Top 6 easy and affordable ideas to update your home
Well, if you ask me it should be the Top 50 things to do in your home – as I could really go on and on and on (and on). However, for the sake of short attention spans, the best bang for your buck and the amount of time it takes me to drink a bottle of wine, I’m going to stick to the Top 6.
To make it into my Top 6 these ideas needed to be as follows:
- Affordable (buck)
- Impact (bang)
- Easy (peasy)
You ready Betty?
Idea #1 Change your Cabinet Hardware
Approx cost: $150-$200 (approx. $5-6 per handle). Average 30 handles per kitchen. Of course you can ALWAYS spend more, but there are enough options out there, that that price range should satisfy most styles.
This kitchen is the EPITOME of affordable update!
- Painted oak cabinets
- Affordable laminate countertop
- Fresh wall colour
- Small backsplash detail (DIY friendly vs having to hire somebody)
- AND…hardware! Before there wasn’t a single handle to be found!
Kylie M Interiors E-Design and Online Color Consulting
Where to shop
- Fancy Shmancy – Restoration Hardware has some beautiful pieces.
- Middle of the Road – Home Depot, Lee Valley and Pulls Direct. These suppliers have tons of selection for moderate prices.
- Most Affordable – Canadian Tire and Walmart have the most affordable options. They tend to sell ‘value packs’ meaning you get approx $10 handles for $12 – $20 a pack.
How do I choose a finish? Refer to the notes below on door hardware. (Idea #2)
How do I choose a style? Check out this blog post for hardware ideas to suit your door style (here)
Make sure to measure the distance between the holes so you get hardware that is the right size
If you have knobs, consider handles instead. Buying a template like this one from Home Depot will make your life 10x easier
- And don’t just focus on the kitchen, do the bathrooms and laundry room as well!
Idea #2 Interior Door Hardware
Approx cost: If you do some smart shopping you should be able to do each door for approx $30-$40 (hinges and handle)
You will be AMAZED to see the impact that’s made when the door hardware is changed in your home. It is shocking how many homes have been fully renovated yet the homeowners hadn’t thought to change the door hardware…CHANGE YOUR DOOR HARDWARE PEOPLE!
This is one of my favourite door handles for a clean, modern lok…
Weiser Metropolitan Boutique Halifax (seriously, why so many names?)
This one is popular for a more transitional style…
How do I pick a finish for my home? Look to your existing finishes. Look at your light fixtures, cabinet hardware and metal stair spindles as cues for what finish to choose. If none of those are updated (in other words, they are probably brass), then choose black. Black is great as a transitional finish. This works great if you are on a budget and can only replace a few things at a time.
What if I want to change ALL of the metal finishes in my home and don’t know what finish to choose? Go to the store and pick out a style you like and see how it looks in the different finishes. When choosing new hardware keep these tips in mind…
- If you change your door handle, you will want to change the hinges so that they match. There are several different hinge profiles, so be sure to take one of your original hinges to the store with you
- Darker hardware is higher contrast on white doors – a striking look, but can be a ‘busy’ look if you have a lot of doors in 1 area
- Polished nickel is the most popular finish for white doors
- Darker hardware is the most popular finish for wood doors
- Don’t forget to update your closet doors knobs too!
Idea #3 Paint your walls
Approx cost: $100 per room (paint, brush, roller, etc…)
Paint – one of THE least expensive ways to change your space! On a small scale, you can choose to do a feature wall or nook. On a larger scale? The whole shebang!
How do I choose a paint colour? Okay seriously, that is an entire book unto itself. Colour is VITAL to the esthetic and emotional health of you and your home and any choice should not be made lightly!
If you need help with choosing a new paint colour, I’m here for ya! If you live local we can do an appt or if you live far away we can do an Online / E-Design Colour Consultation. Either way, it falls under the criteria of being affordable!
Idea #4 Paint any dark trims / doors
Approx cost: Under $100 (paint, brush, rollers)
This applies to the 1970’s and 1980’s home where there is an overabundance of dark baseboards, window casings and wood doors. While in some modern homes or old homes this look can be striking and dramatic, however in many homes, this dark wood sucks the living daylights out of a space.
Ummm, is this hard to do? No. Is this labour intensive? You bet your booty it is!
So what do I do?
1. Tape off walls and floors – you don’t want to spend more time cleaning up from your paint job than you spent doing your paint job
2. Fill any holes with wood filler and let it dry
3. Lightly scuff sand with 150 grit sandpaper – just a basic exfoliation is good
4. Use a primer like Zinsser oil base primer (I know, it stinks and takes longer to dry but it’s most likely to ensure adhesion of your paint)
5. Apply 2 -3 coats of paint. Brush only where necessary and do the rest with a 10-13mm nap 5″ roller
AND REMEMBER, paint can take up to 3 weeks to properly cure. Be kind and gentle. If you hit it the wrong way it CAN peel off – but give it time and with the proper prep work it should be rock solid.
Most homes suit a satin finish, however some people like extra wipeability so they move up a sheen level to semi-gloss. Learn more about the perfect finish here… The Best Paint Finishes
Type of Paint
I love Behr Ultra. Yes, it is a 2 in 1, however, when it comes to a project like this I prefer to double-up on my foundation if I have to which means that my paint will be less likely to chip/peel in the future.
Always…remove the hardware before you paint them – it’s just easier. Otherwise you’ll spend many tedious hours painting handles and end up with a less-than-ideal finish
Follow the steps above, except you won’t need a paint brush anywhere except around the hinges
Keeping your wood trim and doors? Check out this blog post for some great coordinating paint colours – The Best Paint Colours for Dark Trim
Idea #5 Paint the Interior of your Front Door
Approx cost -$35
Here are a few reasons why you may choose to paint the interior of your front door…
In my previous home my entryway had 3 doors that all looked the same and were all shut 95% of the time (front/garage/suite). This was a great reason to single out the main door and paint it a key colour. If there is any confusion at all, then pick out your main door and give it some TLC.
If you have a back door (not including a sliding door) that leads out to your garden/backyard and it is located within a major room (kitchen/familyroom/dining/etc…) Another great reason to treat it as an opportunity to accent your space with your door as the canvas.
If you have a pantry door in your kitchen that stands out in comparison to your cupboards (ie: you have espresso or wood cabinets and a white pantry door or white surround with glass insert). This is a great reason to paint your pantry door as it will reduce the level of contrast in your space which will add to the flow and overall appeal.
To read more about the best paint colours for your front door, check out this post… The Best Paint Colours for the INSIDE of your Front Door
Idea #6 Get Rid of Those Booby Lights!
I actually wrote an entire blog post on this as I’m so passionate about it (no pun intended with the boobs reference). Boob lights instantly advertise the age of your home and are one of the LEAST expensive ways to update a space – so why not change ’em!
My favourite transitional light fixture is this one…
$80 for a 4 pack – that’s $20 a light (I’m not just good looks you know). And these bad boys take 3 – 60w, so you can get a lot more light for your buck.
Want to read more about boobs? Well, you’ve got the wrong site! Want to read more about updating booby lights? Check out this blog post… Budget Friendly Lighting Updates
Well that’s it my funny friends. My Top 5 Update Ideas. If I’d done the Top 50 I’d be about 10 bottles in and flat on my face at this point, so ‘cheers’ to moderation!
Kylie M Interiors – Interior Decorating, Design, Home Staging, E-Design, Based in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC
Here's some other ideas for you!