How to Transform your Home on a Budget

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Seattle Interior Designer
Refresh and Remodel your Home on a Budget

My childhood home is what sparked my passion for interior design. Not in the sense that I lived in a glamorous home…in fact, it was quite the opposite. Growing up in a house built in the 70s, I was plagued with laminate kitchen counters, vinyl floor tile, and an all yellow bathroom. My parents are practical people who saw little need to update their seemingly functional (yet visually outdated) spaces.

27 years later they are finally deciding to do some updates to their home. It’s more for resell value (as I’m sure a prospective buyer isn’t going to jump at my childhood bathroom). Since it is for resale purposes, they aren’t looking to spend a ton of money for these cosmetic updates. Thankfully they have a designer daughter who understands how to revamp without breaking the bank. I’ve highlighted some important tips and tricks for transforming your spaces while saving some money.

White Paint is Your Best Friend

It’s really amazing what a coat of paint can do to something ugly and outdated. Transform that ‘in-your-face’ brick fireplace into something more soothing to the eye while still highlight the natural texture. Or update those espresso stained cabinets that scream ‘1990s’ into a bright and cheery kitchen. I will caution that painting something aside walls is a final move, so really think on if it’s something that a less permanent solution if you can do so. After painting, it’s a bitch to revert back to the original (though if you hated the thing to begin with, I doubt you’re looking to reclaim that look).

Cabinet Hardware…Too Hot to Handle

Door pulls and knobs have become the jewelry to your bathroom vanities, kitchens, and other casework cabinetry. Swapping out handles can create a striking contrast and help pull together a design/look based on the style of the pull.

Invest in Timeless Materials

While materials like shag carpet, granite countertops, and glass tile have certainly been marked with era time stamps (the 70’s, 90’s, and 00’s), some materials have stood the test of time. White subway tile, solid hardwood floors, and Carrara/Calcutta marbles are just a few timeless examples of materials. Update it once and you won’t have to touch it again.

Want To Be Trendy? Be Selective on your Statements

I know those patterned tile and brass light fixtures are super cute and all the rage, but if you’re looking to save some money, opt for those trendy pops in small doses. This way when you get sick of that style, it’s a lot less cost to update. Try statement tile above the range or in a small area like the fireplace or powder room floor, paint your island a funky color rather than all your kitchen cabinets if you’re craving something fun.

Swap out Fixtures

Similar to hardware, swapping out your faucets and lighting for newer models can create a HUGE different. Those items tend to be timestamps of that certain design fad. Plus these items have really come a long way. Lighting fixtures especially can make a big statement!

What’s that one thing you absolutely hate? Fix it!

While it may be a bigger cost ticket item, if there is an aspect of your home that you just cannot stand, go for the remodel rather than suffering through. You’ll become bitter overtime having to constantly put up with that item you just hate. Eventually, you’ll probably end up changing that bathroom layout, funky stair railing, or odd entryway. Once you do (probably when looking to resale) you’ll be kicking yourself in the pants that you didn’t do it sooner. Think of all that frustration saved!

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