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4 Budget Friendly Home Staging Ideas

Posted on October 6, 2016 by KylieMawdsley


Budget-Friendly Home Staging Ideas

Whether you’re new to the Real Estate market or an old-hand, it’s vital to understand how Home Staging can affect the value of your biggest investment.

You might think that your 1990’s oak cabinets add value because they are ‘solid wood’ – others (many others) might disagree. Or maybe you think that the ‘original’ bidet in your bathroom is a feature because nobody else has one – but maybe that’s because nobody else wants one.

And as everyone knows (or should) your home is not worth what YOU think it’s worth – it’s worth what people are willing to pay for it. And the better it looks, the more you’re likely to get for it.

Small Bathroom BEFORE (2)

The owner loved this colour, but it was doing NOTHING for the resale value

Now, I could go on an on (and I do in this post here ‘4 Rules of Home Staging’) but to keep the verbal diarrhea at a dull-roar read this…

Some of the things talked about above are not necessarily ‘cost-effective’ to change (oak cabinets and tooshy-washers). And while updating them will certainly add value to your home, there are some more simple and budget-friendly ways to update your space before trying to sell it.

And remember, it doesn’t need to be ‘appealing to you’ to be ‘appealing to the masses’ – you do want to sell your home, right?

Idea #1    Trash the Brass

1970, 80 and 90’s style brass is not trendy and will not add value to your home. 

In this next photo, the BONES of the bathroom are fantastic – travertine tile, shaker style cabinet, neutral countertop. So what’s throwing it? THE BRASS!

Updating ideas for home staging include taking out brass.KYlie M Interiors

What would I do as a smart investor?

  • Change the hardware: $40
  • Mirror: $75
  • New faucets: $200
  • Door handle: 30
  • Towel/tp holder: $75
  • Take down the towel holder over the loo and patch/paint: $25

As for the shower itself, I would take that bad boy out, fill the screw holes with caulking and put up a classy shower curtain with a hotel style shower rod. BETTER than what is there, all of $100.

So, the grand total for my pretend ‘bathroom remodel’ would be $550 and WHICH do you think would sell this house better?

Here’s a list of the common brass offenders and the approximate cost to update them…

  • Brass doorknobs: $30 (each)
  • Brass hinges: $5 (per door)
  • Brass cabinet hardware for a kitchen: $125 (total)
  • Front door hardware: $150
  • Faucet: $100

In this next photo, you can see how modernized hardware (and a whole lot more) can make outdated cabinets look more appealing to the masses. 

Maple kitchen remodel. Cloud White painted cabinets, formica soapstone and hexagon backsplash

See the whole before and after here

Now you obviously don’t need to go THAT far, but it shows you how the owner (myself) took the original cabinets, made some SMART and affordable choice and added HUGE resale value to the home.

  • New hardware ($150)
  • Maple cabinets were painted – saving approx 15K
  • New FANCY laminate countertop! 5K less expensive than quartz/granite
  • Beautiful, but budget-friendly backsplash ($1K)

Black, oil rubbed bronze, nickel and pewter are all acceptable updates for a home. Now you might be thinking, ‘but I like brass, I think it looks better’. Well, guess what, when it comes to selling your home – it doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what buyers think and most buyers aren’t interested in brass. (I am a bossy lil’ thing sometimes).

Food for Thought

  • Black hardware is high contrast on white cabinets and doors, so decide whether that suits your home or not
  • If you are keeping some of the brass in your home, black and oil rubbed bronze will transition the best with a brass finish
  • Nickel does not work well in the same room as brass so if you are looking at nickel you’ll want to update all of the brass items in that room (or ideally in your whole home)

Read more: The Best BUDGET-FRIENDLY Hardware to Update Wood Cabinets

Idea #2    Light it UP!

Lighting is ESSENTIAL to any homes’ success whether you’re living in it or selling. Clean, but poorly lit rooms can look dirty, gloomy and small. A well-lit room likes brighter, bigger and cleaner.

