You're tired of your surroundings. You would like to buy a new home or, at least, re-do your current one, but money is tight. Here are some ideas for a "re-do" on a budget.
Painting is a great way to change the look. You can do the work yourself, but the paint can get expensive. Try doing one room at a time. Since it will take a couple of days or more to complete each room with taping, painting, trimming, touch-ups and clean-up, set aside one week-end a month to do a room. That way you can budget the expense. You will need anywhere from 2 to 4 gallons per room. Take the dimensions with you to the store where you are buying the paint and the associate can give you a better idea of how many gallons to buy.
Erica Starich of Star Interior Solutions, a stager, suggests you can re-do your interior design by using existing furnishings. She says, "It doesn't matter if your furnishings are old or new, you have a little or a lot, all one style or an eclectic mix. Our focus is the layout of your furnishings, artwork, accessories, etc. Our layout "formula" works every time!"
That sounds intriguing. How does that work? Here's Erica's formula. "Once we remove all the furnishings in a room, we bring back the items in layers. Each layer is carefully evaluated before the next. We call this our secrest "formula", one that works in every space!" Find out more about Erica's expertise in home design and staging on her website www.starinteriorsolutions.com.
Now I have some suggestions for some rather inexpensive projects that can do a lot to bring alive that worn out look of kitchens, baths and entry ways.
- For older, drab looking cabinets, clean with a light, non abrasive cleaner then treat generously with lemon oil till they shine like new. I strongly suggest that you never try painting cabinets for several reasons. It is a much more tedious and time consuming job than you can imagine. It never looks nearly as good as those that are painted at the factory and it will chip much, much easier than those. Any time I have tried sell a house with painted cabinets, it has been tough. No one that sees the house likes them because they can tell it is an amateur job.
- Add a backsplash in your kitchen. You can use ceramic tile or one of those new metallic tiles or travertine. I have several friends who have done this themselves. You can take a class at Home Depot to learn the techniques needed.
- Add under cabinet lighting. Wow, does this make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen! You can buy battery operated units so there is no need for an electrician.
- Remove that old linoleum in the bath, kitchen or entry way and add some decorative tile. Once again, take a class first so you know you will end up with a good looking floor.
- Spend a week end cleaning the grout in your current tile floor or bath or shower. Check with the associate at your home improvement store for the best cleaner and methods. Or hire one of those companies that do it for you.
- Clean those windows, inside and out! It's amazing how much difference clean windows make! Use a squeegee and rent a ladder. You'll like what you see!
- Get a new light fixture to replace that old brass and glass one you hate. You may be able to do it yourself if you have experience doing this or just hire a handyman for about $75.
- Clean those ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Change out those yucky worn out toilet seats. For just slightly more you can get the self-close type. They are so cool! No more slamming toilet seats!
- Put those new soft-close closures on your cabinets. It gives your kitchen class.
I could go on and on (like closet organizers, light dimmers, new lamp shades, etc), but I think you've got enough on this list to keep you busy for a while. Good luck!
Some helpful websites: