19 Budget-Friendly Home Renovation Ideas for Every Room in Your House


Changing out your light fixtures is a great way to give your home a fresh look. Not only is it easy to do, but it makes a big impact. Start out by replacing outdated entry lights, dining room chandeliers, and bathroom vanity lights. From there, consider swapping out your flush-mount ceiling lights, especially if they are “boob” lights.

Ugh! Don’t even get me started on boob lights! There is just no need for light fixtures that look like upside-down boobs to be on your ceiling, and they should all be replaced (no strong opinions here!) I know, I know…boob lights are super affordable, which is why so many home builders use them. But trust me, there are much better options out there that are equally affordable, and investing in new light fixtures is a great way to make your home look more stylish and current.


6. Renew Old Flooring With Paint

Photo by Kolin Smith

The burgundy red floor in the master bedroom of Sara and Andrew’s Massachusetts farmhouse didn’t fit the fresh and energetic personality of the newlyweds. But refinishing wasn’t an option on a limited budget. So to update the space, they painted the floor in a light checked pattern, using beige and white to warm up their cool blue walls.

Here we show how a little measuring and a couple of coats of durable floor paint can add a lot of personality to a room for a small price.

Cost: About $75.

See How to Paint a Floor for full step-by-step instructions.

15. Add Shiplap To A Wall

Create some variety and contrast by covering an interior wall or two with shiplap. 

Shiplap is an inexpensive material that’s easy to install. It’s very trendy at the moment because of its low cost and ability to quickly increase the charm of any space.

A shiplap wall creates great visual interest and is a clever way to spruce up an old home on a budget. 

Most people opt for white horizontal shiplap, but you can paint it any color and install it at any orientation you’d like.

18. Reinvigorate Interior Doors, Too

Don’t forget to repair those creaky, non-lockable interior doors while you’re at it. You know, the ones that are warped from the heat or cold, sticking and swelling in their frames? They’re not directly exposed to the elements, so you’re more likely to be able to repair worn-out interior doors rather than replace them altogether. Average Cost: About $75 to $125 to repair or replace each door.

8. Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets undergo wear and tear from being opened and closed throughout the years. Old homes also tend to have outdated cabinet styles, making entire kitchens look old.

But let’s be honest, installing new cabinets is usually quite pricey. 

Instead, upgrade your old cabinets by painting them with a new, more modern color. 

While this obviously won’t affect the shape or style of your old cabinets, even a color change can make a big difference in the overall aesthetic of your space.

Spray paint lacklustre hardware

Tired kitchen and bathroom hardware can really drag the mood down. Update by priming and repainting metal bits and pieces like doorknobs, cabinet handles, and taps in a uniform colour.

Another option is to just go out and buy some new hardware for your cabinetry, which can help change the look on a budget.

5) Create An Outdoor Room

Sometimes we forget to look outside our very own doors for unused space. Even if your home doesn’t have a large front porch or amazing backyard patio—there is still space to be used. You just need to be inventive.You can create an amazing outdoor space by starting with an outdoor rug to define a “room” outdoors. Then add a couple comfortable outdoor chairs and throw cushions, a small fire pit, some dangling string lights — Voila! You have a added a new “room” to your home.If you want to get fancier you could put down some brick pavers or flagstones, then layer it with the outdoor rugs, chairs etc… Or you could go all out and install a large pergola, drape the sides with privacy curtains, add an outdoor heater, some music, some wine….yes, this sounds like a great outdoor escape. The pergola install may take the weekend to accomplish, but it would be worth it come Sunday evening when you unwind outdoors with your glass of wine.

Jon Lovette/ Getty Images

Jon Lovette/ Getty Images

8. Rescue a piece of furniture

Like this hutch.

We completely transformed it into something that looks like it came out of an old farmhouse.

See the before and after here.

Swap Out Your Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are basically makeup for your living room—you can switch and swap them depending on your mood and the season, and the effect is nothing short of transformative.

If your space is feeling a little dull, consider adding a few pillows in vibrant colors to bring more uplifting vibes. And if you’re moving toward a boho aesthetic, then adding pillows featuring organic hues and textures, like these from Kaekoo Shop, is a great way to go.

