Watching Fixer Upper or Grand Designs can be inspiring television. Unless you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend. Seriously, who has enough cash to gut their kitchens, build a new extension, or install a brand new bathroom?

Answer: not your average viewer. It’s great entertainment, but most of us can’t afford remodelling projects like that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big difference to the look and feel of your home. All it takes is a little creativity and elbow grease.

‘New’ Kitchen

The kitchen is the room most people want to change the most. But it’s also the most expensive. It’s frustrating to know there’s so much to improve; if only you had the cash, right?

Don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do to spice up your kitchen without needing to take out a loan:

  • Go for quality in the details. Going ‘bargain store’ can ruin the look of a nice kitchen. For example, cheap fittings are just a no-no. Small investments can also go a long way in making your kitchen look more expensive. Quality tapware items just ooze style, instead of cheap plastic.
  • Replace cabinets with open shelving. This DIY project can help turn your kitchen from 70s tragic to modern chic. Open shelves also increase your storage options, makes your kitchen look brighter and more welcoming, and it’s also very inexpensive to do. Just look at how much of a difference it can make!
  • Update your island. Your island is the focus of the kitchen; it can do a lot of the visual heavy lifting. Paint it, add seating, get a new countertop. All easy upgrades that won’t cost the earth.

Paint, Paint, Paint!

The number #1 rule when it comes to remodelling: paint makes all the difference. Giving your home a fresh lick of paint can turn it from tired and dated, to modern and fresh.

It’s super easy to paint, you don’t even need to hire a contractor. The visual impact made by this simple change is huge. It doesn’t just make rooms look better, but paint can even go as far as changing how big a room feels.

Tip: don’t use the cheapest paint out there. We know you’re tempted, and we get it. But don’t skimp or you’ll end up having to upgrade in the future. Cheap paint just doesn’t look good; here’s a guide on what makes a good paint choice.

Front Door Glow Up

Your front door is your first impression. It’s the first thing people see. Making sure it looks presentable is an absolute must, especially if you’re thinking about selling your property.

The main thing you can do is steal the previous tip: give it a new paint job. It’s easy and gives a whole new focus to your home. You can also install a new handle or knocker; these can be easily found on sites like eBay or Etsy, for example. Or perhaps try an antique store or market, giving your home a more unique look.

If you’re looking to splurge, a new door doesn’t need to be expensive. You should be able to buy a quality door for as little as $500. Not bad, right?

One more thing you should always think about is security. Make sure your door is your first line of defense by installing a high quality door lock or a security camera.

Reupholster (or Use Slipcovers!)

Replacing old furniture is expensive, and also a bit of a waste. That couch has plenty of years left in it, and it’s just so comfortable. It just looks kinda, well, worn. There’s a solution for this: give it a little bit of TLC.

Reupholstering tired furniture is becoming increasingly popular, especially now that people are trying to minimize waste. You should be able to find specialists that can do this for you at a relatively low cost; it’s cheaper than a brand new couch, in any case.

If a custom upholstering job is still a little outside of your budget, have you considered slipcovers? Many couches are designed to use these anyway, and they’re a great way to inject new life into your furniture. If you have IKEA pieces, for example, there are plenty of companies that do this for you. You don’t just have to get their standard pieces.

One of the best places to look for new slipcovers is Etsy. You can find a local company, for instance, and take a look before you buy. It’ll also give you a completely unique piece you won’t find anywhere else.

Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

Interest in DIY has skyrocketed in the last two years, for obvious reasons. If you’ve never tried it, this is the time to do it. There are hundreds of YouTube videos out there for each and every single project you can think of. It’s often a lot easier than you think.

Just make sure you pick your DIY battles carefully. Paint jobs are totally doable. Installing shelving? Easy. But if you’re dealing with electricals, for example, get an expert. You don’t have to do everything yourself, but don’t be afraid to try something new either.



I'm Steve Prescot, an Interior Designer living in Kansas. I am a fan of DIY, home design, gardening and anything related to home interiors and exteriors. I'm also interested in crafts and Home Improvement projects. I have been in the home design industry for more than 17 years. I love decorating and transforming spaces so that people living in them are happy and pleased with their space. Have a look around and I hope you'll like the content and ideas in this website!!

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