Before and after: Small projects for big-impact home refresh

By Cathy Hobbs

Looking for ways to have your home look and feel different and
refreshed in the new year? If the cost and prospect of an extensive
renovation is undesirable, consider taking on smaller projects that
can give your home a new look on a budget.

  • An outdated kitchen. (Design Recipes/TNS)

  • The same kitchen with new stainless steel appliances and
    inexpensive peel-and-stick groutable vinyl. (Design

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  • A kitchen with outdated cabinetry. (Design Recipes/TNS)

  • Repainting the cabinet fronts and adding new hardware gave gave
    this kitchen a fresh new look (Design Recipes/TNS)

  • A bathroom in desperate need of updating. (Design

  • The same bathroom after adding in expensive wainscoting, an
    affordable pedestal sink, a new toilet and a fresh coat of paint.
    (Design Recipes/TNS)

  • The living room of a country cottage. (Design Recipes/TNS)

  • The same living room with affordable beadboard added and new
    hardwood flooring. (Design Recipes/TNS)

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Getting started

First and foremost, have a budget. Decide how much money you can
allocate as renovation dollars.

Determine needs vs. wants

Before you splurge, first determine what design or functionality
needs you wish to accomplish through your upgrades.

Research and plan

Before you purchase any materials or appliances, do your
research. Whether it’s going to be visiting model homes, retail
showrooms or perusing magazines and online sources, research will
go a long way to help maintain focus and clarity for your project

Approachable interior upgrades:


  • Repaint existing cabinets and or replace hardware.
  • Add porcelain ceramic tile. Porcelain tile comes in different
    patterns and grades and is an affordable alternative to stone.
    Consider vinyl tile for a more budget-friendly option. Select a
    tile that is groutable for a more realistic look.
  • Replace a countertop. This can help make a kitchen feel
    refreshed. Consider a durable quartz or sealable surface. An
    attractive laminate can be a desirable choice on a budget.

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  • Replace a sink. This can serve as an instant and affordable
  • Replace faucet fixtures. An affordable design fix can often be
    achieved by replacing faucets and handles. Go a step further and
    replace showerheads as well.
  • Replace a toilet. Ask any home flipper and they’ll admit this
    is one key, affordable way to refresh a bathroom.

Other parts of the home

  • Add hardwood flooring. Many homeowners prefer hardwood
    flooring. In many instances, flooring can be installed in a day.
    Pre-engineered flooring can be a durable and budget-friendly
  • Repaint. Whether an accent wall or entire rooms, a fresh coat
    of paint can breathe new life into tired, worn spaces.
  • Add an affordable architectural feature. From molding and trim,
    chair railing to wainscoting, these decorative features can
    invigorate a space without breaking the bank.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Before and after: Small projects for big-impact home refresh