It doesn’t have to cost a lot to improve your home. A house is charming thanks to the little details – a fun paint color, quirky fixtures, and thoughtful décor throughout. Fortunately, it is completely affordable to start updating your home today. Skip your daily drive-through coffee or lunch out for a week and you will be able to complete one or more of the following projects:
Update Light Switch Covers
Sure, light switch covers are usually a basic white rectangle. But did you know that they also make ‘em in bronze, brass, nickel, and a variety of colors? Replacing your light switch covers is a quick and inexpensive way to bring instant personality to a room. Creative covers start at under $3.
Add a Light Dimmer Switch
While you are thinking about upgrading your light switch, consider adding a dimmer switch. For less than $10, you can add ambient lighting to any room. This is a particularly nice option for dining rooms or bedrooms, where you may want to control brightness.
Rescue Old Furniture
There are lots of ways to give old furniture new life. If you are an enthusiastic DIY-er, find a tutorial on stripping and recovering couches or chairs for the cost of fabric, or you can sand down and restain or repaint wooden furniture. If you like how your furniture looks already, you can still switch up how it looks with a new plush throw or some pillows. Or you can find a local thrift or consignment shop to search for budget-friendly treasures.
Storage systems can be as simple as installing a few shelves or purchasing nice-looking containers. For a child’s toy room, you can buy or repurpose a bookshelf and store collapsible canvas boxes. In the pantry, use a label maker to designate shelves for specific categories of items (i.e. “canned goods”) and hang a hook to store aprons in an easy-to-find spot. Clear your laundry room by putting up a rod and adding hangers – you can use this to air dry clothes or sort your ironing.
Mirrors are an excellent, cost-effective alternative to framed art. It can be functional – update your bathroom vanity’s mirror or hang a small one by the front door to check your reflection before leaving. Hanging one or two big ones in your living space can give the impression of a larger room, as well as reflect light so that the entire area seems brighter.
Weather Stripping Your Door
Feel that cold air blowing in through your front door, even when it’s locked shut? That’s your house begging for new weather stripping. Knock this project out in an afternoon to save money on your energy bill for the rest of the year.
Replace Your Outdoor Lighting
Most homes come equipped with the same generic porch light, but there are actually a variety of styles and finishes available. The same goes for walkway and path lights. Adding lighting to a patio or pool is a great decorative touch for people who spend a lot of time in their backyard.
Yes, you can freshen up the white trim around your windows and repaint your door the same muted beige. Or, you can use turquoise blue, a sunny yellow, or a surprisingly neutral plum to highlight flower boxes or re-do your shutters. If not your house, you can always repaint a rocking chair and place it on your porch. Inside, you can highlight areas with lively paint colors, like the backsplash area in the kitchen, the wall above a chair rail, or even a room’s ceiling!
Need help expanding these DIY ideas into bigger remodeling projects? Check out Responsible Contractors for a comprehensive directory of the area’s most qualified contractors. It’s free to search and completely anonymous!