Modernizing Your Home Within Your Means

Ten ways to add value to your home no matter your what budget.

Many homeowners are looking for ways to spruce up their household without investing in a full remodel; whether they are getting ready to sell their home or simply want to make a room feel like new, there are numerous ways to make inexpensive upgrades.

ESTATENVY connected with Michael Callahan, Showhomes franchisee, to discuss current home improvement trends he recommends for homeowners on a budget.


What are some of the top home upgrades owners can make while staying within budget?


Updating light fixtures. This can be reasonably inexpensive, can be handled room by room, and can drastically change the feel of a room or home. Current lighting trends we see are, drum lights in home entry and dining room areas.


Updating door knobs, vanity, and cabinet drawer hardware. Some of the most recent trends we’ve seen in hardware has been brushed nickel, it’s a great look and has the power to wear well. Brass is also making a comeback, most brass being shown at furniture markets is antique and is a great way to bring character into any room of a home.   


Updating faucets and fixtures. This is another great way to give an updated look to a kitchen or bathroom without breaking the bank. Again, brushed nickel or bronze are the most common styles used when making updates and is largely due to their ability to withstand continuous use.


Freshly painted walls. Wall painting is a Tale of Two Cities; it depends on if you are looking at your home updates from a design or staging standpoint. When a homeowner is approaching their updates from a design perspective they have more of an opportunity to really show their personality; homeowners have the freedom to choose a bolder color when creating an accent wall or painting a border. On occasion when adding a bold color to the wrong wall the color can make a room feel smaller, and we suggest testing the color on a small section of the wall if possible.


If homeowners are approaching updates from a staging perspective, neutral colors are the way to go. Beige color lines or soft grays are great color palettes that will allow various decorating themes to be added.


Painting kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Painting cabinets wasn’t a norm until recently, however, it has now become a trend that is being used more and more by homeowners on a budget. It is significantly cheaper than replacing cabinets and allows for some experimentation when considering colors. We always suggest doing your homework before attempting this process, there are some nuances to painting cabinets, but, if researched properly this DIY project can lead to a rewarding outcome.


Adding an updated backsplash to your kitchen cabinet walls. The straight-line-small-tile has been a popular choice for homeowners, but this trend seems to be falling off. However, subway tile is a classic look that continues to stay popular over time. Adding a backsplash can come at a low cost and make a dramatic difference in a home’s kitchen. A good rule of thumb, stay light and bright.


Painting your homes front door. Another way to show off your personality in a very inexpensive way is by adding a pop of color to the front of your home. Find a color that makes a statement but make sure to stick with one color. Multiple colors tend to be visually messy.


Replace your toilet. This is a replacement many overlook but can provide the feeling of a making a major upgrade; new toilets use 1.5 gallons and some that are even more eco-friendly use less than a gallon.


Installing new shelving units. Most homes come with shelving in place and most homeowners tend to overlook the opportunity to adjust their location. A well thought out plan and a DIY weekend project can make a huge difference in the use and function of all your closets.


Improve the homes curb appeal. Simply by updating house numbers, painting the mailbox, or updating outdoor light fixtures, homeowners can immediately make their home seem more inviting.


How can homeowners keep up with trends without breaking the bank?

Home fashion changes so rapidly it can be difficult for homeowners on a budget to stay up to date with current trends. We suggest taking a long-term approach when making updates to a home and smaller changes to décor that can be easily replaced; for example, using a more muted paint color on walls allows homeowners to get creative with pillow and curtain colors.


Do you have any tips for homeowners looking to make upgrades while staying budget conscious?

Focus upgrading areas of your home that will give you the most enjoyment. Don't spend a lot of time and money on updating your dining room when you spend most nights eating in your kitchen. Less expensive shouldn't always be the deciding factor when making upgrades. Homeowners should ask themselves “what would make 'this room' more usable?” Sometimes it can be as simple as changing an out of date wall color or adding a new pendant light in the kitchen. Whatever it is, upgrades should be both enjoyable and functional.