You know what they say, “change is good” – but, when it comes to your home, a big renovation isn’t always possible. If you’re craving a home refresh, but don’t have the time, budget or energy to take on a major reno at the moment, you can still do plenty to enhance your home. From colourful coats of paint to smart hardware swaps, these 16 ideas will give your home a stylish upgrade – no renos required.
Brian McCourt is a contractor, design expert and co-host of HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds.
Boost Your Curb Appeal
Giving the exterior of your home some attention can be a refreshing way to upgrade your place – and you don’t need a bulldozer to do it. Paint your home’s exterior, update your house address numbers and swap the exterior light fixtures for a totally new look. Check out these curb appeal boosters and their estimated costs to make some budget-conscious decisions.
Bring it All Back
Outdoor upgrades make a huge difference in the backyard too, if I do say so myself. Keep things simple and enhance the structure of your existing outdoor space by adding storage options, comfortable spots for relaxing and a few personalized, playful details. With a little creativity, you can easily make your backyard feel seriously staycation worthy.
A New Finish
With that said, you might already have a great outdoor space – and upgrading could just be a matter of sprucing it up and keeping it in shipshape. Give your deck a new look and keep it in good condition with a fresh finish.
Switch on the Light
Change your lighting, change your life? While that statement may be a bit of an exaggeration, swapping out lamps or light fixtures is a simple way to achieve a big upgrade, with no demo or reno necessary.
Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. Painting – especially if you can do it yourself – is a relatively low-cost, no-reno way to totally change up the look of any part of your house. If you’re looking for big-impact upgrade, aim your paint brush on high-traffic rooms like the kitchen or bathroom.
When you’re doing a kitchen reno, new cabinets take up a pretty big portion of your time and budget – but, a lot of the time, you totally revive what you already have. Refinishing and painting existing kitchen cabinets isn’t exceptionally difficult – and it can give them a totally new look and feel.
Swap the Hardware
While you’re at it with those cabinets, why not go all the way? Pairing a fresh coat of paint with sleek new hardware will help those kitchen cabinets look brand new – without the cost and hassle of actually gutting your kitchen.
Got the hang of changing hardware? New hardware can go a long way to refreshing your home’s doorways, too. Swapping old, dingy door handles is actually pretty simple, with a great visual payoff.
Plant the Seed
When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? Whether you grow a salad’s worth of delicious veggies or beautify your yard with vibrant flowers, planting a garden is a satisfying, natural way to enhance your home. Have a bit more backyard space and looking for a project? You can always build a DIY greenhouse to help protect your plants from the Canadian climate.
More than just being good for the environment (though, of course, this is an important factor), swapping out old lights and appliances for more energy-efficient models gives you long-term bang for your buck – saving energy and money on energy bills. Consider replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs for a low-energy, long-lasting switch – or upgrade to a smart thermostat to help cut down on your home’s energy consumption (and costs).
Sort Through It
It may not be the most glamorous place in your home, but enhancing your laundry room‘s storage can make a major difference to the order and overall functionality of your home (and make laundry day way less excruciating). Simple, inexpensive shelves and a few baskets can be a game-changer for making it easier (and faster) on laundry day.
When you think about it, there’s really no view that can’t be improved with a window treatment – if you’ve got a great view, a good curtain can frame it perfectly. If you don’t have a lot to look at outside, stylish drapes can bump up a boring view. Pre-made curtain panels are a low-cost option and are simple to install, no renovation needed. And if you want to get crafty and personalize your curtains like these Save My Reno beauties, watch this DIY tutorial for the how-to.
When people think about updating their bathroom, they usually jump to big-budget changes – but it’s amazing how much simple swaps can transform the room’s look. Case in point? Make a tired shower feel fresh by changing the shower curtain and giving the shower head a good clean.
and I’ll say it again: clutter is the bane of an organized, calm home – which is why even a small storage improvement can be a major upgrade to the overall feel of your home. For example, installing pull-out storage details or placing tiered racks in tight kitchen or bathroom cabinets maximizes a small space – a clever move that makes it way easier to stay organized and keep your home looking luxe.
Fix What You’ve Got
Finally, upgrading your home doesn’t always involve replacing things or adding something new – sometimes, dedicating a few hours to some quick repairs can make your home feel like fresh. Make a list, grab your toolbox and fix those leaky faucets and crooked cabinet doors. Here’s my cheat sheet for some common household nuisances.