Add a Statement Wall

Mr. Kate

A statement wall is a killer way to make a major change without spending much time or effort to do it. And they have a special knack for making your design look more rich and dynamic.

Consider a playful pattern, like this one from Mr. Kate. Or, you can simply paint one wall your favorite color. If you’re worried about making a commitment you might regret, then consider that there are a ton of beautiful removable wallpaper options out there that you can take advantage of without committing too much.

7. Be a Shut-In for Once

When it comes to homes that catch our eyes and hearts, the devil is in the details. That’s where new shutters come in — for very little investment, you can upgrade your home’s overall exterior look. If you choose to add plantation shutters to your home, they will not only increase your home’s value, but they’re also energy-efficient. Average Cost: Spend about $200 to repair your existing shutters or about $1,001 to $3,258 for completely new wood shutters for your entire home.


The typical lifespan of carpet is 10-15 years old, so if your carpet is older than that, it needs to be replaced…period. Before you replace it, take a peek to see if you might be lucky enough to have hardwood floors underneath. Hardwood flooring is not only in style, but it’s easier to clean, lasts longer, and doesn’t harbor allergens, like dust and mites.

Discovering hardwood floors under old carpet is like a gift from the home improvement Gods! How can you check to see if you’ve been blessed? Easy…just lift up your floor vent and pull up the carpet a little to see if there is hardwood flooring underneath. If so, you can do a little happy dance, and then rip up that nasty old carpet.

Source: Julie Blanner

Source: Julie Blanner

Just be aware that you won’t know the condition of the floors underneath until you remove the carpet, so it’s a bit of a gamble. Most floors can be refinished and will look like new, but in some cases the hardwood might be water-damaged and require replacing. If that’s the case, you can go with new hardwoods, luxury vinyl, or even new carpet (though I recommend going with hardwood or luxury vinyl if you want a more updated look).

4. Home decor hacks

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be all about the big projects.


Here are seven simple home decor hacks to help you with some creative short-cuts.

Tidy up your trims

One of the nicest features of some older homes is their intricate door and window trims.

Make them pop with a fresh lick of paint.

22. Call an inspector BEFORE you list

rhodylife.com Potential buyers will hire their own inspector, but if there are problems you didn’t know about, it can cost you a lot off your asking price. Go through all the things your pickiest buyer will have checked, and make sure there aren’t any surprises.

3) Cabinetry: Update Drawer Pulls and Door Handles

Nothing dates your kitchen and bathrooms more than old-fashioned, worn and dirty handle pulls and knobs. There is no excuse not to update all your cabinet and door handles when it is really so simple to do, and there are so many ways to update your cabinetry.There are numerous finishes to choose from such as bronze, brushed nickel, aged copper, and shiny stainless.  With so many modern choices on the market it may be hard to decide what best suits your home. Don’t stress too much about the plethora of options, after all, you could always buy one or two different styles to see what works best in the room.Plus, there are not really any steadfast rules to choosing cabinet pulls and knobs. Essentially, a country kitchen can look chic and updated with very modern stainless knobs, while a modern kitchen can look cool and eclectic with more vintage-style knobs. The design choice is up to you, so get out there and start updating your kitchen and bathroom cupboards today.

John Keeble/ Getty Images

John Keeble/ Getty Images

Easy 1970s living room update

1. Wall color

Purchased: one 5-gallon bucket each of interior wall paint + matching tinted primer in a bright, cheery color + painting supplies.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. Our living room was “blessed” with that dark, fake-wood wall paneling that every 1970s house seemed to have. What was just as bad, the dining room was an ugly, faded mint green. Omigosh, it felt like we were in a hospital!

It’s amazing what a little bit of paint can do—and yes, we were lazy. We primed/painted right over everything, even though the previous owners were heavy smokers. But it worked, and it made the dining and living rooms feel like they were covered in sunshine, so we carried the color down the hall and into the foyer.

Great for us, but with 20/20 hindsight, we should have gone with something a little more neutral, like grey or sand. I’m not sure how many buyers might have been turned off by our Harvester Gold.

ⓘ TIP: Buy all your paint at once to ensure that the color will be consistent.

