Katie White from DIY Mother is here to share some simple ideas to live comfortable on a budget!
Our first house was a serious fixer-upper: it was a small two-bedroom, and I’m convinced that there wasn’t a single thing in it—from the carpet to the wallpaper to the dishwasher—that was younger than we were. It was a pretty dismal place to live at first, but we decided to do some research and find ways to liven it up—and after some hard work, we had a real, comfortable home. Here are some of the best ideas we came up with.
Beautify your front entryway
You can really enhance your first impressions by making a few changes to your front entrance. Some of the simplest ideas include repainting your front door and exterior trim, trading up for nicer house numbers (they’re cheap), or even installing new lighting. For a quick, headache-free investment in your home, consider buying a new steel door—on average, homeowners who replace their front doors see their money back with considerable interest (5%-30%) when it’s time to sell.
Open up your kitchen
Kitchens are busy, and it’s very easy to feel cramped and shut in if your home has a small one. Consider a few visual tricks to enhance the sense of space in your kitchen, like installing mirrored backsplash tiles, repainting in light, breezy colors, or removing the doors on your overhead cupboards. Fill the holes with putty, sand, and repaint. By pushing back the visible space to the walls, open shelving can really open up the room. Coordinated dishware makes them look even nicer.
Try out design ideas in the bathroom
Your bathroom is a great place to test creative designs. Paint it in a bold color, hang an interesting piece of art, install eye-catching plumbing and light fixtures. If you have a sterile, boring rectangle of a mirror bolted to your bathroom wall, install molding around the edges to make it look a bit more “custom”. It can really change the vibe of the room. In general, trying new things in a smaller room allows you to create a uniform design without too much work, and it’s also easier to change if your vision doesn’t come through the way you hoped.
Swap out your faucets
If your home has boxy, bland water fixtures from the 1980s, you can make a world of difference in your kitchen and bathroom by swapping them out. Anything involving plumbing is enough to intimidate a beginning DIYer, but just make sure you turn the valves off, and carefully follow the instructions on the kit. The main expense will be the faucet parts themselves, so it can be about as cheap or expensive as you need it to be.
Put in some water-savers
If you’re not ready to take the leap to all-new fixtures, consider investing in water-saver showerheads and aerators. The flow from our kitchen sink used to splatter every time we did dishes or washed our hands—it was so obnoxious, and fixing it turned out to be about as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. An aerator will give you a much more efficient, usable flow—and it looks nicer, too.
Give your bedroom a new look
You can give new life to a bland bedroom by painting an accent wall—that’s one wall painted in a bold color, with the remaining three in a mellower tone. Another fun project for starting DIYers is installing a dimmer switch for your master bedroom (who says home improvement can’t be a little flirty?) Again, be sure to cut the power to the room and follow safety instructions carefully—but it’s a surprisingly simple job.
Have you found an inexpensive, low-stress way to beautify your home? Let us know in the comments!
Katie White is a writer and handywoman from DIY Mother who is passionate about self-reliance and conservation. She takes pride in making her home a more sustainable and comfortable place for her husband and two kids. She lives in Dallas.