19 Low-Budget Ways to Upgrade Every Room in Your Home

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/11/17 4:11 PM

Topics: Home Ownership

New year, new home! Whether you’re preparing to sell your home this spring or the “blah” of winter has you itching to transform the interior of your home, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you accomplish a whole home makeover on a tight budget.



Living Room

  • Create Open Space. One of the biggest problems homeowners run into is furniture placement. Misplaced furniture can disrupt the flow of any room and make the largest room appear smaller. Reposition your sofas and chairs into conversational groupings, preferably away from walls. Have an open floor plan? Place your sofa so that it serves as a partition between rooms. Want to create the illusion of a bigger space? Add mirrors.
  • Dress Up Your Windows. Existing blinds are of great use, but curtains create a well-dressed room. A home staging tip: the higher you mount your curtains, the higher your ceilings appear and the bigger the room feels.
  • Create Vignettes. Vignettes are one of the easiest ways to add designer style to your home. A plus is that your likely have usable objects already in your décor arsenal. HGTV suggests building vignettes around a light source, adding a coordinating color, varying the height of your objects and displaying them in odd numbers.


  • Update Cabinetry Hardware. Grab a drill, some new pulls, knobs and handles and transform the look of your cabinetry in a few hours over your weekend.
  • Replace Sink Fixture. Little things can make a difference, like replacing your faucet fixture.
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting. Function meets ambiance with under-cabinet lighting. A big bonus is you don’t have to be a skilled electrician to install it. A set of LED puck lights starts around $25 and has a foolproof installation.
  • Open Up. If your cabinets are in good shape, both inside and out, consider removing a few cabinet doors for open-air shelving. It’s up-to-date in kitchen trends and adds a decorative element to display your favorite dishware.


  • Accessorize. Bathroom trends have leaned towards a spa-like experience, so encompass it by adding some decorative apothecary jars or trays to display your day-to-day toiletry items.
  • Add Texture. Shiplap is an extremely affordable way to add texture and interest to any room in your home. You can mimic the look of real shiplap by using extremely affordable plywood. See our blog on shiplap for ideas to transform any room in your home.
  • Frame a Builder-Grade Mirror. Transform your builder-grade mirror with a few pieces of pine, miter saw and paint for approximately $20. See how this couple did their own mirror on Young House Love.


  • Add Bedside Light. Overhead lighting is important in every room, but task lighting does wonders even if you’re not one to read in bed. The rule of thumb is to choose lamps that stand as tall as your chest if you were sitting up in bed.
  • Add a Focal Point. Bedrooms often get neglected in the scheme of home décor. Between dressers, beds and side tables, it can be hard to accessorize, especially in a smaller bedroom. Pick a statement piece of art, decorative mirror, etc. to serve as a focal point.
  • Layer Your Textures. And not just your bedding textiles. What gives a room dimension is how well furniture finishes, accessories, rugs and window treatments tie together, i.e. a jute rug with sheer curtains and metallic accessories. Mix it up!

Dining Room

  • Add Drama. A room meant for entertaining should have some vitality, and wallpaper is a great way to achieve it. Wallpaper is an up and coming trend again and varieties are available that are self-adhesive and repositionable, as well as easily removable. See this House Beautiful blog for some beautiful, removable options.
  • Mix and Match Seating. Diversify your dining room table simply by swapping out a few chairs. A matching set can feel a bit stiff, so introduce a couple wild-card seating options like a bench or upholstered chair.

Any Room

  • Crown Molding. From classic to modern, crown molding comes in just about any style you need it to. Material like medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is inexpensive and durable making it a great low-cost option for molding, baseboards and trim.
  • Paint. Freshening up your color scheme is one of the simplest ways to upgrade your home. See our guide for choosing interior paint colors like a professional.
  • Low-Cost Flooring. Replacing stained carpet or worn flooring is a good investment regardless of cost, but varieties of linoleum, vinyl and laminate are durable, versatile and low-cost options if your budget is limited. See our guide for which flooring is right for you.
  • Assess Your Lighting. Proper lighting is essential to getting your home looking and feeling like it came out of a magazine spread. See our how-to on layering lighting properly with ambient, accent, task and decorative.

Thinking of taking on some bigger home improvements and renovations? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for ways to roll the costs of your renovations into your mortgage.

Download: Rehab & Construction Guide

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