2. Bright white trim

Purchased: One quart of white, semi-gloss latex enamel + paint brush.

Painting baseboards, doors and trim freshened everything up and masked a lot of dings and dents.

3. New laminate flooring

Purchased: Laminate flooring, bought from a big box store when it was on sale. (Comparison shopping really pays off here.)

When we moved in, the carpet was so worn and ugly that we ripped it out right away. It’s a good thing we did: The previous owner had been suffering from respiratory problems and powdery mold was hiding underneath the padding.

As for labor, tearing out carpets is quick and easy, not to mention fun enough that your kids would beg to do it. The tack strips were just as easy, only needing the claw side of a hammer to remove.

Disposal: We rolled everything up and hauled it to the dump in the trunk of our car.

TIP: Mold inspector’s advice: Sweep up what you can, then spray the floor with hydrogen peroxide. That’s the bubbly stuff that people use on cuts.

We lived with the sub-flooring until we could afford a new floor. Our choice was wood-look laminate flooring, as the cost/square foot was inexpensive.

If you have a power saw, laminate flooring is easy to install. However, we did hire a pro friend to do the more difficult parts at the end, such as around the sliding glass door.

Cost for his labor: about $250.

4. New, modern ceiling fan with light

Purchased: A new ceiling fan for the living room. It has a light, remote control and multiple speeds.

Our living room fan had been installed in the 1970s. It was dated, broken, and noisy. As our son was working toward his Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts, we asked a friend to show him how to wire it.

Bonus: it was free labor.

Cost: about $90.

3. Add extra seating areas outside

Flickr: dhammza Adding an outdoor dining table to a porch or yard makes it seem like there’s even more space, even if it’s a little crowded.

Updating the 70s kitchen (phase 2)

This happened a few years later, when we decided to move. It was well overdue.

11. New open floor plan

We tore out two kitchen walls ourselves. I’ll admit, it was more fun than it probably should have been.

12. Glazed cabinets

We glazed the vanilla colored cabinets with a warm brown glazing paint (Sherwin Williams French Roast). It hid a lot of our painting imperfections and gave the cabinets a high-end look. Gorgeous!

Had I realized it would only take a couple of hours (not counting drying time) I’d have done it ages ago. Omigosh, that was too easy for words, and the result was stunning!

I’m sorry to say the photos were lost.

As a matter of fact, glazing was so fun and easy that while I was at it, I decided to glaze the cheap fake-wood medicine cabinets and sinks in both bathrooms too. They sure don’t look ancient and beat up now!

13. New hardware

I also added the cheapest brushed-nickel hardware I could find. The key was to get something that fit the existing holes.

It’s amazing how such a small expense can change the entire feeling in a room. That little bit of bling? #worththeeffort

Cost: less than $100.

14. New kitchen appliances

The appliances took a huge bite out of our finances but it was so worth it! To economize, we bought floor models from the scratch-and-dent area of the big box store, one by one.

We stuck to a black finish to ensure everything would match.

15. New kitchen island with breakfast bar

This took the most planning, because we wanted to install it right over the area where the kitchen wall had been. Okay, the real reason was that we didn’t want to rip up our newly installed flooring.

When Home Depot changed their models, we bought the closeouts and adjusted our design for the cabinets that were available. The finish was different to the wall cabinets, but that’s common these days. No reason for painting and glazing to match.

Remember the Formica counter top we had installed in Phase 1? It was a standard, stock color, so we bought the same style for the island. Using the same style throughout tied the entire kitchen together into one cohesive whole.

A carpenter laminated the new breakfast bar with matching sheets of Formica. (You can find them right next to the ready-made countertops.)

16. New lighting

Goodbye, fluorescent fixtures! Removing the overhead fluorescent created a hole in the ceiling. Patching, then painting the ceiling was next.

We added a few well-placed dimmable can lights. plus two pendants over the breakfast bar on a different switch.

We saved money by hiring a friend in the home improvement business and offering to be his go-fer so he didn’t have to pay an assistant.

17. New window treatments

A multicolored striped window valance, hung high to admit more light, added some personality and warmth. The red stripe matched the wall.

We also installed an inexpensive white mini-blind for privacy.

Cost: About $25.

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