Small bathroom update ideas. wood vanity, marble countertop. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online virtual paint color expert. Round mirror, light sconces. Benjamin Moore Stonington gRay paint color

These lights were only $49 each and the vanity/top/sink were $399!

Check this list to see if any of your rooms have an outdated and ineffective light fixture:

  • Light fixtures that hold only 1 bulb
  • Booby lights (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read here)
  • Light fixtures that have brass detailing

The best, most cost-effective light fixture to update any secondary space is this bad boy (you’ll want something a bit more interesting in the main room like the master bedroom/living room/kitchen, etc…)

This one is great for secondary spaces such: Spare bedroom, hallway, laundry room, family room, etc…

best light fixture to update any lighting in your home for staging

Where to Buy:

  • 6 pack Home Depot – approx. $50 (here)
  • Rona 2 pack – approx. $20 (here)

Food for Thought

  • If your room/space is larger than 8×10, consider a fixture that takes 3 – 60w bulbs instead of 2


Idea #3    Paint Your Front Door

Many buyers will find a house on MLS, write down the address and go for a drive. It is vital that they like what they see before they step foot out of their car so you may want to spend some time improving your curb appeal. One great way to add instant curb appeal and a fresh face to your home is with a painted front door.

Exterior palette similar to Sherwin Williams Rayo de Sol yellow front door. Network Gray siding ,Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal front stairs. white trim. PHoto via Kylie M Interiors E-design

The Best Paint Colours for a Front Door / The Best Paint Colours for the INSIDE of a Front Door

Exterior, front door paint colour consultation with Kylie M Interiors E-design and online color consulting. Sherwin Williams Chinese Red with red orange brick, beige painted wood siding

Painting your front door, updating your exterior light fixture and freshening up your bark mulch/gravel are all great ways to add value to your exterior – without breaking the bank.

Read more: How to Add Curb Appeal for Home Staging

Idea #4    Neutral Bedding/Linens

Bedding and linens with busy patterns can make a space look smaller and more cluttered than it is. These photos below are great examples of how neutral bedding can make a bedroom look bigger, brighter and more inviting.

Bedroom paint colour. Kylie M Interiors E-design. Benjamin Moore Palm Desert Tan. Before image. client design

Sherwin Williams Barcelona Beige, best neutral paint colour. Bedroom with beige carpet, dark wood furniture. KYlie M Edesign 

It’s not only the bedding that was changed in this room, notice how simple the bedside tables are (although a touch of decor, like some books or a plant would be nice) and how there are NO family photos to be seen! 

And those are just a FEW ideas to get your motor started. I have a TON of blog posts related to Home Staging to help you add visual AND emotional value to your home!

Home Staging Tips and Ideas: The 5 Key Rooms

Home Staging: 5 Affordable and Fun Ideas

The Top 8 Light Neutral Paint Colours for Home Staging

3 Home Staging Ideas: How to Decorate for Mass Appeal

Home Staging Tips and Ideas: 4 Rules to Follow

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (26)



  1. I just found your web site and love it!
    I love funky, eclectic with a little classic and traditional thrown in. I have hard time putting it all together though. I will be moving soon but would love to have you see my home before I move then your help at my new place. I will contact you closer to the move but before the packing begins.

  2. Wow ! Great blog! Could use all your ideas. We have those 80’s style brass handles on our kitchen cabinets and I love the change that the new handles brought in. Will give it a try. My friend, who is selling her house is planning tohire a staging professional in Toronto
    . I guess I could share these ideas with her. Small changes can do big wonders.

    1. Hi Sarah, it really is amazing what little changes can do! Staging pro’s are wonderful but keep in mind sometimes it can be a bit over the top. It’s amazing what can be done with a little bit of sweat equity! Also let her know that I do Online Consulting and for staging ideas (with a focus on updating – not furnishing) I have a 12 idea package for $160 that could give her some great ideas specific to her home!
      Thanks for checking my site out too 🙂

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