencil on a trim with complementary paint. A new piece of artwork will finish the look. You can purchase cheap posters from craft stores or use your imagination and make your own artwork. Mount a few seashells on colorful fabric in a picture frame (don’t use the glass) or press a few flowers from your new hanging basket and mount in a shadow box. Get creative and you’ll be amazed what you can do to improve the look of your home.