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Renovating your home is a pain. It’s costly, messy, noisy, stressful and very often unpredictable. Yet, many people willingly take on big, expensive remodeling projects to improve the aesthetic value of their homes. But what if you could give your home a fresh update without having to go through the long and arduous process of hiring contractors, dealing with delays and spending lots of your hard-earned money?

If you’re itching for some change to your current living situation but don’t have the funds for a full redesign, there are plenty of ways you can give your home a renovation-free makeover.

Rearrange Your Furniture

If you want to change up the feel of your space but aren’t ready to commit to any permanent changes, switching up your furniture arrangement is probably the best place to start. It’s amazing how drastically changing the placement of a few key pieces can improve a room. It might take you a few tries to get it right, but when you do, you’ll feel like you’re living in a brand-new space.

When deciding on a furniture arrangement, keep these three tenets in mind: don’t crowd, keep it balanced and make sure it’s easy to move around.

If there are a lot of objects in a room, consider moving some of them to other, less crowded rooms. You want your furniture to have space to breathe. Don’t have all the large, visually heavy pieces stacked together on one side of the room, or the room will feel lopsided.

Take the flow of traffic into consideration and make sure people can walk through the room easily without tripping over stuff.

If you’re having trouble getting the space to look cohesive, consider introducing a unifying element, such as a trendy area rug, to pull everything together. You can center all your furniture around the edges of a smaller, bold rug to make it stand out, or have all your furniture corralled onto a large rug for a more pulled together look.

Update Outdated Hardware and Light Fixtures

You don’t need to gut all your old cabinets and rewire your electrical system to achieve a new look in your room. Just change some of the hardware.

Putting in new drawer pulls or cabinet handles is easy, provided you know how to wield a screwdriver. Cabinet hardware comes in all sorts of types and styles, so you can achieve pretty much any look you desire. Go with a satin nickel finish for a more modern look, or copper or bronze for something traditional and classic. You can even get novelty knobs to match a specific theme, like frosted sea glass knobs for an ocean-themed bathroom.

Changing your faucets is another way to renew the look of your kitchen and bathrooms, and easier to do than you might think. There are plenty of options out there that are much more stylish than the run-of-the-mill faucets with the acrylic knobs that come pre-installed in many homes.

Switch out your old light fixtures with new, nicer-looking ones that match your new design scheme. This isn’t too difficult to DIY, but if you have any trouble or are unsure about something, call an electrician for help. And be sure to turn off the circuit breaker for the room you’ll be working in.

Create a Larger Space Without Knocking Down Walls

Always dreamed of an open living space but not ready to start taking hammer to drywall? Try some interior design tricks and optical illusions to make a space look bigger and more open.

Your first task will be to declutter the room. The more stuff in the room, the more cramped it will look. Keep it simple and it’ll feel more spacious.

Swap heavy, dark or bulky items for something a little sleeker. Big storage trunks can take up a bunch of space and make a room look crowded, but a simple, trendy storage bench will add decorative value and give you storage that blends more naturally with the room.

Use color to your advantage. Soft or cool colors in lighter shades will make a space feel more open. Try a light blue or green on your walls, or a greige for something more neutral.

If you have a bulky, dark-colored piece like a dresser, consider painting it a lighter color. Try to keep all your décor within a similar color scheme. A cohesive space will feel more open.

Of course, you can’t have a conversation about creating the illusion of an open space without bringing mirrors into account. Mirrors do a great job of tricking the eye into thinking there’s more space than there is. Hang a big framed one above your mantel. Introduce some mirrored furniture into a room. Lean an oversized mirror against a wall. If you want to go a cheaper route, craft stores often sell small, beveled mirrors at a low cost. Group a bunch of round ones together for a modern design look.

Fake a Remodel

You don’t necessarily need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to give your home a completely new look. A few clever changes and additions can make a room look like it’s been remodeled, with little cost and effort on your end.

Instead of installing new cabinets, paint or restain the ones you already have. Because cabinets are a big focal point in most kitchens, painting them a new color will completely change the feel of the space. Go for a bold color for a really dramatic change.

Another way you can revamp your cabinets is by removing the doors to give yourself open shelving.

It may seem surprising, but you can DIY bigger changes to your house as well. If you’re trying to give your rooms a more traditional look, you can purchase crown molding at most home improvement stores, and installation isn’t too difficult. If you want to liven up your kitchen, you can buy adhesive tiles for an easy new backsplash.

Believe it or not, you can even install brand new flooring yourself using floating floor. Floating floors like laminate don’t need to be glued or nailed down to a subfloor and can even be installed over certain types of already existing flooring. For example, if you’re tired of the tile flooring in your laundry room and want something a little classier, you can buy some easy-to-install wood-style laminate flooring that simply snaps together and install it right on top of the tile.

Make the Old Look New Again

Sometimes we feel the need to remodel because our stuff just doesn’t look new or nice anymore. However, this is something that is easily remedied without the need for a complete upheaval of your home’s main features.

Instead of putting in new wood floors, why not have your existing ones refinished? If your carpets are starting to look shabby and old, give them some TLC and rent a carpet cleaner.

DIY refinishing kits and coatings exist for pretty much every surface in your home. There are paint kits that can give your counters the look of granite. Use liquid stainless steel coating to make your appliances look brand new.

Freshen up any painting that’s been done in the house. If your walls have any cracks, bumps, scuffs or other blemishes, smooth them out and put up a fresh layer of paint. Paint the front door in a fun, fresh new color. Paint the windowsills and trim. Update your blinds or add a curtain.

Replace wall plates, especially if they’re cracked or old and yellowed, or paint them a fun color to hide imperfections.

Get the Look

Renovation-Free Home Makeovers - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Traditional turquoise rug – $80
  2. Sea glass cabinet knob – $6
  3. Waterfall bathroom faucet in Tuscan bronze – $130
  4. Semi-flush mount light – $210
  5. Storage bench – $55
  6. Full length mirror – $260
  7. Peel and stick decorative mosaic wall tiles – $30
  8. Countertop paint kit in White Diamond – $80
  9. Liquid stainless steel range and dishwasher kit – $25

What are some renovation-free ways you’ve revamped your living space? Share your tips in the comments!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Well I’m trying to help my mom and dad the best I can ..they just bought a house that needs a lit of work ..to is they are 61 years old and my dad has cancer…and they are on fixed income every month…so I’m praying that you can help me …plz..

    1. Hi Susan:

      I sympathize with your situation. There might be a couple of options we could help you with. In any case, it might be best for all of you to meet with a financial advisor if you’re helping them because they could really go over your complete financial situation and discuss potential options. I’m not sure how much equity they would have in the house if they just bought it, so a cash-out refinance may or may not be an option. If they would like to go over home loan options to do a renovation, one of our Home Loan Experts could certainly help them look into potential options at (888) 980-6716. There may also be some housing grants or other forms of assistance. HUD does maintain a directory.

      Another option might be to look at a personal loan. Our friends at Rocket Loans offer them in amounts up to $45,000. Before any of this, given the situation though, I really recommend speaking to someone who could help you determine the best path forward with their overall financial picture. I would do an internet search for nonprofit financial counselors in your area.

      I hope this has at least been somewhat helpful. I wish you luck.

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