A Penny Pincher’s Guide to Home Improvement

We’ve all tried to save a pretty penny while changing things up at home, but sometimes the ideas run dry. Well, after scrounging the internet for one last unturned stone, we’ve figured out just a few more ways to make minor changes for a major shift in feeling while at home. And yes, you should probably have a few paint brushes at the ready.

A stone exterior to a home with warm light coming out of the windows. The door is painted dark black in contrast to the rest of the home.

1. Paint your front door an accent color. If your HOA isn’t too nit-picky, matching the exterior color of your door to an interior paint shade of a living room or entrance way can pull a home’s look together with an east-coast flair.

2. Add unique shelves to your walls. Build extra shelf space for spices, pans, or oven mitts in your kitchen, or put shelves in the rest of the house for decor or to store books and other household tchotchkes. Get easy-install shelves from someplace like IKEA, or pick up some wood and paint from Lowe’s and DIY some colorful shelving!

3. If you installed hardwood floors or moved in with them, we can promise you they haven’t been polished enough. Depending on foot traffic, floors should ideally be polished every 4 months to a year to keep them clean and maintain their shine. Polishing your hardwood floors is a cheap way to make your entire house look brighter! Just be sure not to slip.

4. Want a pop of color but not ready to fully commit? Try a new shade on the cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom walls, or paint one wall in a bedroom or living room to add a unique flair to often overlooked pieces. Another option if you can’t paint? Find unique knobs for cabinet doors and drawers at thrift stores and install them yourself. 

5. Be intentional with lighting. Adding industrial lighting, ambient fixtures, funky lamps, and more can be both useful and be another outlet (ba dum tss) for your aesthetic creativity and elevate a room.

A room with a textured black wall, wooden crates to the left with fruit and other items inside. To the right a ladder and shelves are used for storage of plants, pillows, and more. 6. Storage, storage, and more storage. Get wire shelves and spray paint them a silver or gold color to add an elegant accent to a room, or find some fun looking storage boxes someplace like Target. Already have a bunch of boxes cluttering up your house? Get some fun fabric at Joann’s and drape it over a stack of boxes you’re already keeping stuff in to turn it into a fun decoration or table.

  7. People do judge books by their covers. In the same vein, the outside of your home will make an impact on the overall aesthetic of your home. The panes of windows, the color of a front door, or even smaller and budget-friendly adjustments like repainting house numbers or mailboxes (check with your HOA on that one!), trimming the foliage outside, or buying numbers for your home can make a huge difference in appearance. 

  8. When was the last time you shampooed your carpet? If you’re having to think hard, maybe it’s time to do so again. Vacuuming is great for regular dust but won’t do the job for long-term stains or deep cleaning. Consider renting a carpet shampooer or hiring a professional to deep clean it and leave your home just a little bit brighter.

9. If we can gain green thumbs, you can too. Flowers, bushes, and bright green foliage will be your best friend to make a back or front yard garden create a more welcoming and open space. You don’t even have to bring them inside or constantly tend to them, just let your sprinklers do the work they were made for. Spruce it up, we dare you.

Not everyone wants to take weeks or months to start and finish a project that can change the way they look at their home. Fortunately for you, we’ve found some ways you can start tackling wallet and time-friendly renovation ideas that will make your spaces more inviting, visually pleasing, and exciting!



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