15 Easy Ways To Update Your Home Without Completely Remodeling

Not everyone can afford the time and mess of a complete home remodel. There are several ways you can upgrade your home for a modern feel without completely tearing out what is already there.

collage of home improvement ideas.

Budget Home Updates For 2024

Whether you are updating a 1950s home or a 1990s home with tons of honey oak, these DIY home improvement ideas are perfect for beginners. Sometimes you walk into a space and instantly feel at home due to these small updates.

#1 Paint

Some people might consider home painting projects a remodel, but we just consider them upgrades. From painting beat-up baseboards white to adding a completely new wall color, paint is a great way to transform your space.

brick fireplace being whitewashed.
Our friends love their finished whitewashed fireplace.

Paint can even be used on unexpected surfaces such as counters or tiles. Just note that painting these surfaces can be a great temporary solution until you can completely update them.

before and after painted backsplash tiles with white and green kitchen cabinets.
Our painted kitchen backsplash was a great place to try an unconventional DIY painting project.

#2 Change Lighting

You don’t have to change your light fixtures completely. You can also consider just changing your light bulbs. You won’t believe how updating your yellowish bulbs can brighten your space.

hand holding refresh light bulb.
Adding daylight LED light bulbs to the light fixture below gave us a cleaner white light.

Seriously, Get Rid Of These Lights

However, if you are inclined to change a fixture consider getting rid of those ‘b**b’ lights first. Trust me, you will notice a huge difference.

two images of same ceiling but with different flush light fixtures.

#3 Take Risks With New Hardware

Modern hardware handles and knobs can elevate your cabinetry. There are many different hardware styles, from larger gold handles to matte black.

Mix and Match

We used to think that all hardware needs to match in all rooms, but now realize that each room can have its own aesthetic.

light blue cabinets with large gold handles.
Champagne gold hardware pulls in our home office.

Don’t be scared to take risks with hardware, especially if you find pulls or knobs that work the drilled holes that are already there. You can even spray paint cabinet pulls and knobs like we did in our laundry room.

two images of blue gray cabinets with different colored cabinet pulls.

#4 Add Plants

Adding greenery to your indoor and outdoor spaces gives your space a fresh feel. We love these DIY flower pot ideas, which are a budget-friendly way to add to your home decor.

two painted terracotta pots with spray paint for marble effect.

#5 Change Your Throw Pillows

If you are reading this, use this as a sign that you can buy those new and fluffier pillows you have had your eye on. Add a pop of color to your space with a fun pattern or texture.

#6 Get Rid Of Carpet Where It Doesn’t Belong

If your home is like ours, you may have carpet in the bathrooms. Yuck!

Luckily, since it is a small space, you should be able to easily remove the carpet. We have been super happy with the budget peel-and-stick flooring we added to our cheap basement bathroom remodel.

two images of the same bathroom floor, one with carpet and one with faux wood plank flooring.
Find out what we learned when installing peel-and-stick flooring for the first time.

And if you can’t remove the carpet just yet, at least clean it well. You can use a carpet steamer yourself.

#7 Change Window Treatments

You can add new drapes and blinds or remove them completely. You could also change the height from which you hang your curtains. Consider adding hardware a lot higher than you are used to.

dark blue walls, with white windows and cream and yellow bedding.

#8 Caulk Before Painting

If you are considering painting trim, woodwork, or walls, consider getting a seamless look by using paintable caulk before painting. This is such a small thing that makes a huge impact.

white trim and baseboards with gray walls and wood floor.

#9 Change Out Outlets and Switch Plates

If your house was built in the 80s and 90s, chances are that you have almond-colored outlet covers. Getting rid of the cream-colored switches and covers can make a difference in a room without costing too much.

white switches and outlets without covers.

#10 Add To Your Walls

By adding unique artwork or family photos, neutral-painted walls can still feel modern and fresh. You can even display your black-and-white photos in matching frames for a more polished look.

If family photos aren’t your thing, you can draw a wall design or add a colorful painting.

white and black designed powder room with gold mirror.

#11 Thrifty Furniture Makeovers

You can work with what you already have. Shop flea markets or pick up needed pieces on Facebook Marketplace for your furniture flips. Mixing old with new not only is good for the environment but also a great way to get unique home decor.

gray painted ombre dresser drawers with circle mirror on the wall.

#12 Declutter

Create drop-off zones, clean out the junk drawer and slowly remove items in your home. Take time each month to go through your house and decide if you can part with something.

DIY entryway with hooks on the wall.

Do you need those papers from 2 months ago? If you have a family, consider creating DIY memory boxes to help have a place for all the paper clutter.

#13 Change Our Your Floor Vents

If you have wood floors and white vents, you may want to consider adding a vent that will match your flooring. There are a lot of different floor vent covers that aren’t just white.

two images of wood floor with white floor vent and wood floor vent.

#14 Stop Putting Off Small Repairs and Maintenance

Each of these jobs doesn’t have to take hours.

  • Create a rotating schedule for deep cleaning and stick to it.
  • Add new bathroom caulk where needed and vacuum out those vents.
  • Even wiping down your walls can add a fresh feel to your bedroom or bathroom.
  • Touch-up small paint jobs. We love using this easy paint touch-up pen.

#15 Hang Your Shower Curtain Higher

Yes, this bathroom makeover included some other projects, but you can see how hanging a pastel shower curtain and gold rod higher made a huge difference in this space.

before and after bathroom makeover.
See more of this board and batten wall and bathroom makeover here.

Follow us on Pinterest, YouTube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Don’t feel overwhelmed when looking to modernize your home. Take it slow and remember that small DIY projects will add up over time. Your home can reflect your style and personality little by little.

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