When we think of home improvement, we have visions of ripped-up flooring, partially demolished walls, and the agonizing sensation that we’ve gotten in over our heads. But there are a myriad of little things that, with a small investment of money and time, you can do to improve the look and feel of your domicile.
Replace the Front Door
When someone comes to your house, your front door is the first major thing they see. It’s the first thing they look for when they pull into the driveway, and they stand there staring at it after they knock and the dog starts barking. The front door, in other words, makes your house’s first impression, so it ought to make a good one.The normal cost of a new front door is, at most, less than $800, unless you start getting really lavish. With the leftover funds, you can add some little touches like potted plants or a nice knocker. If your front door is in good shape, you can save some money by simply repainting it and devoting the difference to enhancing its surroundings by adding a trellis, exterior lighting, and other aesthetic touches.
Organize Your Space
Clutter affects the way we see a space; having lots of stuff stashed here and there or just lying around makes a room, or an entire home, feel chaotic and disheveled. Shelves are cheap, so depending on the size of your blessed mess, you can invest in lots of them if need be. You can also snag some plastic drawers and rubber bins for out-of-sight storage areas like the garage or the spare room. Look at what’s lying around your house, and tailor your organization to your own personal needs.
Decorate the Walls
Aside from getting yourself organizing, shelving is also a great way to decorate walls. With some minimal, wall-mounted surfaces, you can liven up a room by displaying pictures, knick knacks, and other everyday objets d’art. Art prints are available in nearly every home décor, department, and corner store, and they fill empty wall space nicely. Another option is buying some nice but modestly priced picture frames for those old posters that have been gathering dust in your closet or crawlspace since college. While it’s not going to add resale value and curb appeal the way that other items on this list will, you’ll be amazed how much a little pizzazz and personality can improve the look and feel of an erstwhile-dull room.
Renovate the Lighting
We often focus on the things that we see around us and forget about how we see them. Lighting can play a huge role in the look and the atmosphere of a room. If your living room feels dark and oppressive, ditch the floor and table lamps and install an overhead light fixture. On the other hand, you can invest in softer or dimmer lighting if a room feels too bright and harsh.The cost of lamps and light fixtures vary wildly by style and purpose, but you can easily find something that suits your needs and tastes for less than $1,000. The budget-conscious DIYer will be able to give his or her entire house a lighting makeover and still have money to spare.
Give it a Professional-Grade Cleaning
From the dust bunnies huddled in the corners to the grime lurking in the grout, little bits of dirt and detritus can escape our conscious notice. However, they will inevitably have an affect on our overall impression of a house or room. A deep down cleaning will be like a spa day for your house: it will invigorate, exfoliate, and beautify.You can rent a steam cleaner from a hardware store, which will leave your carpet, upholstery, and drapes pristine and looking like new. At the other end of the scale, a small investment in a sturdy brush and some heavy-duty cleaning products take years off your bathroom and kitchen.
Touch Up the Kitchen and Bathroom
There are a myriad of little projects in these rooms that breathe new life into them. Replacing drawers and cabinet doors, or even just replacing knobs and handles, can add some flare to your old cabinetry and vanity. If you’re willing to put in some more serious work, new tile can also add needed character to your bathroom or kitchen. The same is true of faucets, taps, and sinks.You may also want to think about new appliances, which tend to be kitchen centerpieces. They won’t be top of the line, stainless steel with built-in touch screens, but you will be able to afford some nicer, more serviceable ones. These will have a huge impact on your kitchen’s visual style.These are just a small sampling of the many projects that can breathe new life into your humdrum dwelling. With these in mind, take a look around your house or apartment, and you’re sure to find lots of other ways that you can improve your home with a minimal cost and a satisfying payoff.